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There are two great husband-wife teams (one on-screen, the other off) involved in this classic 1949 comedy. Not only do Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy throw comedic sparks as a married team of lawyers on opposing sides of a high-profile case, but their exquisite verbal jousting was scripted by the outstanding team of Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon. Leading all of this stellar talent was director George Cukor at the prime of his career. The result is one of Hollywood's greatest comedy classics, still packing a punch with its sophisticated gender politics. Arguably the best of the Tracy-Hepburn vehicles, Adam's Rib shows the stars at their finest in roles that not only made their off-screen love so entertainingly obvious, but also defined their timeless screen personas--she the intelligent, savvy, rebellious woman ahead of her time, he the easygoing but obstinate modern man who can't help but love her. Screen teams don't get any better than this. --Jeff Shannon
- "Hurray for that little difference."
Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn as Adam an Audrey Bonner, husband and wife lawyers on opposite sides in attempted murder case. But the person on trial is a woman who has tried to knock off her two-timing husband, and Kate argues for equality of the sexes. She wins the case, but then has to win Tracy back. They go at it tooth and nail, and pull off a wonderful comedy. Davis Wayne plays a songwriter/neighbor who near the beginning of the movie, during a party at which home movies are shown, almost steals the picture: these are the funiest 5 minutes of the whole movie, and they're all Wayne's. Worth a watch....more info
- So far ahead of its time...
Katharine Hepburn is invariably described as one of the greatest screen legends of all time, and this film embodies all of her classic screen qualities. It is romantic, hilarious, and has a relevant message, even to the modern viewer. I highly recommend this film. She and Tracy had incredible chemistry on screen in all their films, but this (and "Woman of the Year") are my all-time favorites....more info
- cracking dialogue
I agree with the reviewer on the "Sweet Smell of Success" cracking dialogue, but this one is quite good. "Desk Set" is another one. Now that I think of it, Hepburn's "The Philadelphia Story" and "Bringing Up Baby" also have wonderful dialogue. Of course, Howard Hawks was good at this, too, with "The Big Sleep", "To Have and Have Not", "His Girl Friday", "Ball of Fire", and "Monkey Business" all offering fantastic, and fast-paced banter. Add to this Robert Mitchum's "Out of the Past", "Casablanca", "The Maltese Falcon", "Citizen Kane", and a couple Lubitsch-"To Be or Not To Be" and "Cluny Brown", and you have some good speaking. ...more info
- Very overrated
I thought the actors were better than the script, and I thought the script was artificial, wooden and deadly dull. It simply was not funny. I didn't even care much for Judy Holliday (the only reason I watched and then kept a copy of this DVD), who, incidentally, did NOT win an Oscar for this flick! Hepburn was one of the kindest human beings in the theater (in the world!) and Tracy has long been a hero of mine, I love them both, but not in this fast-talking turkey. Only two things got my interest. What was Holliday's intention and did she kill Ewell at the start (I guess that's two things right there), and how did they manage the transexual metamorphoses at the end. I really didn't like it. Really....more info
- Classic comedy
Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn are characteristically great in this tale of two lawyers. The married couple end up on opposite sides in the courtroom, one defending the sympathetic injured wife who shot her slimebag husband, the other prosecuting the would-be murderess. This leads to marriage tensions and to plenty of entertaining wit and (sometimes painfully) amusing situations to keep the audience enthralled. And in the end, we see who was really right in the case.
I've enjoyed this movie since I was a teen, and am delighted to get it on DVD. I recommend it highly to anyone who prefers a good plot and some civilized wit over gags and cheap humor....more info
- Battle of the Lawyers
Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy are an immortal film pair. This movie is often called their best.
"Adam's Rib" is the story of two married lawyers Adam (Spencer Tracy) and Amanda (Katharine Hepburn). They read an interesting case in the newspaper-an abadoned wife (Judy Holliday) shoots her husband and his girlfriend (Jean Hagen)-and Amanda immediately tells her opinion. Adam then is ordered to prosecute the woman who shot her husband. Amanda, though, goes out of her way to get to defend the woman. Arguments and comedy ensures.
The plot is excellent. We all know that lawyers can be stubborn about their clients...so why not have two stubborn lawyers that are married get opposite sides in a case? I loved the acting, especially Katharine Hepburn. Her accent is unique, and I mean that in a good way.
This is a great storyline, but there aren't a lot of laughs in here especially for a comedy. That can be tossed aside though for the acting and story....more info
- A classic american comedy !
Imagine the situation between a district attorney and woman lawyer happily married with all the possible tribulations and different points of view of the classic way of thinking ; machismo against a raising feminism .
Full of smart gags and very funny situations .
A must see. ...more info
- Average Film, Mediocre DVD!
This was billed as a comedy but most of the jokes don't age well at all. They belong in the "may raise a smile here and there" category but you'll rarely find yourself capable of raising even a polite laugh throughout. The only "joke" that I thought was good was when Kip tells Amanda that lawyers should never marry lawyers because it eventually leads to more lawyers. Otherwise, it's just another one of the arguments for equality of the sexes which I found boring and barely entertaining. I you want to find a good film with both Hepburn and Tracy doing an excellent acting job together you'll have to look for "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner" which ironically happens to be Tracy's last film. As for this film, it doesn't age well and I found myself impatiently waiting for it to end.
To make things worse, this DVD version hasn't been restored and so picture imperfections abound throughout the film where we frequently get an irritating black circle that keeps popping up around the top right hand corner of the screen in addition the the white spots everywhere else. The sound quality is very, very poor as well and coupled with no Special Features worth talking about as well makes this a poor value proposition indeed.
If you are a die-hard Hepburn/Tracy fan and still want to get this farce then I would recommend waiting for a much better restored version to surface. As it is here, I wouldn't recommend this DVD as worthy of being a coaster for your coffee cup.
Not recommended!...more info
- My Favorite Hepburn/Tracy Movie
This is my absolute favorite. The court room antics, the chemistry between the two and a clever story line. I can't see how you'd go wrong with this one, fun from start to end....more info
- Battle of sexes never better. Maximum wit on display
The Tracy-Hepburn duo was never better than in this supremely witty, often laugh-out-loud comedy of two lawyers on opposite sides of the courtroom involved in an attempted murder case with the classic love triangle. The triangulators? Tom Ewell, Jean Hagen, and Judy Holiday--all in their first films. The lawyers? Why, Tracy and Hepburn of course--married to each other. Hep, the defense attorney, takes the case to vent her opinions on women's lib--one of the first films to lay it all out in the open on the subject. She defends poor little Judy, the wronged wife. Spence, the ADA, prosecutes to prove that Judy is nowhere near as innocent as she claims.
The back and forth here is so sharp you could cut yourself just listening to the lines. And there's the back and forth of courtroom and homefront, too. Hep and Spence go at it in both places and the lines supplied by real life husband-wife team of Ruth Gordon (Harold and Maude) and Garson Kanin are deliciously zingy so much of the time you eat em up even as your tongue is bleeding. Just too cool.
Amazing that this film has not aged at all. One of the great comedy classics and sure to remain so. If I could give this a sky full of stars, I would.
- witty, sharp and intelligent look at gender issues in society (in the 1950s)
ADAM'S RIB is a great example of intelligent, beautiful and thought-provoking cinema, with two of the most gifted individuals to ever grace the screen, Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Amanda (Hepburn) and Adam (Tracey) Bonner are married lawyers who are on opposite sides of a case, involving a woman (Judy Holiday in her film debut) who shot her abusive husband (Tom Ewell). While Amanda and Adam stand on opposite sides in the courtroom, their genuine love and respect for each other balances the sparks that fly in their professional lives.
I believe that this is one of the most progressive films made at its time. It took on hard hitting issues like domestic violence, gender equality (or the lack thereof) in society and on the job. Katherine Hepburn's character challenges every stereotype of the commonplace depiction of the "model" 1950s woman. She has a career, brilliant and anything but a pushover. I applaud all the actors, the director, the producer, and all parties involved in bringing this film to fruition all those years ago. It continues to shine today....more info
- One of my favorites
This movie was excellant. The acting was superb and the story was phenomenol. I love the last scene I could not stop laughing. Great movie. One of my favorite Hepburn/Tracy movies....more info
The movie is a victim of poor writing. It has not held up over the years very well, but is a quite stilted and two-dimensional 1940s "battle of the sexes" movie. (Ah do declare! Ladies can be doctors and lawyers! Zounds!) The movie would have been worth seeing if Tracy had decked Kip and divorced Amanda...... Good acting, certainly, but I found myself glancing at my watch throughout. (The fact that the writers had obviously never been in a courtroom added to my displeasure)....more info
- Still a great classic
Although I'm a big Tracy fan and enjoyed this movie quite a bit, I didn't find the rapid-fire dialog quite as sharp and witty as most, but it's still a fine movie. If you want to find razor-sharp, fast-moving dialog, try the Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster film, "The Sweet Smell of Success." The hard-hitting, corrosive, and rapid-fire dialog in that movie virtually singes the air, remembered long after the movie has ended, although it's a much more serious movie and not intended to be funny as with this one.
But getting back to the present flick, if there was a longer or more charismatic on-screen romance than Tracy and Hepburn, I don't know what it is, and they bring that chemistry once again to the silver screen in this movie. Their rivalry in the murder case becomes the talk of the town as well as in their bedroom, and Tracy is great as the dutiful husband who suffers Hepburns' barbs and diatribes about everything from his job to women's rights with a sort of calm, stoic exasperatedness, although she finally gets his goat and gets a rise out of him on more than one occasion. And Hepburn is equally great in her role also, as the smart, upbeat, and driven defense attorney who champions the accused woman's cause.
The movie deals surprisingly well with many women's rights and equality issues considering this is 1949, and women who think feminism and women's lib was invented in the early to mid-60's would do well to watch this film, which came out almost 15 years earlier. So overall, still a fun classic and well worth your time especially if you're a Tracy or Hepburn fan. They don't make 'em like this anymore....more info
- In a word, delightful
I am, unfortunately, not as well versed in Spenser Tracy as I am in Katherine Hepburn, but I'm guessing I can say with some conviction that these roles were perfect for the two of them. What I can say with full knowledge is that Katherine Hepburn was perfect for this role, playing the same sort of independent woman she herself tended to be from time to time.
This is a richly written movie about a married couple, Adam and Amanda, who are both lawyers and who are both working on the same case... opposing each other. A woman shot at her uncaring, unsympathetic husband. Adam claims that it's necessary to bring her to the attention of the law. Amanda claims that she won't be given fair treatment as a woman. A battle of the sexes ensues.
The best part of this movie is showing this rather adoring and loving couple as they go through the day to day stresses of their jobs and yet try to maintain a home life at the same time. However, that's just the first element, as of course the stresses of facing each other has to be taken into account. Indeed it's hard to say quite for sure where the movie's going to go, but once it's ended it seems like it couldn't have been presented in any other way.
George Cukor does a brillaint job with directing it. I particularly like how he often sets the camera in a room and lets the characters weave in and out of the area in a way that evenly presents both the disconnect and the miscommunication of the couple from both perspectives. This movie is brilliant in that it is capable of maintaining two (or more) points of view entirely at the same time.
All in all, a very good movie, one of those that makes one nostalgic for the warmth and compassion often felt in older movies. Considering Tracy and Hepburn's relationship, it's interesting to think how this movie might have affected (or reflected) the conversations they might have had.
- I DON'T WANT A COMPETITOR, I WANT A WIFE!!
The story begins with Doris Attinger (Judy Holliday) waiting outside her husband's (Warren Attinger - Tom Ewell) office to follow him when he leaves to what she believes will be a romantic tryst. We get an idea of her motive when she drops her purse and a small revolver spills out. Her hunch is right, and after reading the directions how to use the weapon, she closes her eyes and starts shooting, wounding but not killing, her husband. The story shifts to a stylish apartment building where a servant is bringing breakfast to the bedroom of Adam (Tracy) and Amanda (Hepburn) Bonner. They scan the lead stories as they eat and prepare for work, noting the attempted murder story. Adam arrives at his office (Assistant District Attorney) and discovers he has been assigned to the case which he assumes will be a 'slam dunk'. He calls to tell Amanda, an attorney in private practice, the news and rub it in how he will put this one away quickly. Amanda hangs up on him, determined to defend this woman, believing women are treated differently than men and that this woman was justified in her actions. The movie shifts to the courtroom where the action and the fun begins. Each night the trial carries over into their personal life. A little dated now, it was somewhat shocking in 1949 that a woman could, heaven forbid, compete in the 'men's domain'. Where are there inequities today that need to be corrected? The chemistry between Tracy & Hepburn is at its best and makes for a very funny, romantic comedy that deserves its place in AFI' Top 100 Laughs. Enjoy! WWW.LUSREVIEWS.BLOGSPOT.COM
- Who Wears the Pants?
Adam's Rib (black and white; running time 101 minutes; not rated) stars two of the greatest Academy Award winning actors of our time, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. This movie was directed by George Cukor in 1949 for Metro Goldwyn Mayer. In a very comical and humorous way, Adam's Rib explores equal rights for women and the question of who wears the pants in a marriage.
When a wife is accused of the attempted murder of her unfaithful husband, Assistant District Attorney Adam Bonner (Spencer Tracy) lands the case. Little does he know that soon his wife, Amanda Bonner (Katharine Hepburn), who is also an attorney, will be defending the accused wife and using equality for women as the main defense. Amanda Bonner wants to know, "What's the difference?". She submits that if the accused had been a man whose wife was being unfaithful, everyone would believe he was attempting to save his marriage, while her client is accused of trying to kill her husband. As the trial progresses, so does the animosity and competitiveness between the attorneys, which in turn causes a strain on their otherwise happy marriage. The sparing between the two attorneys culminates in the hilarious closing arguments of the trial. The accused wife is found not guilty and Amanda Bonner has won her case--or has she? Adam Bonner is able to use his wily ways to get Amanda back which will leave unanswered the question, "Who wears the pants?".
This film is rated five stars (*****). This classic romantic comedy will leave you with a smile on your face. The comic interaction between Tracy and Hepburn is engaging and unforgettable....more info
- Few disagree. This Hepburn-Tracy collaboration is the
best. Woman of the Year is second. In both they play essentially the same character albeit different names & professions.
By 1949 they were at the top of their game career-wise & in real life playing house. Being married in every way but name made them dynamite. In Adam's Rib the characters didn't have to fall in love they were already in love & married. Hepburn's woman was clearly ahead of her time. Tracy was trying hard to be the modern man. But it's hard. Maybe even harder in 1949. You have two good, smart lawyers with very healthy egos on opposing sides in a big high profile case. One wins the legal war the other wins the moral argument. I enjoy it every time. I'm not sure how much $$$ this movie made but I suspect it did pretty well. A classic, star driven, battle of the sexes, Hollywood comedy.
Props to Tom Ewell who in a small part, is hilarious as the disgusting, cheating husband. He does the prat fall that he perfects later in Seven Year Itch. All great stuff. 41/2 stars.
- A Hepburn/Tracy classic
This classic 1949 comedy will go far toward explaining what was so charismatic about the on-screen pairing of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. The set-up is perfect for their rapid-fire style of verbal dueling: they play a married team of lawyers on opposing sides of a high-profile case. George Cukor directed this marvelous comedy from Hollywood's so-called Golden Era, and it still pulls at the sensibilities of modern viewers with its sophisticated portrayal of gender politics. Screen pairings (which of course, in this case, represented their affair off-screen, as well) don't get any better than this....more info
- Gotta love Kate
Yeah, there's something about us old stick-in-the-mud conservatives. We like the spitfire progressives like Kate Hepburn and co-writer Ruth Gordon, and they like us. There's something to be said for opposites attracting, and that's how Tracy & Hepburn were. It never was more evident than in "Adam's Rib."
Some may say that the themes of male/female equality here are dated. I don't believe so. The same script could be done today with modern trappings and very little would need to be changed. The only real difference is that in 1949 it was a new thought; nowadays some progress has been made but we are still struggling to find equal footing that makes us all feel like things are appropriate. Maybe these issues will never be completely settled; maybe the discussion is the point, not the settling of it.
In any event, aside from the social impact of the issues that take place in this seriocomic picture, the most memorable thing of all is the obvious fondness with which Tracy & Hepburn regard one another. The best acting doesn't feel like acting and, in spite of Tracy's offscreen religious situation that prevented him from divorcing his wife and marrying Kate, and in spite of the dicey morality thereof, it's a pleasure to see them together with a witty script and George Cukor's sure direction. Must see....more info
- Just Too Great Comedy!
I love this movie. I've seen more time than I can count and still have a great time with it. Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn follow up their comedy Woman of the Year with another great movie. Both husband and wife are lawyers and they come upon a case where a woman shoots a man who was cheating on her. The wife is played by Judy Holliday and the other woman is Jean Hagen from "Singin' In The Rain. The entire cast is wonderful and the writing is superb. It was written by Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon at the height of their careers. Just a wonderful movie and you'll love it. It's so fun! ...more info
- A classic that succeeds on many, many levels
Of all the films that Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy made together, this is my favorite. The two are absolutely brilliant as a husband and wife who are both lawyers on opposite sides of a case having to do with a woman defending her honor by shooting her husband when she finds him cheating on her. As great as the two leads are, however, this film is so rich and succeeds on so many levels that it would have been a great success even with two far less gifted performers. The film also features what was essentially the debut of three well known performers: Jean Hagen (who would shine only three years later in SINGIN' IN THE RAIN), Tom Ewell, and the absolutely magnificent Judy Holiday, arguably the greatest dumb blondes in the history of Hollywood (despite being by all accounts one of the most intellectually brilliant performers ever, once having scored over 170 on an IQ test). Holiday is especially great in the film, absolutely stealing every scene in which she appears. Her scene in the witness chair is my favorite scene in the film. David Wayne fills out a remarkable cast as Hepburn and Tracy's next door neighbor, a songwriter who pens the song "Farewell, Amanda" for Hepburn, who plays Amanda Bonner (Tracy is Adam Bonner, hence the title of the film). His constant bantering enlivens nearly every scene in which he appears.
George Cukor does his usual competent job directing, but the heart of the film, in addition to the acting, is the outstanding script by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin. The movie is stuffed with jokes, gags, emotional tension, and serious issues in a manner that is rarely successful. One of my few complaints with the film is the rather absurd handling of questions of women's equality, naively basing it on the ability of a woman to do anything a man can do, which is, of course, absurd in a variety of situations. For instance, they bring a Strong Woman into the court room, to demonstrate that a woman can be as strong as a man, though it is impossible to discern what legal point that is supposed to make, and leads to a moment of slapstick that is below the quality of the rest of the film. The silliness of this scene seems to undercut the seriousness of the issue of women's issues in the rest of the film. Also, one can see the wires used to make it appear the woman is lifting him over her head, making it seem even sillier.
This is one of those movies that improves upon reviewing, partly because a first viewing isn't sufficient to unveil all the excellences contained within it. It remains one of my favorite films by all of the principles involved....more info