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
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 »
Even though Haskell Wexler was able to achieve the visual style that Mike Nichols wanted, he took so long to light each scene that it drove Nichols crazy. "Haskell had never made a major picture", said Sam O'Steen, "and he used to have a lot of little bitty lights, put them all around, he spent hours lighting. Then he'd say, 'Now you have to cut here, because they walk out of this light.' And I said, 'Why don't you light it so the guy can cross over in the middle', but he would whine that he didn't want to. Mike was ready to kill him. But the picture ended up looking real good." See more »
When Nick is talking to George by the swing, his necktie changes positions between shots (when he's on his back). See more »
There are some things about this film I liked, and something I didn't like. I loved the set. The way the house was set up it looked very real to me. This was the first film that was focus on a relationship. There not really a point to the film except watching this dysfunctional couple going at it all night. The major downfall to this film is that some of the conversation drags out, and I would begin to feel myself wondering off. The acting is good. The camera is always focused on the actors there not much going on in the back ground. The film is shot in low-key lighting which makes sense since it's a dark film in a way. The camera performs a lot of long shots. A film I would not watch again. Like I said I like some of the techniques but because of the way it drags out it didn't really keep my attention.
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