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Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  19 December 1979 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 90,345 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 171 user | 73 critic | 9 from

Ted Kramer's wife leaves her husband, allowing for a lost bond to be rediscovered between Ted and his son, Billy. But a heated custody battle ensues over the divorced couple's son, deepening the wounds left by the separation.



(from the novel by), (written for the screen by)
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Title: Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

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Won 5 Oscars. Another 38 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »



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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


There are three sides to this love story!




Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 December 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kramer Versus Kramer  »

Box Office


$106,300,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The scene between Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep in the restaurant was filmed at JG Melon's, on 74th and 3rd in Manhattan. A framed still from the film hangs on the wall next to the table where the scene was shot. See more »


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 »


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


Referenced in NewsRadio: Led Zeppelin (1996) See more »


The Gordian Knot Untied 3. Rondo Minuet
Henry Purcell
Adapted by John Kander
Conducted by Paul Gemignani
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

a rip-off, but a great one
12 March 2006 | by (somewhere in the middle east) – See all my reviews

Although credit should have been given to Dr. Seuess for stealing the story-line of "Horton Hatches The Egg", this was a fine film. It touched both the emotions and the intellect. Due especially to the incredible performance of seven year old Justin Henry and a script that was sympathetic to each character (and each one's predicament), the thought provoking elements linger long after the tear jerking ones are over. Overall, superior acting from a solid cast, excellent directing, and a very powerful script. The right touches of humor throughout help keep a "heavy" subject from becoming tedious or difficult to sit through. Lastly, this film stands the test of time and seems in no way dated, decades after it was released.

33 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Gotta give Ted credit Beau29
Ted's not stupid, so why... IloveMuggy
ur view on what happens after the ending?? getmey
What doesn't make sense to me rosemarykt
Joanna Kramer re3167
One scene I don't get teenbk2002-1
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