7 Blog

Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

Last chance to ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’

One of the most controversial films to come out of 1967 was Stanley Kramer's meditation on race relations "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner."

Starring the great Sidney Poitier and the dynamic duo of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, the film was one of the. first — if not the most publicized — looks at inter-racial marriage. And it came during an era when cities such as Los Angeles and Detroit were being torn by  race riots.

Hepburn and Tracy plays an older couple who react with surprise, and some hesitation, when their daughter (Katharine Houghton) returns from vacation with news that she has fallen in love — with a black man (Poitier). Both he and his parents have been invited to dinner, and that's when the speechifying begins.

Let's just say that the character of Poitier's father (Roy E. Glenn Sr.) has his own doubts about the wisdom of the relationship, too.

In his original review of the film, the late Roger Ebert pointed to "serious faults" in Kramer's film. But he also described it as "a magnificent piece of entertainment" that "will make you laugh and may even make you cry." The film was nominated for 10 Oscars, including Best Picture, and won two: Best Actress for Hepburn and Best Original Screenplay for William Rose.

Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" is being screened as a special feature by Fathom Events. Its second and final screenings take place today, at 2 and 7 p.m., at both the Northtown Mall and Coeur d'Alene's Riverstone Stadium cinemas.

As Ebert suggested, bring hankies.