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A bitter aging couple with the help of alcohol, use a young couple to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other.
Martha: I hope that was an empty bottle, George! You can't afford to waste good liquor, not on YOUR salary!
Martha: I disgust me. You know, there's only been one man in my whole life who's ever made me happy. Do you know that? [pause] Martha: George, my husband... George, who is out somewhere there in the dark, who is good to me - whom I revile, who can keep learning the games we play as quickly as I can change them. Who can make me happy and I do not wish to be happy. Yes, I do wish to be happy. George and Martha: Sad, sad, sad. Whom I will not forgive for having come to rest; for having seen me and having said: yes, this will do.
[Martha has changed into an embarrassingly tight and revealing outfit] George: Why Martha! Your Sunday chapel dress!
George: Martha is 108... years old. She weighs somewhat more than that.
Martha: You make me puke. George: That wasn't a very nice thing to say, Martha.
Martha: I swear, if you existed, I'd divorce you.
Martha: I looked at you tonight and you weren't there... And I'm gonna howl it out, and I'm not gonna give a damn what I do and I'm gonna make the biggest god-damn explosion you've ever heard. George: Try and I'll beat you at your own game. Martha: Is that a threat George, huh? George: It's a threat, Martha. Martha: You're gonna get it, baby. George: Be careful Martha. I'll rip you to pieces. Martha: You're not man enough. You haven't the guts. George: Total war. Martha: Total.
Honey: Oh, I don't know, a little brandy maybe. "Never mix, never worry!" George: Martha? Rubbing alcohol for you? Martha: Sure! "Never mix, never worry!"
Martha: A drowning man takes down those nearest.
George: Martha, will you show her where we keep the, uh, euphemism?
Honey: They dance like they've danced before. George: It's a familiar dance, monkey nipples, they both know it.
George: I used to drink brandy. Martha: You used to drink bergen, too.
George: You can sit around with the gin running out of your mouth; you can humiliate me; you can tear me to pieces all night, that's perfectly okay, that's all right. Martha: You can stand it! George: I cannot stand it! Martha: You can stand it, you married me for it!
Nick: Who did the painting? George: Some Greek with a moustache that Martha attacked one night.
Honey: I dance like the wind.
George: All I said was that our son, the apple of our three eyes, Martha being a cyclops, our son is a beanbag, and you get testy!
Martha: Well, you're going bald. George: So are you.
George: Martha's got money because Martha's father's second wife, not Martha's mother but after Martha's mother died, was a very old lady with warts who was very rich. Nick: She was a witch! George: She was a good witch, and she married the white mouse with the tiny red eyes and he must have nibbled her warts or something like that, because she went up in a puff of smoke almost immediately. Poof! Nick: Poof! George: Poof! And all that was left, aside from some wart medicine, was a big fat will. Nick: Your wife never mentioned a stepmother. George: Maybe it isn't true.
Nick: I'm tired, I've been drinking since nine o'clock, my wife is vomiting, there's been a lot of screaming going on around here!
Martha: [derogatorily, to George] Hey, swamp! Hey swampy! George: Yes, Martha? Can I get you something? Martha: Ah, well, sure. You can, um, light my cigarette, if you're of a mind to. George: No. There are limits. I mean, a man can put up with only so much without he descends a rung or two on the old evolutionary ladder, which is up your line. Now, I will hold your hand when it's dark and you're afraid of the boogeyman and I will tote your gin bottles out after midnight so no one can see but I will not light your cigarette. And that, as they say, is that. Martha: Jesus.
[first lines] Martha: [with disgust] What a dump.
Martha: Look, sweetheart, I can drink you under any goddamn table you want, so don't worry about me.
[George takes a corner far too fast, tossing everyone in the car from side to side. Pause] Martha: Aren't you going to apologize? George: Not my fault, the road should've been straight. Martha: No, aren't you going to apologize for making Honey throw up? George: I didn't make her throw up. Martha: What, you think it was sexy back there? You think he made his own wife sick? George: Well, you make me sick. Martha: That's different.
Nick: May I use the... uh... bar? George: Oh, yes... yes... by all means. Drink away... you'll need it as the years go on.
George: You're a monster - You are. Martha: I'm loud and I'm vulgar, and I wear the pants in the house because somebody's got to, but I am not a monster. I'm not. George: You're a spoiled, self-indulgent, willful, dirty-minded, liquor-ridden... Martha: SNAP! It went SNAP! I'm not gonna try to get through to you any more. There was a second back there, yeah, there was a second, just a second when I could have gotten through to you, when maybe we could have cut through all this, this CRAP. But it's past, and I'm not gonna try.
George: Now that's it! You can take over a few classes from the older men, but until you start plowing pertinent wives, you really aren't working. The broad, inviting avenue to man's job is through his wife, and don't you forget it. Nick: And I'll bet your wife has the broadest, most inviting avenue of the whole damn campus. [long pause] Nick: Her father president and all.
Nick: To you, everybody's a flop. Your husband's a flop, I'm a flop. Martha: You're all flops. I am the Earth Mother, and you are all flops.
Honey: I'm gonna be sick. George: Ah yeah that's nice. Honey: I'm gonna die. George: Good, good. Go right ahead.
George: Martha, in my mind you're buried in cement right up to the neck. No, up to the nose, it's much quieter.
George: You take the trouble to construct a civilization, to build a society based on the principles of... of principle. You make government and art and realize that they are, must be, both the same. You bring things to the saddest of all points, to the point where there is something to lose. Then, all at once, through all the music, through all the sensible sounds of men building, attempting, comes the Dies Irae. And what is it? What does the trumpet sound? Up yours.
George: And that's how you play "Get the Guests".
George: So you get testy, naturally, don't worry about it! Anybody who comes here ends up getting testy, it's expected. Don't be upset. Nick: I'm not upset. George: You're testy. Nick: Yes.
George: Good. Better. Best. Bested.
Nick: Who did the painting? George: Some Greek with a mustache Martha attacked one night. Nick: It's got a... George: Quiet intensity? Nick: Well, no, a... George: Well then, a certain noisy relaxed quality maybe? Nick: No, what I meant was... George: How about a quietly noisy relaxed intensity?
George: So, where are these people, this good looking young professor and his slim hipped wife? What did they do? Go home and get some sleep first?
George: Did you really think I was going to kill you, Martha? Martha: You, kill me? That's a laugh. George: Well now, I might some day. Martha: Fat chance.
George: And please keep your clothes on, too. There aren't many more sickening sights in this world than you with a few drinks in you and your skirt up over your head. Or "your heads", I should say.
George: I'm very impressed. Martha: You're damn right. George: I said I was impressed. I'm beside myself with jealousy. What do you want me to do, throw up?
Nick: [to Honey] We'll go in a little while. George: Oh no. No, you mustn't. Martha is changing, and Martha is not changing for me, Martha hasn't changed for me in years. If Martha is changing, that means we're going to be here for days. You're being accorded an honor, and you mustn't forget that Martha is the daughter of our beloved boss. She is his right... arm. I was going to use another word, but we'll leave that sort of talk to Martha.