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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
2,689 ( 15)
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

The strength of the performances of the two leads can be at least partly attributed to what was going on in their private lives at the time. Dustin Hoffman was in the midst of a messy divorce, while Meryl Streep was still recovering from the death of her lover, John Cazale. See more »

Goofs

When Billy is waiting for Ted to fetch him after the birthday party, he sits on the chair with his left leg tucked under the right leg. In the next shot, his right leg is tucked under his left leg. 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

Featured in The 80th Annual Academy Awards (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle Bells
(1857) (uncredited)
Written by James Pierpont
Sung a cappella by Justin Henry
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Going Up?
10 September 1998 | by jaydjSee all my reviews

A beautifully done film rich with symbolisms that could be invisible to the unaware eyes. The elevator scene for example symbolizes two main themes of the movie, separation and emotion. One could notice that the first scene showed Joanna going down the elevator, symbolizing her feeling of depression, likewise Ted goes down the elevator after the last trial scene - knowing that he probably lost the case. On the other hand, Ted brings Billy to see his new office and it was another elevator trip but this time going up, showing the joy and excitement both have. Lastly, one could notice that both Ted and Joanna never are together in one elevator - with this we can foresee that they will never get together even in the end. The symbolism of separation with the use of the elevator shows this even though we never find out in the end.


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