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
The MPAA ultimately decided to grant the film an unprecedented exemption as "a special, important film" which was not considered to "exploit language for language's sake." The film would carry a warning that said: "No one under the age of 18 will be admitted unless accompanied by a parent or guardian." It was the first film to carry such a label, which would be commonplace just a few years later when the MPAA put its new ratings system in place. 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 »
It could be great and is braying for a remake so it's more than an interesting art school film seen by a tiny audience. A film you keep waiting to begin until you realize it's not going to. You won't be the only ones asking if you can go now by the time this film ends. I guess the director/writer deserves some recognition for the indirect, internal reference to itself as a flop.
The title connection to the story is either extremely limited and painfully unimaginative or the writer/director assumes a great deal. One of the many things that will leave you asking, "Was that all there was to it?" For future filmmakers, a film should not need to be explained. It is the nature of a film, or a play as this is based on, that being enclosed from the rest of the world and uninterrupted that it should explain and give context to itself. Woolf massively fails this most basic aspect. It partially makes up for it in other ways, like deep relationship, marriage, and family insights, which is why I'm not rating it a 1.
The score is exceptional and simple, but the soundtrack music is, at best, less annoying than the story.
Compared to another film that, like this, is essentially composed of a room full of people less than happy with each other, it reinforces how great 12 Angry Men is, despite being done a decade before Woolf. A recent film, Compliance (2012), does it much better and also works with hard to believe dumb/naive characters.
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