Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (Bilingual)
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Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn (who won the Academy Award(r) for Best Actress for her performance) are unforgettable as perplexed parents in this landmark 1967 movie about mixed marriage. Joanna (Katharine Houghton), the beautiful daughter of crusading publisher Matthew Drayton (Tracy) and his patrician wife Christina (Hepburn), returns home with her new fiance John Prentice (Sidney Poitier), a distinguished black doctor. Christina accepts her daughter's decision to marry John, but Matthew is shocked by this interracial union; the doctor's parents are equally dismayed. Both families must sit down face to face and examine each other's level of intolerance. In GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER,director Stanley Kramer has created a masterful study of society's prejudices.
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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This film was made while Spencer Tracy was dying. Spencer had to put his entire salary in escrow in order for the film company to allow him to do the film. So why did Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy agree to do this film, without immediate payment? Because it's a film about forbidden love, it's a film about loving someone no matter what society thinks, or what the rules are. This is something Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn knew a great deal about. Potier of course turns in a great performance, impeccable as always. Watch for Isabel Sanford, ("The Jefferson's") particularly the one memorable scene where she explains to Potier's character just what "black power" really is. Cecil Kellaway sparkles as Monsignor Ryan, and Beah Richards and Roy Glenn, as the parents to Potier's character, mirror Hepburn and Tracy. Katharine Houghton (Hepburn's niece), as Johanna Drayton, also done well but her inexperience is very apparent due to the heavyweight cast.
What makes this film outstanding is, by the end of the film you realize, Kate and Spencer are not even acting they are relaying their feelings about each other, through the film.Read more ›
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."
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Loved watching this movie again, Hepburn and Tracy were wonderful togetherPublished 6 months ago by Martha Haines
It's a classic for a reason. If you haven't seen it yet. Get it.Published 12 months ago by Sue Culver
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 morePublished 20 months ago by Denise Sevier-Fries
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