Hilary St. George
Original Screenplay by
Director of Photography
Film Editing by
Costume Design by
Song Glory of Love by
Roy E. Glenn Sr.
Robert C. Hones
Charles J. Rice,
Frank De Vol
VHS / DVD
A Stanley Kramer Production
A Columbia Picture
Produced: March 20-May 29, 1967
Film at locations in and around San Francisco - California - USA
San Franciso International Airport
Premiere: December 11, 1967
Pretty Joey Drayton comes home from a ten-day Hawaiian vacation with the man she loves, John Prentice, a forty-year-old internationally respected Negro doctor. Joey is determined not only to marry him immediately, but to have both sets of parents' blessings. The couple must leave that night for Geneva and the doctor's post with the World Health Organization. Matt and Christina Drayton are extremely likeable, intelligent, wealthy, and hard working. He owns and operates a crusading newspaper in San Francisco and she runs an avant-garde art gallery. Now both are faced with a true test of their liberal beliefs. Further tension is introduced when the man's parents fly up from Los Angeles for dinner at the Draytons' and find themselves as shocked and dismayed as the girl's parents.
The Village Voice - 1967
"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner gives us another opportunity to flog Stanley Kramer for his naive conception of social significance. If Kramer were not so vulnerable in his sincerity, he would not have made such a tempting target. Unfortunately, Kramer is simply not a very good director. He lacks the intuitive feel for the medium, the instinctively kinetic insight into dramatic materials. He does everything by the numbers, and the lumbering machinery of his technique is always in full view of the audience.
The casting is wildly uneven. Katharine Hepburn and the late Spencer Tracy are out of sight on the uppermost level. Sidney Poitier stays within reason in the middle level, and the rest is chaos, contrivance, and caricature.
The character he (Tracy) plays had been accused by a Negro mother of having grown old and having forgotten what love and desire were really like. As Tracy repeats the charge to himself, Kramer shifts deliberately to a profile shot of Tracy on the left foreground of the screen and Hepburn, her eyes brimming with tears, on the right background looking at Tracy, and Tracy says no I have not forgotten, and he says it very slowly, and the two shot is sustained in its ghostly immortality, recording the rapturous rapport between a being now dead and a being still alive, but a moment of life and love passing into the darkness and death everlasting and anyone in the audience remaining dry-eyed through this evocation of gallantry and emotional loyalty has my deepest sympathy."
Richard Schickel - Life - 1967
"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is an inescapably sentimental occasion. It is the late Spencer Tracy's last movie, and he is coincidentally co-starred in it with his partner of eight previous movies, the glorious Katharine Hepburn. In the course of their long careers they have given us so much delight, so many fond memories, that the simple fact of their presence in the same film for one final curtain call is enough to bring a lump to your throat. They bicker fondly together in their patented manner, and for me, at least, their performances in this movie are beyond the bounds of criticism."
Geoff Andrew - Time Out
"One can hardly complain about the performances when Tracy and Hepburn combine as the leads, but Kramer's well-meaning comedy-drama about racism - a liberal couple suffer a few doubts when their daughter brings home the black she intends to marry - is a leaden and stilted affair, wrecked by the cautious move of making the groom-to-be singularly good-looking, respectable (he's a doctor) and well-to-do. A wishy-washy, sanctimonious plea for tolerance, directed with Kramer's customary verbosity and stodginess."
What Kate had to say
What fellow actors, the director and friends had to say
"The most completely thorough, driving, constantly-seeking actress with whom I've been associated....she's never really satisfied; she never stops thinking about what she's doing and about what everybody else is doing...She is a marvellous woman, who has a capacity for many emotional areas, and she has a great talent. She can trigger an emotional truth at precisely the right time. I don't know what she draws on; it's a deep, deep well."
Katharine Hepburn by Michael Freedland - 1984
As Kate was told that she had won the Oscar for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner she had asked: 'Did Mr. Tracy get one too?' When she was told no he didn’t, she answered: 'Well I guess this one was for both of us.'
Upon winning the Oscar Kate wrote in a telegram:
"IT WAS DELIGHTFUL A TOTAL SURPRISE I AM ENORMOUSLY TOUCHED BECAUSE I FEEL I HAVE RECEIVED A GREAT AFFECTIONATE HUG FROM MY FELLOW WORKERS AND FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS NOT THE LEAST OF WHICH BEING SPENCER STANLEY SIDNEY KATHY AND BILLE ROSE STOP ROSE WROTE ABOUT A NORMAL MIDDLE AGED UNSPECTACULR UNGLMOROUS CREATURE WITH A GOOD BRAIN AND A WARM HEART WHO'S DOING THE BEST SHE CAN TO DO THE DECENT THING IN A DIFFICULT SITUATION STOP IN OTHER WORDS SHE WAS A GOOD WIFE OUR MOST UNSUNG AND IMPORTANT HEROINE I'M GLAD SHE'S COMING BACK IN STYLE I MODELLED HER AFTER MY MOTHER THANKS AGAIN THEY DON'T USUALLY GIVE THESE THINGS TO THE OLD GIRLS YOU KNOW."
The telegram is also included in Katharine Hepburn by Michael Freedland - 1984