Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (film)

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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a 1966 film adaptation of the 1962 Broadway play of the same name by Edward Albee about a bitter erudite couple, who invite a new professor and his wife to their house after a party and then continue drinking and engaging in relentless, scathing verbal and occasional physical abuse in front of them.

Directed by Mike Nichols. Written Ernest Lehman.
You are cordially invited to George and Martha's for an evening of fun and games.taglines

George[edit]

  • [Honey abruptly stands, looking ill.] Martha, will you show her where we keep the, uh, euphemism?
  • Vanish!
  • [talking to Nick about weight and fitness] Martha is 108… years old. She weighs somewhat more than that.
  • Martha, in my mind, you are buried in cement right up to the neck. No, up to the nose — it's much quieter.
  • Good. Better. Best. Bested.

Martha[edit]

Dialogue[edit]

[Martha looks around their living room.]
Martha: What a dump. [pauses] Hey, w-what's that from? "What a dump!"
George: How would I know?
Martha: Oh, come on, what's it from? You know!
George: Martha…
Martha: What's it from, for chrissake?!
George: What's what from?
Martha: I just told you. I just did it. "What a dump!" Huh? What's that from?
George: I haven't the faintest idea.
Martha: Dumbbell.

[George lies on the bed, face down. Martha sits on his legs, slapping and jabbing his back as she sings. He groans and yells while she's doing this.]
Martha: [To "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf"] Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf / Virginia Woolf, Virginia Woolf / Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf…
[She cackles, then pauses.]
Martha: What's the matter? Didn't ya think that was funny? I thought it was a scream.
George: [mumbles into pillow]
Martha: You laughed your head off when you heard it at the party.
George: I smiled. I didn't laugh my head off.
Martha: You laughed your goddamn head off.

Martha: You make me puke!
George: [That] wasn't a very nice thing to say, Martha.
Martha: That wasn't what?!
George: A very nice thing to say.
Martha: Oh, I like your anger. I think that's what I like about you most. Your anger.

Martha: Oh-ho, you pig.
George: Oink, oink.
Martha: Fix me another drink… lover.
George: My God, you can swill it down, can't you?
Martha: Well, I'm thirsty.
George: Oh, Jesus.
Martha: Look, sweetheart, I can drink you under any goddamn table you want, so don't worry about me.
George: I gave you the prize years ago, Martha. There isn't an abomination award going that you haven't won.
Martha: I swear to God George, if you even existed I'd divorce you.

Nick: Ah, who, ah… who did the painting?
Martha: That? Oh, that's by…
George: … some Greek with a moustache Martha attacked one night in a, in a… [laughs stiffly]

Martha: Fix the kids a drink, George. What would you like to drink, kid– kid.
Nick: Honey? what would you like?
Honey: Ohhhh, I don't know, dear, a little brandy maybe. "Never mix, never worry!"
George: Brandy? Just brandy? Simple, simple…
[George turns to Nick.]
George: What about you, em… em… em…
Nick: Bourbon on the rocks, if you don't mind.
George: Mind? I don't mind. I don't think I mind. Martha? Rubbing alcohol for you?
Martha: Sure! "Never mix, never worry!"

[Honey and Martha laugh over the "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" singing from the earlier party.]
Martha: I bust a gut! [laughs uproariously, then settles] George didn't think it was funny at all.
George: Martha thinks that unless you, as she demurely puts it, "bust a gut", you're not amused, you know. Unless you're… carrying on like a hyena, you're not having any fun.

[After Martha confides warmly to Nick while rubbing his knee, George walks over to Honey.]
George: Let me tell you a secret, baby — there are easier things in this world, if you, uh… happen to be teaching at a university, there are easier things than being married to the daughter of the president of that university. There are easier things in this world.
Martha: It should be an extraordinary opportunity. For some men, it would be the chance of a lifetime.
George: There are, believe me, easier things in this world.
Martha: Some men would give their right arm for the chance!
George: Alas, Martha, in reality, it works out that the sacrifice is of a somewhat more private portion of the anatomy.

George: What made you decide to be a teacher?
Nick: Well, the same things that motivated you, I imagine.
George: Oh? What were they?
Nick: Pardon?
George: I said, what were they? What were the things that motivated me?
Nick: Well, I'm sure I don't know.
George: You just finished saying that the things that motivated you were the same things that motivated me.
Nick: I said I imagined they were.
George: Oh, did you?

Nick: [to Honey] We'll go in a little while.
George: Oh no! No, you mustn't! Martha is changing, and Martha is not changing for me! Martha hasn't changed for me in years! If Martha is changing, that means we're going to be here for days. You're being accorded an honor. You mustn't forget that Martha is the daughter of our beloved boss. She is his right… arm, heh heh. I was going to use another word, but we'll leave that sort of talk to Martha.
Martha: What sort of talk?
[George turns to see Martha has changed into a tight blouse and slacks.]
Nick: Well, now.
George: Why, Martha! Your Sunday chapel dress!

[Talking about Nick's early Master's degree…]
George: I'm very impressed.
Martha: You're damn right!
George: I said I was impressed. I'm beside myself with jealousy. What do you want me to do, throw up?

Martha: George is bogged down in the history department. [chuckles] He's an old bog in the history department. That's what George is. A bog. A fen. A GD swamp!
[Martha, Nick, and Honey all share a laugh while a dour George looks on.]
Martha: A swamp! [to George] Hey, swamp! Hey swampy!
George: Yes, Martha? Can I get you something?
Martha: Ah… well, sure! You can, um, light my cigarette, if you're of a mind to.
George: No. There are limits. I mean, a man can put up with only so much without he descends a rung or two on the, uh, old evolutionary ladder, which is up your [Nick's] line. Now, I will, uh, hold your hand when it's dark and you're afraid of the boogeyman, and I will tote your gin bottles out after midnight so no one can see, but I will not light your cigarette. And that, as they say, is that.
Martha: Jesus!

George: All I said was that our son, the apple of our three eyes — Martha being a cyclops — our son is a beanbag, and you get testy!
Nick: I'm sorry, it's late! I'm tired. I've been drinking since nine o'clock, my wife is vomiting… there's been a lot of screaming going on around here!
George: So you get testy, naturally! Don't worry about it! Anybody who comes here ends up getting testy; it's expected! Don't be upset!
Nick: I'm not upset.
George: You're testy.
Nick: Yes.

[Nick and George are chatting outside when Martha yells from the house.]
Martha: Hey!
George: Hark! Forest sounds.
Nick: Hmm?
George: Animal noises.
Martha: Heyyyy!

George: Take the trouble to construct a civilization, to build a society based on the principles of, uh… of principle.
Nick: Honey!
George: You make government and art and realize that they are, must be, both the same. You bring things to the saddest of all points, to the point where there is something to lose. Then, all at once, through all the music, through all the sensible sounds of men building, attempting, comes the Dies Irae. And what is it? What does the trumpet sound? "Up yours".

[Driving Nick and Honey home, George screeches around a corner, jostling his inebriated passengers.]
Martha: Well, aren't you going to apologize?
George: Wasn't my fault — the road should've been straight.
Martha: Not that! For making her throw up.
George: I did not make her throw up.
Martha: You most certainly did.
George: I did not.
Honey: [still drunk] No, now, no…
Martha: Well, who do you think did? Sexy, back there? You think he made his own wife sick?
George: Well, you make me sick.
Martha: That's different.

Honey: [drunkenly] I want some! I want some dancing!
Martha: That's not such a bad idea.
Honey: I love dancing, don't you.
Martha: With the right man.
Honey: I dance like the wind.

[Honey and George watch Nick and Martha dancing closely.]
Honey: They're dancing like they danced before.
George: It's a familiar dance, Monkey Nipples. They both know it.
Honey: [drunkenly] I don't know what you mean.
Martha: [sighs] I like the way you move.
Nick: I like the way you move, too.
George: [to Honey] They like the way they move.
Honey: [drunkenly] That's nice.

[As Martha tells Nick how her father pulled the plug on George's novel, George pulls the plug on the jukebox.]
George: All right! The dancing's over!
Honey: [applauding] Violence! Violence! Oo-hoo!

[After George's game of "Get the Guests" sends Honey into the restroom again…]
Nick: That was cruel and vicious…
George: Hmm, she'll get over it.
Nick: … and damaging…
George: She'll recover.
Nick: … damaging to me!
George: To you?
Nick: To me!
George: To you?
Nick: YES!
George: Oh-ho-ho-ho, beautiful! My god, you gotta have a swine to show you where the truffles are!

George: You're a monster. You are.
Martha: I'm loud, and I'm vulgar, and I wear the pants in the house because somebody's got to… but I am not a monster! I'm NOT!
George: You're a spoiled, self-indulgent, willful, dirty-minded, liquor-ridden…
Martha: [Crap!] It went SNAP! I-I-I'm not gonna try to get through to you anymore. There was a second back there — yeah, there was a second, just a second — when I could have gotten through to you, when maybe we could have cut through all this, this CRAP! But it's past, and I'm not gonna try.

Martha: I looked at you tonight and you weren't there! Finally snapped! And– and I'm gonna howl it out! And I'm not gonna give a damn what I do, and I'm gonna make the biggest goddamn explosion you've ever heard!
George: You try and I'll beat you at your own game.
Martha: Is that a threat, George, huh?
George: That's a threat, Martha.
Martha: You're gonna get it, baby.
George: Be careful, Martha. I'll rip you to pieces.
Martha: You're not man enough. You haven't the guts!
George: Total war?
Martha: Total!

Nick: To you, everybody's a flop! Your husband's a flop, I'm a flop…
Martha: You're all flops. I am the Earth Mother, and you are all flops.
[She turns away from Nick.]
Martha: I disgust me. You know, there's only been one man in my whole life who's ever made me happy. You know that? One.
Nick: What, the gym instructor or something?
Martha: No, no, no, no. George. [pause] My husband?
Nick: You're kidding.
Martha: Am I?
Nick: You must be! Him?
Martha: Yep.
Nick: George, sure!
Martha: You don't believe it.
Nick: Well, of course I do!
Martha: You always deal in appearances?
Nick: Oh, for God's sake.
Martha: George, who is out somewhere there in the dark. Who is good to me. Whom I revile. Who can keep learning the games we play as quickly as I can change them. Who can make me happy and I do not wish to be happy. Yes, I do wish to be happy. George and Martha — sad, sad, sad.
Nick: Sad.
Martha: Whom I will not forgive for having come to rest, for having seen me and having said, "Yes, this will do". Who has made the hideous, the hurting, the insulting mistake of loving… me. And must be punished for it. George and Martha — sad, sad, sad.

Martha: Truth and illusion, George; you don't know the difference.
George: No, but we must carry on as though we did.
Martha: Amen.

[Nick guides his hopping, drunken wife into the room.]
Nick: Here we are.
Honey: Hip, hop! Hip, hop! Hip, hop! Hip, hop!
Nick: Are you a bunny, Honey?
Honey: [giggles] Bunny Honey!
George: Well, now, how's the bunny?
Honey: Bunny funny! [giggles]
George: Bunny funny. Good for bunny!
Martha: Come on, George!
[George gestures from Martha to Honey.]
George: Honey, funny bunny.
[Honey dissolves into drunken laughter.]

Taglines[edit]

  • You are cordially invited to George and Martha's for an evening of fun and games.
  • The Violet-Eyed Venus Becomes a Boozing, Tired, Greying "Virago"
  • Drop in for Drinks and Brace yourself.

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]