Orson Welles called his 1965 William Shakespeare epic “Falstaff Chimes of Midnight” his favorite amongst his films. Based on Welles’ play called “Five Kings,” which attempted to squeeze in Shakespeare’s “Henry IV, V, VI”, as well as his “Richard III” into a single play, “Falstaff Chimes of Midnight” is considered by critics and film buffs to be Welles’ final masterpiece (at least until “The Other Side Of The Wind” finally comes out). Well, perhaps his last fictional masterpiece, since his excellent documentary “F For Fake” was made almost a decade later.
Up until this year, it was very hard to find a home video copy of the film stateside, but now things are getting slightly easier. Fans of Welles’ epic had to shell out big bucks for a European DVD with an apparently muddy transfer. Fortunately, “Falstaff Chimes of Midnight” has been lovingly restored and is on its way to a limited theatrical run in the U.K. on May 1st, to be followed by a DVD and Blu-ray release on June 29th via Mr. Bongo.
You can watch the restoration trailer below, which showcases the best-looking and clearest version of the film you’ll find anywhere. For more information on show times and the home video release, visit the official web site. No word yet on when this might hit U.S. screens, but hopefully someone steps up.