TCM FF: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

After my Thursday evening class, I drove down to Hollywood to begin this years TCM Film Festival. I walked past the Chinese Theater, which was already dark in front but contained the opening night Gala screening of “All the President’s Men”. MY pass did not get me into that event but I was meeting my daughter across the street at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel for a 9:30 screening of this somewhat creaky but for it’s time groundbreaking social comedy/drama.

The show was delayed by the fact that fire alarms had cleared out several other earlier films, including the theater we were supposed to be in, which was showing “Dark Victory” at the time. The hundreds of film fans milling about would get back in to see the ends of their films before the next show started. We answered a trivia question for Social media producer Jeff and had our picture taken for his Instagram feed. After a longer wait in line we got into the theater for the film

 

Katherine Houghton who starred as Sidney Poitier’s love interest in the film, was there to greet us with a short set of stories about the making of the film and the accidental way in which she was cast. Although she was Katherine Hepburn’s niece, the real reason she ended up in the film was that Carl Reiner didn’t think she was Jewish enough for the film he was making, and suggested that his friend Stanley Kramer should use her in this picture instead.

Now a pretty dated film and one that modern audiences might see as condescending, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” was controversial in it’s day and also very entertaining. Amanda had not seen it before and she laughed quite a bit at the facial performances and timing of stars Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. It’s also nostalgic to look at the city of San Francisco in the mid 60s to see what once was.

The film did not get done until after midnight and we got home at 1 am, so I’m a little toasty and the post here will be a bit thin. We are back on our way this morning to the Festival, but we have L.A. traffic to fight for a couple of hours sio not as much rest as I might have wanted. An exciting day is ahead but our long awaited weekend has arrived and there will be plenty of films to dive into with a little more analysis.

So long for now.

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