Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton star in this 1966 classic, based on the stage play of the same name. The film is a dark battlefield of mind-games and contradictions, constantly leaving you unsure in a suspended state of distress and uncontrollable laughter.
We are introduced to the volatile marriage of Martha, and George, and their squabbling; juxtaposed by the serenity of their grand middle class home, gently nestled in the calm of the night. George is a professor at a New England college. Martha is the daughter of the university president. They appear to be a normal quarrelsome middle aged couple, but there is something deeper, waiting to be exposed.
As they return home (drunk) from a staff party, Martha declares she’s invited a young couple round for drinks; another professor and his wife, much to the annoyance of George. When the couple arrives drinks are poured, and the jeering remarks start to spit again. This is the start of an awfully long night…
Notable for its many societal observations, the film explores a range of themes from the perils of marriage, power and perception, and the domestic identity of women. It is the exploration of these themes that gives the film substance, and drives the characters behaviours and dialogue.
“Truth and illusion George, you don’t know the difference”
This horror-drama-comedy is a must see classic. Its fragmenting of the status quo, and incredible script cements it as a classic in American cinema. The hysterical sadomasochistic relationship of George and Martha is authentic and compelling; a true tale of insanity you simply cannot miss.
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