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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece....
I saw this movie completely by chance as i stumbled across it on tv one night. Ended up watching it with my mother (who barely sights the tv except to watch the news!) and brother. We all absolutely loved it.

The story deals with racism in days gone by. When Joanna Drayton tells her parents that she has bagged herself a doctor their reaction is not quite what...
Published on 8 May 2006 by RD

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Laboured issues
Tracy had plenty of chance to deliver choice lines, with Hepburn aiding and abetting in her own typical quickfire style. Poitier's acting was more admirable and had a fresher approach, although I found Katharine Houghton's portrayal of her character over-enthusiastic and naive. I remember my mother being very enamoured of this film when it was released but I never got...
Published on 13 Sept. 2010 by Margaret Dickinson


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece...., 8 May 2006
By 
RD - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I saw this movie completely by chance as i stumbled across it on tv one night. Ended up watching it with my mother (who barely sights the tv except to watch the news!) and brother. We all absolutely loved it.

The story deals with racism in days gone by. When Joanna Drayton tells her parents that she has bagged herself a doctor their reaction is not quite what she expects.

The script is unbelievable and even though the movie revolves around a serious topic there are still several laugh-out-loud moments. I hope no one takes offence to that especially seeing as that I am of colour too and managed juuust fine.

There are no words to describe the acting. Katherine Hepburn plays Joanna's mother and Spencer Tracy her father. If you have ever seen a Katherine Hepburn movie you know what I mean about there being no words. If you haven't, what are you waiting for?! Start with this one. You won't be disappointed.

Enjoy...
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gives a good synopsis of some complex issues in a different generation, 23 Nov. 2007
By 
Cwyu "Cecilia" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? [DVD] (DVD)
I had a look at this after being in a conference with a very famous black civil libertarian talking about issues of racial imbalance in his generation (ie. 60s America). This was highly recommended. I found it interesting that a generation or two later the social tendencies are more towards mixed couples (see Gen X & Y) and we really don't totally see just how segregated the world was. It is also quite frightening to see what the world would revert to if there was more laws infringing civil rights. Great movie, great performances by some fantastic actors. Should be a MUST SEE, just to understand what he world looked like, in terms of being racists and prejudiced, not so very long ago and how hard some people had to fight to just be considered people, not black, yellow, red or white, just people. Fantastic!
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You shouldn't miss it, 10 Mar. 2003
By A Customer
I saw this film last night for the first time in years. I didn't remember it very well and I was afraid it might have not aged well. After all, mixed race marriages are quite common nowadays so, why should the film be relevant to today's audiences? The fact is it is. Apart from the fact that there's still plenty of racism around, I am sure that may parents still would have the reactions and thoughts that those parents have. And even if you disagree with me here, just think how it would be if you happened to be gay and had to introduce a partner to your parents.
But to me the best of the film is the chemistry between the actors. This is really the best of the film, and to me perhaps the reason why I enjoyed it so much. The supporting characters are great (the maid, the monsignor and the gallery manager, Sidney Poitier's father). Sidney Poitier and the girl (can't remember her name) are perfectly convincing as a young couple in love, afraid of what the parents might thing but strong enough to fight for it. But the best is really Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. She won an Oscar (number 2 out of 4), he missed it, but both of them are simply marvellous. At moments, you get insights to their own lives, like in no other film they did together: the way they look at each other at certain points in the film is not just acting to them, I'm sure it was real. Watch it and wonder why films aren't this good any more.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Not In This Country! Not In This Stinking World!" "They'll change this country! They'll change this stinking world!", 26 Jan. 2008
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Sometimes a movie isn't a movie - sometimes it's more than that. And "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner" is one of those great moments in our troubled existence when a movie took on a real issue and became something more that entertainment, it became important, even a catalyst for change - change that's ongoing to this day.

It starts very badly. A jet plane crosses the city sky to dated girly vocals and naff strings. The lyrics of "The Glory Of Love" waft out at us, "You've got to cry a little...die a little..." Oh God! Immediately you feel this is an overrated and fiercely dated Hollywood outing, and while it may have been groundbreaking then, it's cheesy now. And worse - it seems to be smug and knowing - the Tinsel Town hypocrites doing "brave", but in a typically sanitized and acceptable way.

But then it improves almost immediately. Like a breath of fresh air, Katherine Houghton (niece of Hepburn) and an impossibly handsome and debonair Sidney Poitier float onto the screen beaming and hugging. Immediately they look the part - in love - and ready to take on the whole wide world and its crappy prejudices with a lump hammer. They're met by Virginia Christine, who plays Hilary St. George, assistant to Hepburn's character, Mrs. Drayton. She shiftily eyes the mixed couple and asks with her staunch steely white distaste, "Has something happened? Is anything wrong?" Haughton replies (too much in love to notice the meanness) "Something's happened! But it's right!"

Actually, Houghton is one of the movie's secret weapons; her unfolding strength and joie-de-vie positively invigorating and constantly countering the pontificating of the elders. She, of course, represents young love, youth that doesn't give a fiddlers nadge about other people's opinions because it's empowered and alive. One such example is her conversation with Tilly, the family's black Maid, who's dead set against the union from the off. Haughton reasons. "You so wrong Tilly! You know I've always loved you - and you're just as black as he is! How could it possibly be right for me to love you - and yet be wrong for me to love him?" And on it goes - witty to dark and back again.

Briefly, the story is this; Hepburn comes home to a surprise from her daughter - she's met a man ten days earlier and is deeply in love - or so she claims - but he's a Negro. Dad Tracy comes home too and he's not happy either - even dismissive, decision made too hastily, too much too soon, obvious problems ahead, what were they thinking?? Then Poitier's black parents arrive into town (beautifully played by a graceful Beah Richards and a forceful Roy E. Glenn Snr) and things get very awkward and then very heavy. And it's from here that the movie moves into true greatness with the screenplay by William Rose being one of the heroes of the hour (won the Oscar).

Both parents make good argument. Roy E Glenn Snr. as Poitier's father informs his boy of some sobering facts - their marriage in 1967 is illegal in 17 States (and even now it's chilling to know that fact). Both parents try of course to browbeat their siblings into rethinking their positions, when it should be they, who need to do some "rethinking". But these are good fathers - and with rebuttals, good argument and applied intelligence, both begin to see the light. The scene where Poitier confronts his Dad about a son owing his pater nothing, about his Father's generation being dead weight because they're trapped in the clichés of old they won't try to break free from - is just breathtaking in its writing and scope - shockingly good!

Then it gets better still. Both Beah Richards and Katharine Hepburn agree with the union; they know their men don't - so both try to reason with their opposite. But it's Beah's talk to Tracy (who listens) that swings it; she talks about men being old, becoming stale and then losing their passion and forgetting what it was like to be young and in love and needing somebody like they were the air. It's fantastically written and delivered with grace and poise (she was Oscar nominated). Then Tracy simply spends the next few minutes of screen time pacing about, looking out over the metropolis and thinking. Then he thinks and ruminates a little more. And then a revelation! "I'll be a son of a bitch!" He makes his way back into the house to gather all parties together in the same room to hear THE BIG SPEECH. And it's an absolute knockout! He recaps on each person and their viewpoint - good and bad. He looks at Beah Richards who chastised him - not with malice but with affection. He touches on her point of love diminishing over the years, "Old - yes! Burnt out - certainly! But I can tell you, the memories are still there - clear, intact, indestructible..."

But there are things about the film that grate. For a movie that concerns itself so much with colour and equality, it's extraordinary that the black actors playing Poitier's parents didn't get equal billing with the principal four on the posters and subsequent artwork - despite both being Oscar-nominated! And why does any black person have to have the patriarchal nod from the senior white folks for their union to be ok anyway! But these are more reflections of the time the movie was made. It doesn't detract from it too much. This was a maverick film made with maverick actors in maverick times.

On the 10th of June 1967, aged 67 and just two weeks after filming had finished (it was finally released in March 1968 just in time for Oscars); Spencer Tracy was at home and couldn't sleep. Hepburn was upstairs too - despite her real home being a short distance away. He made himself a tea, sat at the table and suffered a massive and fatal heart attack. His body hit the table but it was the cup that crashed to the floor. The drinking had finally done for him. In her memoirs she romantically wrote "I crouched down and took you up in my arms, dead. No life, no pulse...my dear, dear friend, gone." Together for 28 years in all but marriage, Hepburn was there truly "in sickness and in health..." loving him to the end - and when you return to the scene where they look at each other at the end of his speech (see below) - and you know this - you realise the acting between these two had stopped long ago - their devotion and respect and love for each other was real.

Guess Whose Coming To Dinner is a movie you should own or return to soon. A reminder of when Hollywood genuinely touched you while occasionally touching on the real issues that affect us all to this day. (The title is dialogue between Tracy and his priest about race in the USA, Tracy first, then the priest).

Let's finish with the words of the Mighty Spence before he looks at Katherine Hepburn:

"...Because in the final analysis, it doesn't matter what we think of them. The only thing that matters is what they feel, and how much they feel it for each other - and if it's half of what we felt - that's everything!"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A definite "desert island" choice, 5 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? [DVD] (DVD)
This wonderful film was the perfect platform for the unique Tracy/Hepburn duo and is especially poignant as filming was completed only a few weeks before Tracy's death. Surely those were real tears in Hepburn's eyes, after his closing remarks to the assembled family. Sparky Katharine Houghton (Hepburn's niece) and the incomparable Sidney Poitier finish the lineup for what is surely one of the great films, dealing sensitively and at times humourously with a very immotive subject during the sixties. One of my favourite films, certainly there amongst my "Desert Island" choices.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, albeit rather dated, 17 May 2014
This review is from: Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? [DVD] (DVD)
Apparently this was a landmark film, made in 1967. Joanna, a young white woman, falls deeply in love with John, an intelligent, much-sought-after doctor. John also happens to be black. This was pretty much unheard of in the USA in the 1960s, when – although it’s hard to imagine, from our more enlightened times – it was illegal in several states for ‘mixed race’ marriages.

However, Joanna is confident that her parents, who have brought her up to be liberal minded about race, will be delighted for them. John is less certain about his parents. Nobody expects the extremely negative reaction from Tilly, Joey’s family’s much-loved cook and housemaid, who is also black. And all the parents have to battle their initial shock.

The feel of the film was rather ‘1950s’ – I was surprised it was made as late as it was, not just due to the content. There were some very fake-looking scenes supposedly featuring sunsets or other outdoor views, which were nothing of the sort. Still, the acting was good, the script excellent (given its vintage), and I felt totally involved in the film and characters all the way through.

Even though the particular subject-matter is now out of date, it’s a fascinating look about how we deal with prejudice of any kind, and how difficult it can be to reconcile our theoretical beliefs with an actual situation involving someone we love.

Definitely recommended. Four and a half stars, really.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars KRAMER MAKES ANOTHER IMPORTANT AND TIMELY MOVIE, 6 Mar. 2005
By 
F. Sweet (Midwestern USA) - See all my reviews
A prominent Australian filmmaker once commented, the job of a film director is to entertain. If he can teach or get a message across while entertaining that's even better. Kramer is one of those filmmakers who managed to do both, and he generally succeeded.
Look at what Kramer made, before he put GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER on the screen: ON THE BEACH (1959 about nuclear war); INHERIT THE WIND (1960 about religion versus the Darwinian theory of evolution in Tennessee); JUDGEMENT AT NUREMBERG (1961, raising question about world culpability in the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Nazis). There are no flies on Kramer.
I recall the stir created by GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER when it first came out in 1967. Americans were being tested and challenged, to say the least, by the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement. At one end, white liberals were risking their lives in the south along side African-American civil rights activists. At the other end, racist bigots north and south were calling activists of any color communists, and much worse. Sometimes, in the heat of the summer with racial tensions and frustrations rising, some cities were torched. Into this cauldron Kramer dropped GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER. I can still recall white liberals and radicals condemning Sydney Poitier's character with slurs such as "super spade" because Kramer seemd he felt obliged to create an African-American male hero who could walk on water. In Kramer's world, an American black man had to be superman merely to qualify for marrying a middle class attractive, white air head. The bigots condemned the film because .... well, that's what bigots do.
I believe that Kramer did what he thought was necessary for telling the story of an interracial marriage in1960s America. And, as a matter of fact, when all is said and done he may have hit the nail on the head. He showed what kind of fantastic credentials an African-American male needed for even the most super liberal white father to accept him as a son-in-law for his carefully cultivated, racially oblivious daughter. So then, while today's racially enlightened viewer may be offended by such directorial excesses, Kramer's point was, I think, that this is how bad things are in America. A white super liberal has a lot of trouble with his daughter marrying an African-American superman. If that was what Kramer was up to with this film, then his point was well taken!
For the many Tracy-Hepburn reasons others mentioned here, a lot of pathos was added to the film. My complaint is somewhat trivial .... but it has some merit, I think. The occasional crude and rude manner in which the character played by Tracy expresses himself to his daughter and wife seemed out of character. He was supposed to be a gruff two-fisted, newspaperman. But when near the end of the movie he barks at his daughter to "shut up" and later asks Tillie their maid, "when the hell are we eating?" this was out of character. It was poor directing rather than poor acting. Of course, Tracy was literally only a few days from actually dying of cancer. And so one can jump to the conclusion that Tracy's medical condition caused the lapses. But after Tracy's absolutely superb soliloquey in the last minutes of GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER, Kramer owed it to Tracy to make his excit scene both in the film and in life perfect. Tracy could have done it with Kramer's help. Because Kramer allowed his film to be made less than perfectly, I couldn't give it a perfect 5-star rating.
Otherwise, Kramer succeeded in getting an important social message across while at the same time entertaining. This makes GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER an excellent, if occasionally flawed, work of art.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars guess who's coming for dinner, 9 July 2009
By 
Margaret Ceesay (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? [DVD] (DVD)
Great film, obviously dated but deals with a mixed relationship in a very humorous way. Great actors showing their exceptional talents!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what a way to go, 16 July 2009
By 
A beautiful film.This was the last movie of spencer tracy`s illustrious career,he died before it went on general release,and what a swansong.He is truly magnificent and ably supported by an amazing cast,from cecil kellaway as the priest to bea richards as sidney poitier`s mum.The way this movie deals with racism is poignant and charming without ramming it down your throat.Director stanley kramer may have made better movies but this one always struck a cord with me.This 40th anniversary edition comes with some decent extras,introductions by tom brokaw,quincy jones,mrs stanley kramer and steven spielberg(9;28),3 featurettes 1."a love story of today"(29:54),2."a special kind of love"(17:16),3."stanley kramer:a man`s search for truth"(16:57),a couple of award ceremonies(6:17)and a photo gallery(4:07).A commentary would have been great but the film really stands up on it`s own.You might like to check out other great performances by spencer tracy like "inherit the wind","father of the bride"(1950)and "bad day at black rock".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 29 Dec. 2011
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This review is from: Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? [DVD] (DVD)
I think this film is perfecto it has every, love, tender and how to see the point of view of others about life. I love the actor and also the location. It's great.
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Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? [DVD]
Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? [DVD] by Stanley Kramer (DVD - 2007)
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