Wednesday, February 9, 2011

This is romance: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)

The now quaint story of interracial marriage that challenges the principles of liberal whites and blacks alike in 1967. Even then it was regarded as too tepid by those who had disdain for Stanley Kramer's message movie. However imperfect, this film did have an effect on American culture and afforded Spencer Tracy one last, heartfelt moment on screen opposite Katharine Hepburn, reminding us of his acting prowess and that human beings do not just love when they are young or it is convenient for them to do so.

4 comments :

panavia999 said...

"Even then it was regarded as too tepid by those who had disdain for Stanley Kramer's message movie." That's exactly how I feel about this film. They played it too safe and it's boring.

Caftan Woman said...

I find criticism of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" unfairly harsh. I look upon the movie as a comedy of manners and like most of its kind populated by characters I may not be able to relate to in my real life, but who nonetheless present an emotional reality.

Tracy, of course, was perfect. Prejudice, of course, did and does exist.

Moira Finnie said...

Looking back, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner does seem tepid, but for many people it still marked a dividing line between before and after this film. The subject of miscegenation had been taboo for so long, perhaps it needed to be brought up in a drawing room setting to remove the highly emotional and controversial element from the story, (which was the same reason only Sidney Poitier could have done this role too).

And any movie that allows the wonderful Beah Richards to leave Spencer Tracy speechless for a moment is fine with me.

Thank you both for your comments.

Classic Film and TV Cafe said...

This is one of my favorite movies despite its flaws. My biggest complaint is that Sidney's character is so darn perfect that any parent would want him for a son-in-law. But it is a movie with heart and Tracy, Hepburn, and Poitier all give first-rate performances. Plus, the closing scene hits all the right notes and...rose-colored it may be...I still feel good when credits roll.

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