6.9/10
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7 user 2 critic

A Poet in New York (2014)

A look at Welsh poet Dylan Thomas's fatal visit to New York City, and his stormy relationship with his wife Caitlin.

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3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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John Malcolm Brinnin
Celt Llewelyn Jones ...
Jamie Ballard ...
Jerry Hart
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Dr. Milton Feltenstein
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Sylvie
Naomi Everson ...
Rollie McKenna
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Longshoreman
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Caitlin Thomas
Robert Blythe ...
Dylan's Dad
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Dylan's Mum
Nansi Rhys Adams ...
Aeronwy Thomas
Robbie Lester ...
Roy Poole
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Nancy Wickwire
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Storyline

In 1953 poet Dylan Thomas arrives in New York with his assistant and lover Liz Reitell to embark upon a tour of poetry readings, ending up in California where he hopes to meet Stravinsky. He is perpetually drunk, almost missing meetings, throwing up and taking a paranoid view of his long-suffering agent John Brinnin, whom he accuses of trying to defraud him. Whilst staying at the Chelsea hotel he recalls his upbringing in Wales, his affectionate exchange with his proud, ailing father - the inspiration for the poem 'Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night' - and his time with his wife Caitlin and daughter Aeronwy, as he writes ' Under Milk Wood'. Whilst he patches things up with John, his infidelity to both wife and mistress angers Liz and his excessive drinking ensures that he never gets to meet Stravinsky or survive beyond another few months. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Biography | Drama

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18 May 2014 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

 
Typical BBC Dramatization of the Last Days of a Great Poet
21 May 2014 | by (London) – See all my reviews

Dylan Thomas gets the full BBC costume drama treatment in Andrew Davies' screenplay and Aisling Walsh's production. Historical accuracy is paramount; the costumes are well-crafted, the settings appropriately kitschy, the cast impeccable, with Tom Hollander offering a remarkable vocal impersonation of Thomas' voice. There are the familiar stock plot-elements; the obligatory sex-scenes involving Thomas, his wife Caitlin (Essie Davis), a Polish countess (Wanda Opalinska) and a street- girl; the picture-postcard shots of the Welsh coastline, with sequences shot in Thomas' writing-den right by the sea; and the syrupy music (by Debbie Wiseman) forming a - somewhat intrusive - backdrop to Thomas' love-scenes with Caitlin and his platonic relationship with amanuensis/secretary Liz Reitell (Phoebe Fox). In truth the drama doesn't tell us very much about Thomas' character, other than to suggest his fundamentally self-centered nature, and his continual memories of a childhood where he was often taunted by other children on account of his bronchial troubles. The atmosphere of early Fifties New York is adequately re-created, although the mock-up of the Chelsea Hotel (where Thomas spent his last days) looks nothing like the actual building. Some of the American accents are a bit questionable - especially Ewen Bremner's performance as Thomas' friend and promoter J. M. Brinnin - but in general this is a solid if somewhat unspectacular production.


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