CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT
aka FALSTAFF
1965, Janus Films, 115 min, Dir: Orson Welles

Writer-director Orson Welles once said of this lifelong passion project, “If I wanted to get into heaven on the basis of one movie, that's the one I would offer up.” Embroiled in rights issues for decades, this magnificent Shakespearean adaptation draws from five plays in the bard’s “War of the Roses” cycle. Welles stars as Sir John Falstaff, an errant knight who enjoys carousing with Prince Hal (Keith Baxter), only to be rejected by him when Hal becomes King Henry V. The mud-soaked re-creation of the Battle of Shrewsbury is one of several bravura sequences here, and the superb cast includes John Gielgud, Jeanne Moreau and Fernando Rey.


ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE
1969, Park Circus/MGM, 140 min, UK, Dir: Peter Hunt

When Sean Connery decided to take a hiatus from the role of Bond, producers Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman turned to former male model George Lazenby to play Ian Fleming’s super-spy - and wound up with one of the most satisfying (and underrated) of the 1960s Bond films. Lovely Diana Rigg proves more than Bond’s match as the two team up to topple scar-faced Ernst Blofeld (Telly Savalas) in the Swiss Alps.


THE IPCRESS FILE
1965, Universal, 108 min, UK, Dir: Sidney J. Furie

Low-key, irresistibly sexy thief-turned-spy Harry Palmer (Michael Caine) is introduced to the hilariously inscrutable bureaucracy of the British Secret Service when he tries to find out who is behind a "brain drain" of top scientists. Features one of composer John Barry’s most weirdly beautiful scores.


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