8.0/10
66,406
282 user 93 critic

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

Not Rated | | Drama | 22 June 1966 (USA)
Trailer
2:12 | Trailer
A bitter, aging couple, with the help of alcohol, use their young houseguests to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other over the course of a distressing night.

Director:

Mike Nichols

Writer:

Ernest Lehman (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
4,825 ( 176)
Won 5 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Elizabeth Taylor ... Martha
Richard Burton ... George
George Segal ... Nick
Sandy Dennis ... Honey
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Brick Pollitt (Paul Newman), an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie (Dame Elizabeth Taylor). His reunion with his father, Big Daddy (Burl Ives), who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Disturbed Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister in New Orleans and is tormented by her brutish brother-in-law while her reality crumbles around her.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter
The Graduate (1967)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A disillusioned college graduate finds himself torn between his older lover and her daughter.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross
Certificate: Passed Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A former child star torments her paraplegic sister in their decaying Hollywood mansion.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono
Action | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Bored waitress Bonnie Parker falls in love with an ex-con named Clyde Barrow and together they start a violent crime spree through the country, stealing cars and robbing banks.

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Pollard
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In 1951, a group of high schoolers come of age in a bleak, isolated, atrophied West Texas town that is slowly dying, both culturally and economically.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An African-American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In a murder trial, the defendant says he suffered temporary insanity after the victim raped his wife. What is the truth, and will he win his case?

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara
Giant (1956)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Sprawling epic covering the life of a Texas cattle rancher and his family and associates.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean
All About Eve (1950)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An ingénue insinuates herself into the lives of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders
The Hustler (1961)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An up-and-coming pool player plays a long-time champion in a single high-stakes match.

Director: Robert Rossen
Stars: Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie
East of Eden (1955)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A wilful young man contends against his brother for the attention of their religious father while reconnecting with his estranged mother and falling for his brother's girlfriend.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: James Dean, Raymond Massey, Julie Harris

Photos

Edit

Storyline

George (Richard Burton) and Martha (Dame Elizabeth Taylor) 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 fuelled 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 (George Segal) and Honey (Sandy Dennis), 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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It can now be said: 1. Apart from its widespread critical acclaim, it has provoked more discussion, interest and excitement than any other picture in memory. 2. People want to see it - in unprecedented numbers. In its first engagements it has shattered every record in the history of all theatres involved. 3. It has become a significant and extraordinary entertainment event. It is truly a unique motion picture. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The record changer turntable shown on the corner shelf was a Glaser-Steers model. See more »

Goofs

The first scene of George and Martha entering the living room shows a three-bulb floor lamp in the corner of the room. The next scene of the area shows a single-globe lamp hanging from the wall. The single-globe lamp remains through out the film. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Martha: [with disgust] What a dump.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Here's Looking at You, Warner Bros. (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (to the tune of Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush)
Traditional English melody
Original lyrics ("Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?") by Frank Churchill & Ann Ronell; modified by Edward Albee
Performed by Elizabeth Taylor
See more »

User Reviews

 
Perfect Movie-making
28 February 2005 | by RathkoSee all my reviews

An undisputed classic that chronicles every appalling moment of a drunken night in hell as middle-aged George and Martha tear each other, and their guest, to pieces.

Elizabeth Taylor proves categorically that she was a truly great actress. Her Oscar-winning performance as the psychologically tormented Martha is one of the greatest performances in the history of cinema. Taylor's imperceptible shifting from sadism to tenderness, from bullying condescension to exhausted vulnerability, is a masterclass in character building. Martha is a truly monstrous character, and yet Taylor is able to imbue her with sympathy, allowing you brief glimpses of the warm and lovable woman she could have been.

Richard Burton is equally magnificent as George; an ageing, failing college professor whose initial meekness gives way to a raging torment all of his own. His verbal sparring with Taylor, like two pit-bulls in the ring of an endless and bloody dogfight, has become legendary. Every word drips with malice and contempt, every sentence is designed to cut the deepest wound. At times, it becomes painful to watch, but like true train-wreck television, you cannot drag yourself away from the inevitably terrible conclusion.

Quite possibly, this is as close to perfect as movies can get; beautifully written dialogue, deeply complex characters, an evolving and suspenseful storyline, beautiful photography, and a wonderfully understated score by Alex North. Nominated for 13 Academy Awards in 1967, but lost out to A Man for All Seasons and Born Free to win only 5.

"Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" "I am."


150 of 186 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 282 user reviews »

Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Latin | Spanish

Release Date:

22 June 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? See more »

Filming Locations:

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$7,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$28,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$28,005,068
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed