thirty movies hath november – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

what a groundbreaking movie Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was.  the movie of a play that many thought impossible to bring to the screen.  the first American movie where the word 'goddamn' was said. the movie where Elizabeth Taylor, disheveled, profane, lewd and loud finally proved herself the equal if not the superior actor to her husband-at-the-time, the superb Richard Burton.

the trailer coyly hinted at what was to come

and what is to come is a masterful deconstruction of an unhappy marriage.  it is worth to check teh wiki to get a better idea of how the play is constructed, the coming crescendo and crash.

WAoVW? begins with an Elizabeth Taylor who moves and acts as a trapped animal.  is impossible to look away

the couple are Martha and George.  thorought the movie they will tear at each other, directly and by proxy via the young couple, Nick and Honey, who Martha has invited over for a nightcap. there are games. 

Humiliate the Host is one

it's a riveting movie.  explosive. ferocious
if you think that Mad Men exposes what really was going on in the 60s, rent this movie.


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14 thoughts on “thirty movies hath november – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

  1. she really was. it is a bit of a shock to folks that only know Liz as the sweet young thing of National Velvet or as Michael Jackson's best friend.I adore that first scene. what. a. dump./threadjack me own thread: LK found a copy of Eat the Peach in eBay (used and on vhs, natch). he bought it for a whole $10 including shipping, and is going to have a friend transfer it to DVD.nerds are the best husbands.

  2. Riveting is the perfect word. I happened across this on TCM 10 or so years ago, and couldn't turn it off. didn't know much about it. fell in love with it, gained HUGE respect for Liz. You have to give her a huge ton of respect for taking such an unflattering, unglamorous role. A role anyone would kill for these days. I'm actually surprised they haven't remade it yet. *shut my mouth!!*
    I think the only Oscar was given to the supporting actress. (too tired to come up with her name…) which is unbelievable.
    Cool about Eat The Peach!! The Lord is master!

  3. yep. Richard and George were nominated, same as director Mike Nichols, but they amazing role indeed. a role that long as been rumored (but repeatedly denied by playwright Edward Albee) to have been a man. as in a gay couple. but …perish the thought of a remake. nooooooo!

  4. I haven't seen this, but I love the clip in the kitchen. Taylor is excellent. Do you think that if they lived today the IMDB could've saved their marriage?I should really see this.

  5. How weird is this, I just noticed that I got an email last night from Talk Cinema, and though it's not The Road (which comes out 11.25.09) it's a bit of a coincidence you posted this. Here's the description of the movie they'll be showing this week at a few of the Talk Cinemas around the land:
    HINT… After 13 years of marriage, Ian (Timothy Hutton) is leaving his wife Louise (Meg Ryan), a Manhattan attorney used to litigating everything. Only there are some things you just can’t litigate: great performances, for instance, by actors extending their midcareer range into new territory. Sunday's Talk Cinema feature is is a three ring circus that starts out as a Mexican standoff, then takes a left into Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf territory, and finally veers right into Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs and the defense of the family—even if it’s a family neither party wants any part of anymore. Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Cheryl Hines is the only actress-turned director who could pull this nutty dramedy off, and it’s her debut film, too. The late Adrienne Shelly, who was murdered in her New York City office just days after her film Waitress was accepted at the 2007 Sundance film festival, wrote the script for this film. A surprise all around and not to to be missed…..
    (I think I have seen trailers for this, maybe it was at the Phila Film Fest)

  6. interesting indeed. I remember reading about Adrienne Shelly's murder – what a sadness that was.have you seen Straw Dogs? I saw it when I was way too young for it. left me way traumatized. is probably not all that bad, but I remember having nightmares about for a while.the movie does sound intriguing though being described as a 'dramedy' sets off my alarm. Timothy Hutton is a decent actor; for Meg Ryan, who knows, it may be the kind of role that Martha was for Liz Taylor.

  7. Sorry, I forgot to click on this reply! No, I have not seen Straw Dogs, but I've heard of it, I'll add it to my Netflix. I could see Meg Ryan doing a reprise of the Martha role, now that she's older and the "cute" has worn off (esp since she's had some kind of horriffic plastic surgery). I could also see Cheryl Hines in that kind of role as well, I know she's the director here, but seeing her name made me think about her as an actress.

  8. I think I've always wished I've had the chance to play the part of Martha.
    I have a favorite quote, but can't remember it exactly: when George mentioned the time he got married 'sometime during the Punic Wars.'

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