A charming collection of Orson Welles films are released onto DVD to celebrate the centenary of his birth. Courtesy of Mr Bongo Films each of the films have been lovingly restored.
Falstaff Chimes at Midnight
The 50th anniversary of Falstaff Chimes at Midnight has been restored for this release. John Gielgud stars as King Henry IV as the country is on the brink of civil war and he is trying his best to consolidate his reign and struggling with the unsettling fact that his son neglects his Royal duties so freely.
Keith Baxter plays Hal, the King’s son and Prince, who has been consorting with Sir John Falstaff, played by enigmatic Orson Welles, who he sees a somewhat of a father figure, since his relationship with his own father is strained to say the least.
The film is known for its incredibly powerful scenes of war and the captivating performance by Orson Welles himself.
Too Much Johnson
A story of mistaken identity set in the 1890s. Dathis, played by Edgar Barrier is married to Clairette, played by Arlene Francis, who is having an affair with Augustus Billings, played by Joseph Cotton. Once he is found out Billings runs away to Cub by ship and hides out form Dathis, his wife (Ruth Ford) and mother-in-law, Mrs Upton Battison (Mary Wickes). Billings assumes the identity of Johnson, a plantation owner who is himself, expecting a mail order bride.
The cast are joined by Orson Welles, who plays a Keystone Kop.
The Immortal Story
The penultimate offering from Orson Welles, filmed in 1938, The Immortal Story is an adaptation of Isak Dinesen’s book. It tells the story of 1860s Macao, a Portuguese colony and Mr Clay (Welles), a wealthy merchant who is getting on in years. lay seems to be the subject of much gossip in the town.
Through his love of having his clerk Levinsky (Roger Coggio) read to him, Clay resolves to make one of the tales a reality. He sets out to find a wife and get a sailor to father a child for the couple, thus leaving a family behind him. In an effort to make this come true he strikes a bargain for 300 guineas with Virginie Ducrot played by Jeanne Moreau, the mistress of another clerk.
All that is left is to find a willing sailor.