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EYE-BALL MovieZone – Best Picture Oscar Nominated Movies – 1966

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Oscar Movies 1966:
EYE-BALL MovieZone1966 Nominees:

[Oscar Best Picture Winner – highlighted – click Nominee Movie links provided to navigate your way up and down the page – each Movie has additional links to Bit Torrent ‘downloads’ links, Wikipedia Links for all the information about the nominated movie, and the EYE-BALL MovieZone Reviews and ratings. Movie posters appearing at this site have been copied from Wikipedia and other research related source sites.]

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EYE-BALL MovieZoneReview – 1966 –

“A Man for all Seasons”:

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Summary: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

A Man for All Seasons is a 1966 film based on Robert Bolt’s play A Man for All Seasons about Sir Thomas More. It was released on December 12, 1966. Paul Scofield, who had played More in the West End stage premiere, also took the role in the film. It was directed by Fred Zinnemann, who had previously directed such films as High Noon and From Here to Eternity. The film won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor.

Plot: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

The film opens with Cardinal Wolsey (Orson Welles), summoning Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield) to his palace at Hampton Court. Desiring his support in obtaining a divorce from the Pope so that the King can marry Anne Boleyn, Wolsey chastises More for being the only member of the Privy Council to argue against him. When More states that the Pope will never grant a divorce, he is scandalized by Wolsey’s suggestion that they apply “pressure” in order to force the issue. More refuses to support continued efforts to secure an annulment for Henry VIII from the Pope as legal and religious options having been exhausted, provide no grounds for the Pope to issue an annulment.

Returning by a River Thames ferry to his estate at Chelsea, More finds Richard Rich (John Hurt), a young acquaintance from Cambridge waiting by the dock for his return. An ambitious young man, who is drawn to the allure of power, Rich pleads with More for a position at Court, but More, citing the various corruptions there, advises him to become a teacher instead.

Entering the house, More finds his daughter Meg (Susannah York) with a young Lutheran named William Roper (Corin Redgrave), who announces his desire to marry her. More, a devout Catholic, announces that his answer is “no” as long as Roper remains a “heretic”.

Wolsey dies banished from Court in disgrace, having failed to coerce a divorce from the Pope. King Henry (Robert Shaw) appoints More as Lord Chancellor of England.

Soon after, the King makes an “impromptu” visit by barge at More’s home in Chelsea to inquire about his divorce. Sir Thomas, not wishing to admit that his conscience forbids him to dissolve what he considers a valid marriage, remains unmoved as the King alternates thinly-veiled threats with promises of unbounded Royal favour. When More finally refers to Catherine as “the Queen,” the King explodes into a raging tantrum. Storming off in a huff, King Henry returns to his barge and orders the oarmen to cast off. His courtiers are left to run through the mud and into the river to catch up as the King laughs hysterically at their predicament. At the embankment, Rich is approached by Thomas Cromwell (Leo McKern), a member of Henry’s court, and political adversary of More. Cromwell subtly inquires whether Rich has information that could damage More’s reputation, in exchange for a position at Court.

Roper, learning of More’s quarrel with the King, reveals that his religious opinions have altered considerably. He declares that by attacking the Catholic Church, the King has become “the Devil’s minister.” A terrified More begs him to be more guarded as Rich arrives, pleading again for a position at Court. When More again refuses, Rich denounces More’s steward as a spy for Cromwell. Now, More and his family, including wife Alice (Wendy Hiller) learn the ugly truth: Rich is being manipulated by Cromwell to spy on him.

As a humiliated Rich leaves, More’s family pleads with him to have Rich arrested. More refuses, stating that Rich, while dangerous, has broken no law. Still seeking a position at Court, Rich enlists Cromwell’s patronage and joins him in attempting to bring down More. King Henry, tired of awaiting for an annulment from the Vatican, redefines the Catholic Church in England by declaring himself “Supreme Head of the Church in England.” He demands that both the bishops and Parliament renounce all allegiance to the Holy See. More quietly resigns his post as Chancellor rather than accept the new order. As he does so, his close friend, Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk (Nigel Davenport), attempts to draw his opinions out as part of a friendly chat with no witnesses present. More, however, knows that the time for speaking openly of such matters is over.

The King will not be appeased. He demands that More attend his wedding to Anne Boleyn (Vanessa Redgrave). More refuses and is summoned again to Hampton Court, now occupied by Cromwell. More is interrogated on his opinions but refuses to answer, citing it as his right under English Law. Cromwell angrily declares that the King now views him as a traitor.

More returns home and is met by his daughter. Meg informs him that a new oath about the marriage is being circulated and that all must take it on pain of high treason. Initially, More says he would be willing to take the oath, provided it does not conflict with his principles. One issue for More is that the King cannot declare himself to be the head of the Catholic Church as the head of the Catholic Church is the Pope. However, an expert in the law, More knows that if he does not state why he is opposed to taking the oath, he cannot be considered a traitor to the King; More refuses to take the oath and is imprisoned in the Tower of London regardless.

In spite of the bullying tactics of Cromwell, the subtle manipulation of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (Cyril Luckham), and the pleadings of both Norfolk and his family, More remains steadfast in his refusal to take the oath. When he is finally brought to trial, he remains silent until after being convicted of treason on the perjured testimony of Richard Rich. He is then informed that Rich has been promoted to Attorney General for Wales as a reward.

Now having nothing left to lose, More angrily denounces the illegal nature of the King’s actions, citing the Biblical basis for the authority of the Papacy over Christendom. He further declares that the immunity of the Church from State interference is guaranteed both in Magna Carta and in the King’s own Coronation Oath. As the spectators scream in protest, More is condemned to death.

A narrator intones the epilogue.

Thomas More’s head was stuck on Traitor’s Gate for a month. Then his daughter, Margaret, removed it and kept it ’til her death. Cromwell was beheaded for high treason five years after More. The Archbishop was burned at the stake. The Duke of Norfolk should have been executed for high treason but the King died of syphilis the night before. Richard Rich became Chancellor of England and died in his bed.

EYE-BALL MovieZone Review …

A movie based on a play that was hugely successful – the movie does not work as well – Robert Shaw is the King and overpowers most of the support actors – McKern is good also – the darkness of the ‘period’ adventure is evident – Kings and their crowns and the plotters behind the scenes – innocents get caught up in the web of intreigue – this movie covers all the bases and gives us a lesson in how the ‘big-game’ works …

Recommended Viewing if you like ‘period’ pieces …

EYE-BALL MovieZone Rating [scale 0-10]: 4.5/10 …

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EYE-BALL MovieZoneReview – 1966

“Alfie”:

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Summary: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

Alfie is a 1966 British film directed by Lewis Gilbert, starring Michael Caine. It is an adaptation by Bill Naughton of his own novel and play of the same name. The film was released by Paramount Pictures.

Alfie tells the story of a young man who leads a promiscuous lifestyle until several life reversals make him rethink his purposes and goals in life. Alfie frequently breaks the fourth wall by speaking directly to the camera narrating and justifying his actions. His words often contrast with or totally contradict his actions.

The film was followed by Alfie Darling in 1975, with Alan Price replacing Caine in the title role.

Plot: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

The film begins with Alfie Elkins (Caine) ending a relationship with a married woman (Millicent Martin) and getting the woman from another of his affairs, Gilda (Julia Foster), pregnant. The film then follows his life for a few years, documenting events that lead to the character’s emotional growth, starting with the birth of his son.

Watching his child grow brings out a more caring side of Alfie, including his having a health check in case of hereditary diseases, but his inability to commit to the child’s mother leads to her marrying a bus conductor (Graham Stark). The health check reveals Alfie has shadows on his lungs, and this, combined with being banned from seeing his son, leads him to have a small breakdown.

Alfie then spends some time in a convalescent home. Here he meets Harry (Alfie Bass), who confronts him about his delusion that he is doing no harm, and Harry’s wife (Vivien Merchant), whom he gets pregnant in a one-night stand. Later on in the film, the ensuing abortion is a turning point for the character, and the only time other than his passing out/breakdown where he exhibits real emotion – breaking down in tears at the sight of the aborted fetus.

In the meantime, he meets Ruby (Shelley Winters), who is an older, voluptuous, affluent and promiscuous American, while freelancing taking holiday photos of tourists near the Tower of London. Later, as a cabby, he picks up a young hitchhiker, Annie (Jane Asher) from Sheffield, looking to make a fresh start in London, who moves in with him and is prepared to do anything to earn her keep, scrubbing his floor, doing his laundry, and preparing his meals. He soon grows resentful of the relationship and drives her out after an angry outburst, too late regretting what he has just done.

At the film’s climax, Alfie decides to change his non-committal ways and settle down. Unfortunately, the day he chooses to suggest this to Ruby, he finds a younger man in her bed, leaving him disheartened at the film’s end and wondering “What’s it all about? You know what I mean.”

The film is unusual in that it has no opening credits and the end credits features photos of the principal actors, as well as of the main technical crew, including director Lewis Gilbert and cameraman Otto Heller.

EYE-BALL MovieZone Review …

This is a sad movie – the ‘cad’ Alfie – played by Michael Caine ends realising too late that life has meaning and if not taken when offered – the alternative is a life much less than it could have been.

The part narrative format works and the viewer is hand-held throughout the movie – the sexual revolution of the 60’s is in full view be it there is no nudity to speak of … but for all the ‘cad’s’ out there – view this movie and understand.

The remake with Jude Law was not half as good – ‘Hitch’ made the American version and that was better – but this original tops the lot … recommended viewing …

EYE-BALL MovieZone Rating [scale 0-10]: 4.0/10 …

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EYE-BALL MovieZoneReview – 1966

“The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming”:

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Summary: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966) is an American comedy film. Based on the Nathaniel Benchley novel The Off-Islanders, the film was directed by Norman Jewison and adapted for the screen by William Rose.

The movie tells the Cold War story of the comedic chaos which ensues when the Soviet submarine Спрут (pronounced “sproot” and meaning “octopus”) accidentally runs aground near a small New England island town. The all-star cast includes Carl Reiner, Eva Marie Saint, Theodore Bikel, Jonathan Winters, and in his first film, Alan Arkin.

Plot: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

A Russian submarine draws too close to the New England coast when its captain wants to take a good look at America and runs aground on a sandbar near an island off Cape Ann, Gloucester. Rather than radio for help and risk an embarrassing international incident, the captain sends a nine-man landing party headed by his second-in-command Lieutenant Yuri Rozanov (Alan Arkin) to find a motor launch to help free the sub from the bar. The men arrive at the house of Walt Whittaker (Carl Reiner), a vacationing playwright from New York City. Whittaker is eager to get his wife Elspeth (Eva Marie Saint) and two children, obnoxious nine and half-year-old Pete (Sheldon Collins) and three-year-old Annie (Cindy Putnam), off the island now that summer is over.

Failing to convince the Whittakers that his group are Norwegians (all of the Russians are conspicuously dressed in sinister all-black clothing), Rozanov draws a gun and promises no harm if the family provides information about military on the island (none) and police force (small), and gives them keys to their car. Walt and Elspeth provide the answers and the keys, and the Russians depart, leaving behind a young sailor, Alexei Kolchin (John Phillip Law), to guard the Whittakers and, subsequently, their attractive 18-year-old neighbor, Alison Palmer (Andrea Dromm).[1]

The Whittakers’ station wagon quickly runs out of gasoline, forcing the Russians to walk. They steal an old sedan from Muriel Everett (Doro Merande), the postmistress; she calls Alice Foss (Tessie O’Shea), the gossipy telephone switchboard operator, and before long, wild rumors throw the entire island into confusion. As level-headed Police Chief Link Mattocks (Brian Keith) and his bumbling assistant Norman Jonas (Jonathan Winters) try to squelch the inept vigilante movement of blustering Fendall Hawkins (Paul Ford), Walt, accompanied by a hysterical Elspeth, manages to overpower Kolchin, due to his reluctance to hurt anyone. During the commotion, Kolchin flees, but when Walt and Elspeth leave to find help, he returns. He reassures a scared Alison and offers her his rifle, which she does not accept.

Trying to find the Russians on his own, playwright Walt is re-captured by them. After subduing Mrs. Foss and disabling the island’s telephone switchboard, seven of the Russians manage to steal a motorboat and head back to their sub, which is still high and dry. Back at the Whittaker house, Kolchin is by now falling in love with Alison. Walt manages to free himself, and he and Elspeth return to the house and almost shoot Rozanov who arrives there just before they do. With the misunderstandings cleared up, the Whittakers, Rozanov and Kolchin decide to head into town together to clear the air with everyone over just what is going on.

With the rising tide, the submarine frees itself, and the Russian captain (Theodore Bikel) sets out in search of his missing men. He finds Rozanov and Kolchin in the harbor and threatens to blow up the town unless the other seven are returned to him. Chief Mattocks arrives with the rest of the armed villagers who threaten action against the sub’s crew on deck with rifles and pistols. As tension mounts, a small boy (Johnny Whitaker) falls from his perch on the church steeple and hangs perilously from a gutter. Forgetting their differences, islanders and Russians unite to form a human pyramid and rescue the child.

Peace and harmony is established between the two parties, but unfortunately an over-eager Hawkins has called in the Air Force. In a joint decision, the submarine heads out of the harbor with a convoy of villagers in small boats protecting it. Kolchin says goodbye to Alison, the boat with the seven Russians reaches the group shortly thereafter, and the seven board the submarine, just before two U.S. Air Force F-101B Voodoo jets arrive. They break off after seeing the convoy, and the submarine is free to sail to safe waters

EYE-BALL MovieZone Review …

A comedy nominated for Best picture – really this movie had no right being on the list – the only relevance it offers was that it was made during the ‘Cold War’ and bought some levity to the inflamed relationships between the USA and Russia … there is humanity within the movie and that message works …

Not my type of movie or humour – aged and the plot was a generational thing …

EYE-BALL MovieZone Rating [scale 0-10]: 3.5/10 …

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EYE-BALL MovieZoneReview – 1966

“The Sand Pebbles”

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Summary: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

The Sand Pebbles is a 1966 American period war film directed by Robert Wise. It tells the story of an independent, rebellious U.S. Navy Machinist’s Mate aboard the fictional gunboat USS San Pablo in 1920s China.

The Sand Pebbles features Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, Richard Crenna, Candice Bergen, Mako and Marayat Andriane (later known as a writer of erotic fiction – Emmanuelle Arsan). Robert Anderson adapted the screenplay from the 1962 novel of the same name by Richard McKenna.

Plot: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

In 1926, Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Jake Holman (Steve McQueen) transfers from the Asiatic Fleet flagship to the Yangtze River Patrol gunboat USS San Pablo. (The ship is nicknamed the “Sand Pebble” and its sailors refer to themselves as “Sand Pebbles.”) Life aboard a gunboat is very different. It has a labor system – condoned by officers – wherein coolies (manual laborers) do the work, leaving the sailors free for combat drills and idle bickering.

Because he likes to personally take care of a ship’s engines, Holman bucks the system. Although he becomes close friends with one seasoned and sensitive seaman, Frenchy (Richard Attenborough), other crewmen see Holman as a Jonah. Holman also antagonizes the coolie laborers whose “rice bowl” (source of income) is derived from doing the work that the sailors would normally do.

Holman discovers a serious defect that the coolies have not fixed. Holman informs the Captain (Richard Crenna), who declines to authorize an engine shutdown for the repair; only after the Executive Officer observes the same problem does the Captain agree. The engine-room coolie is killed in an accident when the jacking gear slips due to its poor condition. The chief coolie blames Holman, who maintains that the death was caused by the deceased coolie’s own poor work. Holman asks the Captain to allow him to run the engine room properly, but is ordered to train a replacement coolie and then concentrate on his military duties.

Holman selects Po-han (Mako) as the replacement and invests time training him. The two form a friendship. Po-Han is harassed by one sailor (Simon Oakland), leading to a boxing match on which the crewmen place bets. Po-Han’s victory leads to more antagonism between Holman and crew members, as well as the chief coolie, who wants to kick Po-Han off the ship but is foiled by Holman.

An incident involving British gunboats (not shown) leads to the Captain ordering the crew not to fire or return fire from Chinese, to avoid diplomatic incidents. Po-Han is sent ashore by the chief coolie (with the apparent intent of getting him killed). Po-han is captured and tortured by a mob of Chinese in full view of the crew, only yards from shore. With the crew poised to repel boarders, and under intense pressure, the Captain attempts to negotiate for Po-Han’s release; his efforts are fruitless. Po-Han begs for someone to kill him. Holman disobeys orders and ends Po-Han’s suffering with a fatal rifle shot.

The San Pablo is stuck in port for the winter due to low water levels. It must deal with increasingly hostile crowds surrounding it in numerous smaller boats. The Captain fears a possible mutiny. Frenchy has saved a Chinese woman, Mai Ling (Emmanuelle Arsan), from prostitution by paying her debts. He marries her and sneaks off the ship regularly, but dies of pneumonia one night. Holman searches for him and finds Mai Ling sitting stunned by Frenchy’s corpse. Kuomintang (Chinese nationalists) burst in, beat up Holman, and drag Mai Ling away.

Holman returns to the ship. The next day, Chinese float out to the San Pablo and demand the “murderer” Holman be turned over to them. Apparently, the nationalists killed Mai Ling and blamed Holman, trying to provoke an incident. Holman informs the Captain what really happened. When the Chinese demand for Holman is refused, they blockade the San Pablo. The American crew fears for their safety and demand that Holman surrender to the Chinese against the Captain’s orders. Order is not restored until the Captain fires across the bow of one of the Chinese junks.

With spring at hand, the Captain decides to risk an attempt to leave. The San Pablo sails away from the Kuomintang blockade and receives radioed orders to return to the coast. The Captain defies these orders and elects to evacuate idealistic missionary Jameson (Larry Gates) and his school teacher assistant Shirley Eckert (Candice Bergen) from their remote mission up the Yangtze River.

To reach the missionaries, the San Pablo must fight through a boom made up of junks carrying a massive rope blocking the river. The San Pablo returns their fire and boards one of the junks. Close-range fighting results in the deaths of several sailors and Chinese. Holman heroically cuts the boom with an axe under fire while other sailors return to the San Pablo. He is attacked and kills a Chinese man with the axe. It turns out that the man, the leader of a Nationalist student group, was known to Holman as a student of Eckert. The ship then proceeds upriver, leaving the smoking wrecks behind.

Arriving near the mission, the Captain leads a patrol of three sailors, including Holman, ashore. Jameson resists rescue, claiming that it is the Captain’s actions that have endangered him, not the Chinese. Jameson shows the Captain a document claiming that he and Eckert have renounced their US citizenship and are therefore not under the Captain’s authority. The Captain tells him the paper will not matter. The Captain orders Holman to forcibly remove Eckert and Jameson, but Holman refuses the order and announces his intent to stay at the mission with them. The Captain tells Holman angrily that this is desertion.

The argument is interrupted by nationalist soldiers who attack the mission and kill Jameson with paper in hand as he approaches them pleading for his life. The Captain takes a large Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR), orders the patrol to return to the ship with Miss Eckert, and remains behind to provide covering fire. As the patrol leaves, the Captain is killed, ironically leaving the normally rebellious Holman in command. Holman returns and recovers the rifle. He orders the remaining two sailors to leave with Eckert and takes the Captain’s place to cover the escape. In the ensuing shootout Holman kills several soldiers before he himself is fatally shot while almost succeeding in joining the others. His final words are, “I was home… What happened? What the hell happened?!”

Eckert and the two remaining sailors are shown successfully escaping to the ship, and the San Pablo is shown cruising off to apparent safety.

EYE-BALL MovieZone Review …

Chinese history always fascinates in its telling – this is fiction and still is a good tale … McQueen brings macho to the screen and so does Bergen …

Enjoyable viewing …

EYE-BALL MovieZone Rating [scale 0-10]: 4.5/10 …

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EYE-BALL MovieZoneReview – 1966

“Who’s affraid of Virginia Woolf”:

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Summary: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a 1966 American drama film directed by Mike Nichols. The screenplay by Ernest Lehman is an adaptation of the play of the same title by Edward Albee. It stars Elizabeth Taylor as Martha and Richard Burton as George, with George Segal as Nick and Sandy Dennis as Honey.[1]

The film was nominated for thirteen Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Mike Nichols, and is the only film to be nominated in every eligible category at the Academy Awards. All the four main actors of the film were nominated for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.

The film won five awards, including a second Academy Award for Best Actress for Elizabeth Taylor and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Sandy Dennis. However the film lost to A Man for All Seasons for the Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay awards, and both Richard Burton and George Segal failed to win in their categories.

Plot: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

Set on the campus of a small New England college, the film focuses on the volatile relationship of associate history professor George and his hard-drinking wife Martha, the daughter of the college president.

It’s 2:00 Sunday morning, and they have returned from one of her father’s gatherings. Martha announces she has invited a young couple–Nick, a young, good-looking, newly appointed instructor, and his mousey wife Honey–to join them for drinks. George is disturbed because she did so without consulting him first, prompting Martha to launch into the first of many loud and lengthy tirades during which she taunts and criticizes him. Knowing his wife is drunk and quite lewd, he asks her to behave herself when they arrive, and when the doorbell rings, he warns her to refrain from mentioning their child to their company.

Overhearing Martha’s crude retort as the door opens, Nick and Honey immediately feel ill at ease and quickly find themselves caught in the middle of a verbal war zone when their efforts to engage in small talk set off a volley of insults between their hosts. Martha begins to flirt lewdly with Nick while his meek wife tries to pretend she is unaware of what is happening.

While Martha is showing Honey where the bathroom is, George tests Nick’s verbal sparring skills, but the young man is no match for his host. Realizing he and his wife are becoming embroiled in the middle of marital warfare, he suggests they depart, but George cajoles him into staying.

Upon returning to the living room alone, Honey innocently mentions to George she was unaware he and Martha had a son on the verge of celebrating his sixteenth birthday. Martha reappears in a new outfit–form-fitting slacks and a revealing blouse–and when her husband makes a snide remark about the ensemble, she begins to demean his abilities as a teacher, then escalates her seduction of Nick, complimenting him on the body he developed as both a quarterback and an intercollegiate state boxing champion while criticizing George’s paunch. She informs their guests about a past incident when George refused to engage in a friendly outdoor boxing match with his father-in-law and Martha put on a pair of gloves and punched him in the jaw, knocking him into the bushes. As she relates the story, George aims a shotgun at the back of her head, causing Honey to scream. He pulls the trigger, which releases an umbrella, while he tells his wife she’s dead.

Honey again raises the subject of George and Martha’s son, prompting the couple to engage in a conversation Martha quickly tries to end without success. To counterattack George’s relentless comments about the boy, she tells their guests her husband is unsure the child is his own, although he most assuredly is. They argue about the color of the boy’s eyes until George threatens to expose the truth about the boy. Furious, Martha accuses him of being a failure whose youthful, idealistic plans for the future slowly deteriorated as he came to realize he wasn’t aggressive enough to follow in his father-in-law’s footsteps, leaving her stuck with a flop. George cuts the diatribe short by spinning Honey around and mockingly singing, “Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, a joke Martha had made herself during the party earlier that evening.

Inebriated and on the verge of throwing up from George’s spinning, Honey rushes from the room. Martha goes to the kitchen to make coffee, and George and Nick go outside. The younger man confesses he was attracted to Honey more for her family’s money than passion, and married her only because she mistakenly believed she was pregnant. George describes his own marriage as one of never-ending accommodation and adjustment, then admits he considers Nick a threat. George also tells a story about a boy he grew up with. This boy had accidentally killed his mother. Years later, George claims the boy was driving with his father. He swerved to “miss a porcupine” in the road, and the resulting accident killed his father. The boy ended up living out his days in a mental hospital.

When their guests propose leaving, George insists on driving them home. In the car, the talk returns to George and Martha’s son. They approach a roadhouse, and Honey suggests they stop to dance. While Honey and George watch, Nick suggestively dances with Martha, who continues to mock George and criticize his inadequacies. George unplugs the jukebox and announces the game is over. In response, Martha alludes to the fact he may have murdered his parents like the protagonist in his unpublished, non-fiction novel, prompting George to strangle Martha until Nick manages to pull him away from her.

George convinces the owner to serve them one more round before closing and suggests that, having played a game of Humiliate the Host, the quartet should now engage in Hump the Hostess or Get the Guests. He then tells the group about a second novel he allegedly has written about a young couple from the Midwest, a good-looking teacher and his timid wife, who marry because of her hysterical pregnancy and then settle in a small college town. An embarrassed Honey realizes Nick indiscreetly told George about their past and runs from the room with Nick in pursuit.

In the parking lot, George tells his wife he cannot stand the way she constantly humiliates him, and she tauntingly accuses him of having married her for just that reason. Their rage erupts into a declaration of “total war.” Martha drives off with Nick and Honey, leaving her husband to follow on foot. When he arrives home, he discovers Honey nearly delirious and realizes his wife has taken Nick upstairs. When Martha accuses Nick of being sexually inadequate, he blames his impotency on all the liquor he has consumed. George mentions his and Martha’s son, prompting her to reminisce about his birth and childhood and how he nearly was destroyed by his father. George accuses Martha of engaging in destructive and abusive behavior with the boy, who frequently ran away to escape her sexual advances. George then announces he has received a telegram with bad news–the boy was killed the previous afternoon on a country road when he swerved to avoid hitting a porcupine and crashed into a tree.

As Martha argues with George that he “can’t do this” and begs him not to “kill” their son, Nick suddenly realizes the truth–Martha and George had never been able to have a baby, for reasons that are unexplained. Instead, their game together is to imagine they have a son and invent situations and stories of him. By declaring their son dead, accordingly, George has “killed” him. (There are hints of this throughout the script that become clear in retrospect–for example, when George and Nick were sitting by the swing waiting for Honey to finish throwing up, George comments quietly that Martha never had any pregnancies. Once the viewer has the knowledge that the child is a fantasy, the couple’s accusations of one another’s failures as parents take on whole new meaning.)

The young couple departs quietly, and George and Martha are left alone as the day begins to break outside. They speak quietly, and in the last lines Martha answers the title question with “I am, George, I am.”

EYE-BALL MovieZone Review …

EYE-BALL MovieZone Rating [scale 0-10]: Un-Rated …

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