Notes from ningyo editions studio and gallery

Lobby Card Series #1: Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf?


Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was director Mike Nichols’ first movie, and it locks the viewer into a claustrophobic train wreck of an evening fueled by booze and long-simmering resentments (which in turn are fueled by more booze).  The college president’s daughter (Elizabeth Taylor) and her brow-beaten, pathetically under-achieving husband (Richard Burton) whose years in the history department have reduced him to academic deadwood seemingly do nothing but drink, fight and banter.  When a new, young biology teacher and his meek simp of a wife stop by for drinks at 2 am, the night veers into hissing recriminations and devastating revelations for all involved.  At the time of filming, Burton and Taylor were 41 and 34, but their joint performance leaves you believing they’d been married a hundred years.  Burton – bloated yet sunken by his real-life alcohol consumption – looks no younger than a very old 55 (with Taylor, having gained twenty pounds for the role in an as-yet unheard of feat in the days before method acting, looks at least twenty years older herself).  Sandy Dennis, as the new teacher’s wife, won an Oscar for her delirious, demented performance, despite being passed out for a third of the film and slurring drunk for the rest.  No surgeon’s blade could have trimmed the source material (the play by Edward Albee), so near to the marrow.

Curcio Blog

George,  Martha, and the snapdragons.

David Curcio blog

The many moods of Martha.

david curcio blog

Sandy Dennis

david curcio

Whose Afraid… (verso)


Filed under: Lobby Card Series, , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 493 other followers

%d bloggers like this: