Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

Under Milk Wood (2005)

Under Milk Wood is a play in free-form verse written by Dylan Thomas, the modern voice of Wales. It is subtitled A Play for Voices, and was basically intended to be a radio play. It is an affectionate, quaint evocation of 24 hours in the life of an imaginary small Welsh seaside town, visiting the colorful inhabitants of Llareggub (Bugger-all backwards!) while they sleep, then when they wake and go about their business, and then again as night falls. The town's personality is described in two ways: first with a literal recounting of everyday activities by the First Voice, and then with an examination of the subconscious world of the characters' intimate thoughts, as revealed by the Second Voice.

The play was first performed as a solo reading by Dylan Thomas himself, first in the Fogg Museum at Harvard on May 3, 1953, and then again as a stage performance in New York on October 25 of that year, just before his death on November 9. In 1963 the BBC recorded it for radio with narration by another famous Welshman, Richard Burton. Although it has been rendered on the radio as well as on stage, those performances must have been incomprehensible to all but a few of the literati, because it is essentially a narrative poem which includes very little in the way of everyday dialogue. Most of the narration consists of beautiful, densely poetic language.

The greatest strength of this filmed interpretation is the powerhouse cast, which includes Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton in the two most important male roles, and Elizabeth Taylor as a woman remembered by the blind sailor (O'Toole) who provides the point of view for many descriptions of the town's other inhabitants. The "first voice" is provided again by Richard Burton himself, so a good portion of the film consists of the greatest voice of Wales reading the greatest poet of Wales, which is a treasure if you love serious literature. There is one rather sleazy weakness of the presentation: a bizarrely tacked-on subplot about two drunken drifters walking through town and having three-way sex with a local fancy woman in a barn. This entire episode doesn't seem to be consistent with the gentle tone of the remainder of the film. With or without that subplot, the film appeals only to a tiny highbrow audience. As you might expect, the small target group interested in such a project doomed the film version to an unsuccessful theatrical release, and it and has rarely been seen since.

The appearance of Under Milk Wood on DVD gives the play new life in ways probably never imagined by the DVD producers. You see, the DVD can be watched in English with English subtitles, thus giving the play a third dimension, making it possible to read Dylan Thomas's poetry while listening to Richard Burton's oral interpretation, while seeing the events being pictured by actors in an actual small Welsh town. The threefold interpretation has the advantage of expanding the film's appeal far beyond the tiny turtleneck crowd which would attend a solo reading. I, for one, would never have the patience to listen to a long, dense narrative poem being read to me, and I don't have the patience to do so even with the illustration provided by the film, but I found it all to be much easier going when I could read along with the narrators.

For anyone interested in this material, the DVD has some nice extras. There is a second feature-length movie about the life of Dylan Thomas, some 1971 interviews with the director and Richard Burton, and commentary by the director, which is a rarity for a 35 year old film.

Ruth Madoc

Susan Penhaligon


If you are interested in this play or the work of Dylan Thomas in general, the people who own the copyrights to his work have generously created a free web site which makes just about all his important creations available in the best possible interpretations. Most works on the site are printed out and also read by the author himself, through audio files that are embedded in the different pages.

  • Here, for example, is the famous poem "Do not go gentle into that good night", as written out and performed by Thomas himself, who rivaled even Richard Burton himself for sheer pomposity!

  • Here is the complete play Under Milk Wood, not read by Thomas this time, but as performed on the BBC by Richard Burton, with the accompanying words written out as well.




Big Wednesday (1978)

Despite the fact that I have spent a lot of time on this film, both now and in the past, even including an interview with surfing filmmaker Dale Davis in my review, I never have really liked it that much. In all fairness, however, it is much better on DVD than ever before. This film was shot in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, and includes some of the best surfing footage ever filmed, so previous attempts to represent it on a cropped VHS rendering have been disappointing, because they failed to evoke the scope and poetry of the sport. The DVD allows it to be shown as the author/director intended, and also includes a full-length commentary by John Milius, who is not only a famed auteur, but was an avid world-class surfer in his own right. He went to college at USC in 1962-66, in the heyday of the first surfin' craze.

Full comments here. Sorry, no nudity.

'Caps and comments by Hankster:

Today we have one last game of spot the tool as a bunch of unknowns frolic at a beach party in "The Dirty Mind of Young Sally".

From the same movie (this is the end, honest) Robyn Whitting gets laid in the back of a Jeep.


Robyn Whitting

Next up, scenes from a completely different movie. From an Asian Cinema movie called "Big Boobs Buster" we have boobs from Natsuko Kayama and Mariko Itsuki. Mariko is Kind of a "Damsel in Distress" as she has goop smeared all over her breasts.

Natsuko Kayama

Mariko Itsuki

Aussie actress Toni Collette showing a nice downblouse view and some brief toplessness in scenes from "The Last Shot" (2004). The small budget comedy starring Matthew Broderick, Alec Baldwin, Tony Shalhoub, Calista Flockhart, Tim Blake Nelson and Ray Liotta.

Calista Flockhart shows off her long and lean legs in another scene from "The Last Shot".

Heather Graham unfortunately keeps her clothes on in the Adam Sandler/Jack Nicholson movie "Anger Management". But I think this scene single-handedly inspired the Red Sox to finally win the World Series last year.

Euro-actress Désirée Nosbusch (aka Desiree Becker) bares a bit o' breast in scenes from "Good Morning, Babylon" (1987).

Also from "Good Morning, Babylon", we cathc Greta Scacchi topless.

Next up, another look at Christina Ricci's fantastic nude debut in "Prozac Nation".

Here is Spanish babe Yoima Valdés topless, and possibly showing bit of bush in scenes from "800 balas" aka "800 Bullets" (2002).

Since there is no such thing as too many hot Spanish babes in my book...Here's Paz Vega topless in scenes from "El Otro lado de la cama" aka "The Other Side of the Bed" (2002).

Also from "El Otro lado de la cama", Natalia Verbeke bares all 3 B's.

Señor Skin
Today the Skin-man takes a look at the ultra-low-budget flick "Bleed" (2002).

Scoop reviewed this puppy back in 2003-ish. Click here for his comments

Debbie Rochon

Orly Tepper

Julie Strain

Movie Reviews


Here are the latest movie reviews available at


  • The yellow asterisks indicate that I wrote the review, and am deluded into thinking it includes humor.
  • If there is a white asterisk, it means that there isn't any significant humor, but I inexplicably determined there might be something else of interest.
  • A blue asterisk indicates the review is written by Tuna (or Junior or Brainscan, or somebody else besides me)
  • If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too ashamed to admit it.

Other Crap - Super Hero Unitards. If I get the site's message correctly, these are to gay guys what a french maid's outfit on a women would be to a straight guy. Or not.

North Korea's TV Show: "The Elevator Girl" (Fascinating!)

Daily Box Office - Friday, August 12, 2005
  • Deuce Bigalow bombs, opens in fourth, but the other two major releases take 1-2.
  • Penguins hang tight at #8

Christopher Walken for President in 2008 - Official Website. That could work. Walken is the only man in American more menacing and scary than Dick Cheney.

"the first of what I can only hope will be many, many Deuce Bigelow sequels may just be the finest movie of this generation"

Near-nude PETA protest comes off as planned. (With topless but unrevealing picture.)

The Indy Experience says: Hayley Joel Osment remains the favorite to play Young Indiana Jones


Currently on disability. If you'd like to get in touch with him, his email address is

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