Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
USA, 1967. Columbia Pictures Corporation. Screenplay by William Rose. Cinematography by Sam Leavitt. Produced by Stanley Kramer. Music by Frank De Vol. Production Design by Robert Clatworthy. Costume Design by Jean Louis. Film Editing by Robert C. Jones.
This drama isn’t as newsworthy today as it was in 1967 (though even at the time it was already considered quaint by many). Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy welcome their daughter (Katharine Houghton) home and discover that she is engaged to be married, ecstatic about the news and then taken aback when their future son-in-law turns out to be Sidney Poitier. Having raised their daughter liberally all her life, teaching her that all races are equal and that segregation is wrong, they shouldn’t be too surprised that their daughter now sees love in this man without being hindered by the colour of his skin, but can they still stick by their beliefs when it is brought so close to home? Can what society says influence they way they feel about their own child? Does anyone notice that their daughter is a simpering bore and Poitier is practically a brain surgeon? Excellent acting abounds, though the staging tends to be a bit too claustrophobic and unimaginative.
Academy Awards: Best Actress (Katharine Hepburn); Best Original Story and Screenplay
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Actor (Spencer Tracy); Best Supporting Actor (Cecil Kellaway); Best Supporting Actress (Beah Richards); Best Director (Stanley Kramer); Best Art Direction; Best Film Editing; Best Scoring of Music-Adaptation or Treatment
Golden Globe Award Nominations: Best Picture-Drama; Best Actor-Drama (Spencer Tracy); Best Actress-Drama (Katharine Hepburn); Best Supporting Actress (Beah Richards); Best Director (Stanley Kramer); Best Screenplay