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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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Won 5 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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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:

The Violet-Eyed Venus Becomes a Boozing, Tired, Greying "Virago" See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

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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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Catalina Caper (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Flop, dump, or braying donkey?
30 March 2013 | by See all my reviews

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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