Film One of the key texts during the Falstaff and Gandalf go to the Movies: Adapting Fantastic Texts to Screen module on my film studies course (which is when I wrote this partial adaptation of Lance Parkin's The Dying Days) was Orson Welles's Shakespeare adaptation Chimes at Midnight (the clue is in the course title).
Watching the opus in that lecture theatre nearly ten years ago I was spell bound, despite this being a Spanish dvd which if memory serves had their subtitles burned in across the bottom throughout. Bolting together pieces of Henry's IVs and The Merry Wives of Windsor, Welles somehow also manages to create a knowing autobiographical piece about his own folly.
The reason we were watching it on this slightly ropy copy (the sound was awful, a lot of dialogue barely audible) was because of the rights issues surrounding the film. As this old Wellesnet interview with restorer Michael Dawson explains, the whole business of financing the film led to it being knocked around various rights holders across the continent.
The upshot of this has been a lack of release in the UK. Until now, thanks to boutique film distributor Mr Bongo. Thanks to boutique film distributor My Bongo a complete restoration is being released on blu-ray. Look here, here it is at Amazon with a BBFC triangular PG classification right on the artwork. Not that I'll entirely believe it until it's in my hands.