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Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

4.7 out of 5 stars 567 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn (who won the Academy Award(r) for Best Actress for her performance) are unforgettable as perplexed parents in this landmark 1967 movie about mixed marriage. Joanna (Katharine Houghton), the beautiful daughter of crusading publisher Matthew Drayton (Tracy) and his patrician wife Christina (Hepburn), returns home with her new fiance John Prentice (Sidney Poitier), a distinguished black doctor. Christina accepts her daughter's decision to marry John, but Matthew is shocked by this interracial union; the doctor's parents are equally dismayed. Both families must sit down face to face and examine each other's level of intolerance. In GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER,director Stanley Kramer has created a masterful study of society's prejudices.

Amazon.com

Spencer Tracy's last performance was in this well-meaning, handsome film by Stanley Kramer about a pair of white parents (Tracy and Katharine Hepburn) trying to make sense of their daughter's impending marriage to an African American doctor (Sidney Poitier). The film has been knocked over the years for padding conflict and stoking easy liberalism by making Poitier's character in every socioeconomic sense a good catch: But what if Kramer had made this stranger a factory worker? Would the audience still find it as easy to accept a mixed-race relationship? But there's no denying the drawing power of this movie, which gets most of its integrity from the stirring performances of Tracy and Hepburn. When the former (who had been so ill that the production could not get completion insurance) gives a speech toward the end about race, love, and much else, it's impossible not to be affected by the last great moment in a great actor's life and career. --Tom Keogh

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Katharine Houghton, Beah Richards, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Cecil Kellaway
  • Directors: Stanley Kramer
  • Producers: Stanley Kramer
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 3.0), French (Dolby Digital 3.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 2, 2004
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (567 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767821483
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,605 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By P Magnum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 28, 2003
Format: DVD
Guess Who's Coming To Dinner was a ground breaking film upon its release in 1967. The story revolves around a liberal San Francisco couple whose twenty-three year old daughter comes home from a trip to Hawaii and surprises them by announcing she's engaged to an older man who also happens to be black. The couple, Matt & Christina Drayton, is played by screen legends Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. Sidney Poitier, Dr. John Prentice, is the fiancé and Katharine Houghton, Joey Drayton, (who is Ms. Hepburn's niece) is their daughter. Matt & Christina are obviously shaken by the news and concerned about the situation. It is not because they are prejudice against minorities as their daughter is marrying a black man, but it is against the struggles she will face in such a relationship. Also, the doctor has put it to them that if they do not approve and give their blessings, he will call the marriage off. They have less than twenty-four hours to make their decision and they struggle with it, especially Matt. He is a crusading newspaper publisher who has championed liberal causes all his life, but faced with this situation, his beliefs are shaken to their core. Throughout the day they get council from their best friend, Monsignor Ryan (a superb Cecil Kellaway, who provides them with guidance and a voice of reason. Joey invites John's parents (Roy Glenn & Beah Richards) up from Los Angeles to dinner. Upon finding out Joey is white his parents voice their displeasure with the situation as well. When the two sets of parents get together, the mothers agree that they will support their children because they love them, but the fathers take an opposing view. Mr.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
1967's Guess Who's Coming To Dinner probably raised more than a few eyebrows at the time of it's release. Sadly though, if you can not put yourself in the mindset of that time, the potential emotional impact of the film will be lost on you.

Set in the San Fransisco of the late 1960's, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner tells the story of Joanna Drayton (Katharine Houghton) bringing her boyfriend of a mere 10 days, Dr. John Wade Prentice (Sidney Poitier), home to meet her parents. What the parents (played by Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn) don't know is A)she is coming home, B)that she has a boyfriend she is planning to marry C)that said boyfriend is African-American and that D)said boyfriend is 14 years older than she.

Dr. Prentice informs Joey's parents of his intentions to marry their daughter, but also informs them he will not marry Joanna without their permission. To further complicate matters though, they only have this one day to decide if they approve as he is due to leave for Geneva Switzerland for a job. What ensues is a family's hopes and dreams for their daughter being analyzed and re-thought in the span of a mere few hours. Trying to decide if their daughter's happiness should outweigh the inevitable hardships she will face in a relationship such as this.

The film spares no time in setting up just how happy the new couple are, and also does not waste time in letting you know the difficulties an interracial couple will face at this time in American history. Sadly though, it goes wrong in several other areas that are disturbing. The cookie-cutter characters in this film abound. The Irish Catholic Monsignor, the wise-to-the-world African American housekeeper and the busy-body friend of the Mother who has to be put in her place.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD
I saw this movie in the theatre the week it was released. From a perspective of nearly 40 years later, I believe it still holds up.
There is much evidence to show that it was not a realistic portrayal of the subject matter, even in the late sixties, and that it is even less recognisable now. But Guess Who's Coming To Dinner is not documentary, or even that later invention; docudrama. It is theatre, and in the theatre, characters are given a point of view, a goal, and obstacles.( Notice that reality is not a prerequisite for any of these.)
So given that we are watching art, what can we say about it? Well we can say that this film contains some of the strongest performances ever committed to celuloid; Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, Sidney Poitier. Katherine Houghton sings more softly for she carries the torch for youth and innocence (supposedly representing the generation that does away with racism - from 40 years on how we wish that THAT at least were true!)
But even if you think you know the story, and you think there's no reason to see it because it is so dated, BUY THIS DISC and add it to your collection for the performance of a lifetime: Beah Richards as Mrs. Prentice (Sidney's mom) will, in the middle of a movie designed to make you think, reach right into the center of your being and break your heart, just as her's is breaking. Her scenes bring this movie to a higher level - high and deserved praise seeing as Tracy and Hepburn set the bar.
It wasn't meant to cure the evil. It, in truth, hardly acknowledges the evil of racism (perhaps the most valid criticism that can be made) but it did, in it's time, a miraculous thing: it answered the question "Is it wrong for men and women of different races to marry?" -
the answer, simply,: "No."
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