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Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 12 December 1967 (USA)
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A couple's attitudes are challenged when their daughter introduces them to her African-American fiancé.

Director:

Stanley Kramer

Writer:

William Rose
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Popularity
3,699 ( 1,940)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Spencer Tracy ... Matt Drayton
Sidney Poitier ... John Prentice
Katharine Hepburn ... Christina Drayton
Katharine Houghton ... Joey Drayton
Cecil Kellaway ... Monsignor Ryan
Beah Richards ... Mrs. Prentice
Roy Glenn ... Mr. Prentice (as Roy E. Glenn Sr.)
Isabel Sanford ... Tillie (as Isabell Sanford)
Virginia Christine ... Hilary St. George
Alexandra Hay Alexandra Hay ... Carhop
Barbara Randolph ... Dorothy
D'Urville Martin ... Frankie
Tom Heaton ... Peter
Grace Gaynor Grace Gaynor ... Judith
Skip Martin ... Delivery Boy
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Storyline

After a period of vacation in Hawaii, Joanna "Joey" Drayton returns to her parents' home in San Francisco bringing her fiancé, the high-qualified Dr. John Prentice, to introduce him to her mother Christina Drayton that owns an art gallery and her father Matt Drayton that is the publisher editor of the newspaper The Guardian. Joey was raised with a liberal education and intends to get married with Dr. John Prentice that is a black widower and needs to fly on that night to Geneva to work with the World Health Organization. Joey invites John's parents Mr. Prentice and Mrs. Prentice to have dinner with her family and the couple flies from Los Angeles to San Francisco without knowing that Joey is white. Christina invites also the liberal Monsignor Ryan, who is friend of her family. Along the day and night, the families discuss the problems of their son and daughter. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

a love story of today

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 December 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rat mal, wer zum Essen kommt See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$56,700,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$70,000,000, 31 January 1970
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor) (as Technicolor®)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

When the movie was conceived and launched by Producer and Director Stanley Kramer, one of Hollywood's greatest liberal filmmakers, intermarriage between African-Americans and Caucasians was still illegal in fourteen states. Towards the end of production, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Loving v. Virginia. The Loving decision was made on June 12, 1967, two days after the death of Spencer Tracy, who had played a "phony" white liberal who grudgingly accepts his daughter's marriage to a black man. In Loving, the High Court unanimously ruled that anti-miscegenation marriage laws were unconstitutional. In his opinion, Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote, "Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man', fundamental to our very existence and survival. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under the American Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State." Interestingly, Kramer kept in the line of the African-American father played by Roy Glenn, who tells his son played by Sidney Poitier, "In sixteen or seventeen states you'll be breaking the law. You'll be criminals." This was probably because Kramer realized that, despite the change in the law, the couple would still be facing a great deal of prejudice requiring a stalwart love for their marriage to survive, which was the message Tracy's character gives in an eight minute scene that is the climax of the movie. The scene summing up the theme of the movie was the last one the dying Tracy filmed for the movie, and it was the last time he would ever appear on film. It took a week to shoot the scene, and at the end, he was given a standing ovation by the crew. He died seventeen days after walking off of a soundstage for the last time. See more »

Goofs

The way Christina's scarf is arranged around her head and neck changes in several shots inside the car at the drive in. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
John: You know, I just had a thought. Why don't I go check into a hotel and get some rest, and you go find your folks?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Outsourced: Guess Who's Coming to Delhi (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Glory of Love
(1936)
by Billy Hill
Sung by Jacqueline Fontaine at the restaurant
Sung offscreen by a chorus during opening and closing credits
Played in the score often
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly fresh for a thirty year old, and still relevant
9 May 1999 | by ToldYaSoSee all my reviews

Seeing this film for the first time more than thirty years after it was made, I was struck by the theme's endurance in time. It remains relevant today, even if not to the same degree. And even though I'm almost thirty years old, I can say with mixed emotions of embarrassment and vindication, that Spencer Tracy taught me a better way to tie a tie. Who's says movies don't teach you anything?

The film is dated, to be sure, by many things, from clothing to music, cars and expressions. At times the dialogue seemed a bit hokey, and others, simply brilliant. I swear, I half expected an entourage of go-go dancers to spontaneously burst through the streets of San Francisco. And if I never hear the "Story Of Love" ever again in my life, it would be too soon.

But I can't help but think that the more things change in thirty years, sometimes they remain the same. Certainly there's more examples of interracial couples today than thirty years ago, and therefore a greater degree of tolerance, but for a lot of narrow-minded individuals, it's still as controversial or "appalling" as it was thirty years ago.

Some of the lines actually had me laughing out loud, enjoying the moment as it follows into another well complimented scene. I'm speaking in particular of the scene where Katharine Hepburn fires her employee for her prejudicial views, and basically everything that follows that scene for the next five minutes.

I try my best to imagine what it would be like to be in the shoes of any character in the film, to appreciate what it might've been like for them, in that time, and while I think I can muster an inkling, I don't think my creativity is up to a challenge of that nature. And I think that ultimately, that's a good thing, and I'm grateful to those who came before.


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