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#99 - Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Next up was Stanley Kramer's 1967 film about interracial marriage. Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy play parents coming to terms with their daughter's (Katharine Houghton, Hepburn's real-life niece) desire to marry an African-American man, Dr. John Prentice (Sidney Poitier).

I admit to being a little inexperienced with the greats of the golden age of movies, so it was a treat for me to see Katharine Hepburn in an Oscar-winning role and Spencer Tracy (in his last film role!) so early in our trek. Hepburn was at her best when she was telling off her associate from the art gallery. Tracy looked very old (even though he was only 67), likely because he was very sick as well (he died 17 days after filming wrapped), but still had a commanding screen presence. Sidney Poitier is always a marvel to behold -- Samantha said it best when she said that "the most any parent could wish for would to have him come home asking for their daughter's hand in marriage."

The film itself had oddly comedic touches to it for a film with such serious and controversial content. Though I suppose that makes sense -- the seriousness probably needed the levity now and again to break the pressure. Of which there was plenty, by the way. I can only imagine how groundbreaking this film was at the time -- like if a film were made today about gay marriage. And it was done so well -- not preachy or high handed, just an honest look at some normal people struggling with big issues.

So mark another winner. The only thing I can really fault the film for is the insipid insistence of its theme song, "Glory of Love" ("You've got to give a little, take a little..."), which just sounded trite and gooey behind such a well-done movie. But I suppose that is the story of, that's the glory of love.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 6, 2005 2:10 PM.

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