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"Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?" (1967)

It's been a while since I first saw this movie nearly 40 years ago. It was on TCM a few weeks ago, so I recorded it and watched it tonight. Hepburn , Tracy and Poitier were exceptional in this movie. (I found Houghton the weakest link in the cast). After 57 years, it still holds up (though some find it 'dated'). What do DLers think ?

by Anonymousreply 61June 16, 2024 11:41 PM

Never watched it. I despise being hit on the head with 𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑀𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑎𝑔𝑒 all the way through a film

by Anonymousreply 1June 6, 2024 1:18 AM

TERRIBLE MOVIE. Not worth a thread unless for comedy.

by Anonymousreply 2June 6, 2024 1:24 AM

My favorite part is where Mrs. Olsen of Folger's Coffee fame gets her ass handed to her by Katherine Hepburn's character.

by Anonymousreply 3June 6, 2024 1:25 AM

It was a product of it's time, and a groundbreaking film at that. It of course has aged somewhat, but all films over 50 years ago have. I saw it a couple of years ago and I find that it still holds up.

by Anonymousreply 4June 6, 2024 1:26 AM

R1 Have you seen Barbie?

by Anonymousreply 5June 6, 2024 1:33 AM

THAT was Mrs. Olsen of Folger's Coffee fame ?

by Anonymousreply 6June 6, 2024 1:45 AM

Nope. Never seen Barbie and expect I never shall. Nor saw Oppenheimer and expect I never shall. I was already too familiar with the Manhattan Project's history to justify sitting though the producer's three hour guilt trip.

$500 million studio publicity campaigns bounce off me. Tough luck Disney.

by Anonymousreply 7June 6, 2024 1:53 AM

Yeah, Houghton was the weak nepo link.

by Anonymousreply 8June 6, 2024 2:00 AM

"I was as shocked as anyone that I would fall in love with a negro." It's like watching the premiere of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Now I came of age when the song "Brother Louie" was the number one song in the nation. I learnt young that you "dance with danger when you taste brown sugar!" You don't forget schooling like that. Nonetheless, "GWCTD" is poetry compared to Janis Ian's "Society's Child", a dour warning against miscegenation which came out the same year.

by Anonymousreply 9June 6, 2024 2:10 AM

It was cliché the day after it was made.

by Anonymousreply 10June 6, 2024 2:23 AM

It still holds up to me. The very same thing happened in my family around the same time. It made all of us better people.

by Anonymousreply 11June 6, 2024 2:24 AM

Poitier was the sweetest brown sugar on the market in 67, but I thought he was sexier in "To Sir with Love."

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 12June 6, 2024 2:28 AM

The older I get the more I dislike Hepburn and Tracy together in a movie.

by Anonymousreply 13June 6, 2024 2:40 AM

Spencer's monologue at the end is beautiful and is even more poignant because he was quite sick, didn't have much time left and almost didn't get cast. I believe they shot all of his scenes first just in case. And I love Beah Richards as Poitier's mother.

by Anonymousreply 14June 6, 2024 2:42 AM

R4, were you alive when this movie was released?

by Anonymousreply 15June 6, 2024 11:51 AM

R15 Yes I was I was only age 7 and saw it with family at Radio City Music Hall. While I didn't understand it all I did grasp some of the racial difference aspects. I saw it again as a teen in my high school as part of our monthly landmark film events and was able to better appreciate and understand the entirety of the film.

by Anonymousreply 16June 6, 2024 12:01 PM

Hepburn was too glassy eyed through out the movie- like she was so moved or on the verge of crying 😢.

I liked Mrs. Oleson in this movie. She was the perfect BITCH.

by Anonymousreply 17June 6, 2024 12:12 PM

I think it is a wonderful film with great performances all around. I agree with R14, Beah Richards is great. And like OP wrote, Katherine Houghton was the weakest link.

The film has come under fire in recent decades. A few of the issues are about the white-centeredness of the story and the character of a nonthreatening Black man, which would be acceptable to white audiences. Another is the casting of Sidney Poitier...again an actor "acceptable" to white audiences. The argument against the film also relates to making Poitier's character a PhD.

The criticism is unfair. The film is of its time. Who else would you cast but Sidney Poitier, the best known Black actor of the day who was also one of the most talented actors (black or white) of the day. Making him a PhD also makes sense and turned on its head attitudes about Black success..

Love the scene where Monsignor Ryan calls out Matt Drayton on his hypocrisy.

And like R3, the best "Throw her out on her ear" scene is Christina telling Hilary to get the f@#k out of her life.

by Anonymousreply 18June 6, 2024 12:36 PM

Houghton was 22 and Poitier was 40... but the film was about racial difference, not age.

Lee Remick, aged 32 at the time, would have been a far better casting choice.

by Anonymousreply 19June 6, 2024 1:05 PM

It was dated even when it came out. And Hepburn’s Oscar was one of the worst ever—any of the other four nominees would have been a better choice (especially Evans, who won most of the critics awards, and could act rings around Hepburn).

by Anonymousreply 20June 6, 2024 1:28 PM

The actors playing Poitier's parents for me are the best thing about the film. It gets interesting when they arrive. Hepburn despite her usual compelling charisma spends the entire film looking adoringly at Tracy. I like the scene when they go for ice cream very much. It gets them out of that stage bound house and makes them confront their age without being too obvious about it. It's pretty much what we all go through. It's not a slow realization. It suddenly hits you in the face.

by Anonymousreply 21June 6, 2024 2:45 PM

[quote] the best "Throw her out on her ear" scene is Christina telling Hilary to get the f@#k out of her life.

Over the decades so many people have repeated that remark

by Anonymousreply 22June 6, 2024 2:49 PM

R17, it was like her eye medication made them watery. If they wanted us to think she was being emotional, it wasn't convincing in the least.

I don’t know where you people are from, but in New York this movie was hardly “controversial.” It was a bunch of movie stars acting out a play. A couple of good scenes - Poitier and his father, Hepburn and her nosy assistant - but as a whole, meh.

by Anonymousreply 23June 6, 2024 3:21 PM

It needed a dive and some loons. 🦆🦆🦆

by Anonymousreply 24June 6, 2024 3:48 PM

No love for Weezy Jefferson? I can't dismiss this movie, there are an awful lot of "good parts". I enjoy it. Yes Katharine Houghton is pretty dreadful, but her resemblance to her Auntie Kate in voice and mannerisms gives that a pass, as far as I'm concerned. Of course she brought home Sidney. Who else in 1967? Bobby Seale? We'd be talking about a whole different movie. It's just a movie, and it's entertaining.

by Anonymousreply 25June 6, 2024 4:19 PM

R16 according to the NY Times review the film opened at the Victoria and Beekman theaters in Manhattan. It didn't play at Radio City Music Hall.

by Anonymousreply 26June 6, 2024 4:55 PM

At least it isnt as bad as “The Lion in Winter” or that ersatz “African Queen” remake “Rooster Cogburn.”

By this time in her career Hepburn was delivering the same hammy performance in every movie she was in.

by Anonymousreply 27June 6, 2024 5:05 PM

It's not a very good movie, but the scene where Poitier tells off his father was an eye-opener for me. I'd never thought of a parent's demand for gratitude in that light before. Poitier was excellent in that scene.

I also agree with the poster above about "To Sir with Love." I could watch that movie an infinite number of times (not in succession, though!).

by Anonymousreply 28June 6, 2024 5:07 PM

Houghton is terrible. I watched it for the first -and only- time many years ago and thought it was dull.

by Anonymousreply 29June 6, 2024 5:09 PM

[quote]It was dated even when it came out. And Hepburn’s Oscar was one of the worst ever—any of the other four nominees would have been a better choice (especially Evans, who won most of the critics awards, and could act rings around Hepburn).

I would have voted for Faye Dunaway in BONNIE AND CLYDE.

What an awesome role. And her performance was great.

by Anonymousreply 30June 6, 2024 5:14 PM

The movie's currently free to watch on YouTube:

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 31June 6, 2024 5:16 PM

[quote] "To Sir with Love." I could watch that movie an infinite number of times

Lulu improves any movie

by Anonymousreply 32June 6, 2024 5:25 PM

Champagne for Lulu!

Judy Geeson was also great in it.

by Anonymousreply 33June 6, 2024 5:44 PM

This film is only worth watching for Tracy's final performance and for the supporting cast. But I agree it is dated. For one thing they never really kiss. Second the demands placed on the parents is so stupid. And finally they are so upper- middle class, and liberal it makes you want to puke. But the best scene is Tracy imitating Hepburn- " Isn't that wonderful. Oh where will we find enough roses to fill the rose bowl" - from a man who knew her like a book. If he had won the Oscar that would have been fair. I also found Sidney's age and pumped up background to be too much but I love when he tells off his father about he owes him. I grew in that generation- and was adopted- and those people acted like children were in debt when day one.

by Anonymousreply 34June 6, 2024 5:52 PM

R34. I remember a kiss in the back of a cab very early in the film and the look of disgust on the white cab drivers face which he later repeats when Poitier politely pays him. Interracial marriage was still taboo in 1967. My cousin married a black woman and his family cut him off for years. PS they were married for 45 years until his death.

by Anonymousreply 35June 6, 2024 6:32 PM

Oh r27 do not START with me re: The Lion in Winter, aka IMO one of the top 5 best movies ever.

by Anonymousreply 36June 6, 2024 6:36 PM

It's a very good movie and , while dated, its' message is ongoing.

If you think things are that better today you would be wrong.

by Anonymousreply 37June 6, 2024 7:02 PM

I love the set design and the costumes. Have never been able to figure out who dressed Hepburn. Gorgeous clothes. The colors in the film are very vibrant. The only part that bores me is when Poitier and Houghton meet friends for a drink. Zzzzz

by Anonymousreply 38June 6, 2024 7:09 PM

OP, there's no question mark in the title.

by Anonymousreply 39June 6, 2024 7:31 PM

- Anne Bancroft in "The Graduate"

- Faye Dunaway in "Bonnie and Clyde"

- Edith Evans in "The Whisperers:

- Audrey Hepburn in "Wait Until Dark"

- Katharine Hepburn in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 40June 6, 2024 7:34 PM

Hepburn never showed up at the Oscars because her ego wouldn't have been able to face a camera if she lost

by Anonymousreply 41June 6, 2024 7:43 PM

People who say it is a product of time or its time perhaps do not recall how dated the movie felt when it was being filmed and released.

More than anything, at least in LA, it felt like the same sort of thing that Henry Fonda did at the end of his life with the execrable "On Golden Pond." His condition was recognized, although news of how desperate his health was stayed out of public talk. It was near the end of the time when discretion could be relied on, within a certain network.

Tracy certainly was one of the messiest cases in the business - either great or terrible, amid an unpleasant life. Gable said that nothing made him feel incompetent as an actor (my words) like working with Tracy.

by Anonymousreply 42June 6, 2024 8:01 PM

Very much of its time with white folks congratulating themselves for their magnanimity. The parents act their heads off but… dated.

by Anonymousreply 43June 6, 2024 8:08 PM

The film was already dated when it was released.

In June 1967, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Loving vs. Virginia, the case that legalized interracial marriages nationwide (though by then it was only in the Southeast where it was still illegal)

"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" was released six months later, on December 12.

by Anonymousreply 44June 6, 2024 8:22 PM

R26 I don't know if it opened at RCMH but I very much remember seeing it there. My family used to go about twice a year mainly because my mother enjoyed the organ playing and the Rockettes.

by Anonymousreply 45June 6, 2024 8:42 PM

R40’s clip is weird af.

Poitier clearly announces that George Cukor is accepting the award for Katharine Hepburn. But when Cukor arrives on stage, he says to Poitier, “Would you tell them who I am?” (Or “Please tell them who I am.”)

What was that about?

by Anonymousreply 46June 6, 2024 8:43 PM

[quote] A few of the issues are about the white-centeredness of the story and the character of a nonthreatening Black man, which would be acceptable to white audiences.

People who have issues with this would have wanted the character of the Black man to be 'threatening' to the white characters ? Seriously ?

by Anonymousreply 47June 6, 2024 8:45 PM

Nope it did not play at the Music Hall but it would have been a big hit there. Miscegenation was big there at least with Asians. And about in '67 with that starry cast even the bigots would have turned out for it as long as they could see the Rockettes as well. The Hall's big Christmas movie for '57 was Sayonara which featured not only interracial love but a double suicide. The Hall's very first film The Bitter Tea of General Yen was a love affair between an Asian man and a white woman. Though the Asian was played by Nils Asther. A good movie.

They really do kiss but at the very beginning to get it out of the way and seen in the taxicab's rearview mirror. Also Houghton says to her mother she did try to get him into bed but he was waiting for marriage.

by Anonymousreply 48June 6, 2024 9:06 PM

I still don't see it as dated for its time. This movie became a punchline in my extended family. My much older sister married her African husband a few years later in 1970. He was a post graduate student and she was a "legal secretary" I was 11.

My parents were Catholic liberals, his were Muslim liberals. They got along quite well for a time. They shared the belief that their future shared grandchildren would be neither race and have no supportive community of their own. .

by Anonymousreply 49June 6, 2024 9:32 PM

A Majority of One is a good old fashioned entertaining middle brow hit that I would love to see with an Asian man. On Boadway you had the Asian male lead played by Cedric Hardwicke and on film it was Alec Guinness. I've also seen the film with two endings. The first time I saw it I took it out of the library and the middle aged interracial couple decide to get married at the end. And then I saw it on TCM where they decide to remain friends. I have no idea which ending it opened with in theaters. In the film the chatty bigoted neighbor is played by a wonderful Mae Questel. She did far too few films.

by Anonymousreply 50June 6, 2024 9:34 PM

oops 'Broadway'

by Anonymousreply 51June 6, 2024 9:39 PM

The "Mrs Olsen" scene is stellar.

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by Anonymousreply 52June 6, 2024 9:40 PM

I like when Tracy puts his suds-up shaving brush in his drink. And when Sanford tells Poitier he's not even that good lookin'! Hahaha

by Anonymousreply 53June 6, 2024 9:44 PM

R44, I'm not seeing your point. The issue in the movie was not that interracial marriage was illegal, and the Loving decision making it legal didn't cause prejudice against it to vanish. The Poitier and Houghton parents' worry that their children would suffer because of prejudice was still very much valid.

by Anonymousreply 54June 7, 2024 12:42 AM

[quote]The issue in the movie was not that interracial marriage was illegal, and the Loving decision making it legal didn't cause prejudice against it to vanish..

No, but there were many people who naively believed that it did.

Just like when many people assumed that racism was over once Obama was elected in 2008.

Or that homophobia was over when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in 2015.

I heard both of those things immediately afterward.

Of course, we now know that it has not been the case.

by Anonymousreply 55June 7, 2024 7:19 AM

R35 it is different, combination of a black woman and a white man seems to make many of the most lasting marriages. While white woman-black man combo created many single mothers.

by Anonymousreply 56June 7, 2024 8:09 AM

Would they have still given her the Oscar if The Lion In Winter had been released in 67 and this in 68?

by Anonymousreply 57June 7, 2024 10:18 AM

R45 it never played at RCMH. Walt Disney's The Happiest Millionaire was playing at RCMH when Guess Who's Coming to Dinner opened at 2 NY theaters.

by Anonymousreply 58June 8, 2024 2:01 AM

NY Times review

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by Anonymousreply 59June 8, 2024 2:06 AM

I probably was mistaken about seeing this at RCMH. The times my family traveled from Brooklyn to Manhattan to see a movie that was at another theater couldn't have been more than 3-4 times. It's possible the show for whatever was playing there was sold out and we decided to see Guess Who's Coming instead at another theater.

by Anonymousreply 60June 8, 2024 4:13 PM

well you were saved from seeing The Happiest Millionaire R60

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by Anonymousreply 61June 16, 2024 11:41 PM
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