Director: Stanley Kramer Cast: Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn, Katharine Houghton, Cecil Kellaway, Beah Richards, Roy Glenn, Isabel Sanford, Virginia Christine
Academy Awards: Best Actress in a Leading Role (Katharine Hepburn); Best Original Story and Screenplay (William Rose)
Also Nominated For: Best Picture; Best Actor in a Leading Role (Spencer Tracy); Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Cecil Kellaway); Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Beah Richards); Best Director (Stanley Kramer); Best Art Direction-Set Decoration; Best Film Editing; Best Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment (Frank De Vol)
I First Saw In: 2015
Synopsis: A couple’s attitudes are challenged when their daughter introduces them to her black fiancé.
Did You Know? Katharine Hepburn used her salary as backing in order to make this production, as her long-time partner, Spencer Tracy, was so ill that the studio didn’t think he would make it to the end of the production. He passed away 17 days after filming had been completed.
Quotables: CHRISTINA DRAYTON: Now I have some instructions for you. I want you to go straight back to the gallery – Start your motor – When you get to the gallery tell Jennifer that she will be looking after things temporarily, she’s to give me a ring if there’s anything she can’t deal with herself. Then go into the office, and make out a check, for “cash,” for the sum of $5,000. Then carefully, but carefully Hilary, remove absolutely everything that might subsequently remind me that you had ever been there, including that yellow thing with the blue bulbs which you have such an affection for. Then take the check, for $5,000, which I feel you deserve, and get – permanently – lost. It’s not that I don’t want to know you, Hilary – although I don’t – it’s just that I’m afraid we’re not really the sort of people that you can afford to be associated with. Don’t speak, Hilary… just go.
And now a Word from the Guise:
There are a lot of incredible moments in the film, particularly the scene were Katharine Hepburn fires her racist assistant (see the quote above) and Spencer Tracy’s monologue at the end, but it’s quite clear that the screenplay was written by a white man. Tillie, the black maid who works for the Draytons, continually says things like, “I don’t care to see a member of my own race getting above himself.” It is incredibly infuriating to me. I was not around in the 60’s, but I cannot possibly imagine any person of colour genuinely believing that they are inherently inferior to white people. They are made to feel that way on a daily basis, still to this day, but to actually believe it and accept it? No.
Oscar Madness Ranking – ??? out of 233