The venomous and amoral wife of a wealthy architect tries, any way she can, to break up the blossoming romance between her husband and his new mistress; a good-natured young widow who holds a dark past.
Brian G. Hutton
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Film version of playwright Tennessee Williams' "The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore" involves very wealthy Flora 'Sissy' Goforth, supposedly dying, and living in a large mansion on a secluded island with her servants and nurses; into her life comes a mysterious man, Angelo Del Morte and "the Witch of Capri." The mysterious man may or may not be "The Angel of Death". Written by
The movie is based on the Tennessee Williams play "The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore", which flopped on Broadway, closing on 16 March 1963 after just 69 performances. Director Tony Richardson, hot after the release of his film Tom Jones (1963), directed the revival that opened with Tallulah Bankhead as Gloria Goforth and Tab Hunter as Chris in January 1964. The revival was a disaster, closing after just five performances. The dual failures of "Milk Train" signaled the end of Williams' greatness as a playwright. See more »
The terrace scene very late in film begins with characters commenting on sunset occurring behind them, yet the rest of scene plays out in bright afternoon sunshine. See more »
Flora 'Sissy' Goforth:
Did somebody tell you I was dying this summer? Did somebody tip you off that Sissy Goforth was about to go forth this summer?
Yes. That's why I came.
Flora 'Sissy' Goforth:
Well, well. I've escorted six husbands to the eternal threshold and come back alone without them. Now it's my turn. I've no choice but to do it, but I want to do it alone. I don't want to be escorted. I want to go forth alone. And you... you counted on touching my heart because you knew I was dying. Well, you miscalculated with this one. The milk ...
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"Boom" has garnered itself a something of a reputation. With heavyweights Taylor, Burton, Noel Coward, Tennessee Williams and Joseph Losey, one might be tempted to think, how bad could it be? Well, it's a lot worse than you could possibly imagine.
The sad and disturbing fact of "Boom" is that it seems to signal the decline and fall of the aforementioned heavyweights. It was only director Joseph Losey who having plummeted the depths with "Modesty Blaise" and "Boom" (some may wish to add "Secret Ceremony"), managed to recuperate and in 1970 create his best work, the wonderful "Go-Between".
Saddest of all is the work of Tennesee Williams. From the mid-forties until the early sixties, Williams penned a number of plays which have gained classic status, remaining in theater repertory throughout the world, many becoming much praised films. When William's muse deserted him, probably owing to his notorious substance abuse, it deserted him for good. Williams at his best is an actor's dream, providing many unforgettable performances. (Were Ava Gardner or Deborah Kerr ever better than in "Night of the Iguana" ? ) Taylor in particular, shone in both "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "Suddenly Last Summer". There is an anecdote in which supposedly Taylor asks John Gielgud whether he would teach her to play Shakespeare, to which he replied "if you will teach me to play Tennessee Williams". Had Gielgud seen "Boom" he would have held his tongue. Taylor simply has never been worse, turning in a cringe inducing performance. Despite her face photographing well, she is decidedly podgy. Besides the physical decline, from this time onwards she would basically lose credibility as a serious actress with a string of completely forgettable (and worse) roles to her credit.
Much the same could be said of Burton. Following his short lived theatrical stardom, he won fame and fortune in Hollywood. But the body of his work from this point onwards (1968) would be unremarkable to say the least.
Noel Coward had long ceased being a force in the theater where his drawing room comedies had been replaced by the likes of Williams and the British "angry young men". He seems to be enjoying himself camping it up, but barely manages to amuse, that from the man who claimed such a talent.
The only cast member who maintains her dignity is young Joanna Shimkus, who in a few years would forego a promising screen career to become Mrs. Sidney Poitier.
"Boom" reeks of self indulgence; it's simply out of control. A rather sad pointer to careers gone wrong rather than a camp fun fest as some have suggested.
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