COMING SOON ON BLU-RAY
Jess Franco worked for four months as a 2nd unit director on this 1965 Orson Welles masterwork, based on several plays by William Shakespeare. He directed footage for the stunning climactic battle sequence, which stands as one of the best ever filmed. He had planned to direct Welles in LA ISLA DEL TESORO, based on the classic TREASURE ISLAND, to be financed by the producer of CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT. Unfortunately the film was never completed.
Franco also post-produced his own version of Welles’ DON QUIJOTE in 1992, which was widely criticized for using inferior footage and dubbing. There’s a lot more to say about that film and we’ll be taking a detailed look at it in future posts.
Welles was a primary influence on the sprawling filmography of Jess Franco, both aesthetically and in terms of personal commitment to produce a singular vision. When I asked Jess who his favorite director was he immediately answered, “Orson Welles!”
CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT is my own favorite Shakespeare film and my favorite Orson Welles film and performance. It will be released on Blu-ray by THE CRITERION COLLECTION on August 30, 2016. It’s been a long time coming…
(C) 2016 Robert Monell