What a Movie! – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
If you are looking for an edge of your seat, heart pounding, hold onto your popcorn movie experience – keep looking. However, if you want to watch an oldie but goodie that will keep you entertained, make you laugh and touch your heart, then put on “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a 1966 American drama film directed by Mike Nichols. The screenplay by Ernest Lehman is an adaptation of the play of the same name by Edward Albee. It stars Elizabeth Taylor as Martha and Richard Burton as George. The house guests are played by George Segal as Nick and Sandy Dennis as Honey.
The Plot Of The Movie
Nick and Honey are young faculty members at a small New England college who are invited to the home of Martha and George after a party hosted by the president of the college, where Martha openly flirts with Nick. Martha is the daughter of the founder of the college, while George has been stuck in a career purgatory for years as an adjunct professor. Initially, Martha believes that Nick invited them over so she can seduce him.
As the evening progresses, however, Martha reveals her bitterness towards George’s failures—professional and personal—and all four become drunk. When Nick passes out, George discloses secretly to Martha that their young marriage was never consummated due to his impotence; their son died shortly thereafter from complications from spina bifida days after his premature birth.
Upon learning this information, Martha begins sobbing hysterically and has to be helped upstairs to bed by Honey. Left alone with George, Nickolas asks him whether he really does have a son or if he was just telling Martha what she wanted to hear in order to get her upstairs and into bed. After a long pause, George calmly replies, “I have a son”, which causes Nickolas to break into uncontrollable laughter followed by tears.
George then divulges more humiliating secrets about their marriage—that they once had to abort an unwanted pregnancy because he could not afford another child on his salary; that their son was conceived out of anger when George refused her demands for a divorce; and that they only kept him alive out of spite for each other.
Enraged beyond words, Martha goes downstairs and announces loudly that their child is dead before collapsing in grief on the living room sofa. Later that night, after everyone has gone to bed except forGeorge, who is passed out drunk on the sofa, Martha comes downstairs in her nightgown with a candle in hand.
She finds Honey half-conscious on the floor after she has taken too many pills following her fight with George about their failed marriage earlier in the evening; thinking she is dead, Martha feels guilty for not being there for her when she needed her most. She sits down next to Honey and quietly speaks to her about how empty her life has become now that she no longer has children living at home with her; moments later it becomes clear that Honey has regained consciousness and is listening intently to every word Martha says.
Touched by Marthas’ sincerity and honesty, Honey tearfully confesses that she aborted her own child several years earlier because she was afraid she would be bad mother like her own was; the two women embrace each other lovingly as they both begin weeping uncontrollably over their shared pain and loss.
Not Your Typical Hollywood Movie
“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” is not your typical Hollywood movie filled with action scenes and special effects guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. It is a character study delving into the lives of two pairs of married couples who are forced to deal with longstanding issues in their relationships while attending a weekend house party. The result is a movie that will make you laugh, cry and think long after it ends.