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Boom! [VHS] (1968)

Elizabeth Taylor , Richard Burton , Joseph Losey  |  PG |  VHS Tape
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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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 (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004W46L
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #289,760 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
By repelli
Format:VHS Tape
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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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Riot From Start To Finish! 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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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars INJECTION!!! 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
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
4.0 out of 5 stars The Burtons Go Forth 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars So Bad It's Gooooood
This is a crazy, wild 1960s ride in the Italy of Burton / Taylor. Amazing costumes, outrageous dialogue, and crazy characters. Definitely worth a watch. LOVED IT!!!
Published 2 months ago by michelle3657
5.0 out of 5 stars Campy Guilty Pleasure !
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton team up for Boom ! A wild ride provided by Tennessee Williams. Society has caught up with all this by now.
Published 16 months ago by K. Nolting
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this movie. Why can't I have it?
Have seen this on broadcast TV. I loved it. Every minute. Why can't I get it on dvd? Why not blu-ray? Burton, Taylor, Noel Coward, that blue sea, -Tennessee Williams!
Published 16 months ago by Bob North
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gravy Train Stopped Here
Thanks to The Times.
And the greatest poet of the American theater was brought to his knees at the height of his powers.
Published on March 28, 2011 by glenn branca
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad Cinema With Liz and Dick
Except for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "The Taming of the Shrew," the cinematic collaborations between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton never caught fire. "Boom! Read more
Published on December 17, 2007 by Scott T. Rivers
5.0 out of 5 stars An Over-The-Top Camp Classic of Mind-Boggling Proportions!
While Hollywood has choked the market with bad movies over the years, there are a select few that are so marvelously insane, so hilariously haywire, that they command a cult... Read more
Published on September 6, 2007 by the masked reviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars Boom! A great film.
Boom! is a terrific film. A classic from Tennessee Williams. Why isn't this out on DVD?????
Published on September 18, 2006 by M. White
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning and thought provoking
There have been some incredibly astute observations made by some of the earlier posts. Each has their merit and, as we humans have individual tastes, you can't find fault with... Read more
Published on May 2, 2006 by A. J. Trivette
5.0 out of 5 stars "Boom!" is NOT a bomb!
First and foremost, in order to really even bother with "Boom!", it helps to have a bit of history about it. Read more
Published on February 16, 2006 by Joe R.
5.0 out of 5 stars Hello Sardinia good bye Suburbia,
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. Read more
Published on September 2, 2005 by Walter Peretiatko
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Topic From this Discussion
What is the problem w/ US DVD release ?
I agree. I have the VHS release but wish I had a DVD version.


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