List of Welsh films

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Silent films[edit]

1890s[edit]

1898: Conway Castle

1898: Blackburn Rovers v West Bromwich Albion, is the world's oldest extant soccer film, by Arthur Cheetham.

1900s[edit]

1907: Wales, England: Land of Castles and Waterfalls

1910s[edit]

1913: The Foreman's Treachery, by Charles Brabin

1915: A Welsh Singer was adapted from a novel by Allen Raine and starred Florence Turner.

1918: The Life Story of David Lloyd George

Welsh-language films[edit]

1930s[edit]

1935: Y Chwarelwr (The Quarryman), was the first Welsh language sound film, directed by Ifan ab Owen Edwards.

1940s[edit]

1949: Yr Etifeddiaeth (The Heritage), a documentary by journalist John Roberts Williams

1980s[edit]

1981: O'r Ddaear Hen was directed by Wil Aaron and scripted by Gwyn Thomas.

1986: Milwr Bychan (Boy Soldier), directed by Karl Francis

1986: Rhosyn a Rhith (Coming Up Roses), directed by Stephen Bayly

1990s[edit]

1991: Un Nos Ola Leuad, directed by Endaf Emlyn

1992: Hedd Wyn was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1992. It won a BAFTA Award for Best Film in the year of its release. It was directed by Paul Turner.

1993: Cwm Hyfryd (My Pretty Valley), also directed by Paul Turner, concerns itself with a critique of Thatcherism, particularly as it relates to the closing of mines in Wales.

1993: Gadael Lenin (Leaving Lenin), about a group of Welsh students and teachers who take a trip to Russia, was directed by Endaf Emlyn.

1994: Ymadawiad Arthur (Arthur's Departure), was directed by Marc Evans and starred Llyr Ifans.

1995: Y Mapiwr, directed by Endaf Emlyn

1997: Tylluan Wen (A White Owl), directed by Alun Ffred Jones

1998: Pum Cynnig i Gymro (Bride of War) was directed by Peter Edwards. It was also in English, German and Polish.

1999: Solomon & Gaenor starred Ioan Gruffudd. An English-language version was also filmed at the same time. It was directed by Paul Morrison.

2000s[edit]

2002: Eldra, directed by Timothy Lyn, is about a Romani ("Gypsy") family living in North Wales.

2003: Y Mabinogi, also featuring Ioan Gruffudd, is a combined live-action and animated version of Welsh collection of tales known as the Mabinogion, directed by Derek W. Hayes.

2005: Y Lleill, directed by Emyr Glyn Williams

2006: Calon Gaeth (Small Country), directed by Ashley Way

2008: Cwcw written and directed by Delyth Jones

2010s[edit]

2010: Patagonia, directed by Marc Evans, filmed in Welsh, English and Spanish.

2015: Under Milk Wood, directed by Kevin Allen

2015: Yr Ymadawiad, directed by Gareth Bryn.

2016: Y Llyfrgell, directed by Fflur Dafydd.

English-language films set in Wales[edit]

1930s[edit]

1932: The Old Dark House, starring Boris Karloff, was directed by James Whale.

1937: Today We Live is a communist agitprop documentary by Ralph Bond concerning unemployed miners in Pentre, Rhondda.

1937: Eastern Valley, by Donald Alexander

1938: The Citadel, set in a Welsh mining town, was directed by King Vidor.

1940s[edit]

1940: The Proud Valley, concerning Welsh coal miners, was directed by Pen Tennyson.

1941: How Green Was My Valley was a classic directed by John Ford. It won five Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture. However, the film is often criticised for the actors having Irish accents, as several of them were Irish, and for having a scene with an Irish jig instead of a traditional Welsh dance. Ford's response to these criticisms were simply, "It's a Celtic country, isn't it?"[1]

1941: The Wolf Man, featuring Bela Lugosi, was directed by George Waggner.

1944: The Halfway House, directed by Basil Dearden

1945: The Corn Is Green, starring Bette Davis, was directed by Irving Rapper.

1949: A Run for Your Money, directed by Charles Frend

1949: Blue Scar, by Jill Craigie, is about the nationalisation of the coal industry in Wales.

1950s[edit]

1950: The Undefeated, by Paul Dickson

1951: David, by Paul Dickson

1959: Tiger Bay takes place in Tiger Bay, Cardiff, Wales, and was directed by J. Lee Thompson.

1960s[edit]

1962: Dylan Thomas was a short documentary on the poet featuring the narration of the Welsh actor Richard Burton. Directed by Jack Howells, it won the 1963 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.

1962: Only Two Can Play starred Peter Sellers as the Welsh character John Lewis, and was directed by Sidney Gilliat.

1967: Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon, directed by Don Sharp

1970s[edit]

1972: Under Milk Wood was a film version of Dylan Thomas's "play for voices", starring Pontrhydyfen-born actor Richard Burton, then-wife Elizabeth Taylor and Peter O'Toole. It was directed by Andrew Sinclair.

1973: Hang Up Your Brightest Colours is a once-banned documentary by Kenneth Griffith on Irish Republican Michael Collins.

1976: At the Earth's Core, directed by Kevin Conner, takes place in the Welsh mountains.

1976: Above Us the Earth, by Karl Francis

1977: Curious Journey, a documentary by Kenneth Griffith

1978: Dylan is about Dylan Thomas's final visit to America, concluding with his death in New York on 9 November 1953, and directed by Richard Lewis.

1978: Grand Slam is a BBC Wales film about Welsh rugby fans travelling to Paris for the Grand Slam of Wales vs. France.

1979: Black As Hell, Thick As Grass is a documentary by Kenneth Griffith.

1979: The Corn Is Green was written by Ivan Davis (Emlyn Williams wrote the play), and starred Katharine Hepburn, Bill Fraser, Patricia Hayes, Artro Morris, Dorothea Phillips and Toyah Willcox.

1980s[edit]

1982: Giro City, by Karl Francis

1983: House of the Long Shadows was directed by Pete Walker. It comments on the nationalism of the Welsh, especially the older generation, who hate the English; the American jokes that he should wear a leek to show he's a friend. Vincent Price, who has a Welsh surname, plays a character who describes Wales as his ancestral homeland. His character's family appears to be English, however.

1985: Ms Rhymney Valley, by Karl Francis

1987: Girls' Night Out is an S4C film by Joanna Quinn.

1987: A Child's Christmas in Wales is a TV-movie based on Dylan Thomas's work of the same name, starring Denholm Elliott and directed by Don McBrearty.

1987: On the Black Hill is about Welsh identical twins, and was directed by Andrew Grieve.

1990s[edit]

1990: Dylan Thomas: Return Journey is a one-man show featuring Bob Kingdom as Thomas and directed by Anthony Hopkins.

1992: Elenya, concerning a woman of Italian descent living in Wales, was directed by Steve Gough.

1992: Under Milk Wood is an animated adaptation of the Dylan Thomas play.

1994: Second Best, starring William Hurt, Alan Cumming and Chris Cleary Miles, was directed by Chris Menges.

1995: The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain, starring Hugh Grant, was directed by Christopher Monger.

1995: Streetlife, starring Rhys Ifans, was directed by Karl Francis.

1996: August, directed by Margam, Wales-born actor/director Anthony Hopkins, is an adaptation of Chekov's Uncle Vanya, set in North Wales.

1996: Darklands, concerning Druidic cults, was directed by Julian Richards.

1997: Twin Town, starring brothers Rhys Ifans and Llyr Ifans, was directed by Kevin Allen.

1997: House of America, starring Siân Phillips and Matthew Rhys, was directed by Marc Evans.

1997: Prince Valiant was directed by Anthony Hickox, and based on the comic strip series. It was partially filmed in Wales, and certain sequences surround the Welsh Princess Ilene (who is Valiant's love interest) are set in Wales. However, King Arthur is depicted as leader of the forces of England and ruler of Britain, rather than being in accordance with the original Welsh mythology of Arthur or with the Monty Python depiction of Arthur as ruler of the Britons.

1997: The Proposition, directed by Strathford Hamilton

1999: Human Traffic, directed by Justin Kerrigan

1999: Famous Fred, by Joanna Quinn

1999: Solomon & Gaenor starred Cardiff-born actor Ioan Gruffudd. A Welsh-language version was also filmed at the same time. It was directed by Paul Morrison.

1999: The Funeral of the Last Gypsy King, a short film directed by Jane Rogoyska

2000s[edit]

2000: The Testimony of Taliesin Jones (aka Small Miracles), starred John-Paul Macleod and Jonathan Pryce, and was directed by Martin Duffy.

2000: House!, about Bingo rivalries in South Wales, starred Kelly Macdonald and was directed by Julian Kemp.

2001: Very Annie Mary, starring Rachel Griffiths, Holywell-born Jonathan Pryce and Ioan Gruffudd, was directed by Sara Sugarman.

2001: Happy Now, starring Ioan Gruffudd, was directed by Philippa Cousins.

2001: Endgame was directed by Gary Wicks; much of the film takes place at the main character's Welsh cottage.

2002: On All Floors was directed by Geoff Evans and written by Craig Handley.

2002: Plots with a View (aka: Undertaking Betty), was directed by Nick Hurran and starred Brenda Blethyn, Alfred Molina, Christopher Walken, and Lee Evans. This brilliant, but commercially unsuccessful, black comedy about competing undertakers in the small fictional Welsh village of Wrottin Powys won the BAFTA Cymru Award in 2003. It is not yet released in the UK.

2003: Otherworld, the English-language version of the film Y Mabinogi, is listed above in the Welsh-language section.

2003: I'll Be There was written and directed by Scottish comedian Craig Ferguson and featured Welsh singer Charlotte Church.

2005: The Dark starred Sean Bean and Maria Bello. While taking place in Wales, it reinvisions the Otherworld (from The Mabinogion) as being a place of hellish torment. It was directed by John Fawcett.

2005: Evil Aliens takes place on the Welsh island of Scallad, and was directed by Jake West.

2005: Ramble On, an animated short directed by Tom Parkinson

2006: Dirty Sanchez: The Movie is the Welsh equivalent of Jackass: The Movie, but arguably raunchier. It was directed by Jim Hickey.

2006: Little White Lies, directed by Caradog W. James

2006: Love You, Joseff Hughes, a short directed by Dan Hartley

2006: In the film adaptation of Stormbreaker, Alex Rider receives military training in the Brecon Beacons.

2006: The Haunted Airman starred Robert Pattinson as an injured aviator who convalesces in Wales.

2007: The Baker, AKA Assassin in Love was directed by Gareth Lewis, about a hitman who retires to a rural Welsh village as a baker.

2008: The Edge of Love starred Matthew Rhys as Dylan Thomas, Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller (as Dylan's wife, Caitlin Macnamara) and Cillian Murphy. Directed by John Maybury, this film is about part of Thomas' life in Swansea during World War II.

2009: Amelia, starred Hilary Swank, Richard Gere and Ewan McGregor. As Amelia crosses the Atlantic, she arrives in Wales (thinking it's Ireland), and the locals sing the hymn "Calon Lân".

2009: Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story mentions that Eddie tried to learn a bit of the Welsh language before playing a gig in Pwllheli, Wales. He also lived in Skewen, Wales, as a child. The documentary also mentions that Eddie is the favorite comedian of Anthony Hopkins.

2009: Big Font. Large Spacing is a feature about two students completing a psychology essay in one night. The film was all shot in Cathays in Cardiff.

2010s[edit]

2010: Submarine is set in Swansea and starred Welsh actor Craig Roberts.

2010: Risen is a biopic of Welsh champion boxer Howard Winstone.

2015: Just Jim, the directorial debut of Craig Roberts, is set and filmed in the actor's home village of Maesycwmmer

Other Welsh-related films[edit]

Films with Welsh characters (but not set in Wales)[edit]

1952: Cosh Boy is a film in which the main character's mother is Welsh. It was directed by Lewis Gilbert.

1956: In The Searchers, directed by John Ford, the character Martin Pawly claims that he is 1/8 Cherokee, and the rest is English and Welsh.

1958: Look Back in Anger, starred Welsh actor Richard Burton and featuring the Welsh character, Cliff. It was directed by Tony Richardson.

1958: The Vikings has Rhodri Mawr as a character, and his daughter Morgana (played by Janet Leigh).

1959: I'm All Right, Jack starred Peter Sellers and featured a Welsh worker named Dai. It was directed by John Boulting.

1959: Upstairs and Downstairs features a Welsh female character, and was directed by Ralph Thomas.

1964: Zulu, starring Michael Caine, depicts the struggle of a detachment of a Welsh regiment against Zulu warriors. It was directed by Cy Endfield.

1968: Candy, features Richard Burton as a Welsh alcoholic poet, MacPhisto.

1970: The Molly Maguires, directed by Martin Ritt and starring Sean Connery, tells the story of the Irish labor troubles in the anthracite coal mines of Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania. Several characters, including the police chief Davies (played by Englishman Frank Finlay), and a miner Jenkins (played by Englishman John Alderson), are Welsh.

1971: Two English Girls (Les Deux anglaises et le continent) was directed by François Truffaut. Despite the title, the titular "English girls" are actually both Welsh.

1971: 10 Rillington Place, directed by Richard Fleischer, stars John Hurt as a Welshman living in London.

1977: In A Bridge Too Far, oe of the final scenes features a minor character nicknamed Taff.

1978: The Hound of the Baskervilles features Dudley Moore portraying a Welsh Doctor Watson, reusing a version of his Welsh accent from the 1967 film Bedazzled.

1979: The Life of Brian, a film by Monty Python, features a character named Judith (played by Sue Jones-Davies) who is referred to by Brian's mother as a "Welsh tart." Several other references to Welsh characters can be gleaned from the screenplay.[2]

1980: The Falls, directed by Welsh-born filmmaker Peter Greenaway, references the Welsh-born character Tulse Luper.

1983: 'In 'Taking Tiger Mountain, militant feminist scientists brainwash a research subject to assassinate the Welsh Minister of Prostitution. It was directed by Tom Huckabee, with a story by William S. Burroughs.

1991: Old Scores, set in New Zealand, is about a former Welsh rugby star. It was directed by Alan Clayton.

1994: Au Pair was directed by Angelika Weber. The main character and her boyfriend are Welsh.

1997: The Replacements,features Rhys Ifans as a Welsh soccer player who is recruited to play American football. When called a "Mick" by teammates, he asserts that he is Welsh, not Irish. It was directed by Howard Deutch.

1999: Notting Hill, features Rhys Ifans as a Welsh character called Spike.

2000: The Man Who Cried, about a Jewish girl who leaves the Soviet Union to be raised in England, utilizes a Welsh music teacher to help aid in the girl's assimilation to English culture. As he was not allowed to speak Welsh but succeeded professionally after learning English, so will she succeed if she abandons her native tongue.

2003 and following: The Tulse Luper Suitcases is a multimedia project by Welsh-born filmmaker Peter Greenaway concerning the Welsh-born character Tulse Luper.

2004: Heights, starring Glenn Close, features Andrew Howard as the Welsh character, Ian. It was directed by Chris Terrio.

2004: Patrick, a documentary about the Welsh St. Patrick who became the patron saint of Ireland, was directed by Pamela Mason Wagner.

2011: The Rite features Anthony Hopkins as Father Lucas, a Welsh exorcist, living in Rome.

Filmed on location in Wales, but set elsewhere[edit]

1958: The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, featuring Ingrid Bergman, Curd Jurgens, and Robert Donat, was filmed on location in Wales in Gwynedd and Beddgelert, but is set in China.

1968: The Lion in Winter, featuring Welsh actors Anthony Hopkins and Timothy Dalton in their first feature films, was filmed on location in Wales but is set in France.

1969: Carry on up the Khyber is the sixteenth Carry On film, released in 1968. It stars Carry On regulars Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Bernard Bresslaw and Peter Butterworth. The film is, in part, a spoof of "Kiplingesque" movies and television series about life in the British Empire, both contemporary and from earlier, Hollywood, periods. Scenes on the North West Frontier were filmed beneath the summit of Snowdon in North Wales.

1981: An American Werewolf in London's early scenes set in Yorkshire were filmed in the Brecon Beacons.

1983: The Keep is set in Romania, but was actually shot in Llanberis and Blaenau Ffestiniog in Gwynedd, North Wales.

1992: The Princess and the Goblin was the first animated featured produced in Wales. It was jointly a Hungarian animated film.

1995: First Knight starring Sean Connery, Richard Gere and Julia Ormond, was directed by Jerry Zucker. It is the story of King Arthur filmed in Snowdonia.

1997: Part of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation was filmed on location at Parys Mountain on the island of Anglesey.

2000: The Miracle Maker, starring Ralph Fiennes as Jesus, was filmed in Cardiff, Wales. It was directed by Derek W. Hayes and Stanislav Sokolov.

2006: Half Light, starring Demi Moore and directed by Craig Rosenberg, is set in Scotland but was shot on location in Wales.

2003: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, starring Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft, was shot on location in the mountains of Snowdonia but set in China.

2011: Ironclad was the first film to be shot at Dragon International Film Studios in Llanilid.

Miscellaneous[edit]

1967: In Bedazzled, when Dudley Moore's character wishes for intellectualism, he develops a Welsh accent.

1968: In the film Barbarella, a few characters use Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch as a password.

1971: In Straw Dogs, directed by Sam Peckinpah, a Cornish vicar uses the Welsh place name Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch as the magic word in a magic trick he performs.

1986: In Back to School, directed by Alan Metter, Rodney Dangerfield's character recites "Do not go gentle into that good night" for his oral exam.

1995: In Before Sunrise, directed by Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke's character mimics Dylan Thomas's voice, reading a fragment from "As I Walked Out One Evening", written by W.H. Auden.

2000: The Weight of Water, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, features the Dylan Thomas poem "And death shall have no dominion".

2002: The Steven Soderbergh remake of Solaris also features the Dylan Thomas poem "And death shall have no dominion"; George Clooney's character reads the first stanza of the poem.

2004: Crash features the Welsh-language folk song "Lisa Lân", sung by Carol Ensley.

Welsh actors and directors[edit]

Main article: List of Welsh people

See also[edit]

Cinema of Wales

Scholarly resources[edit]

  • Wales on Screen, edited by Steve Blandford
  • Wales and Cinema: The First Hundred Years, by Dave Berry

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ David Berry Wales and Cinema: The First Hundred Years. Cardiff, 1994, page 161.
  2. ^ [1] Archived August 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]