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'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf ?' -- but with different stars..?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Snarky's Ghost, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? is generally seen as one of The Burtons' greatest screen accomplishments (especially given how CLEO had been chopped up) although I think TAMING OF THE SHREW is their best, Taylor holding her own in the Shakespeare department with hubby, Richard.

    And I like the stark, mid-'60s at midnight vibe of WOOLF -- although one almost starts to wonder if this is all going to lead to George, as played by Burton, turning serial killer (the umbrella trick adds to that) a la Richard Speck or the Texas Tower shooter, it feels so of the period.

    I don't like George Segal in this; Robert Redford, regrettably, turned his nose up at the project, and thought it a terrible movie -- and while Redford was still self-conscious on screen at this point (he's even more awful in THE CHASE than that film is) he'd have fit much better into WOOLF than goofy poseur Segal. Sandy Dennis seems to give the same neurotic performance in everything she's in, so I'm just never sure what I think about her.

    And Elizabeth Taylor, though she got her second Oscar and further legitimized her brand as Hollywood's biggest female star with WOOLF, she's still too young for the part, and too pretty (which they can't really obscure). Burton is just fine.

    But it turns out that author Edward Albee had another couple in mind for the film: Bette Davis and James Mason... And one can totally see that -- in fact, I think I want to see that version more than the Dick-and-Liz one we got.

    Talk about a cinematic dream! Although I'm not sure how they'd get around the moment in the script where Martha is mimicking.... Bette Davis! Maybe she could imitate Taylor instead ("Hail Caesar, ruler of Rome!...").

    I mean, I feel like I've already seen it. I can just hear the dialogue coming from Mason's and Davis' mouths.

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    Speaking of Mason and Taylor, I always want to see him with Elizabeth in BUTTERFIELD 8 instead of Laurence Harvey, but I guess Mason had already played a ranting alcoholic in A STAR IS BORN with Dorothy from Kansas.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
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  2. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    I wouldn't mind seeing William Devane and Joan van Ark as George and Martha.
     
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  3. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Have they done it? I mean, like a little Pasadena Playhouse venue?
     
  4. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    No, but they should. That reminds me, Kate O'Mara and Charlene Tilton were once in a production of it somewhere in England .
     
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  5. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    With Charlene in the Sandy Dennis role? Or as George?
     
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  6. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Not sure ....

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  7. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I think Charlene played the Sandy Dennis role. :)

    I think "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" is still a popular theatre play as there seems to be new runs of it every now and then. :)

    Then as for the movie, I agree that Taylor-Burton were fab in "Taming of the Shrew" but it was "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" that really got me hooked on their acting and gave me a craving for more so although Davis/Mason might have been more age appropriate I wouldn't want to change a thing!
     
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  8. Emelee

    Emelee Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    I saw the movie for the first time last week and absolutely loved it!!!!
     
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  9. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm glad to hear that you loved the movie! :)
    It's one of my favorites...
     
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  10. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    If it makes any difference, I always want James Mason in Laurence Harvey's role in BUTTERFIELD 8.
     
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  11. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    I take it all back. Segal is just fine in this -- I guess I tend project his later performances onto this retroactively; Redford would have read as just a big, bland star-to-be.
     
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  12. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Edward Albee reportedly said that a Bette Davis-James Mason version of WOOLF would have been "lessy showy but deeper."
    Oops, I'd already said that.
     
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