Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?

One of the most progressive films I've ever seen was called "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?". It was released in the 1960's and starred Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, and Sidney Poitier.

Right during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, a movie depicted an interracial marriage for one of the first times on the big screen. The premise of the film is a cute, wealthy daughter returning to her family with a black man, and her family struggling to face the realities of the modern world; despite originally believing they would support such a thing.

Here is the famous scene when the girl's mother meets her fiance John Prentice:

It's crazy to think that so many years later, still so much racial tension exists. It boggles my mind that we can't close the gap and cut out discrimination once and for all.

But at the same time, there has been a lot of progress made since 1967. We may not perfected things quite yet, but the progress should count for something.

I happened upon this movie last weekend and it reminded me of just how messed up our thinking was back then.

I can't emphasize the power of perspective and keeping an open mind enough.

Do you have a favorite movie clip?

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  • In 1967 I was 12, this and the movie To Sir With Love, also starring Sidney Poitier, had a profound impact on and shaped my personal views towards race relations at the time. Mom & Pop brought me to the Drive In movie theatre on Hallandale Bch Blvd for these.
    I think more level headed folks are in the majority and have “closed the gap” in race relations.
    I think racial tension is perpetuated in the media by many who profit from the exposure and those who exact their 15 minutes of fame when the opportunity arises.
    We’ve come so far since the ‘60’s when I witnessed rioting and its aftermath and later experienced school integration only to now see so much progress kick into reverse over the preceding presidents two terms. The timing has been mind boggling and sad too.

    Thanks for your thoughts and sharing the clip.

    Gregory C. DeJohn on

  • How about “To Sir With Love”, where Sidney Poitier comes in to teach a group English teens. Aside from their teenage behavior, they are obviously prejudiced by growing up in an almost all-white society that is at the end of its colonial power. “Sir” won them over at the end!

    Ira Stolzenberg on

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