Derek Winnert


This article was written on 11 Jan 2018, and is filled under Reviews.

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Under Milk Wood *** (1972, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Peter O’Toole, Glynis Johns, Vivien Merchant, Siân Phillips, Victor Spinetti) – Classic Movie Review 6548

Dylan Thomas’s delightful classic radio poem play a day in the life of a small, Welsh fishing village called Llareggub gets the Hollywood star treatment. And writer-director Andrew Sinclair’s 1972 Welsh village comedy comes as near as it is possible to imagine it working on film, despite a tendency to spell out what should be imagined.

Thomas’s wonderful words and the actors’ equally wonderful voices are the important thing, and in Richard Burton there is one hell of a great Welsh voice. Elizabeth Taylor, Peter O’Toole, Glynis Johns, Vivien Merchant, Siân Phillips and Victor Spinetti are Rosie Probert, Captain Tom Cat, Myfanwy Price, Mrs Pugh, Mrs Ogmore-Pritchard and Mog Edwards, while the producers have assembled a heck of a cast in support of the stars.

Box-office wise, it lit no fires and was another nail in the coffin of the Burton-Taylor teaming. But, still, as a film, it is a worthy, worthwhile enterprise, easy, pleasant and enjoyable to watch at just 87 minutes. It was made cheaply at $300,000, a cost underwritten by Burton, who wanted to popularise Thomas’s work.

It is shot in Technicolor by Bob Huke, produced by Hugh French and Jules Buck, and scored by Brian Gascoigne.

Also in the cast are Angharad Rees, Ray Smith, Ryan Davies, Michael Forrest, Glyn Edwards, Bridget Turner, Meg Wynn Owen, David Jason, Peggy Ann Clifford, Margaret Courtenay, Ann Beach as Polly Garter: (‘Oh! Come and get me, Mr Anybody!’), Rachel Thomas and Susan Penhaligon.

© Derek Winnert 2018 Classic Movie Review 6548

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