Thursday, April 27, 2017

A to Z Challenge - W is for What Not to do When Guests Come Over

Getting to the end of the alphabet on the A to Z Challenge and today's post for letter W is the 1966 intense drama, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?  It was an adaptation of the powerful Edward Albee play and was nominated for thirteen Oscars, basically in every category it was eligible and only the second film since Cimarron in 1931.

Major awards for Elizabeth Taylor for Best Actress, her second, and Sandy Dennis's only Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.  Also staring Richard Burton and George Segal, this is one of the greatest dramas put on screen.  The film centers on the four characters over one evening with really no other actors.

Richard Burton is an associate professor at a small college and is marred to Elizabeth Taylor who is the College President's daughter.  Their relationship is far from healthy with them constantly throwing insulting barbs at one another.  They have over another young professor from the college with his wife to have drinks. The fighting and conflicts continue and escalate to an extreme point.  If you haven't seen it, be prepared to be uncomfortable with the tension and arguing but stick it through to the end, it is worth it.

While this could have easily won Best Picture, it did go up against probably the best film of the decade, A Man for All Seasons.  And this also hurt Richard Burton having to compete against Paul Scofield.  It was a well deserved Oscar for Elizabeth Taylor who had worked hard over the past fifteen years to become a good actress, and this film shows how good she became.

I've heard criticisms about her acting and I disagree.  While she wasn't a natural, she worked hard to perfect her craft.  Compare her in A Place in the Sun and in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and tell me she isn't a good actress.


  1. You are right that this is an uncomfortable film but so well acted. Taylor was excellent here and so was Burton. She was not happy when he didn't win along side her

  2. Elizabeth Taylor was a great actress. I like your title for this review!