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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.



(screen play), (screen play)

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



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


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


Funniest Picture in 10 Years! See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 November 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Man and Wife  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of nine movies Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy did together. See more »


Midway through the trial, Kip uses the Bonner's piano to play an early version of a new song he's writing that is in such rough shape, it doesn't have complete lyrics. Yet shortly afterward - and long before the trial is over - the song has already been recorded, played on the radio and is reportedly a big hit. See more »


Amanda Bonner: Let's all be manly!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Drive-in Movie Memories (2001) See more »


"Sleepy Time Gal' (uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting and Ange Lorenzo
Lyrics by Ray Egan and Joseph R. Alden
See more »

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User Reviews

This is what Tracy/Hepburn comedies are all about.
13 June 2005 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

Sometimes in life, we experience the most embarrassing situations. But no matter how embarrassing these situations are, they can't possibly be as whacked-out as what the characters in "Adam's Rib" experience.

It all begins when Doris Attinger (Judy Holliday) shoots her husband Warren (Tom Ewell) after she finds him cheating on her. She is promptly arrested for attempted murder. High-priced lawyer Adam Bonner (Spencer Tracy) is assigned to represent Warren in court. However, Adam's wife Amanda (Katharine Hepburn) finds it despicable that a woman was arrested for punishing her unfaithful husband, and decides to represent Doris in court.

Well, as you can imagine, with husband and wife on opposite sides of the trial, things get a little crazy. It only makes sense that they can't help but maintain their spousal attitudes towards each other while in court (especially under the table). But even Amanda starts to find Adam unpleasant for defending Warren, and she plays a few tricks on him in court, namely with a very muscular woman.

One thing that you have to wonder after seeing a movie this good is: how did Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin come up with such a great story? Well, the point is that they did. It focuses not only on sexism, but also on how the whole trial is affecting their marriage.

Anyway, the point is that in my opinion, "Adam's Rib" should have won Best Picture for 1949. Perfect.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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