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Movie review who s afraid of virginia

The film's title refers to Virginia Woolf 1882-1941an influential British feminist writer who pioneered the 'stream of consciousness' literary style while examining the psychological and emotional motives of her characters.

Perhaps the 'fear' of VW refers to the film's characters who are suffering marital discord in the emotionally-draining film, and who may have 'known' that she suffered from mental illness and ultimately went insane and committed suicide. The names of the two major characters, George and Martha, are those of the first US President and his wealthy wife - a marriage of convenience.

The searing film exhibited a fine sense of pacing, comic timing, and gripping buildup in a series of emotional climaxes. The film follows the structure of Albee's play, delineated by three acts: It was the first American film to use the expletive 'goddamn' and 'bugger'. It was the first film to be released with a "Suggested for Mature Audiences" warning.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? review: Imelda Staunton is on monstrously fine form

However, with studio boss Jack Warner's insistence on keeping the integrity of the play, and the teaming of real-life husband and wife mega-stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, the film was guaranteed success.

The two portrayed an on-screen movie review who s afraid of virginia The couple had originally been teamed in the mega-flop Cleopatra 1963. Robert Redford rejected the role played by George Segal. Woolf won five Academy Awards from its thirteen nominations: The film became noted as the only one in Academy history up to that point to be nominated in every eligible category. It was also the first film to have every member of its cast receive an acting nomination.

The Story The film opens under a moonlit sky in the middle of the night on a small New England college campus in the town of New Carthage - an allegorical name. Under the credits, an academic couple walk through the deserted campus - George Richard Burtona 46 year old, bespectacled history professor, and his 52 year old wife Martha Elizabeth Taylora large, boisterous, blowsy woman with heavy wrinkles. Martha looks around the living room discontentedly and parodies Bette Davis' mannerisms, exclaiming: As they bicker at each other, it is revealed that George is a tired, defeated teacher, married for twenty years to the daughter of the president of the college.

When she suggests that they have a drink, he finds out that they've "got guests coming over" that Martha invited to join them in an 'after-party' party - a blonde, good-looking, young newly-appointed Math Department member [Martha is mistaken - he is an assistant professor in the Biology Department] and his wife, described as "a mousey little type, without any hips or anything.

Poor Georgie-Porgie, put-upon pie. Ha, ha, ha, HA! No reaction What's the matter? Didn't you think that was funny? I thought it was a scream. You laughed your head off when you heard it at the party. Knowing that Martha acts abominable when drunk, he cautions her to behave herself in front of the guests. She taunts him back, typical of the violent, self-destructive arguments they have had in their joint lives together: Try to keep your clothes on, too.

There aren't many more sickening sights in this world than you with a couple of drinks in you and your skirt up over your head. When the doorbell rings, George asks her to refrain from mentioning their mythical child while the guests are there: Just don't start in on the bit about the kid, that's all.

What do you take me for? Well I'll start in on the kid if I want to. Just leave the kid out of this. I'd advise against it, Martha.


Feeling immediately ill at ease in a socially awkward and uneasy situation are the 26 year old plain blonde Honey Sandy Dennis and her husband, a 28 year old professor Nick George Segal. George is pleased with himself that they have unceremoniously heard Martha's hostile remark - coming from a "subhuman monster yowling at 'em from inside.

After Nick comments on an abstract painting in the living room, George explains that it is "a pictorial representation of the order of Martha's mind.

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While everyone is drinking the free-flowing alcohol, George tells Martha to help the wilting Honey find the bathroom in a famous line: Martha, will you show her where we keep the. After the two women leave, Nick mentions that George has been at the University for quite a long time. Ever since I married, uh, What's-her-name. To himself Dashed hopes, and good intentions. Good, better, best, bested. To Nick How do you like that for a declension, young man?

Early in the evening, George verbally tests the sparring skills of Nick in one of the evening's first social games, but Nick is caught off-guard and easily out-matched and outwitted: All right, what do you want me to say? Do you want me to say it's funny, so you can contradict me and say it's sad? Or do you want me to say it's sad so you can turn around and say no, it's funny.

You can play that damn little game any way you want to, you know?

  • Yet, as screenwriter, Lehmann had tailored the action to Nichols's strengths by confining the action for all but one roadhouse sequence to George and Martha's home and garden, so that he could concentrate on the intimate intensity of the drama and the power and poignancy of the performances;
  • Don't pay any attention to it;
  • You brought him up;
  • So anyway, I married to S.

Abruptly after his protest, Nick wants to escape and leave as soon as Honey returns, because he realizes that he is starting to become embroiled in the middle of marital warfare, but George merely excuses their behavior as an intellectual exercise: Martha and I are having.

Martha and I are merely exercising. Don't pay any attention to it. Nick remarks that he prefers not "to become involved in other people's affairs," but George comforts and cajoles him into lowering his guard and remaining: Well, you'll get over that - small college and all.

Musical beds is the faculty sport around here. George notes that Nick's wife is "slim-hipped," but learns that they don't have kids yet: I wonder what women talk about when the men are talking.

I must find out sometime. When Honey joins their company again from upstairs where Martha has been changing her clothes, she tells George in a bright voice: Tomorow is his birthday. He will be sixteen. When Nick and Honey nervously say they have to go home, George harshly barks a subtle and nasty insult showing his incisive insight into the younger couple's marital problems and lack of children themselves: You keeping the babysitter up or something?

Martha hasn't changed for me in years. If Martha is changing, it means we're gonna movie review who s afraid of virginia here for days. You are being accorded an honor. George is bogged down in the History Department. He's an old bog in the History Department, that's what George is. Ha, ha, ha, ha, A Swamp. Learning that Nick was both a quarterback and a former intercollegiate state middleweight boxing champion, Martha makes lascivious, obscene advances toward the attractive young man.

Have you kept your body? Martha brings up another embarrassing wound from the past, questioning George's manliness. She describes a public boxing match incident which her Daddy orchestrated in his back yard. When George told his father-in-law that he didn't want to box, Martha got into the pair of gloves herself and punched George POW right in the jaw, sending him crashing into a movie review who s afraid of virginia bush.

During her story telling, George finds a shotgun in another room, stalks his prey, and takes aim at the back of Martha's head.

When Honey notices the gun, she screams in fright. Martha turns her head to face him as he pulls the trigger - out blossoms a brightly-striped umbrella, a symbolic display of his weakness and sexual impotency in another of his games. He adds sound effects: George won't allow Martha to play "blue games for the guests" when they kiss and she moves his hand down onto her breast: The feuding couple use the imaginary son as a weapon in most of their arguments: Honey giggling and drunk: When is our son coming home?

I want to know. You brought it out into the open. When is he coming home, Martha? I said never mind. I'm sorry I brought it up. You brought him up. Well, more or less. When's the little bugger going to appear? I mean, isn't tomorrow meant to be his birthday or something?

I don't want to talk about it.

‘Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' is magnificent: 1966 review

I'll bet you don't. To Honey and Nick Martha does not want to talk about it. Martha is, uh, sorry she brought it up. When's the little bugger coming home?

Exasperated, Martha counter attacks and accuses George of having his own problems by attacking his pride.