Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Two-Disc Special Edition)
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You are cordially invited to George and Martha's for an evening of fun and games... Elizabeth Taylor delivers an Academy Award-winning performance opposite Richard Burton in this adaptation of Edward Albee's groundbreaking Broadway play that rips the façade of civility off the dysfunctional marriage between an alcoholic college professor and his shrew of a wife during a dinner party the two host for a young couple.]]>
- Commentary by directors Mike Nichols and Steven Soderbergh
- Commentary by cinematographer Haskell Wexler
- Vintage biographical profile: Elizabeth Taylor: An Intimate Portrait
- New featurettes: "A Daring Work of Raw Excellence" and "Too Shocking for Its Time"
- 1966 Mike Nichols interview
- Sandy Dennis screen test
- Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton movie trailer gallery
Top Customer Reviews
The simple-sounding story focuses on the aptly named George and Martha, a middle-aged associate history professor and his older, shrewish wife. Staggering home after an alcohol-fueled faculty party, they trade their usual barbs and then are joined by Nick, a young assistant biology professor, and his wife Honey, whom a drunken Martha had invited over for a late-night nightcap. Despite the late hour, Nick readily accepts the invitation since Martha's father is the university president. What ensues is a series of vitriolic cat-and-mouse scenes of tension and black comedy among the four principals. In fact, there is no one else in the movie other than a roadside café owner and a waitress in the background.Read more ›
Because "Woolf" is based on a play, it relies heavily on performance and writing. The sets have been expanded a bit, but primarily what you see is concentrated to a couple of hours in a house. This can be jarring in the day of quick cuts and rapid scene change. This film is a lot more claustrophobic than what you might be accustomed to--but this closeness is used to great affect throwing these characters into confrontation.
This film has one of the strongest, most powerful screenplays ever. Primarily, the story is about George and Martha--a dysfunctional married couple in a university town. They spend their days fighting and retreating, sparring constantly, playing games of one-ups-manship. It is an absolutely chilling, grotesque portrait of codependency. One fateful evening a younger couple join them for some "entertainment", little suspecting that they will be drawn into an intense night where they are alternately challenged and used as pawns in George and Martha's struggle. This is not for the squeamish viewer. Even though the film is 30 years old, you will be shocked and surprised about how far George and/or Martha is willing to go for victory. It is an absolute verbal bloodbath--fast, cruel, uncompromising, adult.Read more ›
All four players were nominated for Oscars, with both of the ladies winning in the finest ensemble performance since "Long Day's Journey Into Night." Burton lost to Paul Schofield in "A Man for All Seasons" and Segal to Walter Matthau in "The Fortune Cookie." Haskell Wexler also earned a richly deserved Oscar for Best Black-and-White Cinematography. I think this is clearly Elizabeth Taylor's best film performance (Burton's too). I remember someone asking Katharine Hepburn if she thought any other actress had ever shown a range comparable to herself and she mentioned Taylor. It makes sense. They have both done plays by William Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, and Albee. Not even Meryl Streep can say that.
The film does have one major problem, which Albee himself has repeatedly pointed out, namely, it was a mistake director Mike Nichols to let the two couples leave the house and go to a roadhouse in the middle of Act II. The play is a one set play, of course, and Albee consider the claustrophobia it produced part of its main effect.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Oh, my... Imagine paying good money to watch the stage show for three hours. Three hours!
Here we have two + hours of almost nonstop screeching somewhat reminiscent of a... Read more
I wish I'd watched this ages ago. Decades ago. What brilliant performances by both Taylor and Burton. Albee was keenly aware of human relationships and vicissitude.Published 2 days ago by C. Deutsch
One of my personal top 5 movies of all time. It is rare to read a book, or script in this case, and have the movie supersede the publication. This is truly that time. Read morePublished 25 days ago by iRhoadster
As my mom said when she saw this film in 1966 or so, "I don't get it." So the kid was a fantasy I guess?
Not exactly Liz at her best. Read more
Very interesting and deep. You sit around and analyze this for months.Published 1 month ago by missy
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