the seventies he did make a number of memorable screen appearance such
as ‘The Gathering Storm’ TV (1974) in which he played Winston
Churchill and one of my personal favorites as Col Faulkner in ‘The
Wild Geese’ (1978). The film tried to achieve a great deal with
political statements and exploring inter-relationships – on the
whole I would say that it succeeded – I’m sure the critics
would not agree – do I look bothered!! In the film Richard was
playing the ‘down on his luck’ drunken merc with no morals
– it would be to cruel to suggest that this parodied the last
few years of the mid seventies but the parallels have been made. There
are several notable scenes but among the best are the final confrontation
with Stuart Granger; and when he meets Harris for the first time. He
played the role brilliantly and very believably, assisted my messrs
Moore, Harris and Krüger.
delivered an Oscar-caliber performance in Equus (1977) and it was hailed
at the time as a ‘comeback’ even though the actor had never
left. His time he lost the Oscar to Richard Dreyfuss for his performance
in ‘The Goodbye Girl’. Burton managed to recapture his old
performing fire in his last moviemaking years, offering up one of his
best performances in his final picture, 1984 (1984). He died later that
He was nominated for seven Academy Awards, which, until taken over by
Peter O’Toole this year, was the record for the most nominations
without a single win. Those nominations were: for Best Supporting Actor
for My Cousin Rachel (1952); and Best Actor for The Robe (1953), Beckett
(1964), The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1965), Who's Afraid of Virginia
Woolf? (1966), Anne of the Thousand Days (1970), and Equus (1977).
His scandalous affairs and his devil-may-care attitude towards life
and some of his peers caused his genuinely brilliant performances to
be snubbed by the Academy. (In 1969, John Wayne came knocking on Burton's
door - thrusting his Oscar for True Grit out, he told Burton
"You should have this, not me."
It was on some accounts an unfulfilled life. Although it must be said
that others from Pontrhydyfen probably didn’t make the same impact
on the world; however his career, along with his happiness was intermittent
and seemed to be on a rollercoaster. Perhaps his lifestyle prevented
his Knighthood and Oscar but when Richard Burton was on fire there are
few I would prefer to watch.
At 34 she is an extremely beautiful woman, lavishly endowed by nature
with a few flaws in the masterpiece: She has an insipid double chin,
her legs are too short and she has a slight potbelly. She has a wonderful
like the ivy, decays and ruins the walls it embraces; but true friendship
gives new life and animation to the object it supports.
I rather like my reputation, actually, that of a spoiled genius from
the Welsh gutter, a drunk, a womanizer; it's rather an attractive image.
The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped
anything but himself.
Rich: Life of Richard Burton by Melvyn Bragg
Suggested films to see:
spy who came in from the cold (1965)
The Wild Geese (1978)
Where eagles dare (1968)