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Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

 -  Drama  -  19 December 1979 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 77,927 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 159 user | 64 critic | 9 from Metacritic.com

A just-divorced man must learn to care for his son on his own, and then must fight in court to keep custody of him.

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(from the novel by), (written for the screen by)
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Won 5 Oscars. Another 38 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Phyllis Bernard (as Jobeth Williams)
Bill Moor ...
Howland Chamberlain ...
Jack Ramage ...
Jess Osuna ...
...
Interviewer
Ellen Parker ...
Teacher
Shelby Brammer ...
Ted's Secretary
Carol Nadell ...
Mrs. Kline
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Storyline

Ted Kramer is a career man for whom his work comes before his family. His wife Joanna cannot take this anymore, so she decides to leave him. Ted is now faced with the tasks of housekeeping and taking care of himself and their young son Billy. When he has learned to adjust his life to these new responsibilities, Joanna resurfaces and wants Billy back. Ted, however, refuses to give him up, so they go to court to fight for the custody of their son. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There are three sides to this love story!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 December 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kramer Versus Kramer  »

Box Office

Gross:

$106,300,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dustin Hoffman, who was going through a marital separation and who divorced his first wife soon after filming ended, contributed many personal moments and dialogue. Director Robert Benton, offered shared screenplay credit, but Hoffman turned it down. See more »

Goofs

Ted's job interview takes place at 4pm on Friday, Dec.22nd (during the office Christmas party). The next scene has Ted and Billy visiting Ted's 'new' office. Ted tells Billy "It's Saturday, most people take the day off". Ted's office already has his name plate, pictures of Billy on the wall, and work assignments. This could only be true if a week had passed between the 2 scenes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Joanna Kramer: I love you, Billy.
Billy Kramer: I love you too, Mommy.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years at the Movies (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Sonata for Trumpet and Strings: 2. Adagio 3. Presto
Henry Purcell
Adapted by John Kander
Conducted by Paul Gemignani
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An Intelligent and Solid Film About Divorce
9 November 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After a decade of turbulent unrest, American movies began to switch gears and turn their cameras away from war-torn battlefields, political corruption, and general social unease to the more intimate world of family dysfunction. The toll the selfish Baby Boomers began to take on the American family as they grew up and had kids of their own was making itself felt.

"Kramer vs. Kramer" is one of the first of these dysfunctional family dramas that would continue to be so popular throughout the 1980s, and it's one of the best. It gets a rather bum rap now, because it's known as the film that beat "Apocalypse Now" for the 1979 Best Picture Academy Award, but comparing these two films is like comparing a banana to a marinated chicken breast: they're not remotely the same, but can't we enjoy them both? Director/writer Robert Benton doesn't try to do anything fancy with his movie; its strength lies in its performances, those of Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep particularly, playing a divorced couple fighting childishly and selfishly over their son. The courtroom scene in which they duke it out for custody, and in which each is forced to hurt the other in terrible ways, is devastating, and feels authentic. The movie doesn't present Hoffman's solid dad as a hero, or Streep's straying mom as a villain. They're neither good or bad as people -- they're simply bad at being married.

The film is tear-jerky at the finale, but not in a manipulative way. It earns its right to elicit sobs.

Grade: A


34 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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What doesn't make sense to me rosemarykt
How can it be rated PG when... rosek102
Ted's not stupid, so why... IloveMuggy
Joanna Kramer re3167
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OF COURSE APOCALYPSE NOW WAS A BETTER CHOICE THAN KRAMER VS. KRAMER! wstraczek
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