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Oh, I’ve seen Katharine Hepburn in fine form before, but never like this. And Spencer Tracy is just excellent here. The fact that he and everyone else involved in the film knew that he was dying, and what that must have cost them, makes his performance even more excellent, from its humor to its poignancy. I can’t help but to think Matt’s final words about/to Christina are as much a message from Spencer to Katharine as anything.
Sidney Poitier does just enough to make you feel as uncomfortable as John feels, and whether or not you fully agree with John Wade Prentice, he commands respect. What courage it must have taken to make such a controversial film at this period in American history. Although most of the “arguments are so obvious that nobody has to make them,” the actors still make this relevant story resonate.
And the film is so positively 60s! The music, the clothing, the hairdos, the funny-looking sets, the dancing! I wasn’t expecting either my laughter or my tears, but this film got some of both out of me.
Must watch it again.
Three amazing actors (Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy and Sidney Poitier) in a great film.
Seeing this film, today, nearly 50 years after its 1967 release - To me, it wasn't a matter of skin pigmentation that raised my concerns and doubts here. No. It was more a matter of the age gap between doctor John Prentice and rich girl Joanna Drayton that made me have serious reservations about whether, or not, this union between these 2 would be a blissful, long-lasting success, in the long run.
With John being 37 (and Joanna, 23), I'd say that this guy was, pretty much, robbing the cradle, so to speak. And it didn't help the situation much that Joanna, a flighty and flaky brat, struck me as being the kind of girl who did most everything on a whim (including considering marriage to a black man who was almost old enough to be her father).
This film also lost itself some significant points on account of the Drayton's irritable, loud-mouthed, black maid, Tillie. Not only was she portrayed as being some sort of a modern-day Aunt Jemima, but, she was the only one to use the forbidden "n-word". And it was spat out in anger in a deliberate attempt to insult black-man, John Prentice, who was there as a guest.
To say that this film's premise of heated squabbles over interracial etiquette got real stale, real fast, would truly be an understatement.
And, speaking about the likes of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn - This would be their 9th film together, and, if you ask me, I thought that the rapport and chemistry between these 2 Hollywood legends was downright awful, for the most part.
I remember the first time I saw this film, and I remember laughing really hard. Imagine for a minute that you are me, a student lost in a foreign school system. You want to get ahead, but all you can hear are gatekeepers or dreamkillers saying, "No, you can't." What do you do? You are a square peg trying to fit in a round hole within the school system. Then, you see a film that provides a blueprint for square peg to fit in a round hole. The lead character in the movie found a way of achieving his dreams of becoming a doctor while overcoming all the obstacles an oppressive society could throw at him. A fairy tale? Maybe. While he grew-up Stateside, he didn't practice in the US. He prepared, and then, he went to where the opportunity existed, at the time it was at The School of Oriental and African Studies. Then he went on to further studies. The message was clear to me: I didn't have to give up on my dreams. And when I looked around, I found real people who had done something similar. Take for instance Justice Robert Ndoping of Cameroon, who did four out of six years of secondary education at a boarding college in Cameroon, then studied privately and passed his GCE O and A levels before earning his LLB and his LLM from the University of London, after studying externally. First, Ndoping is called to the English Bar at the Inner Temple, and later, he serves his country first as a lawyer, then as a Judge of the High Court and Court of Appeal in Cameroon. If you are hungry for more examples, there's Derek Walcott, the 1992 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature; Thabo Mbeki, a former President of South Africa; or Mohandas Gandhi. Imagine how surprised I was that all people saw in this film was miscegenation. I guess it was there, but I found the universality of the movie was its message: You don't have to settle for what little life throws at you.
The original title of the film was: 'Guess Who's Getting A Big Bar Of Chocolate'.
A recent reviewing and sharing of this film with the current generation of teens led to a number of comments. Initially I found the daughter's portrayal weak and naive. But after reflecting how naive I was during that era at a similar age, her character made more sense. This is before MLK's assassination and during a turbulent time when we hopeful kids actually did believe our culture of racism could be dealt with within a generation. It was interesting to view first as a teen in '67 and now as a parent.
I understand entirely why this is a beloved classic. However, I did not enjoy it nearly as much as I wish I would have. It pushed its theme too hard and became annoying. Spenser Tracy and Katerine Hepburn did not give the performances I hoped for. But I suppose the movie itself was meant to shake the audience, not the performances alone.
phantomas thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over
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