Monday, 7 March 2011

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

1967, PG, Directed by Stanley Kramer
Starring: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Sidney Poitier, Katharine Houghton

1967 was a groundbreaking year in Hollywood; not only was there a surge in younger filmmakers pushing the envelope stylistically, serious themes were beginning to be tackled. Stanley Kramer’s classic effort sees a young woman return to her family home with a doctor she plans to marry; much to her parent’s surprise, he is black. Set over one day, the flow of this film engages you with the characters in such a way that – although the overall outcome proves inevitable – you never find yourself bored. This could largely be due to the performances at the core; Houghton is pleasant as daughter Christina, whilst Sidney Poitier holds coolly holds his own as the respected doctor. But this film is what it is due to the magnificent screen presence of Hepburn and Tracy, the last time to be seen on-screen together (Spencer Tracy passed away 17 days after filming ceased). They may have differing opinions in the film, but they share a chemistry rarely encapsulated. This is one dinner you must tuck into.