Director: Orson Welles
Screenwriters: Orson Welles

Institute History

  • 1986 Sundance Film Festival


Welles quite literally created a “new” Shakespeare work by interweaving sections from five plays into a coherent screenplay centered on the character of Falstaff. With Welles in the role, the film focuses on Falstaff’s friendship with young Prince Hal and the rejection he suffers when the Prince becomes King. The film remains, to many, Welles’ most profound work. Its battle sequence is often cited as one of the great examples of montage editing in cinema history. As with his Othello and, in particular, his film version of Macbeth, Welles hoped to popularize Shakespeare. Ironically, in production, he often followed other, more challenging creative directions. Falstaff is a penultimate example of this: Shakespeare reinterpreted, rewritten and revised into Welles’ own creative vision. Falstaff premiered with great acclaim at the 1966 Cannes Film Festival and went on to win numerous international awards.

Screening Details

  • Section: Orson Welles Remembered, Chimes at Night
  • Film Type: Dramatic Feature
  • Country: U.S.A.
  • Run Time: 115 min.
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