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
July 18, 1966: Police seized this movie, and arrested the manager of a local Nashville, Tennessee theater for contravening a municipal order that banned movies such as this one, for contents of an obscene nature. See more »
At the 59 minute mark, before Nick starts to talk about his father-in-law, George says: "Okay, don't", but the actor's (Richard Burton's) lips don't move. See more »
...add the catalysers youth and alcohol and wait for the sky to fall down. Seldom will you encounter such overwhelmingly magnificent performances as those found here - quite literally, breathtaking and unsurpassed.
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