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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

Not Rated | | Drama | 22 June 1966 (USA)
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A bitter, aging couple, with the help of alcohol, use a young couple to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other.

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4,866 ( 432)
Won 5 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Martha
... George
... Nick
... Honey
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You are cordially invited to George and Martha's for an evening of fun and games. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

| |

Release Date:

22 June 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

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

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$28,000,000, 31 January 1968

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$40,000,000, 31 January 1968
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Playwright Edward Albee was happy overall with how the film turned out. Despite his initial misgivings, he was satisfied that Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton did his words justice. "It's the best work [Elizabeth has] done on film," he said in 2006, "and Richard did his usual splendid professional job." He added, "I felt very, very fortunate that it was as good as it was, and it's pretty damn good." See more »

Goofs

When George and Nick are outside talking under the large tree, George pours a small amount of bourbon into Nick's glass. A second later, we see the glass has much more bourbon in it than was originally poured. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Martha: [with disgust] What a dump.
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Connections

Featured in Tell Them Who You Are (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Thoroughly unpleasant...like a two-hour plus root canal without the Novocaine.
7 September 2009 | by See all my reviews

This is one of those special movies that manages to be good but unwatchable at the same time. In other words, while the script may be an accurate of the most unpleasant couple in history as they spend an evening entertaining some annoying guests, some (like me) might wonder why anyone would want to see this! For example, they could film a brilliantly executed heart transplant or the removal of giant parasitical worms from someone, but why watch it? To me, the film was just too painful to endure.

Liz Taylor and Richard Burton play a couple of drunks who are married and spend all their time destroying each other. Now, according to the film it's because of the death of their son but they would have been terrible people regardless--they truly despise each other and themselves. Then, as if an afterthought, some guests arrive and actually stay and watch as this couple destroy each other right in front of them. And so, the newcomers get drunk and the drunks get drunker. Wow...now THAT'S fun! Then, tongues loosen some more and a lot of unpleasantness results.

Sure, having worked with alcoholics I understand that Taylor and Burton did an excellent job here. But for a two-hour plus film it's an endurance contest I don't wish to do again. So the overall verdict is that it's well made but thoroughly awful. If you can endure and appreciate this, fine. But if you can't, don't feel like you must. Just because it's rated so highly on IMDb does not mean it's a "must-see"--especially because this film may well leave you feeling depressed and in need of a drink!


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