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|Spencer Tracy||Matt Drayton|
|Sidney Poitier||Dr. John Wade Prentice|
|Katharine Hepburn||Christina Drayton|
|Katharine Houghton||Joanna Drayton|
|Cecil Kellaway||Monsignor Ryan|
|Beah Richards||Mrs. Prentice|
|Roy Glenn||Mr. Prentice (as Roy E. Glenn Sr.)|
|Virginia Christine||Hilary St. George|
"a love story of today"
The film tells the story of Joanna "Joey" Drayton (Katharine Houghton), a young white woman who has had a whirlwind romance with Dr. John Prentice (Sidney Poitier), a young, idealistic black physician she met while in Hawaii.
The plot centers on Joanna’s return to her liberal upper-class American home in San Francisco, bringing her new fiancé to dinner to meet her parents, newspaper publisher Matt Drayton (Spencer Tracy) and his wife, small art gallery owner Christina Drayton (Katharine Hepburn).
Brought up by her parents as a liberal, Joanna finds it difficult to comprehend the behavior of her parents on meeting John. While they taught her to treat black people and members of other racial groups as equals, they cannot accept their daughter's actions, for they did not expect her to introduce to them a black man as their future son-in-law. Without Joanna's knowledge, John tells the Draytons that he will not marry their daughter if they object to the marriage. But, he adds their decision must come before he leaves for Switzerland that evening for three months during which time the couple plan to marry. Added to the pressure of this time constraint, John's parents (Roy E. Glenn, Beah Richards) fly up from Los Angeles to the Draytons' dinner that evening, but don't know that Joanna is white until they meet her at the airport. Monsignor Ryan (Cecil Kellaway), a senior Catholic priest friend of Matt, is also present at dinner and is a voice for tolerance.
The film depicts the reaction of family and friends, and the discomfort of their parents, as all try to accept the couple's choice. The main characters begin to pair off in various private conversations with each other about the situation. Finally, Matt Drayton makes his decision and in a dramatic monologue approves the marriage. The film also touches on black-on-black racism when John is taken to task by his father and the household maid Tillie (Isabel Sanford) for his perceived presumption.
DVD : 2001-05-22