Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Synopsis: George and Martha are a middle aged married couple, whose charged relationship is defined by vitriolic verbal battles, which underlies what seems like an emotional dependence upon each other. This verbal abuse is fueled by an excessive consumption of alcohol. George being an associate History professor in a New Carthage university where Martha's father is the President adds an extra dimension to their relationship. Late one Saturday evening after a faculty mixer, Martha invites Nick and Honey, an ambitious young Biology professor new to the university and his mousy wife, over for a nightcap. As the evening progresses, Nick and Honey, plied with more alcohol, get caught up in George and Martha's games of needing to hurt each other and everyone around them. The ultimate abuse comes in the form of talk of George and Martha's unseen sixteen year old son, whose birthday is the following day.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Mike Nichols
Production: Warner Home Video
  Won 5 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 23 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
131 min

- Good night.

- Good night.

- It's 2:
00 in the morning.

- Oh, George.

Well, it is.

What a cluck.

What a cluck you are.

It's late, you know. It's late.

No kidding.

What a dump.

Hey, what's that from? "What a dump!"

How would I know?

Oh, come on, what's it from?

You know.


What's it from, for chrissake?

What's what from?

I just told you. I just did it.

"What a dump!"

- What's that from?

- I haven't the faintest idea.


It's from some damn

Bette Davis picture...

...some goddamn Warner Bros. Epic.

Martha, I can't remember all the pictures

that came out of Warner Bros.

Nobody's asking you to remember

every goddamn Warner Bros. Epic.

Just one. Just one single little epic.

That's all.

Bette Davis gets peritonitis at the end.

She wears this black fright wig

throughout the picture.

And she's married to Joseph Cotten

or something.

- Somebody.

- Somebody.

And she wants to go to Chicago

all the time...

...because she loves that actor

with the scar.

But she gets sick, and she

sits down in front of her dressing table...

What actor? What scar?

I can't remember his name,

for God's sake. What's the picture?

I want to know

what the name of the picture is.

She gets this peritonitis...

...but she decides to go

to Chicago anyway. And...

Chicago. It's called Chicago.

What? What is?

I mean the picture.

It's called Chicago.

Oh, good grief.

Don't you know anything?

Chicago was a '30s musical...

...starring little Miss Alice Faye.

Don't you know anything?

This picture...

...Bette Davis comes home from

a hard day at the grocery store...

She works in a grocery store?

She's a housewife. She buys things.

She comes home with the groceries...

...and she walks into

the modest living room...

...of the modest cottage

modest Joseph Cotten set her up in.

- Are they married?

- And...

Yes, they're married.

To each other, cluck.

And she comes in,

and she looks around this room...

...and she sets down her groceries.

And she says:

"What a dump!"

She's discontent.

Well, what's the name of the picture?

I really don't know, Martha.

Well, think!

Well, I'm tired, dear. It's late.

I don't know what you're tired about.

You didn't do anything today.

- I'm tired.

- You didn't have any classes.

Well, if your father didn't set up

these damned Saturday-night orgies...

That's just too bad about you, George.

Well, that's how it is anyway.

You didn't do anything.

You never do anything. You never mix.

You just sit around and talk.

Well, what do you want me to do? Bray

at everyone all night, the way you do?

I don't bray!

All right, you don't bray.

I did not bray.

I said you didn't bray.

Fix me a drink.

Haven't you had enough?

I said, fix me a drink.

Well, I don't suppose a nightcap

would kill either one of us.

A nightcap? Are you kidding?

We've got guests.

We've got what?

Guests. Guests.


Yeah, guests. People.

We've got guests coming over.



Good Lord, Martha,

do you know what time it is?


- Who's coming over?

- What's-their-name.

- Who?

- What's-their-name!

Who's what's-their-name?

I don't know their name, George.

You met them tonight. They're new. He's

in the Math Department or something.

I don't remember

meeting anybody tonight.

Well, you did.

Of all the asinine...

Who are these people?

- He's in the Math Department.

- Who?

He's in the Math Department.

He's young and he's blond.

He's good-looking, well-built?

Yes, good-looking, well-built.

- It figures.

- What?

Nothing. Nothing.

His wife's a mousy little type

without any hips or anything.

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Ernest Lehman

Ernest Paul Lehman was an American screenwriter. He received six Academy Award nominations during his career, without a single win. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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