7.6/10
17,424
108 user 43 critic

Adam's Rib (1949)

Domestic and professional tensions mount when a husband and wife work as opposing lawyers in a case involving a woman who shot her husband.

Director:

George Cukor

Writers:

Ruth Gordon (screen play), Garson Kanin (screen play)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Spencer Tracy ... Adam Bonner
Katharine Hepburn ... Amanda Bonner
Judy Holliday ... Doris Attinger
Tom Ewell ... Warren Attinger
David Wayne ... Kip Lurie
Jean Hagen ... Beryl Caighn
Hope Emerson ... Olympia La Pere
Eve March Eve March ... Grace
Clarence Kolb ... Judge Reiser
Emerson Treacy ... Jules Frikke
Polly Moran ... Mrs. McGrath
Will Wright ... Judge Marcasson
Elizabeth Flournoy Elizabeth Flournoy ... Dr. Margaret Brodeigh
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

It Will Tickle Your Funny Bone ! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 November 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Man and Wife See more »

Filming Locations:

Newtown, Connecticut, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Spencer Tracy insisted on top billing. When the producer asked if he had heard of "ladies first", Tracy responded "This is a movie, not a f****** lifeboat". See more »

Goofs

When Adam is "lifted" in the courtroom by a lady weightlifter, the wires that actually lift him are plainly visible, even on a TV screen. They continue to be visible as he is lowered down. See more »

Quotes

Adam Bonner: What are ya? Sore about a little slap?
Amanda Bonner: No.
Adam Bonner: Well, what then?
Amanda Bonner: [outraged] You meant that, didn't you? You really meant that.
Adam Bonner: Why, no, I...
Amanda Bonner: Yes, you did. I can tell. I know your type. I know a slap from a slug.
Adam Bonner: Well, OK, OK.
Amanda Bonner: I'm not so sure it is. I'm not so sure I care to expose myself to typical instinctive masculine brutality.
Adam Bonner: Oh come now.
Amanda Bonner: And it felt not only as though you meant it, but as though you felt you had a right to. I can tell.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »


Soundtracks

"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

 
"I Love Licorice"
6 November 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Feminist attorney Katharine Hepburn has a new cause. She freely admits to doing a bit of ambulance chasing to get the case of Judy Holliday who shot her husband Tom Ewell after catching him in a love nest with floozy Jean Hagen.

Problem is that of all the cases that he could have been assigned, Spencer Tracy, Hepburn's husband and assistant District Attorney, he got assigned to prosecute Holiday. I guess Spence felt a little of what Bogey felt when Ingrid Bergman came back into his life in Casablanca.

Men down through the ages have certainly had the right to shoot the lovers of their wives when caught, why not women argues Hepburn. The case gets quite a bit of notoriety and of course it puts a strain on the marriage.

But the plot is sure the right vehicle for a lot of great lines and situations. This is Spence and Kate at their very best. Of the comedies they did, this is my favorite, just like State of the Union is my favorite among the more serious films.

Probably Adam's Rib's best known scene is when defense witness Hope Emerson picks up Spencer Tracy in a visual attempt to show feminine prowess and power. Even after seeing it several times you still will laugh yourself silly.

For Adam's Rib, George Cukor denuded Broadway of stars to play in support of Tracy and Hepburn. Making film debuts were David Wayne, Tom Ewell, Judy Holliday, and Jean Hagen.

Wayne is particularly funny and if Adam's Rib was made today, he'd certainly be more explicitly gay. He's the next door neighbor of Spence and Kate and some of the cracks Tracy aims in his direction would be considered downright homophobic. But let's face it, Wayne is an obnoxious scamp and that bit of vengeance that Tracy wreaks upon him and Hepburn in the climax involving licorice is a great cinematic moment.

Adam's Rib is Tracy and Hepburn at the very top of their game and I think folks who are not necessarily fans of their's would be amused.


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