A Welsh language adaptation of Under Milk Wood selected as UK entry for best foreign film in Oscars

A Welsh language adaptation of the Dylan Thomas play Under Milk Wood has been selected as the UK submission for the best foreign language category at next year’s Oscars
The film, which is also known as Dan y Wenallt, stars Rhys Ifans and Charlotte Church and centres on a fictional Welsh community who share their dreams via poetry. The play was previously adapted in 1972, starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor and in a BBC production last year with Michael Sheen and Tom Jones.

It was originally released in Welsh cinemas last December as well as being shown on television not long after. The English language version will also be released later this month.

(Guess which version BBC will show in England …)


Can’t wait to see the Welsh Under Milk Wood! I have seen the Burton/Taylor film several times as I am a huge Burton fan and I have also read the play (as I am a huge Dylan Thomas fan!) I love the way Thomas fleshes out the dreaming inhabitants of Llareggub, it is magical and haunting… the English language at its very best read by Burton, and the strong Welsh accents of the various characters. Marvellous!


Yes, Burton is absolutely fantastic in versions I have heard. I think he did the original radio version back in the 1950s.

There are various versions on Youtube.

I would love to hear it in Welsh, which I haven’t managed to do yet, although I think there was a Welsh production of it in the theatre, many years ago. I read about it a while back, but (as often happens) have forgotten details… :slight_smile:

This is rather brilliant as well:

(part 1 of 3 - you should find the other to parts easily enough).

An incredibly young-looking Richard Burton!

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Keen to see this. Just had a look at BBC site, 11pounds on dvd. They it says ‘Mick, you’re in Australia, use our Australian site’. Lo and behold, not available through the Aussie site.
(Insert frustrated, face-palming emoticon here)


Yes he is very fresh faced there isnt he Mike. I have been a huge fan of Burton all my life and especially since getting the Melvyn Bragg book ‘Rich’ in the 80s. The full Burton diaries were, to me, unputdownable. I love his love of books and words and poetry, there was so much more to him than acting although of course he excelled at it. I wish he had written more and fulfilled that passion, his drive to film often seems to have been purely a means to an end doesnt it, as he was always concerned to earn money and, incredibly generous, that was largely to support financially many in his family. I have probably watched every clip on youtube about Rich it is possible to see…but there isnt enough! Im sure he would have written had he lived longer. Such a loss.


I admit it seems strange to me.
Dylan, raised in Swansea (not - to his mind - Abertawe) by a father who saw Welsh as useless… Dylan wrote in English, thought in English… Shakespeare in Welsh would be more valid… I seem to recall a bit of Cymraeg getting into one play!!! OK, it is acceptable to translate anything into any language, but the whole point of Dylan was his use of words… English ones!! I honestly don’t see how you can translate Dylan in a true sense!!
Sorry if I am a pedant!


I do agree with you on that one. Dylan’s English is so beautiful and rich, I wonder what the play will be like in Welsh, but I am looking forward to finding out!

sigh Indeed. I’m a huge fan as well, and sadly (bit like with Elvis) I didn’t realise fully how great he was until it was almost too late. (I know it’s hardly a valid comparison, but it was the nearest example I could think of). I once had to write an essay/story for an evening class I was going to, and I let my imagination let rip, and in the story I imagined I was on a plane flight and happened to find myself sitting next to RB, who was in full flow (in more than one sense). He generously shared his hip flask(s) with me and we had a high old time, although I was drinking about a tenth of what he was.

At the end of the journey, we had become bosom buddies, and because of his condition, I helped him on to his onward destination, which was his Mother’s cottage in Wales. I forget how we got there, but I left him safely at the door, and more or less standing. :smile:
Why I thought of that I have absolutely no idea, and I’m not sure if it says more about him or more about me! :smiling_imp:

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No, you aren’t. But people with the gift for doing this sort of thing can do it, and of course, Shakespeare has been translated into many languages.

“Welsh flavoured” English into actual Welsh could work quite well I think.

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