Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.
The only son of wealthy widow Violet Venable dies while on vacation with his cousin Catherine. What the girl saw was so horrible that she went insane; now Mrs. Venable wants Catherine lobotomized to cover up the truth.
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
George and Martha are a middle aged married couple, whose charged relationship is defined by vitriolic verbal battles, which underlies what seems like an emotional dependence upon each other. This verbal abuse is fueled by an excessive consumption of alcohol. George being an associate History professor in a New Carthage university where Martha's father is the President adds an extra dimension to their relationship. Late one Saturday evening after a faculty mixer, Martha invites Nick and Honey, an ambitious young Biology professor new to the university and his mousy wife, over for a nightcap. As the evening progresses, Nick and Honey, plied with more alcohol, get caught up in George and Martha's games of needing to hurt each other and everyone around them. The ultimate abuse comes in the form of talk of George and Martha's unseen sixteen year old son, whose birthday is the following day. Written by
According to Mike Nichols, the other actors were all "awed" by Elizabeth Taylor and her knowledge of film acting. Nichols, Richard Burton, Sandy Dennis and George Segal all had their roots in the theater, but Taylor had spent most of her life in front of a film camera. She knew her way around a film set along with many tricks of the trade to work with the medium, play to the camera and deliver the best performance possible. Everyone loved working with Taylor and was knocked out by what Nichols described as "the great surprise of her being able to handle all this verbal material." See more »
At one point, Nick is sitting on the couch. George sits next to him and puts his arm around Nick's left shoulder. The camera angle changes and George's hand has changed its position. See more »
Simply put, this is one of my favourite films of all time. Great acting, great writing and great camerawork make this close to cinematic perfection. Liz Taylor and Richard Burton give the performances of their lives. Sandy Dennis also shines in an early-ish role. It's a dramatic film, but the wicked humour that permeates the film is absolutely devastating, and I mean that in the best possible way. Many moments in the film I find myself laughing only to think, "Should I be laughing at this." Certainly the film is loaded with uncomfortable moments, enhanced by the camerawork replete with uneasy close-ups. Most of all, this film shows how a lot can be accomplished with just a little: a cast of four and minimal scenery changes. "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf" has become an absolute icon of American cinema. If you haven't seen it, what are you waiting for?
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