No movie that I can think of taps on the delicate nerve of marital gamesmanship like this five-time Oscar-winning adaptation of Edward Albeeâs stageplay about a bitter middle-aged college professor and his shrewish wife. Throughout, George (Richard Burton) and Martha (Elizabeth Taylor) parry and thrust, looking to expose each otherâs every weakness to the horror of their younger counterparts, Nick (George Segal) and Honey (Sandy Dennis). Disillusionment never found a more accepting couple. I still canât believe that my parents, themselves a college-faculty couple, allowed me to watch the film when it made its network TV premiere. It was like watching a horror movie for adults, and I remember spending hours pouring over the script that my dad had purchased when it was released in paperback.
I remember being struck by how life can so easily subvert love, and how Nick and Honey, so caught up in their newlywed bliss, realize that this could someday be them. Scary shit. FYI, the film is ranked No. 67 on the AFI list of the 100 greatest movies of all time.
The Woodruffâs November block of movie programming features the theme âThe Sensational Sixties: Great Actresses,â and indeed Oscar winner Elizabeth Taylor was never better. Tomorrow's movie, shown on the Main Stage, starts at 8 p.m., and is $8-$10. Call 404-733-5000 for more info. Check out the rest of the schedule.