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
John says to Matt that Joey "feels that all of our children will be President of the United States and they'll all have colorful administrations." In 1960, seven years before this movie was released, a black economics student named Barack Obama and a white anthropology student named Ann Dunham met in Hawaii, fell in love, and got married. Like the characters of John and Joey in this movie, Barack and Ann were an interracial couple who met at the University of Hawaii during an era when interracial relationships and marriages were still taboos or even illegal in many parts of the country. In 2008, the child that Barack and Ann Obama had together, Barack Obama, did indeed become President of the United States. See more »
When Matt is dressing before dinner and talking to Monsignor Ryan, he begins to tie his tie. When the camera switches to a front view of him, he hasn't begun to tie it yet and is still buttoning his top button. See more »
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?
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When Monsignor Ryan is added to the guest list, Joey goes to tell Tillie. Joey asks "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" and Tillie replies "Reverend Martin Luther King". Following the assassination of King, this was removed - Joey says she'll tell Tillie but we see nothing more. Several months later, this gag was restored. See more »
It's so easy to criticize this film. The soundtrack from DeVol is *awful*. The film is incredibly dated and there are some scenes, (the scene with the delivery boy and the ice cream shop), that are unbearable, like something out of a Gidget film.
Of course the other problem with this film, 33 years after its production, is who in the year 2000, would be upset about their daughter marrying a Yale educated Doctor?
However, despite all this, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is a great film. The film is wonderful because it was the last film made by one of Hollywood's greatest duos, Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.
This film was made while Spencer Tracy was dying. Spencer had to put his entire salary in escrow in order for the film company to allow him to do the film.
So why did Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy agree to do this film, without immediate payment? Because it's a film about forbidden love, it's a film about loving someone no matter what society thinks, or what the rules are. This is something Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn knew a great deal about.
What makes this film outstanding is, by the end of the film you realize, Kate and Spencer are not even acting they are relaying their feelings about each other, through the film. Once you catch that, the drama of the final few scenes is just unparalleled and Spencer's final speech, about his love for Kate (Christina), can drive even the most twisted soul to tears.
A few things to catch in this film, watch Kate's face when Spencer recites the line, 'screw what the rest of the world thinks about your love'...those are real tears. Watch Spencer Tracey as he paces back and forth on the terrace near the end of the film. He realizes he is about to begin one of the last scenes he will ever film. He's line 'well I'll be a son of a bitch'...is more a realization he's about to make his last grandstand on the big screen, in his entire career.
Spencer Tracy is one of America's greatest actors. This is his last triumph. For that reason alone, it's a true cinematic treasure.
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