Monday, 22 August 2011

Adam's Rib (1949)

I watched Adam's Rib for the first time last summer and loved it. For some reason, my Mum and Dad didn't watch the whole thing with me and my little sister, so they never knew how good it was until a few days ago. When we put it on they watched intently and afterwards we were all saying "This is so good."

Adam's Rib (1949) Directed by George Cukor



Adam and Amanda Bonner are loving husband and wife - and both lawyers. They have a huge apartment in town and a large barn and house in Connecticut.

One day, Adam is asked to try and prosecute the wife of Mr. Warren Attinger, Dorris, for shooting at him and Beryl Caighn, a woman he claimed to be selling insurance to who was hugging him in a negligee. Hmmmmmm. Enraged by this, Amanda, who doesn't see any particular problem with the shooting, claiming it was only done to try and save Doris's home from a break-up (she had three children), takes on Doris and becomes her lawyer.

Adam is furious, not only at this, but also at the way that their "across-the-hall-songwriter" neighbour, Kip, keeps behaving inappropriately with Amanda.

But their vague troubles at home are blown completely super-sized HUMONGOUS in the Courtroom and the whole case becomes a feminist war against Adam and Warren Attinger, and at the height of it, Amanda even brings in women to demonstrate her point. One of whom lifts Adam in the air.

With the recent publication of Kip's new song, "Farewell, Amanda", and the battle in court getting so personal, Adam leaves the house and only sees Amanda to fight the last bit of the battle in court with her (which she wins for Doris). Can they save their relationship???

The Verdict:

This film is just completely amazing. Could you have amore fantasmagorical cast? Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Judy Holliday, Tom Ewell and the guy who plays Choo Choo in "Top Cat". Yes, Ok. There are probably a lot a few better casts, but this one is pretty good, no?

It is my resolution to watch more Katharine Hepburn/Spencer Tracy films. This is actually the only one I've seen (besides Guess Who's Coming To Dinner) and judging by how much I love this, I might just have to see more. MORE, I TELL YOU!!! MORE!!! Yes... Seemingly, just a little obsessed...

I also really like Judy Holliday in Adam's Rib and I'm not always crazy about her performances, but her first real scene with Katharine Hepburn is genius. Her delivery and everything is spot. on. every. time. All of this packed into one long uninterrupted take which apparently {a.k.a coming from my grandma, ninja of classic film knowledge} was shot only showing Katharine Hepburn's profile, but judy Holliday's whole face due to Katharine Hepburn's wishes to have it done that way. She was the one who got the role for Judy Holliday in the first place.

This film is guaranteed to have you humming/singing/whistling "Farewell, Amanda" for weeks afterwards. And as a result, me and my sister actually worked out the ukulele chords for the song after we watched it. And then we totally didn't take the ukuleles on a tour with us around the house belting out the song.

This is a classic with good reason. It's one of those films you really can't or don't want to criticise. And let me just say, that the scene at the end is utterly hilarious!!!



Caftan Woman said...

I sometimes refer to "Adam's Rib" as "my favourite talkie". I have lost count of the number of times I've watched it, and it never, ever gets old. I would love to live in the Bonner's apartment!

My second favourite Tracy/Hepburn outing (or maybe it's tied) is "Desk Set". I usually watch it sometime in October to start off my Christmas movie glut. Have fun.

Rianna said...

I LOVE Tracy and Hepburn, and "Adam's Rib" is such a great movie. You should see more. :)
And by the way, I love the makeover you've given your site... so pretty!

Kate Gorman said...

I love Spencer and Kate in this film. It's a fantastic screwball comedy! xx

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