7.6/10
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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)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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

It's The Hilarious Answer To Who Wears The Pants! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 November 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Man and Wife  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Production Code Administration's chief concerns with the film were that the judicial system be treated with proper respect and nothing be done to make the adulterous relationship between Warren and Doris funny. They also cautioned against making Amanda's songwriter friend, Kip, come across as gay. See more »

Goofs

When Adam Bonner is lifted by the woman in court, the wires supporting him are visible. See more »

Quotes

Amanda Bonner: No part of marriage is the exclusive province of any one sex.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

You Are My Lucky Star
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Whistled by Tom Ewell
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User Reviews

 
Pleasant mid century skirmish in the sexual wars
26 January 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon.)

Two New York lawyers, husband Adam Bonner (Spencer Tracy) and wife Amanda Bonner (Katharine Hepburn), work out the marital tension and fight the sexual wars in the courtroom on opposite sides of a wife (Judy Holliday) shoots cheating husband (Tom Ewell) case. Adam's masculinity is seemingly challenged and his sense of justice offended by his wife's insistence on showing how smart she is while furthering her feminist agenda at the expense of the law. Will their public confrontation destroy their marriage, or will it ultimately make the bond stronger?

This still plays mainly because of the charisma of Hepburn and Tracy and the fine chemistry they create together. The script by Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon is shallow and profound by turns, yet ultimately witty and pleasing. Judy Holliday as the lower middle-class Doris Attinger (on her way to her signature role in Born Yesterday (1950)) and David Wayne, as the song-writing neighbor who adores Amanda, shine in supporting roles. George Cukor's direction is clear, crisp and always focused. In the end we can see that Adam can be as feminine as Amanda can be masculine. The bit where Tracy cries real tears to win her back and then tells her, "We all have our tricks" is classic. It's his clever answer to her outrageous courtroom theatrics. Memorable as it illuminates their contrasting personalities is the early scene where the unsophisticated Doris is interviewed by Yale law school grad Amanda.

As a political movie, was Adam's Rib ahead of its time as a vehicle for feminist expression, or was it just another apology for male chauvinism, or was it balanced and fair? I'll give you a hint: the title is ironic. One of the things that made the Tracy/Hepburn romance work so well for so long was the creative balance they maintained in the battle of the sexes. The script by Kanin and Gordon carefully continues that profoundly true equilibrium.


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