Under Milk Wood

Movie Information

The Hendersonville Film Society will show Under Milk Wood at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24, in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community (behind Epic Cinemas), 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville.
Genre: Poetical Comedy/Drama
Director: Andrew Sinclair
Starring: Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Peter O'Toole, Glynis Johns, Vivien Merchant, Victor Spinetti
Rated: PG

This beguiling oddity of a movie from 1972 is the sort of thing that could only have come about during the time in which it was made. Not only is it the product of the most free-wheeling era of cinema, but it trades heavily—though perhaps ill-advisedly—on the mystique (then at its height) of the marriage of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Even so, the film pretty completely slipped through the cracks thanks to having been distributed in the U.S. by Altura Films, meaning it was booked almost nowhere. The idea behind the movie is a little screwy: to adapt Dylan Thomas’ radio play to film. Strangely enough, the attempt largely works, resulting in a warm, humorous little movie about a day in the life of the Welsh fishing village of Llareggub (which is “Bugger-all” spelled backwards, but looks nicely Welsh). A great film, no, but it’s a pleasant one that ought to be better known.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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