The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Who’s Afraid of Vir­ginia Woolf? (PG) Satur­day, 6.20pm, TCM (428) The African Queen (PG) Satur­day, 10.20pm, Fox Clas­sics (113) Un­for­given (M) Sun­day, 8.30pm, Fox Clas­sics (113) Only two films have ever been Os­car-nom­i­nated in ev­ery cat­e­gory for which they were el­i­gi­ble, and the se­cond of those was di­rec­tor Mike Ni­chols’s mas­ter­ful vi­su­al­i­sa­tion of play­wright Ed­ward Al­bee’s Who’s Afraid of Vir­ginia Woolf? (Satur­day, 6.20pm, TCM).

North by Northwest screen­writer Ernest Lehman, hot off The Sound of Mu­sic, pro­duced and adapted the film, which stars El­iz­a­beth Tay­lor and Richard Bur­ton as the mar­ried, bick­er­ing academics, and Ge­orge Se­gal and Sandy Den­nis as their un­wit­ting ver­bal prey. Eas­ily Tay­lor and Bur­ton’s best film work, the movie feels re­mark­ably fresh to­day — par­tic­u­larly since it was made in 1966. It re­ceived 13 nom­i­na­tions and won for Tay­lor and Den­nis; the only other film to have as many nom­i­na­tions was the 1931 Western Ci­mar­ron.

As long as the sub­ject is Os­car trivia and westerns, what was the last film of the noble genre to date to win best pic­ture? That would be Clint East­wood’s mas­ter­ful, ca­reer-sum­ming 1992 film Un­for­given (Sun­day, 8.30pm, Fox Clas­sics). Clint plays a for­mer killer lured out of farm­ing re­tire­ment to mur­der a pair of cow­boys who have dis­fig­ured a pros­ti­tute.

As much of a med­i­ta­tion on the pas­sage of time and the com­plex­ity of myths as a tra­di­tional shoot-‘em-up, East­wood’s ele­giac pac­ing and ded­i­ca­tion of the film to in­flu­ences Don Siegel and Ser­gio Leone strongly sug­gest where his al­le­giances lay. Gene Hack­man won the best sup­port­ing ac­tor Os­car as a ruth­less sher­iff.

Humphrey Bog­art won his only Academy Award for best ac­tor as the iras­ci­ble tramp steamer cap­tain Char­lie All­nut op­po­site vir­tu­ous mis­sion­ary Katharine Hep­burn in di­rec­tor John Huston’s rous­ing 1951 Tech­ni­color ad­ven­ture The



Clint East­wood in

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