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
4,844 ( 80)
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

Taglines:

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

In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the number sixty-seven Greatest Movie of All Time. It was the first inclusion of this movie on the list. See more »

Goofs

The four characters stop at a bar after the first soiree at George's house. It is clearly after 2:00 a.m., since the time was stated during the first segment. No bars, however, would have been open after 1 or 2 a.m. in the New England states, where the film is set. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Martha: [with disgust] What a dump.
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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 of the greatest
19 April 2000 | by Progbear-4See all my reviews

Simply put, this is one of my favourite films of all time. Great acting, great writing and great camerawork make this close to cinematic perfection. Liz Taylor and Richard Burton give the performances of their lives. Sandy Dennis also shines in an early-ish role. It's a dramatic film, but the wicked humour that permeates the film is absolutely devastating, and I mean that in the best possible way. Many moments in the film I find myself laughing only to think, "Should I be laughing at this." Certainly the film is loaded with uncomfortable moments, enhanced by the camerawork replete with uneasy close-ups. Most of all, this film shows how a lot can be accomplished with just a little: a cast of four and minimal scenery changes. "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf" has become an absolute icon of American cinema. If you haven't seen it, what are you waiting for?


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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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