Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
USA, 1966. Warner Bros.. Screenplay by Ernest Lehman, based on the play by Edward Albee. Cinematography by Haskell Wexler. Produced by Ernest Lehman. Music by Alex North. Production Design by Richard Sylbert. Costume Design by Irene Sharaff. Film Editing by Sam O’Steen.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton shine in this excellent adaptation of Edward Albee’s shocking play. They play an aging, miserably drunken couple who invite a young newlywed couple (George Segal, Sandy Dennis) over for drinks after a campus party at their university; Burton and Segal are professors, and throughout the evening we learn about both of them and their work, as well as hear personal revelations from the two women. Taylor, who was only in her mid-thirties when she filmed this movie, is especially good as the woman who deals with life’s disappointments in self-deprecating ways, while Dennis is terrific as the seemingly innocent girl who reveals quite a bit as the drinks keep pouring and the conversations get hotter. Taylor and Burton made quite a few films together, and this one stands out as the very best of them.
Academy Awards: Best Actress (Elizabeth Taylor); Best Supporting Actress (Sandy Dennis); Best Cinematography-BW; Best Art Direction-BW; Best Costume Design-BW
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Actor (Richard Burton); Best Supporting Actor (George Segal); Best Director (Mike Nichols); Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Film Editing; Best Sound; Best Original Music Score
Golden Globe Award Nominations: Best Picture-Drama; Best Actor-Drama (Richard Burton); Best Actress-Drama (Elizabeth Taylor); Best Supporting Actor (George Segal); Best Supporting Actress (Sandy Dennis); Best Director (Mike Nichols); Best Screenplay