Saturday, 8 November 2008

Boom (1968)

While I often give up on a film if I'm watching it on DVD, I've only did it once at the cinema. Not that I haven't been tempted a few times. The last one was with "Boom", an adaptation of Tennessee Williams' play "The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore" with Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Noël Coward.

It's the story of a dying actress living in an island off the Italian coast who gets visit by a poet, who has the reputation to be the Angel of Death. It is actually even worst than it sounds. And here is the main problem. The play twice flopped on Broadway in the early sixties and was the beginning of the end for the playwright. As a film, it goes nowhere, is full of idiotic cuts and irritating camera angles, and at best has a reputation as a camp classic - I hadn't heard this, but I inferred from the reaction of some of the audience and from some internet reading afterwards. I like camp, but not even as such it managed to interest me.

It is also miscast. Elizabeth Taylor's definition of acting is to shout as much as she can and is too healthy and too young for the part. Also there are a few shots who must be a private joke at the expense of Cleopatra. Richard Burton was way too old and can not really convince as a man that can be considered for a toy boy - still at least he acted. Noël Coward was the reason why I paid for the ticket - and it was interesting to see him play a bitchy old queen (not sure if he was really acting). It was nice to see him in colour and see how blue his eyes were - but these are two hours of my life I shall never recover.

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