Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) film review

Friday, December 17, 2021

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, a 1967 movie, starring Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Sidney Poitier, Katharine Houghton, Cecil Kellaway, Beah Richards, Roy Glenn, Isabel Sanford, D’Urville Martin, and other actors.

A young adult couple, played by Sidney Poitier and Katharine Houghton is engaged, and they decide to finally tell their parents that they want to get married. But they aren’t sure how their parents will react to an interracial marriage.

The young woman’s parents have a black maid, Tilly, played by Isabel Sanford, mostly known for George Jefferson’s wife in All in the Family and The Jeffersons. In this movie, she is considered to be a family member in the Caucasian household she works for.

The young woman’s mother supports her daughter’s decision, although she was shocked at first, but the young woman’s father tolerates the decision, although he has some issues and worries.

When the young black man picks up his parents from the airport and introduces them to his fiancée, they are shocked. His mother seems to tolerate it more than his father, who appears to have more issues about the engagement than the young woman’s father.

I noticed interesting symbolism when the young woman’s parents stop at a drive-thru because he wants to get some ice cream. His wife orders a cup of black coffee while he orders a new ice cream flavor that he has never tried before. When he tries it, he notes that he likes this flavor, even though he has never had it before. Being old and disoriented, as he drives out of the parking space, he accidentally runs into a young black man’s car. He realizes it is his fault because of his age, and he gives the irate young man fifty dollars in cash, before telling him to buy a new car. This symbolism explains the parents’ feelings about the situation — the mother supports her daughter’s decision while the father appears to be confused and disoriented about the situation.

Another interesting symbolism I noticed is that the young couple plan to marry in Switzerland, in which the country of Switzerland was always considered to be a neutral country on controversial and political matters. (But I am not sure how neutral Switzerland is nowadays, according to some political Youtube videos I have watched during the last ten years).

At the end of the movie, the young woman’s father makes a speech to help the young man’s parents accept their kids’ marriage decision because he realizes that marriage is between a couple’s feelings and love for each other, and marital choice is nobody’s business, except the two people in love with each other. He remembers how he felt when he married his wife. I agree that marriage is between the two people involved and other people should mind their own business.

D’Urville Martin was the young black man driving a convertible in the parking lot drive-thru when the young woman’s father accidentally backed up into his car. He also played the apartment’s elevator operator in Rosemary’s Baby. I think he was also in the dream scene, as the yacht’s sailor, who tells Rosemary to go downstairs, which was a symbolism for going down to hell because there was a blazing fire in the background scene as well as the obvious satanic ritual performed on Rosemary. But that’s another movie.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not reflect the opinions or views of Promptly Written, Medium, or their affiliates.



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Fifi Leigh

Fifi Leigh

Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, but raised in America, and now a Cali Girl.