Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (film)


Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (film)

Infobox Film
name = Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?


image_size =
caption = Original film poster
director = Mike Nichols
producer = Ernest Lehman
writer = Edward Albee (play)
Ernest Lehman
starring = Elizabeth Taylor
Richard Burton
George Segal
Sandy Dennis
music = Alex North
cinematography = Haskell Wexler
editing = Sam O'Steen
distributor = Warner Bros.
released = USA June 221966
Hong Kong November 161966
Japan March 41967
UK March 12 1967
runtime = 131 min.
country = USA
language = English
budget = US$7.5 million
gross = US$40 million
amg_id = 1:54412
imdb_id = 0061184

"Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" is a 1966 film adaptation of the play of the same name by Edward Albee. It was the first film directed by Mike Nichols, and starred Elizabeth Taylor as Martha and Richard Burton as George, with George Segal as Nick and Sandy Dennis as Honey. "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" is a play on the title of the once popular song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" from Walt Disney's The Three Little Pigs.

Adaptation

The film version differs slightly from the play. The play features only four characters, while in the film there are two other minor characters — the host of a roadhouse who appears briefly and says a few lines, and his wife, who serves a tray of drinks and leaves silently. (They were played by the film's gaffer, Frank Flanagan, and his wife Agnes Flanagan.)

In the play, each scene takes place entirely in Martha and George's house. In the film, one scene takes place at the roadhouse, one in George and Martha's yard, and one in their car. Despite these minor variations, however, the film is extremely faithful to the play. The filmmakers used the original play as the screenplay and, aside from toning down some of the profanity slightly — Martha's "screw you!" becomes "God damn you!" — virtually all of the original dialogue remains intact. (In the version released in the UK, "Screw you" is kept intact. In an interview at the time of the release, Taylor referred to this phrase as pushing boundaries.)

Deluxe edition two-LP recording

At the time of the release of the film, Warner Brothers Records released a deluxe, gatefold two-LP record set which included the entire film's dialogue. The album was made before some of the film's profanity was toned down, so Martha's original "Screw you!" line that welcomes Nick and Honey is heard on the LP but not in the final version of the film. This is one of the only cases in which Warner Brothers released an album of this kind. This album is out of print, extremely rare and hard to find. It has not been released on CD. A single-LP release featured dialogue excerpts and Alex North's score; this album was issued on CD by DRG in 2006.

Casting

The choice of Taylor -- at the time regarded as one of the most beautiful women in the world -- to play the frumpy, fifty-ish Martha surprised many, but the actress gained thirty pounds for the role and her performance (along with those of Burton, Segal and Dennis) was ultimately praised. According to Edward Albee, he had been told that Bette Davis and James Mason were going to play "Martha" and "George" — in the script, Martha references Davis and quotes her famous "What a dump!" line from the film "Beyond the Forest" (1949) — and was surprised by the Burton/Taylor casting, but stated that Taylor was quite good, and Burton was incredible.

Censorship controversy

The film was considered groundbreaking for having a level of profanity and sexual implication unheard of at that time. Jack Valenti, who had just become president of the Motion Picture Association of America in 1966, had abolished the old Production Code. In order for the film to be released with MPAA approval, Warner Bros. agreed to minor deletions of certain profanities and to have a special warning placed on all advertisements for the film, indicating adult content. It was this film and another groundbreaking film, Michaelangelo Antonioni's "Blow-Up" (1966), that led Jack Valenti to begin work on the MPAA film rating system that went into effect on November 1, 1968.

Awards and acclaim

The film was the only one to be nominated in every eligible category at the Academy Awards (picture, actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, director, adapted screenplay, art direction/set decoration (b&w), cinematography (b&w), sound, costume design (b&w), music score, and film editing). Each of the four main actors was nominated for an Oscar but only Taylor and Sandy Dennis (Honey) won, for Best Actress and Supporting Actress, respectively. The film also won the Black and White Cinematography award for Haskell Wexler's stark, black-and-white camera work (it was the last film to win before the category was eliminated). It was the first film to have its entire credited cast be nominated for acting Oscars, although Frank Flanagan and Agnes Flanagan play uncredited roles with very few lines.

The film received the BAFTA Award for Best Film from any Source.

Reference in popular culture

*"Mad Magazine" published a spoof of the movie, entitled "Who in Heck is Virginia Woolf?!" At one point, it is remarked "This is an art film, so the censors "have" to let us talk dirty!" Most of the swearing is replaced with dingbats: when Martha asks George "%$?" and he replies "What kind of profanity is "that", Liz?!", she says "I was just asking what percentage of the gross we're getting!" Their son turns out to be real, and to George and Martha's dismay, a clean-cut non-dysfunctional bore, in keeping with "Mad"'s tradition of altering the endings of the movies that they parody.
*The film was spoofed on "The Benny Hill Show", with Hill playing both Burton's and Taylor's parts.
*In an episode of "The Simpsons", Marge and Homer go on a marriage counseling session with other couples, one such couple acts and sounds similar to George and Martha. However, just by looking into each other's eyes, the two fall in love again and walk off into the sunset within seconds.
*In an episode of "American Dad", Roger the Alien and Francine adopt a role playing game to escape the boredom of their daily lives. Roger adapts the persona of Professor Jordan Edilstein, while Francine chooses the character of Amanda Lane. The two meet a new couple in town, Rick and Candy, and invite them for a dinner party in which Jordan and Amanda get drunk and verbally and physically fight, while Rick and Candy sit there. It ultimately ends with Rick and Candy leaving, and Roger and Francine reassuring each other that everything will be all right.
*In an episode of "Will & Grace", Jack refers to Will and Grace when he mentions not wanting to stay at the dinner party with George and Martha.
*In "Dinner Party" from "The Office", Michael and Jan invite Jim, Pam, Andy, and Angela to their home. As the night progresses, Jan and Michael begin bickering to a greater extent. Once Dwight arrives uninvited, their arguing gets worse until Jan destroys Michael's TV.
*In "The Past Is a Grotesque Animal" off the LP "Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?" by Of Montreal, Kevin Barnes sings "The mousy girl screams, 'Violence, violence!'," ostensibly a reference to Honey who screams those words as George and Martha fight at the inn. Honey is frequently referred to as "mousy" throughout the film.

References

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External links

*imdb title|0061184|Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
*tcmdb title|95743|Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?


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  • Qui a peur de Virginia Woolf ? (film) — Qui a peur de Virginia Woolf ? Données clés Titre original Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf? Réalisation Mike Nichols Scénario Ernest Lehman Acteurs principaux Elizabeth Taylor Richard Burton …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wer hat Angst vor Virginia Woolf? (Film) — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel Wer hat Angst vor Virginia Woolf? Originaltitel Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Qui a peur de virginia woolf ? (film) — Qui a peur de Virginia Woolf ? (Who s afraid of Virginia Woolf ?) est un film américain réalisé par Mike Nichols, sorti en 1966. Il s agit de la reprise à l écran de la pièce de théâtre éponyme d Edward Albee sortie en 1962. Sommaire 1… …   Wikipédia en Français


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