Wales - Movies/TV/Radio
I have started this page with a series of Welsh Movies available on YouTube. You can view them from this site:
A Child’s Christmas in Wales (Dylan Thomas Story)
The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain. (Hugh Grant, WW1 period) – NOTE THIS IS A TRAILER
How Green was my Valley (Coal Mining Village set in early 20th Century – story form perspective of an adult Huw, played by Rodney McDowell as a child)
Blue Scar (A critical commentary on the nationalism of the coal industry – addresses safety and working conditions)
Owain, the Prince of Wales (1983 SC4 Movie about 15th Century Welsh leader Owain Glendower)
The Three Weird Sisters (1947 film about 3 elderly sisters who live in a decaying mansion. Their male secretary thinks they are trying to kill him)
Hedd Wyn (Blessed Peace) – (A WW1 War Story about a Welsh language poet Ellis Humphrey Evans killed in the war at age 30. This is a Welsh language film with English subtitles.
Branwen (2018 – A music video in Welsh by singer and actress Carys Eleri)
There are a number of Welsh YouTube videos. These are great when trying to learn the language. I especially like the film clips from the Welsh movie Eldra. This story of a Gypsy family who settled in North Wales has very clear dialect.
There are many, many movies and TV productions staring Welsh actors and actresses. I see no reason to list them here. I am interested, however, in movies that are either about Wales or have been made in Wales. These are listed below, the source is a Wikipedia list:
- 1898: Conway Castle
- 1898: Blackburn Rovers v West Bromwich Albion, is the world’s oldest extant soccer film, by Arthur Cheetham.
- 1913: The Foreman’s Treachery, by Charles Brabin.
- 1915: A Welsh Singer was adapted from a novel by Allen Raine and starred Florence Turner.
- 1918: The Life Story of David Lloyd George
1935: Y Chwarelwr (The Quarryman), was the first Welsh language sound film, directed by Ifan ab Owen Edwards.
1949: Yr Etifeddiaeth (The Heritage) is a documentary by journalist John Robert Williams.
1981: O’r Ddaear Hen was directed by Wil Aaron and scripted by Gwyn Thomas.
1986: Milwr Bychan (Boy Soldier), directed by Karl Francis.
1986: Rhosyn a Rhith (Coming Up Roses), directed by Stephen Bayly.
1991: Un Nos Ola Leuad, directed by Endaf Emlyn.
1992: Hedd Wyn was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1992. It won a BAFTA Award for Best Film in the year of its release. It was directed by Paul Turner.
1993: Cwm Hyfryd (My Pretty Valley), also directed by Paul Turner, concerns itself with a critique of Thatcherism, particularly as it relates to the closing of mines in Wales.
1993: Gadael Lenin (Leaving Lenin), about a group of Welsh students and teachers who take a trip to Russia, was directed by Endaf Emlyn.
1994: Ymadawiad Arthur (Arthur’s Departure), was directed by Marc Evans and starred Llyr Ifans.
1995: Y Mapiwr, directed by Endaf Emlyn.
1997: Tylluan Wen (A White Owl), directed by Alun Ffred Jones.
1998: Y Mynydd Grug (The Heather Mountain), directed by Angela Barbara Roberts.
1998: Pum Cynnig i Gymro (Bride of War) was directed by Peter Edwards. It was also released in English, German and Polish.
1999: Solomon & Gaenor starred Ioan Gruffudd. An English-language version was also filmed at the same time. It was directed by Paul Morrison.
2002: Eldra, directed by Timothy Lyn, is about a Romani family living in North Wales.
2003: Y Mabinogi, also featuring Ioan Gruffudd, is a combined live-action and animated version of Welsh collection of tales known as the Mabinogion, directed by Derek W. Hayes.
2005: Y Lleill, directed by Emyr Glyn Williams.
2006: Calon Gaeth (Small Country), directed by Ashley Way.
2008: Cwcw written and directed by Delyth Jones.
2010: Patagonia, directed by Marc Evans, filmed in Welsh, English and Spanish.
2013: Y Syrcas, directed by Kevin Allen, filmed in Welsh.
2015: Under Milk Wood, directed by Kevin Allen.
2015: Yr Ymadawiad, directed by Gareth Bryn.
2016: Y Llyfrgell, directed by Fflur Dafydd.
English-language films set in Wales
1932: The Old Dark House, starring Boris Karloff, was directed by James Whale.
1935: The Phantom Light, directed by Michael Powell, was filmed at various locations including South Stack, Holyhead, and Ffestiniog Railway.
1937: Today We Live is a communist agitprop documentary by Ralph Bond concerning unemployed miners in Pentre, Rhondda.
1937: Eastern Valley, by Donald Alexander.
1938: The Citadel, set in a Welsh mining town, was directed by King Vidor.
1940: The Proud Valley, concerning Welsh coal miners, was directed by Pen Tennyson.
1941: How Green Was My Valley was a classic directed by John Ford. It won five Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture. However, the film is often criticised for the actors having Irish accents, as several of them were Irish, and for having a scene with an Irish jig instead of a traditional Welsh dance. Ford’s response to these criticisms were simply, “It’s a Celtic country, isn’t it?”
1941: The Wolf Man, featuring Bela Lugosi, was directed by George Waggner.
1944: The Halfway House, directed by Basil Dearden.
1945: The Corn Is Green, starring Bette Davis, was directed by Irving Rapper.
1948: The Three Weird Sisters was filmed near Aberdare, directed by Daniel Birt.
1949: The Last Days of Dolwyn was filmed at the Lake Vyrnwy dam. It was Richard Burton’s first screen roll and was directed by Emlyn Williams.
1949: A Run for Your Money, directed by Charles Frend.
1949: Blue Scar, by Jill Craigie, is about the nationalization of the coal industry in Wales.
1950: The Undefeated, by Paul Dickson.
1950: David, by Paul Dickson.
1952: Hindle Wakes was filmed at Great Orme, Llandudno. Directed by Arthur Crabtree.
1952: Girdle of Gold, a comedy set in Wales about Evans the milk and Griffith the hearse searching for a pair of corsets. Directed by Montgomery Tully.
1953: Valley of Song was filmed at Dryslwyn and Llanfynydd, Carmarthenshire, directed by Gilbert Gunn.
1954: The Constant Husband was filmed in Newquay and Aberaeron starring Rex Harrison it was directed by Sidney Gilliat.
1954: The Happiness of Three Women (aka – wishing well ) is directed by Maurice Levey.
1955: The Blue Peter was filmed around Aberdovey and Cadair Idris, Dolgellau. Directed by Wolf Rilla.
1958: Law and Disorder was filmed in Newport, Pembrokeshire and Fishguard Harbour, directed by Charles Crichton.
1959: Tiger Bay takes place in Tiger Bay, Cardiff, Wales, and was directed by J. Lee Thompson.
1962: Dylan Thomas is a short documentary on the poet featuring the narration of the Welsh actor Richard Burton. Directed by Jack Howells, it won the 1963 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
1962: Only Two Can Play starred Peter Sellers as the Welsh character John Lewis, and was directed by Sidney Gilliat.
1963: Bitter Harvest was filmed in Cardiff and Senghenydd, directed by Peter Graham Scott.
1967: Jules Verne’s Rocket to the Moon, directed by Don Sharp.
1972: Under Milk Wood was a film version of Dylan Thomas‘s “play for voices”, starring Pontrhydyfen-born actor Richard Burton, then-wife Elizabeth Taylor and Peter O’Toole. It was directed by Andrew Sinclair.
1973: Holiday on the Buses was filmed at Prestatyn in the Pontins holiday camp, directed by Bryan Izzard.
1973: Hang Up Your Brightest Colours is a once-banned documentary by Kenneth Griffith on Irish Republican Michael Collins.
1976: At the Earth’s Core, directed by Kevin Conner, takes place in the Welsh mountains.
1976: Above Us the Earth, by Karl Francis.
1976: Whispers of Fear A woman inherits an old house in Wales, but is driven to madness and murder by jealous locals. Directed by Harry Bromley Davenport.
1977: Curious Journey, a documentary by Kenneth Griffith.
1978: Dylan is about Dylan Thomas‘s final visit to America, concluding with his death in New York on 9 November 1953, and directed by Richard Lewis.
1978: Grand Slam is a BBC Wales film about Welsh rugby fans travelling to Paris for the Grand Slam of Wales vs. France.
1979: Black As Hell, Thick As Grass is a documentary by Kenneth Griffith.
1979: The Corn Is Green was written by Ivan Davis, based on a play by Emlyn Williams. It starred Katharine Hepburn, Bill Fraser, Patricia Hayes, Artro Morris, Dorothea Phillips and Toyah Willcox.
1980: The Mouse and the Woman was filmed at Lampeter House, directed by Karl Francis.
1982: Giro City, by Karl Francis.
1982: Who Dares Wins outdoor training scenes were filmed in Snowdonia, starring Lewis Collins and directed by Ian Sharp.
1983: House of the Long Shadows was directed by Pete Walker. It comments on the nationalism of the Welsh, especially the older generation, who hate the English; the American jokes that he should wear a leek to show he’s a friend. Vincent Price, who has a Welsh surname, plays a character who describes Wales as his ancestral homeland. His character’s family appears to be English, however.
1983: Scenes from the film Champions based on Bob Champion’s life were filmed at Chepstow Racecourse and was directed by John Irvin.
1985: Ms Rhymney Valley, by Karl Francis
1987: Girls’ Night Out is an S4C film by Joanna Quinn.
1987: A Child’s Christmas in Wales is a TV-movie based on Dylan Thomas’s work of the same name, starring Denholm Elliott and directed by Don McBrearty.
1987: On the Black Hill is about Welsh identical twins, and was directed by Andrew Grieve.
1990: Dylan Thomas: Return Journey is a one-man show featuring Bob Kingdom as Thomas and directed by Anthony Hopkins.
1992: Elenya, concerning a woman of Italian descent living in Wales, was directed by Steve Gough.
1992: Under Milk Wood is an animated adaptation of the Dylan Thomas play.
1994: Second Best, starring William Hurt, Alan Cumming and Chris Cleary Miles, was directed by Chris Menges.
1994: Backbeat was filmed at the Point of Ayr Lighthouse on Talacre Beach, directed by Iain Softley.
1995: The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain, starring Hugh Grant, was directed by Christopher Monger.
1995: Streetlife, starring Rhys Ifans, was directed by Karl Francis.
1996: August, directed by Margam, Wales-born actor/director Anthony Hopkins, is an adaptation of Chekov‘s Uncle Vanya, set in North Wales.
1996: Darklands, concerning Druidic cults, was directed by Julian Richards.
1997: Twin Town, starring brothers Rhys Ifans and Llyr Ifans, was directed by Kevin Allen.
1997: House of America, starring Siân Phillips and Matthew Rhys, was directed by Marc Evans.
1997: Prince Valiant, directed by Anthony Hickox and based on the comic strip series. It was partially filmed in Wales, and is partly set in Wales.
1997: The Proposition, directed by Strathford Hamilton.
1999: Human Traffic, directed by Justin Kerrigan.
1999: Famous Fred, by Joanna Quinn.
1999: Solomon & Gaenor starred Cardiff-born actor Ioan Gruffudd. A Welsh-language version was also filmed at the same time. It was directed by Paul Morrison.
1999: The Funeral of the Last Gypsy King, a short film directed by Jane Rogoyska.
2000: The Testimony of Taliesin Jones (aka Small Miracles), starred John Paul Macleod and Jonathan Pryce, and was directed by Martin Duffy.
2000: House!, about Bingo rivalries in South Wales, starred Kelly Macdonald and was directed by Julian Kemp.
2001: Very Annie Mary, starring Rachel Griffiths, Holywell-born Jonathan Pryce and Ioan Gruffudd, was directed by Sara Sugarman.
2001: Happy Now, starring Ioan Gruffudd, was directed by Philippa Cousins.
2001: Endgame was directed by Gary Wicks; much of the film takes place at the main character’s Welsh cottage.
2002: On All Floors was directed by Geoff Evans and written by Craig Handley.
2002: Plots with a View (aka: Undertaking Betty), was directed by Nick Hurran and starred Brenda Blethyn, Alfred Molina, Christopher Walken, and Lee Evans. This brilliant, but commercially unsuccessful, black comedy about competing undertakers in the small fictional Welsh village of Wrottin Powys won the BAFTA Cymru Award in 2003. It is not yet released in the UK.
2003: Otherworld, the English-language version of the film Y Mabinogi, is listed above in the Welsh-language section.
2003: I’ll Be There was written and directed by Scottish comedian Craig Ferguson and featured Welsh singer Charlotte Church.
2004: A Way of Life was filmed in Swansea and Cardiff, directed by Amma Asante.
2005: The Dark starred Sean Bean and Maria Bello. While taking place in Wales, it reinvisions the Otherworld (from The Mabinogion) as being a place of hellish torment. It was directed by John Fawcett.
2005: Evil Aliens takes place on the Welsh island of Scallad, and was directed by Jake West.
2005: Ramble On, an animated short directed by Tom Parkinson.
2006: Dirty Sanchez: The Movie is the Welsh equivalent of Jackass: The Movie, but arguably raunchier. It was directed by Jim Hickey.
2006: Little White Lies, directed by Caradog W. James.
2006: Love You, Joseff Hughes, a short directed by Dan Hartley.
2006: In the film adaptation of Stormbreaker, Alex Rider receives military training in the Brecon Beacons.
2006: The Haunted Airman starred Robert Pattinson as an injured aviator who convalesces in Wales.
2007: The Baker, AKA Assassin in Love was directed by Gareth Lewis, about a hitman who retires to a rural Welsh village as a baker.
2008: The Edge of Love starred Matthew Rhys as Dylan Thomas, Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller (as Dylan’s wife, Caitlin Macnamara) and Cillian Murphy. Directed by John Maybury, this film is about part of Thomas’ life in Swansea during World War II.
2009: Good Arrows was filmed in Merthyr Tydfil, directed by Helen Grace and Irvine Welsh.
2009: Amelia, starred Hilary Swank, Richard Gere and Ewan McGregor. As Amelia crosses the Atlantic, she arrives in Wales (thinking it’s Ireland), and the locals sing the hymn “Calon Lân“.
2009: Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story mentions that Eddie tried to learn a bit of the Welsh language before playing a gig in Pwllheli, Wales. He also lived in Skewen, Wales, as a child. The documentary also mentions that Eddie is the favourite comedian of Anthony Hopkins.
2009: Big Font. Large Spacing is a feature about two students completing a psychology essay in one night. The film was all shot in Cathays in Cardiff.
2009: A bit of Tom Jones was filmed around Tredegar ,directed by Peter Watkins-Hughes.
2010: Devil’s bridge was filmed in Cardiff and pembrokeshire , directed by Chris Crow
2010: Submarine is set in Swansea and starred Welsh actor Craig Roberts.
2010: Risen is a biopic of Welsh champion boxer Howard Winstone.
2011: Resistance is a film based in an alternative reality in which Nazi Germany invades the United Kingdom during the Second World War; based on the novel by Owen Sheers.
2014: Set Fire to the Stars is a film about Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.
2015: Just Jim, the directorial debut of Craig Roberts, is set and filmed in the actor’s home village of Maesycwmmer.
2015: Dark Horse was based on a true story filmed in Blackwood and Chepstow, directed by Louise Osmond.
2018: Say My Name was set on a Welsh island but filmed around Cardiff, directed by Deborah Frances-White.
2018: Last Summer, four boys roam free through a neglected rural paradise in Wales, until a tragedy strikes, directed by Jon Jones.
2019: Gwen is a folk tale set and filmed in Snowdonia during the industrial revolution. directed by William McGregor.
2020: You Should Have Left, starring Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried. It was filmed at Llanbister and directed by David Kopp.
WELSH TV PRODUCTIONS
Welsh TV is like TV everywhere. It is a mixture of made for TV movies, and both live and previously recorded TV shows. These shows include News, Weather, Comedy, Soap Opera, Drama, Crime Shows,etc. The English language stations are no different than stations in other parts of the British Isles and in the Americas. Of course, the topics often are local, especially news and weather and ofttimes comedy. BBC is the main TV Company.
Wales has Welsh Language TV Station SC4, which presents news, documentaries, children’s programs, dramas, sports and films in the Welsh language as does Cyw, a branch of SC4 which is a satellite children’s station with home-produced and foreign dubbed programs. Bay TV out of Swansea is a private TV station called “That’s TV” bringing local news and channels both in English and Welsh.
With BBC, there are many TV shows, BBC is also available in the United States. Many are very popular. Examples are
Hinterland (2013–2016) This thriller is a crime drama set in Aberystwyth, with a dectective solving murders while searching for his own redemption. It also has an underlying police coverup.
Keeping Faith (TV series) – This thriller set in Carmarthenshire, Wales, and filmed back-to-back in Welsh and English, tells the story of a small-town Welsh lawyer, wife and mother, Faith, whose maternity leave is cut short when her husband and business partner, Evan, suddenly goes missing.
Doctor Who – This science fiction series had some episodes filmed in Cardiff, Swansea, Barry and Bridgend. This series on BBC, has been running since 1963! Doctor Who, the eccentric Time Lord battles injustice across the universe operating out of the Tardis, a converted British Phone Box. He always has a beautiful actress companion. The doctor and his assistant have been played by a series of actors and actresses over the years. Supposedly the Time Lords are normally male, but can occasionally change sex. This allows for the 13th Doctor Who to be portrayed by the English actress Jodie Whittaker.
Torchwood is a science fiction programme, a spinoff of Doctor Who. Its fictional locations include Torchwood Institute Three in Cardiff. It was supposedly established in 1879 by Queen Victoria to defend Earth from supernatural and extraterrestrial threats, and to return the British Empire to its former glory.
Sc4 of course has many shows. One in particular, a bilingual program has a wider audience
Bang – This bilingual crime drama TV series was in Welsh with English subtitles. It is also available on BBC. It is set in Port Talbot and is the story of a loner who becomes entangled in a web of lies and about his sister who is a police detective.
It There are a number of radio stations in Wales, some in English, others in Welsh or mixed. Rather than list them all, I have included a link that accomplishes that along with information about the genre of the stations. That link is: https:///www.radio-uk.co.uk/radio/wales.
The link has a filter that lets you choose all stations in the U.K. or choose by country (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland)
For the republic of Ireland link to: