Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
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- 131 min.
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A bitter aging couple, George (Burton) and Martha (Taylor), with the help of alcohol, use a young couple to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other.
If I were to describe this film in a sentence, then it would be that it's a milestone in cinematic history, boasting powerful performances from the four actors. Shocking, intense, vulgar yet hauntingly beautiful, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf is an explosive game-of-wits thriller.
The film has only four actors, takes place in a very few locations and that too in a single night. In the entire film, George and Taylor inflict verbal abuse at each other yet there is not a single moment that lets you go off. Their arguments, their silly petty games, their outlook towards sex still makes movie fanatics wonder how the hell "they" could have done it so realistically. The film repels us with it's disgusting allegory yet attracts us with how perfectly it's filmed. Kudos to Nichols' direction, Lehman's screenplay, the score, the beautiful black-and-white cinematography, the editing...
Elizabeth Taylor, who was considered the most beautiful woman in the world that time, surprised many when she played the vulgar, frumpy, fifty year old Martha and had gained 13 kilos to play the role. She is the best in the entire ensemble and no doubt she won an Academy Award for her stunning performance.
This is undoubtedly one of the best Drama films I have ever seen. A Highly Recommended classic. A new addition to one of my all time favorites.
My Rating: 5/5
An absolutely stunning dance of dialogue. The acting is beyond perfect and some beautiful cinematography from the brilliant Haskell Wexler. I can definitely see how this was a major inspiration for Aaron Sorkin.
One of the best acted movies.
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In 17 official lists
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This movie ranks #21 in BAFTA Award - Best Film
This movie ranks #49 in IMDb's 1960s Top 50
This movie ranks #59 in Akira Kurosawa's A Dream Is a Genius
This movie ranks #67 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies
This movie ranks #68 in Academy Award - Best Cinematography
This movie ranks #89 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions
This movie ranks #183 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown
This movie ranks #258 in Academy Award - Best Picture Nominees
This movie ranks #282 in Mark Cousins's The Story of Film: An Odyssey
This movie ranks #434 in Box Office Mojo's All Time Adjusted Box Office
This movie ranks #453 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #641 in Library of Congress's National Film Registry
This movie ranks #677 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?
This movie ranks #839 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films
This movie ranks #971 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #973 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
This movie ranks #1004 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life