Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Sandy Dennis was quite the versatile actress. In her life she won an Oscar and a Tony Award for her performances. She received both of these for her portrayal as a young wife in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? This play was made into a movie in 1966 with Sandy Dennis in it.

George and Martha are a middle aged married couple who are expecting a younger couple over for dinner. One Honey and Nick arrive the two start having a bickering conversation. This leads Martha and Honey to leave with Martha telling Honey about her and George’s son. Upon return George learns of this and is furious that Martha had shared this information with Honey. When George goes out to make coffee, Nick shares with George that he is more attractive to Honey’s wealth rather than her personally. After a bit, Honey and Nick decide to leave. But, George insists on driving them home after a night of heavy drinking. When the two couples come to a roadhouse, Martha decides she wants to go in and dance. Once inside Martha begins suggestively dancing with Nick, much to George and Honey’s displeasure. While Martha is dancing with Nick, George begins dancing with Honey, although not as suggestively as the other two. Martha begins to taunt George again with words causing him to go and unplug the jukebox. After this more words come out with Martha suggesting George killed his parents and George talking about a Midwest couple who suffered from a hysterical pregnancy. Eventually, George tells Honey why Nick married her and she runs out. Nick runs after her swearing revenge on George for what he did. George walks out into the parking lot admitting that he cannot stand his wife. Martha leaves with the car to go and pick up Honey and Nick. Once George returns home he finds that the car has crashed with a half conscious Honey inside with the shadows of Nick and Martha in the bedroom. Through Honey babbling, George suspects that instead of a hysterical pregnancy, Martha had an abortion. George starts to come up with a plan to get back at Martha for what she did. Upon entering the house, Martha accuses Nick of being sexually inadequate. George enters and starts talking to Martha about their son. This start to upset Martha as George goes on about how her abuse towards him and their son. as the conversation goes on Nick realizes that there never was a child to the married couple. George and Martha were unable to have children, so to fill the void they created an imaginary son who got killed in a car crash. This was supposed to be a secret between the two, until Martha broke the rule by telling Honey. Nick and Honey quietly depart leaving George and Martha. Martha tells George that she is afraid of Virginia Woolf after George asks.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is one of those films that you have to watch a couple of times in order to understand what is happening. The first time I saw it, I had no clue what was going on between the two couples, especially George and Martha. Sandy Dennis portrayed the young wife Honey in this move as well as the play. On April 27, 1937, Sandy Dennis was born, becoming best known for her role as Honey. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a 1966 classic that is quite confusing, but understandable after the next two times you watch it.


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