A word of advice: If George (Richard Burton) and Martha (Elizabeth Taylor) ever ask you over for late-night cocktails--pass. On the other hand, if you have the opportunity to see Mike Nichols's scorching film version of Edward Albee's sensational play, don't miss it! Elegantly photographed in crisp black and white by the great Haskell Wexler, the play has been "opened up" for the screen by director Nichols (The Graduate, Primary Colors) and producer-writer Ernest Lehman (North by Northwest) without diluting its concentrated, claustrophobic power. Taylor has never been better or brasher as Martha, letting loose with all the fury of a drunken, frustrated academic's wife on one crazy Walpurgisnacht bender. Burton plays her husband, George, the ineffectual history prof married to the college president's daughter. And George Segal and Sandy Dennis are young, callow Nick and Honey, who have no idea what sort of mind-warping psychological games they're being drawn into. Among the most successful theatrical adaptations (artistically and popularly) ever brought to the screen. The entire principal cast was nominated for Oscars--and Taylor, Dennis, and cinematographer Wexler won.
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