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Guess who's coming to dinner is a film that was produced in 1967. A great movie thats based on the social unbalance of the world we live in. The main character brings home and African American boyfriend and the parents feel as though they must deal with this 'situation' immediately. The use of comedy and drama are apparent for this film. Director, Stanley Kramer, really gets the feel of how it really can be meeting the parents for the first time. This film can easily be enjoyed by many generations of people. This is a type of film that can appeal to everyone in any situation. Typically we have all dealt with the issues at hand. Therefore making this film one that can be watched generationally and have the same common vibe flowing to the audience. For the time this film was made they were able to touch on a topic that is still controversial in today's world (which is upsetting none the less). Which is exactly why this film is a great transition front he decline of Hollywood to reinventing the film industry in America.
The conquest for equality in the United States has been a long and difficult one, still proceeding to its fullest realization. "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" deals with exactly that, although in an exemplified manner. The contemplation of interracial couples during the time period wasn't an outlandish one, yet a frowned upon one. The cruel and unusual treatment of African Americans shapes the films plot structure and character interactions within the story. The characters themselves are caricatures of societal norms established by class and race. The message is represented clearly and coherently and dealt with prominently. Giving us the movies ultimate message that we are equal, and no matter the circumstances or grievances incorporated by surrounding individuals, we shall pursue what we love. Unconditionally battle all odds and mold the world into one free of insecure and unwarranted jurisdiction.
"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" starring Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, and Katherine Hepburn was a great film. The acting from each and every person throughout this film was just unbelievable. The mixed feeling throughout this movie really kept me entertained. This movie is very powerful because it shows that happiness can happen regardless of what race you are. During the movie I was really hoping there would be a good ending and that everything would workout in the end. The best part in the movie is the speech at the end. It was just remarkable and this was one of my favorite movies I've seen all semester. This was a great movie and I would highly recommend to others.
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner directed by Stanley Kramer has been one of the best movies I have ever seen. Sidney Poutier's acting job was spectacular. The movie portrays a really big problem in a white girl marrying a black man. In that time period it was unheard of and nobody thought it would ever happen. The Drayton parents acting jobs were perfect. The mother from the beginning was shocked and you could tell from the scene when she was sitting on the couch. Her eyes were watery and she didn't know what to say. She changed though because she welcomed the marriage and didn't object. The father on the other hand was against the marriage for the whole movie as was John's father. They both were completely against it but had to change by the end because it was going to happen. Joey kept piling up things on him with telling him there getting married, that she was leaving that night, and then inviting John's parents to dinner. He was put in all these tough predicaments. It felt good to see him finally agree at the end and he gave that wonderful speech. This movie was perfect in dealing with the startup of interracial marriages.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I loved this movie for many reasons but most importantly for the message of the movie and Spencer Tracy's moving speech at the end. As I believe all of us have been exposed to prejudice in one form or another this movie tackles a issue many parents have sometimes wondered about and sometimes faced, head on. What if my son/daughter wants to marry a white/black person. This movie addresses parents first reactions, second reactions and ultimate decisions when a black man wants the approval of his fiancé's white parents before getting married. Equally dismayed are his parents and in the space of 4 hours they need to come to a decision before the couple leaves for New York and then Switzerland. Love ultimately triumphs despite the prejudices the couple will face but you cannot help but cheering for them in the end and for the parents who were able to open their hearts to their future family. No surprise Sidney Poitier won an Oscar but be sure and have a box of tissues handy cause you'll need them.
I love watching older films because of how different the times were,
you feel like you're in an entire different universe. But it's true,
interracial marriage was once considered looked down upon. Guess Who's
Coming to Dinner is a classic film that deals with a young couple
looking to get approval from their parents for their marriage. It stars
one of Hollywood's most famous couples in Katharine Hepburn and Spencer
Tracy as the white disapproving parents of the girl. It was Tracy's
last performance before passing on. It's hard to believe but while it
was being filmed, it had still been illegal in 17 states for people of
different race to be married.
From the moment Sidney Poitier and Katharine Houghton come home to break the news to the parents you can see the toll it takes on them. Hepburn's immediate reaction defined the entire generation's thinking. Tracy took a different approach. He went through his ups and downs of disbelief to understanding to complete disapproval to finally his closing speech. I think out of everyone, it was Tracy who had the best performance. Adding to the fact that this was his final film, his ending speech was just pure cinema. It was such a fitting way to end his film career and I couldn't have thought up a better way to go out.
As for the couple itself, I thought the acting was fine but I didn't think the chemistry was there. Poitier also had a memorable speech but I didn't feel that he clicked with Houghton for whatever reason. The scenes I enjoyed most were the constant transitions to a new dynamic among the household. Once Poitier's parents get there, almost every scene involved a different interaction than we had before. Everyone got their time to shine which is why I felt the screenplay was just brilliant. I thought it was interesting that these were parents who supported the rights of other races but when it came time that their daughter had affection for one of them, they were very hesitant. It's one thing to say you support them, it's another thing to do it. This film is incredibly ahead of it's time which is probably one of the reasons it has stood the test of time all these years. If not for anything else, it's one great exit for Spencer Tracy.
+Tracy's final bow
+Poitier's powerful performance
+Ahead of it's time
+Screenplay gives everyone their dues
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is my first time watching this and I enjoyed it at first, but
after analysing it for my film theory class, I don't enjoy it as much
anymore. While it did make breakthroughs in cinema at the time it came
out, it still follows and reinforces the white patriarchal ideology.
John has to be this perfect man, because if he was anything less there would be fault in him and that would make people think of how he might be 'kidnapping' or 'tricking' Joey into marrying him. Then John leaves the decision of the union in the palm of Joey's parents' hands, giving the whites the superiority that is already evident in the society. Adding to that, John is the 'man', and he is the only one concerned about the problems their union will bring, as he is the caretaker in the couple. Joey being the 'woman' is not concerned, and perhaps also because she is white she does not need to be concerned because things will be taken care of for her. There are many more such examples, but the main thing that makes this movie all go downhill, is the ending, when Matt (Joey's father) silences everyone and tells them how he went through the process of opposing the union to listening to everyone-else's opinion, and finally to his conclusion (based on the mothers' influence), that all that matters is how much they feel for each other. But he comes to this conclusion like he came up with the whole idea by himself.
I could go on longer, but let's move on.
Oh wait, there's one more. John says to his father, "You think of yourself as a coloured man, I just think of myself as a man." Reinforcing hetero-normativity much? It would have been better to say "I think of myself as a human". But I don't blame them much for that 'mistake', even in today's world we reinforce this compulsive heterosexuality.
The acting was pretty great considering that Spencer Tracy was deathly ill (he passed away 17 days after the movie wrapped). Katherine Hepburn and her niece Katharine Houghton, played their parts well enough, though Hepburn was more of a presence and had a stronger character. Not much is actually known about Houghton's character except that she was always a happy child. This too causes me to wonder what Joey and John have in common that they could be so in love. Sidney Poitier was pretty convincing in his character, though I noticed that he might have had a bit of a lisp, and I'm not sure if that was how he actually spoke or how his character spoke and I'm hoping its the former. If it was the latter that just emphasizes the ideology.
I read that this film helped other films that included African- Americans, to be main-streamed into the cinema culture, and I am glad that it had a positive impact. But still, it follows and reinforces the white patriarchal ideology so much so, that once I know of it, I can't forget it.
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Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is an endearing, heartfelt comedy that is
one of the best films of 1967. The film features such poignant
performances and it holds the mark as the last Spencer Tracy film
before he passed away. The screenplay is magnificent and it features
some outstanding moments of dialogue. That speech in the end by Tracy
shows both what an outstanding actor he was and what a powerful script
he was given to work with.
Stanley Kramer's film is about a colored man named John and a white girl named Joanna who decide to get married. But they decide to visit Joanna's parents and ask for their permission, challenging the views long held by Christina and Matt Drayton.
This is Spencer Tracy's final film and it was one fantastic role for the dying man. His eloquent speech at the end nearly had me in tears. Katherine Hepburn, perhaps the greatest actress of all time, delivers another tearful performance. The chemistry between Tracy and Hepburn was so realistic. I've been told that the emotions displayed near the end were very real, as we see Tracy deliver his big sendoff. Sidney Poitier was marvelous as Dr. John. But I'm not entirely sure I can say the same for Katherine Houghton.
Overall, Guess Who Has Been Coming to Dinner is an excellent cinematic experience and a relevant film that took place during an eventful historical time, a time where racism still prevailed. There are some outdated scenes, mainly the scene with the dancing delivery man. The less said about that, the better. But this is one of the few films that gave interracial marriage a positive outlook during the 1960's. This film is just worth it if you want to see the final pairing of Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn.
My Grade: A
Joanna "Joey" Drayton (Katharine Houghton) surprises everybody by
returning home engaged to successful Dr. John Wayde Prentice Jr.
(Sidney Poitier). Her parents newspaper publisher Matt Drayton (Spencer
Tracy) and art gallery owner Christina Drayton (Katharine Hepburn) are
San Francisco liberals. However everybody especially their black maid
seem to be against them. After some checking up, the Draytons starts to
relent. John tells them that he won't marry Joey without their consent.
His parents want to come up from Los Angeles and Joey eagerly invites
them to dinner. John is very reluctantly especially since he hasn't
told them that she's white. Along with the very understanding Monsignor
Ryan, they have quite an interesting dinner.
Katharine Houghton is a bit annoying in her wide-eyed flighty character. She is trying so hard that she really grates on me. I'm not sure that I'm rooting for the couple and it has nothing to do with race. There are some interesting racial tension and important issues. John's father adds a compelling aspect. It's also a bit artificial with everybody putting their two cents in. This is a movie about race much more than two families and a couple. One must admit that those were different times and this was an important movie. At the heart of it, I didn't fall in love with the couple and the silly 60s stuff are really... silly. The racial commentary is still relevant but the 60s motif makes this uncomfortably dated.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Knowing of the awards the movie and it's actors had won, I was still
pleasantly surprised by the quality of the acting and how far the movie
had surpassed my expectations. I enjoyed Hepburn and Tracy more than
usual. Normally Hepburn's accent really annoys me and seems out of
place in movies where she was really popular with other viewers, like
African Queen, but I was totally enthralled regarding this movie.
I felt the realism of the attraction between Poitier's character (John) and the daughter Joey was well done and believable from the opening moments. Joey came across as intelligent, open minded, full of life and youthful optimism, strong-minded and guileless -- just as her parents had raised her, which I felt the script capitalized on to address the issue of the "only 10 days." When John said she made him feel like he came back to life after the years of widowhood, it was believable. Normally I can't sit through movies with women past age 15 portrayed as stereotypically ditsy and immature and so when I read a comment about her being flighty, I was was hesitant to watch the movie, but I did not get that impression of her. I do have to admit, she does come across to me as selectively impulsive: reserving her "impulsivity" to something she really feels strongly about and sticking with it. I did not get the impression she was randomly impulsive about anything that comes along and then bail out when the going gets tough, like some frustratingly impulsive people that have tried my patience in real life.
The monologues were all very strong. I really got a kick out of Hepburn firing an employee and wanted to applaud after hearing Poitier's speech to his father.
Ironically, the monologue most pivotal to the plot -- Poitier's mother (Mrs. Prentice) to Tracy's character -- was delivered by one of the weaker of the cast. Other than the acting by the maid and Mrs. Prentice, which I felt was so-so, I found the acting in this film among the top in quality of all films of the mid-20th century, causing me to enjoy this film way more than I expected.
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