In August and September 2015, Chapter held a season celebrating the first Welshman to win an Academy Award, Ray Milland.
Born Reginald Truscott-Jones in Neath, Ray worked as a horse trainer in Cardiff until he took up acting. He tried his luck in Hollywood, where he became a star and later took the reins himself and became a director, making some cult classics in between roles. Celebrated for his easy humour and powerful performances, we are taking a look at this Welsh Great’s varied and extraordinary career.
The season inluded the films below…
Hostile Witness (1967)
When the daughter of Simon Crawford, a successful barrister, is killed in a hit and run accident and the police are unable to find the culprit, Crawford swears that he will find the driver and take revenge. However, his fury sees him embroiled in a mystery where the clues lead him closer to home than he ever expected.
The Lost Weekend (1945)
Don Birnam, a troubled novelist with a serious drinking problem, escapes from the apartment his worried brother has confined him to for the weekend and launches himself on a self-destructive binge. Milland’s compelling performance made him the first Welsh actor to win an Oscar in this powerful film which was the first time that alcoholism had been depicted as a desperate addiction.
Premature Burial (1961)
Guy Carrell is a man obsessed with the idea that he will be buried alive while in a state of catalepsy — a very real possibility in the early Victorian days of medicine. Convinced that a plot is being made against him, his fiancé Emily promises to cure him, but these prove to be empty words.
The Man with the X Ray Eyes (1963)
Renowned scientist Dr James Xavier develops a serum whilst experimenting with human eyesight. When applied he is able to see beyond the normal realm of our sight. As he continues to test the drug on himself, Xavier begins to see, not only through walls and clothes, but through the very fabric of reality.
The Thing with Two Heads (1972)
A terminally-ill, racist brain surgeon who has been experimenting with head transplantation, convinces his colleague to perform such an operation on him. However, he gets his mind bent in all kinds of ways when his head is grafted onto a black prisoner on death row, intent on clearing his name.
Love Story (1970)
Harvard pre-law student Oliver Barratt IV falls in love with music student Jenny Cavilleri. Oliver’s father disapproves of Jenny’s blue-collar background and cuts off his son’s allowance after their wedding. However, the couple is blissfully happy, until Jenny is diagnosed with an incurable disease. Milland gives an outstanding late career performance in this emotional cinema classic.
Chapter’s Ray Milland Season was featured on Heno in September 2015, you can see the segment featuring interview with Aled Samuel, Gray Slaymaker, Philip Wyn Jones, Mair Jones (Chapter) and Alun Horan in the view trailer tab.