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Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (Bilingual)

Spencer Tracy , Sidney Poitier , Stanley Kramer    DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
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Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (Bilingual) + To Sir, With Love [Import] + In the Heat of the Night
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Spencer Tracy's last performance was in this well-meaning, handsome film by Stanley Kramer about a pair of white parents (Tracy and Katharine Hepburn) trying to make sense of their daughter's impending marriage to an African American doctor (Sidney Poitier). The film has been knocked over the years for padding conflict and stoking easy liberalism by making Poitier's character in every socioeconomic sense a good catch: But what if Kramer had made this stranger a factory worker? Would the audience still find it as easy to accept a mixed-race relationship? But there's no denying the drawing power of this movie, which gets most of its integrity from the stirring performances of Tracy and Hepburn. When the former (who had been so ill that the production could not get completion insurance) gives a speech toward the end about race, love, and much else, it's impossible not to be affected by the last great moment in a great actor's life and career. --Tom Keogh

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An older person's perspective.... Sept. 12 2004
I saw this movie in the theatre the week it was released. From a perspective of nearly 40 years later, I believe it still holds up.
There is much evidence to show that it was not a realistic portrayal of the subject matter, even in the late sixties, and that it is even less recognisable now. But Guess Who's Coming To Dinner is not documentary, or even that later invention; docudrama. It is theatre, and in the theatre, characters are given a point of view, a goal, and obstacles.( Notice that reality is not a prerequisite for any of these.)
So given that we are watching art, what can we say about it? Well we can say that this film contains some of the strongest performances ever committed to celuloid; Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, Sidney Poitier. Katherine Houghton sings more softly for she carries the torch for youth and innocence (supposedly representing the generation that does away with racism - from 40 years on how we wish that THAT at least were true!)
But even if you think you know the story, and you think there's no reason to see it because it is so dated, BUY THIS DISC and add it to your collection for the performance of a lifetime: Beah Richards as Mrs. Prentice (Sidney's mom) will, in the middle of a movie designed to make you think, reach right into the center of your being and break your heart, just as her's is breaking. Her scenes bring this movie to a higher level - high and deserved praise seeing as Tracy and Hepburn set the bar.
It wasn't meant to cure the evil. It, in truth, hardly acknowledges the evil of racism (perhaps the most valid criticism that can be made) but it did, in it's time, a miraculous thing: it answered the question "Is it wrong for men and women of different races to marry?" -
the answer, simply,: "No."
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3.0 out of 5 stars Bit Prepackaged for My Taste June 5 2004
By J
More like 3.5 stars. There's nothing particularly wrong with this movie but it's not the genius its been made out to be either. It's not nearly as daring as it likes to think it is. He's a wealthy, smart, sophisticated mature professional. She's an airhead. He's black and she's white. He's a catch and a half and she's a twit. The real question should not be why does she want to marry a black man but rather what he sees in her. Of course they will have problems with the intolerant aspects of society. Of course their children will be teased and mistreated by racist adults and ignorant children. But this film was made in the late 60's, not the late 30's. It's also set in San Francisco (Liberal Heaven) and not in rural Mississippi. The white girl's parents are liberals through and through. Poitier's character's parents are a working man & his wife from Los Angeles. Notice how Tracy's character does not object to his daughter marrying a black man but is deeply concerned by how a mixed couple & their children will be received in society. This movie gives itself every break it possibly can to ease its way down a receptive audience's throat.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Landmark film about racial prejudice May 4 2004
Considered a landmark film, it addresses racial prejudice and interracial marriage in a time when sixteen states in America still upheld laws that made miscegenation a crime. It is important to pay attention to past racial and ethnic issues, in order to understand those today and to see whether any 'progress' towards a more 'tolerant' society has been made. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is an entertaining, straightforward and well-meant film that will hopefully make students aware of the controversy of interracial relationships throughout the decades and centuries even. Being a child of mixed race parents, I find the film meaningful in showing two people of different races, being very much in love and very willing to face all the social obstacles their interracial relationship is bound to encounter.
In Guess Who's Coming to Dinner the 23-year-old, white, upper class Joanna "Joey" Drayton (Katharine Houghton) brings home her fiancé John Wade Prentice (Sidney Poitier) to meet her parents. When he turns out to be a distinguished 37-year-old black doctor, the "liberal" progressive parents (Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy) are forced to re-examine their beliefs regarding interracial marriage and are given one single day to do so. Before the parents can get all of their objections sorted out, they have John's parents coming to dinner as well. Both sets of parents have reservations about this union, but try to come to terms with the interracial marriage.
Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? raises several questions or issues that might be interesting to discuss after viewing it. The film's main themes are interracial relationships and prejudice, and it advocates a mixed race marriage, which makes it a very progressive movie for the 1960s.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hit me powerfully...years later... July 6 2003
I saw this when it first came out. I was 18. It was so corny and unbelievable; a terrific Black man with the daughter of an affluent couple...reality check! Then I was appalled when Hepburn won over Dunaway, Bancroft, etc. Then Rose's screenplay won over "Bonnie & Clyde". That idiot Academy!! Well, things have changed, and this film has definitely survived the test of time. There's really no question that Hepburn won because of her devotion to Tracy (in his last role). She certainly didn't reach the depth of Dunaway or Bancroft, or the Great Dame Edith Evans (who should've won for "The Whisperers"). I thought the screenplay of William Rose was a bit gratuitous, but, as I said, that was then. Inter-racial marriage is prevalent in all levels of society today. I've always admired Stanley Kramer, and "It's a Mad (4) World" was his only discernable light-hearted film. He missed on a few marks here, though; he allowed some unforgiveable mugging from Tracy, as well as some banal banter between Tracy & Cecil Kellaway. Isabel Sanford stole the show with over-the-top wisecracks, but it was Beah Richards who was nominated as Poitier's mother. That year, she also played the disreputable Mama Kaleba in "In the Heat of the Night, and the opposing characters that she delivered were both impressive. Poitier was confident and sure, typically fine; Katharine Houghton (Hepburn's niece) was overly affected to the point of distraction. I think Rose's screenplay isn't the problem, but Kramer's direction, to allow the editing of Robert C. Jones to include cuteness between the baffled leads. (Jones was nominated, so was Kramer: whose fault?) After a few years I'm looking at this film again; there are three GREAT scenes... Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A classic with great message.
Published 4 days ago by Diane
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the classics!
Published 1 month ago by Steve Haslam
5.0 out of 5 stars Sidney, Kate and Spencer at their best.
In my top 10 best movies of all time. At the time of making this movie, many thought it would cause riots and be too dangerous to release. A mixed marriage? NO WAY! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Denise Sevier-Fries
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic
This is a very progressive thinking film considering the year it was made. It's one of my favourite movies because it reflects positive relationships between racially different... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Nicole
5.0 out of 5 stars A great message here
What a beautiful movie. Sidney Poitier is wonderful in it!! In fact so were all the main characters. We loved it!!
Published 6 months ago by Donna K Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars A psychosocial pioneer
Very enjoyable entertainment except for the bubbleheaded daughter's immaturity and head in the sand blindness to reality. Else the cast is superb. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Laney
4.0 out of 5 stars takes us back
Perhaps the younger generations can't appreciate just how far we've come in our society with overcoming racial prejudice. Read more
Published 10 months ago by George Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see...
It has been years since I had seen this movie and my husband had never seen it - we watched it the day I receive it and it brought both of us to tears. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Trudy Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Guess who's coming to dinner
J'ai beaucoup aimé ce film. L'histoire est bonne et bien traitée. L'histoire raconte deux personnes de couleurs différentes voulant contracter mariage. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Colette Racette
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast shipping, good quality
The product arrived within the indicated time delay and was in perfect condition. The image and sound of the product were also of excellent quality.
Published on Oct. 9 2011 by Val
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