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Working Titles: Love Is Legal / Man and Wife


Adam Bonner
Amanda Bonner
Doris Attinger
Waren Attinger
Kip Lurie
Beryl Caighn
Olympia La Pere
Judge Reise
Jules Fdrikke
Mrs. McGrath
Judge Marcasson
Dr. Margaret Brodeigh
Mary, the Maid
Court Clerk
Court Stenographer
Police Matron
Bejamin Klausner
Adam's Assistants

Amanda's Assistant
Mr. Bonner
Mrs. Bonner
Mrs. Marcasson
Judge Poynter
Mrs. Poynter
Elderly Elevator Operator
Fat Man
Young District Attorney
Subway Rider


Screenplay by

Based on the original story by

Director of Photography
Art Direction by
Associate Art Director
Set Decorator
Associate Set Decorator
Film Editing by
Sound Recordist
Musical Score
Costume Design by
Assistant Director
Special Effects
Song: 'Farewell, Amanda' by

Spencer Tracy
Katharine Hepburn
Judy Holliday
Tom Ewell
David Wayne
Jean Hagen
Hope Emerson
Eve March
Clarence Kolb
Emerson Treacy
Polly Morgan
Will Wright
Elizabeth Flournoy
Janna Da Loos
James Nolan
David Clark
John Maxwell Sholes
Marvin Kaplan
Gracille La Vinder
William Self
Paula Raymond
Ray Walker
Tommy Noonan
De Forrest Lawrence,
John Fell
Sid Dubin
Joe Bernard
Madge Blake
Marjorie Wood
Lester Luther
Anna Q. Nilsson
Roger David
Louis Mason
Rex Evans
Charles Bastin
E. Bradley Coleman


George Cukor
Lawrence Weingarten
Garson Kanin,
Ruth Gordon
Garson Kanin,
Ruth Gordon
George J. Folsey
Cedric Gibbons
William Ferrari
Edwin B. Willis
Henry Grace
George Boemler
Douglas Shearer
Mikolos Rozsa
Walter Plunkett
Jack Greenwood
Arnold Gillespie
Cole Porter


Film data

101 minutes
Produced: May 31-July 1949
Filmed at: MGM Studios - Hollywood - Los Angeles – California – USA
Bayard Street, Manhattan - New York City - New York - USA
Bowling Green Park - Broadway & Battery Place – Manhattan - New York City - New York – USA
Criminal Courts Building at Centre Street – Manhattan - New York City - New York – USA
Police Department Headquarters - New York City - New York – USA
Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive – Manhattan - New York City - New York – USA
Manhattan – New York City - New York - USA
Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin's farm at Newton - Connecticut - USA

Premiere: November 18, 1949


Amanda Bonner, a lawyer with a fierce belief in women's rights, defends Doris Attinger, a dumb blonde who has shot her two-timing spouse. Amanda's husband Adam, a sharp assistant district attorney, has been assigned prosecutor in the case. Eventually, the trials and tribulations of the trial, along with the nagging question of female equality, fill the air and envelop Adam and Amanda – not only on the job, but at home as well.


Critics' reviews

Time – 1949
"Adams Rib again presents Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy as the ideal U.S. Mr. And Mrs. Of upper-middle income. This time, besides being wittily urbane, both are lawyers.... Hepburn's elegantly arranged bones and Tracy's assurance as an actor make them worth looking at in any movie, but the stars are called on for some aggressive cuteness in this one... Adams Rib is acted as through the players found it funny, but actually, like many 'sophisticated' movie comedies, it is more absurd than comical. Its chief asset: a high-toned song called 'Farewell, Amanda' with dismal lyrics by Cole Porter must have written while waiting for the bus."

Bosley Crowther – The New York Times – December 26, 1949
"As we say, Mr. Tracy and Miss Hepburn are the stellar performers in this show and their perfect compatibility in comic capers is delightful to see. A line thrown away, a lifted eyebrow, a smile or a sharp, resounding slap on a tender part of the anatomy is as natural as breathing to them. Plainly, they took great pleasure in playing this rambunctious spoof."

Dave Kehr – Chicago Reader
"George Cukor's gracious 1948 comedy about a lady lawyer (Katharine Hepburn) married to a district attorney (Spencer Tracy) and what happens when they find themselves on opposite sides of a shooting trial. The film is a classic, and derservedly so: the conjunction of Tracy's sly listlessness and Hepburn's stridency defines 'chemistry' in the movies. Nor are there any slouches in the supporting cast; it includes Tom Ewell, Judy Holliday, David Wayne, and Jean Hagen, all superb."

Tom Millne – Time Out
"Delightful Cukor comedy which Hepburn and Tracy are husband-and-wife lawyers engaged in the battle of the sexes as they respectively defend and prosecute a dumb blonde (the inimitable Holliday) accused of shooting her two-timing husband with intent to kill. If Hepburn's feminist arguments are a little on the wild side and too easily bounced off Tracy's paternalistic chauvinism, the script by the Kanins so bristles with wit that it scarcely matters. And in a film in which everybody is acting – a point neatly stressed by the stylised staginess of Cukor's direction – the performances (not the least from Wayne and Hagen) are matchless."

What Kate had to say

In treatment

What fellow actors, the director and friends had to say

Marvin Kaplan
They [Hepburn and Tracy] worked very well together. They would do what the Lunts did. They would interrupt each other – they’d never finish a sentence and then they’d start the other sentence. It's very hard to do."

Marvin Kaplan
"George Cukor [who directed Hepburn in Little Women, The Philadelphia Story, and Adam's Rib, among other films] would kid her if she got too la-di-da about a line reading or too precious. 'This isn't the theater, you know.'"

Marvin Kaplan
"There was a scene with Judy Holliday and the angle mainly featured Holliday. They were going to give Hepburn more coverage. And she said, ‘No, that scene belongs to that girl. You want to do close-ups, do them on her.'"

William Self
"She said, 'Oh George, don't read me the line, I'll never say it right after you read it to me.' She didn't want that kind of direction."

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Music Sheets