Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Talk about the good old days

Jack Valenti is on C-Span, talking about his inspiration for creating a film-rating system: the film version of Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? "They were saying things like 'hump the hostess,'" Valenti reminded the Congressional panel.

I had to laugh. There is no way any kid, other than a highly intellectual one with a knowledge of absurdist theatre, would sit through the first ten minutes of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, much less stick around for "hump the hostess" and "angel tits."

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, remarkably, was the first film the great Mike Nichols ever directed, and it is stunning. This is the film in which Elizabeth Taylor showed a sometimes-doubting world that she was an actor of the highest caliber. Though plays with limited sets are usually not chosen as film material, it is the very claustrophobia of the film that makes the dialogue so terrifying. In fact, the one scene that is set outside of the house is the weakest scene in the film.

Taylor's character, Martha, also utters one of my favorite lines in all of film: "I am the earth mother, and you are all flops."

Honey: Oh, I don't know, a little brandy maybe. "Never mix, never worry!"
George: Martha? Rubbing alcohol for you?
Martha: Sure! "Never mix, never worry!"

7 Comments:

This film exhibited the talents of both Taylor and Burton. The dialog, particularly it's execution was phenomenal. Amazing performances.One of my favorite lines "If you existed, I'd divorce you."

By Blogger Pinky, at 7:26 PM  

And don't forget the wonderful Sandy Dennis. "I dance like the wind."

They were all superb.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:39 PM  

Of course! Sandy Dennis, a personal favorite :)

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