“Joanna, this may be the last opportunity I have to tell you to do *anything*, so I’m telling you, *shut up!*” – Matt Drayton
Number of Times Seen – at least 2 (26 Jun 2009 and 10 Sep 2013)
Brief Synopsis – A young girl surprises her parents and brings home her fiancee for them to meet…the only thing they didn’t expect was for him to be black.
My Take on it – Stanley Kramer happens to be one of my favorite director/producers.
He wasn’t a director who received many awards or even nominations, but many of his movie have withstood the test of time due to the messages that they each carried. He chose controversial topics that engaged the audience in a virtual debate.
My favorites of his movies is Inherit the Wind (1960), It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), Judgement at Nuremberg (1961) and this one.
The controversial topic here is inter-racial marriage and a great job is done here to try and show all sides of the story. The movie takes place over the period of just a few hours, but all of the characters are so well developed in that short span of time that we get to see just how intricate and complicated this kind of situation can be for everyone involved.
The acting here is superb. Spencer Tracy (a Kramer favorite) and Katharine Hepburn (who won an Oscar for Best Actress, her 2nd one of 4 eventual ones, for this role) play the girl’s parents and Sidney Poitier plays the fiancee.
This, IMHO, is one of Tracy’s best roles (he is actually considered one of the greatest actors ever) and it was the perfect role for his swansong. Tracy died 17 days after production was finished and was even nominated again for Best Actor. He lost to Rod Steiger for In the Heat of the Night (1967), which also went on to beat this movie (un-deservingly) for Best Picture. Both films deal with racial prejudice, but I think this one deals with the issue in a more meaningful and personal way that viewers can relate to.
In addition to Hepburn’s win, this movie also got an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
It had 10 Nominations total.
Bottom Line – Excellent movie, great acting, great dialogue and story with a very true message that even stands the test of time up through modern times. Highly Recommended!
Rating – Oscar Worthy
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The part I always remember in this film is Tracey’s monologue.
that monologue alone should have won his the posthumous Oscar, but alas, he already had 2 wins (among 9 noms total), so they gave it to Steiger
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