National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales preserves and celebrates the sound and moving image heritage of Wales, making it accessible to a wide range of users for enjoyment and learning. Its film collection reflects every aspect of the nation’s social, cultural and working life across the 20th century, giving a fascinating insight into Welsh filmmaking, both amateur and professional.
This film is part of Free
Richard Burton's Christmas Story
All Richie wants for Christmas is a toy farm – simple. But the world is complicated, disturbing. Happily, he gets more than he bargained for!
From the collection of:
Richie lives in a mining village, is disturbed by the mysterious absence of Cis, his sister-mother, and is being teased mercilessly by his friend Trevor about whether or not his Christmas present will be new or second-hand. Trevor, the elder of the two, knows that poor people get little that is sparkling new, that adults lie and that death is ever present. However, despite Richie’s fears, life triumphs, illuminating the winter darkness with joy.
Produced for television, this film was shot in Treharris, the screenplay by Michael Povey based on Richard Burton's semi-autobiographical 'A Christmas Story', published in 1964. Burton (1925-84) was born Richard Jenkins, the 12th of 13 children, the Jenkins family living in the mining village of Pontrhydyfen, between Neath and Port Talbot. His mother died after the birth of her last child and, aged 2, Richard was taken to live with his sister Cecilia (known as ‘Cis’) and her family in Port Talbot. Aided by two teachers - Meredith Jones and Philip Burton (he became the ward of the latter) – he gained a place at Oxford University and went on to star as an actor on stage and screen.