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Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

PG | | Drama | 19 December 1979 (USA)
Trailer
1:31 | Trailer
Ted Kramer's wife leaves him, 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.

Director:

Robert Benton

Writers:

Avery Corman (from the novel by), Robert Benton (written for the screen by)
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Popularity
2,678 ( 206)
Won 5 Oscars. Another 33 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dustin Hoffman ... Ted Kramer
Meryl Streep ... Joanna Kramer
Jane Alexander ... Margaret Phelps
Justin Henry ... Billy Kramer
Howard Duff ... John Shaunessy
George Coe ... Jim O'Connor
JoBeth Williams ... Phyllis Bernard (as Jobeth Williams)
Bill Moor Bill Moor ... Gressen
Howland Chamberlain ... Judge Atkins
Jack Ramage Jack Ramage ... Spencer
Jess Osuna ... Ackerman
Nicholas Hormann ... Interviewer
Ellen Parker Ellen Parker ... Teacher
Shelby Brammer Shelby Brammer ... Ted's Secretary
Carol Nadell Carol Nadell ... Mrs. Kline
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Storyline

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 <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There are three sides to this love story!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 December 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kramer Versus Kramer See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$106,260,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$106,260,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Debut theatrical movie of Justin Henry (Billy) and JoBeth Williams (Phyllis Bernard). See more »

Goofs

The trees are green in scenes which supposedly take place in New York at Halloween and Christmas. See more »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

When aired on commercial TV, the shots of Phyllis naked, and her unexpected interaction with Billy, are darkened completely. Most commercial prints also omit the sound of Billy urinating. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Fisher King (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Concerto in C Major for Mandolin and Strings: 1. Allegro
Antonio Vivaldi
Adapted and Conducted by Herb Harris
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Excellent Divorce Drama!
26 January 2007 | by jbarteloneSee all my reviews

This is a wonderful movie about the trials and tribulations of divorce and its often shattering effect on a broken family with their young son caught up in a bitter custody battle. The greatest scenes are the beautifully moving interactions with Dustin Hoffman and his adoring 6-year son, played magnificently by young Justin Henry. The performances are very realistic. The directing is face-paced, and no one at any time seems superficial in their roles. Anyone who has gone through, or is going through a divorce, or even a bad marriage, will find some great meaning and insight from this movie.

The only drawback is Meryl Streep. I always believed that she was an over-rated actress. But in Kramer vs. Kramer, there is something missing from her character that I think creates an aloofness in the scenes that she is in. I could tell from her body language very early on in this movie that she had strong emotional problems. Throughout the film, she seems so quiet and unsure of herself that you begin to feel even MORE sensitivity for the real troubling issues facing Ted (Dustin) and Billy. (Justin) Their scenes together are SOOOO well done that you really see them as a father and son and not actors. There is also no sappiness or soap opera dialog to muddle this fine story. I must also give credit to director Robert Benton for a movie that pulls at the heart strings many times.

This is a very fine film.


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