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Adam's Rib (1949)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 18 November 1949 (USA)
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:

WHO WEARS THE PANTS? (original print ad - all caps) 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

The script called for Kip Lurie to write a song about his devotion to Amanda. Garson Kanin wrote a song for the moment, but nobody liked it. When he dared Katharine Hepburn to find a better song, she asked Cole Porter to do it. At the time, the leading lady's name was "Madeleine." Porter turned Hepburn down, saying it was impossible to do a song about a woman with that name. Then he suggested changing her name to Amanda. Eight days later, he presented them with a new song, "Farewell, Amanda." It was actually a re-working of "So Long, Samoa," a song he had written in 1940 and never used. Rather than charge MGM for his services, he asked that they make a large donation to the Red Cross. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the first scene in Adam's office, the reflections of large rectangular set lights can be seen in the framed diplomas lining the office walls. 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 »

Connections

Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Mrs. Marcasson
(uncredited)
Music by Harold Gelman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Clever, humane comedy
26 June 2000 | by SpleenSee all my reviews

For a while it seems that "Adam's Rib" will be hard to take. More precisely: Katharine Hepburn's Amanda is hard to take. Her feminism - when put to the test - amounts to little more than anthem singing; and however sympathetic her client may be, we can see at once that the case for the defence is almost entirely frivolous. Yet George Cukor is standing in the gallery, apparently cheering her on. It's infuriating. It's like watching an Edwardian comedy about suffragettes.

Well, no. The film is a good deal smarter than we had given it credit for being ... oh, very well, smarter than *I* had given it credit for being. Gordon, Kanin and Cukor understand our infuriation; the supposedly shrill dispute in the first half is merely a starting point. Maybe audiences these days AREN'T too sophisticated for this kind of film. Maybe we're too stupid. (Oh, very well, maybe I'M too stupid.) -In any event, this is really a story about Adam and Amanda. Their story becomes deeper as the trial becomes shallower.

Even while it's infuriating us (our infuriation will be used to good effect later, of course) "Adam's Rib" is never less than pleasant to watch. One reason is that Hepburn and Tracy are just so brilliant. The script serves them both well: neither player is denied good lines, and any impression that Hepburn is meant to be just some hothead, or that Tracy is meant to be just some schmuck, is transitory. This is a wonderful script! My only previous exposure to Hepburn and Tracy had been in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner", where their partnership was the only thing holding the film together; I wasn't at all prepared for the sheer energy they generate when they set to work on stronger material. Moreover they seem perfectly natural as a married couple.

The music is good, too. There's a catchy original song (not a gratuitous addition ... although it wouldn't matter if it was) by Cole Porter; the rest of the score was written by Miklós Rózsa, in one of his rare lighter moments.


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