7.6/10
16,448
103 user 40 critic

Adam's Rib (1949)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 18 November 1949 (USA)
Domestic and professional tensions mount when a husband and wife work as opposing lawyers in a case involving a woman who shot her husband.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Pat and Mike (1952)
Comedy | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Pat is a women's sports sensation unless her fiancé is around. Her new shady manager Mike keeps them apart and develops feelings for her.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Aldo Ray
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Rival reporters Sam and Tess fall in love and get married, only to find their relationship strained when Sam comes to resent Tess' hectic lifestyle.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Fay Bainter
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart
Desk Set (1957)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two extremely strong personalities clash over the computerization of a television network's research department.

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Gig Young
Holiday (1938)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young man falls in love with a girl from a rich family. His unorthodox plan to go on holiday for the early years of his life is met with skepticism by everyone except for his fiancée's eccentric sister and long-suffering brother.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Doris Nolan
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A tycoon hires a tutor to teach his lover proper etiquette.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Judy Holliday, William Holden, Broderick Crawford
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An industrialist is urged to run for President, but this requires uncomfortable compromises on both political and marital levels.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Van Johnson
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Journalist Steve O'Malley wants to write a biography of a national hero who died when his car ran off a bridge. Steve receives conflicting reports and tales that make him question what the truth about the hero is.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Richard Whorf
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In Africa during World War I, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley
Stage Door (1937)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A chronicle of the ambitions, dreams, and disappointments of aspiring actresses who all live in the same boarding house.

Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Adolphe Menjou
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A couple's attitudes are challenged when their daughter introduces them to her African American fiancé.

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Unfounded suspicions lead a married couple to begin divorce proceedings, whereupon they start undermining each other's attempts to find new romance.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Eve March ...
Grace
...
Judge Reiser
Emerson Treacy ...
Jules Frikke
...
Mrs. McGrath
...
Judge Marcasson
Elizabeth Flournoy ...
Dr. Margaret Brodeigh
Edit

Storyline

When a woman attempts to kill her uncaring husband, prosecutor Adam Bonner gets the case. Unfortunately for him his wife Amanda (who happens to be a lawyer too) decides to defend the woman in court. Amanda uses everything she can to win the case and Adam gets mad about it. As a result, their perfect marriage is disturbed by everyday quarrels... Written by Chris Makrozahopoulos <makzax@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

WHO WEARS THE PANTS? (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 November 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Man and Wife  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The script called for Kip Lurie to write a song about his devotion to Amanda. Garson Kanin wrote a song for the moment, but nobody liked it. When he dared Katharine Hepburn to find a better song, she asked Cole Porter to do it. At the time, the leading lady's name was "Madeleine." Porter turned Hepburn down, saying it was impossible to do a song about a woman with that name. Then he suggested changing her name to Amanda. Eight days later, he presented them with a new song, "Farewell, Amanda." It was actually a re-working of "So Long, Samoa," a song he had written in 1940 and never used. Rather than charge MGM for his services, he asked that they make a large donation to the Red Cross. See more »

Goofs

When Olympia lifts Adam in court, Kip jumps out of his seat and races forward laughing. In subsequent shots he is alternately standing/sitting. See more »

Quotes

Amanda Bonner: Now, you look here, Kip. I'm fighting my prejudices, but it's clear that you're behaving like a, like a - well, I'd hate to put it this way - like a *man*.
Kip Lurie: You watch your language.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are little curtains that go up and down, on a stage in a performance hall. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

You Are My Lucky Star
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Whistled by Tom Ewell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Lawyers shouldn't marry lawyers...?
19 June 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

ADAM'S RIB is probably the most well-known of the nine Tracy/Hepburn films (with, perhaps, the exception of Guess Who's Coming To Dinner). It stars Spencer Tracy as Adam Bonner, and Katharine Hepburn as his alliteratively-named wife, Amanda. When they wind up as opposing counsel on the same Attinger v Attinger case (Adam prosecuting, Amanda defending), sparks of all sorts--romantic, angry, sexual--fly through the courtroom and their home.

Given the extremely flawed feminism of WOMAN OF THE YEAR (Tracy and Hepburn's first film together), I was worried that ADAM'S RIB would be more of the same--understandable, given that it is written by Garson Kanin, the mastermind behind the first film. The message of the film is certainly muted by the shenanigans Amanda gets up to in the courtroom--deliberately flustering Adam by giving her client a hat he had given her, for example; or flirting with him under the table (a naughty, electric scene); or even worse, having Adam literally shown up by a circus woman. It does occasionally make you wonder why Amanda has to resort to such silly tactics to make such a serious point about equal rights for women. But this really is just a minor offense--I present the entire series of 'Ally McBeal' as proof that, if ADAM'S RIB *did* present female lawyers as silly and flighty, it is hardly the only offender, and the fact that it was made in 1949 might excuse it. 'Ally McBeal' doesn't have that same excuse.

In fact, I *don't* think that ADAM'S RIB is as schizophrenic about affirming the female and equal rights as WOMAN OF THE YEAR is. Yes, Amanda does some silly things in court--this is a flaw in the film, albeit (I feel) a minor one. But, discounting that, Amanda is by all accounts a character the audience can (and do) sympathise with. Moreover, she is affirmed at the end in a way the Tess Harding character never is. I find it very interesting that, at the end, it is *Adam* who schemes to win Amanda back. (Contrast this with WOMAN OF THE YEAR: Tess has to win Sam back, and to do so, must be 'domesticated'.) The film actually makes the point that both Adam and Amanda are partly right--her cause is just as pertinent as his, and they both eventually come to respect what the other is fighting for. That's what gives them a true marriage, a true union based on sharing and trust, give and take. (Again, by contrast, this came under serious fire in WOMAN OF THE YEAR.)

In the end, ADAM'S RIB really is a wonderful film: it's not without its flaws, of course, but what it comes down to is a truly delightful little romantic comedy, with sparkling performances from its leads. It's a true delight to see Tracy and Hepburn playing a happily married couple who evidently love each other deeply. They really do play together perfectly--always in sync, and so believable as people who are going to spend the rest of their lives with each other. For them, it's the little moments that make all the difference; one of my favourites is when Adam and Amanda are screening a home movie for their party guests. Worried that Adam is mad at her (as he has every reason to be!), Amanda moves quickly across the dark room to him, and gently rests her head on his lap, before returning to her seat. Such a sweet, romantic little gesture, and yet it says volumes about their relationship.

Moreover, the film has plenty of little surprises (I was actually really pleased, and surprised, at the verdict given by the jury); a lovely supporting cast (including Jean Hagen and Judy Holliday, the latter's role being--effectively--a screen test for her later Hollywood career); and incredible dialogue fired off at an incredible pace. Plus, a sweet song by Cole Porter (albeit a very irritating, and crassly forward/opportunistic singer in the character of Kip), and some of the naughtiest scenes in film history that never took place onscreen.

Well, well worth the watch. 9/10.


8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?