falderal : a moving images blog
Adam’s Rib ; 1949  ·  Posted by Tallulah

Director: George Cukor
Actors: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Judy Holliday, Tom Ewell, David Wayne, Jean Hagen
Country: U.S.A.

I was a bit reluctant to watch this film due to my hatred for Katharine Hepburn, but I thought, “Hey, it’s a Cukor film. What can go wrong?” And I was right because I absolutely loved it. I thought Hepburn was perfect for the part and Spencer Tracy was adorable. Although I’m usually sick of hearing about women’s rights and equality, I really enjoyed every single line of this film. The dialogue was witty, Hepburn and Tracy together were charming, and the whole film unfolded perfectly. It’s the little things like the nicknames Adam (Tracy) and Amanda (Hepburn) have for each other that are cute and funny. Judy Holliday as Doris is great, especially in the beginning; I loved how she used her gun as a pointer to read the directions on how to use it. David Wayne as Kip is the annoying neighbor that tries to seduce the oblivious Amanda. The only part I didn’t like about the film was Kip because he is the most obnoxious thing ever. I wish that I could just throttle him every single time he opens his mouth.

Hepburn’s performance in this film was nothing less than perfect. Every line was delivered flawlessly, her movements, face expressions, everything was just so RIGHT. Usually Hepburn’s “Bryn Mawr” accent drives me up the wall, but for this film, it added to her character. I really can’t believe that I’m complimenting her; this never happens!

My favourite scene has got to be when Amanda and Kip are together after the case is finished because of the way the dialogue plays out between the two characters. Despite being intelligent, Amanda is sure oblivious to Kip’s advances. I wonder if the film is subversively trying to say that when a woman is intelligent, she doesn’t know much about romance. But then again, Amanda knows romance especially when she is with Adam, but for some reason with Kip, she has no idea what Kip is up to and sees it as harmless fun. Kip’s reason for loving Amanda is laughable and I actually liked everything about him in this scene. The gun scene that follows is equally as great and it reminded me of one of my favourite scenes from Ernst Lubitsch’s Die Bergkatze. I gasped and then laughed my head off when I saw what happened in Die Bergkatze and my reaction was exactly the same with this scene as well. If it’s a bit hard to see in the screencaptures I provided, pretty much Tracy has a gun pointed towards his mouth and so does the girl from Die Bergkatze. I thought Hepburn and Wayne’s performance was at its best in this scene.

And the ending! All I can say to that is, “Oh my!” Although I suppose people can analyze it and say that while this film is superficially for equality and showing the double standard for women, it is also a film that perpetuates what is “normal”, such as heterosexual relationships. Ok, I’m going to shut up because I really like this film and I don’t want to think TOO much about it and end up losing sleep over it.

IMDb Link: Adam’s Rib
Where to buy: Amazon.com

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