Under Milk Wood
n is an imaginative, cinematic rendering of Dylan Thomas's famous "play for voices," typically read on stage by a handful of actors expressing the dialogue of more than 50 characters living in a small, Welsh fishing village. Filmmaker Andrew Sinclair sets the story in a real seaside community and visually complements the text's lengthy, opening narration by enlisting Richard Burton
both for his brooding voiceover and a mysterious, on-screen role as a drunken gadabout soaking in the very soul of the town Thomas' words describe. Once the narration ends, the film breathes freely with a succession of lively vignettes, some funny, some dramatic, but all rooted in the peculiar circumstances of characters who either feel trapped by or ensconced in their home. Peter O'Toole
plays the wizened, blind Captain Cat, haunted by memories of drowned sailors but so attuned to the sounds of village life outside his window he can identify the children screaming in a park. Elizabeth Taylor
(Burton's wife at the time) makes a brief appearance as Rosie Probert, and the other players include Glynis Johns, Vivien Merchant, and Victor Spinetti. --Tom Keogh
`Under Milk Wood is the Dylan Thomas' magnum opus which carries the double legacy of the author's extensive work for radio - a medium for which he had an almost intuitive grasp - and his skill and ability as a poet. The play describes the thoughts of a stranger (Richard Burton), who whilst wandering through a small Welsh village seems to know the intimate details of the life of a selection of the town inhabitants. Described in poetic terms we learn that most of the inhabitants are very strange people indeed - we are told about their innermost desires and thoughts.
Under Milk Wood is a sensitive, often comic, examination of Welsh life in which the people are viewed as being particularly blessed.
This is a must have DVD for any Dylan Thomas fan and lover of great literature.