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A letterboxed showing of "Boom!" (1968) for Liz/Burton/Losey fans


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Not to promote the competition, but the Sundance channel apparently ran a letterboxed version of this Taylor/Burton/Noel Coward film a few days ago. Another showing is set for 11:30 a.m. EST this Thursday. No sources, including my on-screen satellite listings, seem to indicate it is letterboxed, but someone on the Sundance message board for the film said it made its letterboxed debut in the first showing. Sundance's letterboxing is a crap shoot--they might have a letterboxed print of one 2.35:1 film (as "Boom!" is) and run another full-screen, as they did with Carol Reed's "The Public Eye"/"Follow Me!" recently.

 

As penance for mentioning the competition, I'll request that TCM show "Boom!" and thank TCM again for all the Columbia/UA titles they've shown recently.

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Opinion on "Boom!" seems to vary widely, from what I've read.

 

Another Losey film that I'm sure has been mentioned on these boards, and which I've requested from TCM in the past, is his version of "M." With all the Columbia titles turning up on TCM, "M" may be on the horizon. I don't think anyone would rate it above Lorre's "M," but I'd still like to see it.

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I would gladly PAY somebody to explain to me what the hell this film is about. I picked it up back in the VHS days ONLY because Richard Burton is, to me, an AMAZING actor. I can understand Elizabeth Taylor giving some lazy, while still being overindulgent acting, but Richard Burton?!!!!! The only reason I can come up with is - they didn't get the story any more than we did!! I remember reading a few years back that John Waters (HAIRSPRAY and POLYESTER) said that he would not be friends with ANYONE who could not get BOOM!. I'm thinkin' that he is one lonely hombre.

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Dan, Brother, if you want it - it is yours! I will even pay the postage. Private message me an address where I can send it. The only thing I ask is your opinion of the film IF you can watch the whole thing. Although, this version is not LETTERBOXED - only the credits are. ...And as they say on e-Bay, "gently previously owned". I only watched this thing once!!!!!!!

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Don't get me wrong, PLEASE -

I am NOT (necessarily) recommending this film to ANYONE . . .

But here's what I don't get about all this:

With all the bad films out there (and oh, aren't they legion!), why is it this one elicits such howls of rage/disgust/condemnation from such a wide & diverse spectrum of people?

Yeah, OK, it sucks, but does it suck as loud as, say, "The Comedians", or "Carnal Knowledge", or Bo Derek's "Tarzan", or "The Passenger", or "Heaven's Gate", or "Dunston Checks In", or "Tender is the Night", or "The Greek Tycoon" or "The Silver Chalice"?

What is "Boom" about? Come on guys, it's based on a Tennessee Williams play, we've all been down this cul de sac before . . what was "Reflections in a Golden Eye" about? Was there a point to "Night of the Iguana"? What was up with "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "Suddenly Last Summer"? Just a whole bunch a people enjoying getting on each others' nerves, while attempting to seduce strangers, as they dance along the brittle edge of neurotic implosion!

And hey, aren't Liz & Dick the all-time pros at that? Isn't that exactly what cranked up the heat in "Sandpipers" & "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"?

Granted, these other examples of "adult psycho-dramas" are for the most part superior films to Mr. Losey's bizarre, big-buget turkey, but you know, if we can find some level on which to enjoy "Faster, Pussycat, Kill, Kill!", we can do the same for "Boom".

Come on, give-in to this big, cranky orphan of the Cinema . . it's whining on your doorstep in its designer dashiki, desparate for another quaff of sauvignon!

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I would love to see "Boom!" (Too bad I don't have Sundance channel.) I keep hoping TCM will show it. It sounds like one of those "so bad it's good" movies-from all the love it/hate it reviews I've read. I've seen VHS copies on Ebay and Amazon.com before, but I'm not paying over a hundred dollars for any movie.

I'd like to see it (on TCM) with "Hammersmith Is Out." I have seen that movie and enjoyed it.

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> I agree. One of the all-time worst. One of the few

> movies it's almost impossible to sit through.

> "Reflections" is a masterpiece in comparison!

 

I actually went to watch this just a few months ago at a local independent theater that often shows classic movies. And honestly, the howling in the theater was some of the loudest that I've ever heard. I'm not going to say I regret watching it, but I do think it is unlikely to be enjoyed by anyone but the most die-hard fans of Liz & Burton.

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Sundance ran it letterboxed again Thursday. I recorded it and, even worse, watched it, and I think I'm beginning to understand some of the previous comments here. The print looks ready for DVD, but since "it's a Universal picture," to use the studio's early tagline against it, we'll probably never see it. Then again . . .

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Wow...I couldn't have said this more eloquently.

Exactly right, klondike.

"Boom!" is quite simply one of the best bad movies ever created and it should be savored as such...simply the sight of darling Liz in her magnificent kabuki headdress is worth the price of admission.

I think that The Burtons, Noel Coward and Losey were definitely in on the joke.

When Taylor snaps at her assistant and says, "Aw, you broke the skin with my [diamond] ring!" you are being cued that all of "Boom!" is being played with a wink.

Like "Myra Breckinridge," It's joyously off-the-wall and marvelously so.

I remember reading that when director John Waters is deciding whether to befriend someone, he invites them to watch "Boom!" and if they react favorably to this cult favorite then that individual is admitted into his circle. A great test.

Don't know if it's been mentioned here already but about five years ago, there was a "Universal Treasures" VHS release with a nice cover that disappeared very quickly. Worth seeking out.

Long Live Sissy Goforth!

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