Boom! (film)

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This article is about the 1968 British drama film. For the 2004 Bollywood film, see Boom (film).
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Joseph Losey
Produced by John Heyman
Lester Persky (assoc. producer)
Written by Tennessee Williams
Based on The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore 
by Tennessee Williams
Starring Elizabeth Taylor
Richard Burton
Noël Coward
Joanna Shimkus
Music by John Barry
Cinematography Douglas Slocombe
Edited by Reginald Beck
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
May 28, 1968
Running time
113 min
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $3.9 million[1]

Boom! is a 1968 British drama film starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Noël Coward, directed by Joseph Losey, and adapted from the play The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore by Tennessee Williams.


Flora 'Sissy' Goforth (Taylor, in a part written for an older woman) is a terminally ill woman living with a coterie of servants in a large mansion on a secluded island. Into her life comes a mysterious man, Christopher Flanders, nicknamed "Angelo Del Morte" (played by then-husband Burton, in a part intended for a very young man). The mysterious man may or may not be "The Angel of Death".

The interaction between Goforth and Flanders forms the backbone of the plot, with both of the major characters voicing lines of dialogue that carry allegorical and Symbolist significance. Secondary characters chime in, such as "the Witch of Capri" (Coward). The movie mingles respect and contempt for human beings who, like Goforth, continue to deny their own death even as it draws closer and closer. It examines how these characters can enlist and redirect their fading erotic drive into the reinforcement of this denial.


The film was received poorly by critics, and maintains an 8% rating at Rotten Tomatoes.[2]

John Waters admires the film, and chose it as a favorite to present in the first Maryland Film Festival in 1999. The film's poster is visible in Waters' 1972 film Pink Flamingos. In an interview with Robert K. Elder for his book The Best Film You've Never Seen, Waters describes the film as "beyond bad. It’s the other side of camp. It’s beautiful, atrocious, and it’s perfect. It’s a perfect movie, really, and I never tire of it.”[3]


  1. ^ Alexander Walker, Hollywood, England, Stein and Day, 1974 p345
  2. ^ Rotten Tomatoes page: "Boom!"
  3. ^ Elder, Robert K. The Best Film You've Never Seen: 35 Directors Champion the Forgotten or Critically Savaged Movies They Love. Chicago, IL: Chicago Review, 2013. Print.

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