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Boom! [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Noel Coward, Joanna Shimkus, Michael Dunn
  • Directors: Joseph Losey
  • Writers: Tennessee Williams
  • Producers: John Heyman, Lester Persky, Norman Priggen
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English, Italian
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • VHS Release Date: October 31, 2000
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004W46L
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,508 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Campy Classic Joseph Losey's 1968 over the top adaptation of Tennesse Williams' 1963 play The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore.starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in full bore drunken hamminess.At one point, Noel Coward (as "The Witch of Capri") shows up for a dinner party-carried on the shoulders of a servant

Customer Reviews

For me, this film is simply sublime!
A. J. Trivette
This movie will be laughed at in the same way, by the same sorts of people and for the same sorts of reasons... as a defense mechanism against the poetic life.
Walter Peretiatko
Taylor's performance, Taylor's outfits, and Taylor's monologues are all gut-busters.
A. Duralde

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By DANIEL G. MADIGAN on November 7, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Liz and Dick after Virginia Woolf with NO DIRECTION from Losey and one of Tennessee's worst plays, and an island with Noel Coward on it, and Liz is dying, supposedly older than everyone, but she looks fabulous and ypouthful and not sick at all. She wears headdresses that are unforgettable; she postures and preens for the camera while Burton recites sententious lines that make one howl like a Banshee. Liz dominates all of the scenes she is in and you want more and more even at the close.
It is a camp cavalcade not to be missed. I wish it were on DVD, but at last it is out in some form..so we rejoice.
One sees why Waters would love this, and he is not the only one.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By repelli on January 25, 2002
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Utterly incomprehensible and totally entertaining! People expecting this to be "camp" in the sense of singing transvestites or trained parakeets are bound to be disappointed (Ok, Liz does have a dwarf henchman). However, you can only laugh at a caftan or Taylor's moment of impromptu Kabuki theater for so long. Rather, it's a triumph of continuous irrational behavior from the characters AND the film-makers. Tennessee Williams' sensibility is evident, but transplanted from his usual Dixie environs to a Sardinian fairytale castle, it is even more scintillating than say, the film of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". Burton actually gives a really interesting performance as Flanders, but he is totally overshadowed by Taylor's Cissy Goforth. Hacking up phlegm at every turn, she is constantly irritated by EVERYTHING which is the sensibility that really connects this with John Waters' early work (it's a favorite film of his, and the poster shows up prominently in "Pink Flamingos"). Divine in "Multiple Maniacs" is very much a resounding echo and fracturing of Liz Taylor in "Boom!", and that is definitely a compliment to both great actors. The occasional totally unexpected hooting or stream of creative cursing from Cissy is also a brillant addition to the screenplay. It's like watching a film infected with Tourette's syndrome. For the historical record, Taylor in "Boom!" is supposedly the first female star to utter the "F" word in a studio film. John Barry's score is also notable: circus calliope and tipsy piano together with his trademark brassy orchestral James Bond sound. It perfectly complements the movie.
Certainly not to everyone's taste, but I doubt if it was ever meant to be. Take a chance on it!
This one really should be on DVD with widescreen framing!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By ANTHONY M. DICARO on September 11, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Nonstop drama makes this movie a cult classic. What more could you ask for? Injections! Booze! Inevitable Death! Liz at the height, I mean, weight of her career! These are the ingredients that make the world go round. Think ocean cliffs, contemporary design and servants. Truely this movie is incedibly campy and that is what makes it so entertaining. Liz give another stellar performance, there is classic Taylor-Burton chemistry. I recenctly heard at a film festival that Tennessee Williams said that he felt this was the best movie adaptation of any of his works. It definitely gets five stars from me.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Theodore Voelkel on February 1, 2008
Format: DVD
It was worth it to buy this movie even if I had to get it in a Dutch Region 2, PAL-formatted version -- worth it just to have this scenery-drenched, top-music-score movie ready to pop into my player. Yes, I had to get myself a code-crunching superwizard to do the converting (no easy task), but after all the fuss and bother, up came the magnificent 2.35 widescreen shot of foamy breakers on the rocks and the glittery-as-gold opening titles.

The movie itself is Tennessee Williams' "The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore," its geographical setting slightly shifted, and -- to be mercilessly frank -- the story line and dialog are totally moronic, which is why it bombed at the box office and why Leonard Maltin's "Movie and Video Guide" tags it as a "thud" -- but I STILL love the movie, not just for the Liz-and-Dick flying sparks (Liz Taylor, Richard Burton), but for the SUCCULENT cinematography (filmed at a rocky hilltop villa that is a Dalí'esque DREAM and then some: every room of the place is a separate designer's portfolio, which might explain why Liz and Dick literally bought the pile after the movie was made) and take-me-into-another-world music score by the Brit film composer John Barry (the man behind the early 007 scores), not to mention a tasty walk-on by Noël Coward and the general mood of faraway luxury surrounding this aging-and-cancerous matron (Liz Taylor), rich-as-Croesus enough to order the very molecules in the air to switch vectors.

Maybe it's not your cup of camomile, and admittedly the plot line wanders like a drunk on Saturday night, but I still love the movie for the PARTS, not the whole, and the result for those who can value atmosphere and mood even above narrative is an aesthetic drench. Sip sip and be glad, and be carried off.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Michael C. Smith VINE VOICE on July 29, 2003
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
"Boom" is a blast! This is one of the most fun of the Burton, Taylor films. "Boom" is also a gassy misfire that draws one into the veiled world of aging homosexual desire disguised as a heterosexual struggle between an aging, dying woman and the unattainable youth in the Angel of Death.
This is story wearing a beard. Taylor's role is really that of an aging rich gay man who is trying to hang on to youth and the beauties that great beauty attract. After all, her name is Sissy. Burton's role is that of the hustler who is all that is left for the old queen to attract. But as with so many Williams works it all must be encrypted and coded so that the America of the late 1950's and early 1960's could handle his true intentions, the soft underbelly of his plays.
Burton is too old for the role that was written for a man in his twenties and Taylor is too young and too healthy looking to be the dying Sissy. But despite that, the story of a struggle of great wealth against the inevitable grows from loopy strangeness to a compelling and moving ending. Here Taylor gives one of her oddly finest post Virginia Woolf studies in a dramatic/comic performance. There is in fact so much subversive humor in her performance that she is at times hilarious. Her vocal range dances from the shrill to the silly to the grand dame and all to serve her imperious and ultimately terrified Sissy Goforth. In the last desperate half hour of the film she does some of her finest work. Burton is rather cool and distant at first but builds his Angelo De Morte into a truly fine character study. In particular, listen to his fine delivery of the speech about the old man in the sea.
Particular note should be made of the cinematography, which is gorgeous, and the stunning sun washed bone toned opulent glamour of the sets.
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What is the problem w/ US DVD release ?
I agree. I have the VHS release but wish I had a DVD version.

Thanks,

H Dailey
Jul 7, 2008 by Henry H. Dailey |  See all 2 posts
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