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
Chris as envisioned was a young poet, and Richard Burton was considered by most to be terribly miscast as well as too old for the part. The bust of "Boom!" seriously damaged Elizabeth Taylor's standing at the box office, though Burton had another major hit with Where Eagles Dare (1968) after the fiasco of its drubbing by both the critics and movie audiences. See more »
All of Chris' belongings are in a couple of duffel bags thrown into ocean, yet when the bags are unpacked upon arriving at island, there is no water damage to either his address book or a book of poetry. See more »
"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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