Mike Nichols' first directorial effort represents a milestone in psychological realism and "foul" language in American cinema. George and Martha, as played superbly and without vanity by Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, are as far from the bourgeois 1950s perfect married couple as you can get, alternatively badgering, berating, abusing and loving each other, both alone and accompanied by the naive young married couple that have come over for a nightcap (portrayed brilliantly by George Segal and Sandy Dennis). The fun and games in which George and Martha involve Nick and Honey are a lacerating look at the older couple's existence, where the emotional brutalizing fill an unspeakable void at their center, and a troubling preview of what the younger couple's life could become. Edward Albee's dramatic vision combines the banal, the vulgar and the poetic, and Ernest Lehman's adapted screenplay is amazingly faithful to the structure of Albee's play. The acting is uniformly excellent, and Taylor and Burton were never better together. A harrowing movie experience, but very worthwhile and finally unforgettable.
Won 5 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 18 nominations.
Elizabeth Taylor ... Martha
Richard Burton ... George
George Segal ... Nick
Sandy Dennis ... Honey