Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
By: Kevin Schechterly and Rosie Davidson
Guess Who’s Coming to dinner, was released in 1967. Starring in the movie was Katharine Hepburn, Katharine Houghton, Spencer Tracy, and prominent African American actor Sydney Poitier. Sidney Poitier was the most famed actor/actress in the movie, with this being his third box office hit in three months. The movie tackles the issue of interracial relationships through a white woman and a black man who met in Hawaii and want to get married but want their parents’ approval. Initially the parents are not on board but as the movie three out of the four parents are all for the marriage. For obvious reasons it was a controversial for the time but also went against the norm and had an optimistic outcome. The movie’s budget was $4 million dollars. It grossed over $70 million globally.
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was a revolutionary movie for its time as due to its main theme addressing racial tensions and interracial couples. The movie was very optimistic for its time because racism was so deeply engrained in American society but in the movie, Matt Drayton’s racism and disdain for interracial marriages was overcome in a matter of one evening. In class we have been talking about racism in America and the Civil Rights movement. This movie pertains to class because of the racism that had to be overcome to proceed with the marriage. Also, it breaks the norms of the day because interracial couples were not common and were not even legal in a number of states.
In the discussion that followed our question there was agreement upon the reason the movie never mentioned specifically what problems Matt Drayton had with the interracial marriage. The two people that we called on referred to the audience’s point of view and that the producers would not want to alienate potentially racist viewers. The movie was made to try and shed some light on interracial marriages and that they are not bad but they had to do so carefully to avoid coming on too strong and losing possible listeners or believers.