Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5. USA, 1949. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Screenplay by Ruth Gordon, Garson Kanin. Cinematography by George J. Folsey. Produced by Lawrence Weingarten. Music by Miklos Rozsa. Production Design by William Ferrari, Cedric Gibbons. Costume Design by Walter Plunkett. Film Editing by George Boemler. Academy Awards 1950. Golden Globe Awards 1950.
Terrific battle of the sexes film written by the team of Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin. Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy star as married attorneys who find their relationship threatened when they take on the same case: he has been appointed to represent the state in the matter of a woman (Judy Holliday) who shoots and wounds her husband when his infidelity is discovered. Hepburn, seeing a real opportunity to champion the rights of women, decides to defend her. It is to Hepburn’s infinite credit that she initiated such provocative projects in her day, in this case a film that takes on the issues at hand for women in the home and workplace, and never flinches from the facing them head on. It also succeeds as lighthearted comedy, however, thanks to bubbly direction by the masterful George Cukor. Hepburn reportedly chose Holliday for the role of the defendant in order to convince Columbia Pictures to cast her in their upcoming production of Born Yesterday, which she had performed on Broadway and which they had just bought as a film vehicle for Rita Hayworth.