Friday, September 25, 2009

Vintage 1960s film: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

The despicable Martha

The hapless Nick and his vomiting wife Honey

Well ick. I knew that this was about a feuding married couple, but I hadn't known just how horrible all the characters are. University professor George (Richard Burton) and Dean's daughter Martha (Elizabeth Taylor) are the miserable pair, and they have no problem infecting others with their venom and madness. They invite new math professor Nick and his wife Honey over for some very late night drinks, and are soon ripping each other to shreds in front of their company. Martha impresses us as a screeching Harpy, and while you may at first pity George, he quickly shows himself as aggressive and cruel. Using a little emotional blackmail, they soon have an unwilling audience, and as the nightmarish hours pass to morning and the alcohol flows, everyone falls apart. Unsavory secrets are revealed and none are left unscathed. Nick comes across as disloyal weakling and Honey is just pathetic, physically feeble and betrayed by her husband. The end packs an extra unpleasant punch.

While this play is classic Edward Albee and I'm sure that the film is well done, it just left me with a nasty feeling. Not one that I'll watch repeatedly.

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Guinan 1990?-2009

Griffin ?-2010