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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

Not Rated | | Drama | 22 June 1966 (USA)
Trailer
2:12 | Trailer
A bitter, aging couple, with the help of alcohol, use their young houseguests to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other over the course of a distressing night.

Director:

Mike Nichols

Writer:

Ernest Lehman (screenplay)
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Popularity
4,887 ( 701)
Won 5 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Elizabeth Taylor ... Martha
Richard Burton ... George
George Segal ... Nick
Sandy Dennis ... Honey
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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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 »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Nick is talking to George by the swing, his necktie changes positions between shots (when he's on his back). See more »

Quotes

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

Referenced in Privileged: All About Betrayal (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (to the tune of Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush)
Traditional English melody
Original lyrics ("Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?") by Frank Churchill & Ann Ronell; modified by Edward Albee
Performed by Elizabeth Taylor
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User Reviews

one long after party
25 April 2010 | by aliciac1605See all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Latin | Spanish

Release Date:

22 June 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

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

Filming Locations:

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$28,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$28,005,068
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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