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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Guess Who's Coming to Dinner can be found here.
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? is based on an original screenplay by American screenwriter William Rose. A reverse remake (black woman about to marry a white man), Guess Who, was released in 2005.
Dr John Prentice (Sidney Poitier) was in Hawaii to deliver a medical lecture when he met Joanne "Joey" Drayton (Katharine Houghton), who was on vacation.
The title refers to a dinner being held by Joey's parents, Matt (Spencer Tracy) and Christina (Katharine Hepburn) Drayton. John's parents, (Roy Glenn) and (Beah Richards), are flying in to meet Joey. Monsignor Ryan (Cecil Kellaway) is also added to the dinner list.
Joey is referring to Governor George Wallace, elected in 1962. He tried to stop desegregation of schools. Term limits in Alabama prevented Wallace from running for a second term in 1966. Wallace's wife Lurleen Wallace, ran for the office and was elected in 1966, making George Wallace the "First Gentleman of Alabama."
Not entirely. Historically, each state had the right to determine for itself whether or not to allow interracial marriage. In 1967, the year that this film was released, 17 southern states still deemed it illegal for blacks and whites to intermarry. In a 1967 landmark decision (Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1), the United States Supreme Court declared unconstitutional Virginia's anti-miscegenation (laws banning interracial marriage) statute, thereby ending all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States.
It's interesting to note that, when this film was released in 1967, the focus was on the impending marriage between a black man and a white woman. In the ensuing 40+ years and with the changes in laws that once prohibited miscegenation (interracial marriage), interracial marriages have become so common that the initial reaction of today's viewers of this film is to focus on the dubious nature of marrying someone you only met 10 days ago.
Yes. Spencer Tracy died 17 days after the filming of this movie had been completed. Tracy was ill during the filming with numerous health problems including empsyemia, diabeties, and a weak heart. It is said that all of his scenes were shot to accommodate him, that Tracy's long speech at the end of the film was supposedly done in one take, and that those are real tears that Hepburn is crying as Tracy asserts his unchanged love for her.
In the context of the movie, no. The movie ends with the dinner. However, it is implied that there is no reservations between John and Joey's parents and so, if John and Joey truly love each other, the marriage will eventually take place. The plan is for John and Joey to fly to Geneva, Switzerland, for John to attend a medical convention, and for the two of them to tie the knot there.
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