This film not only broke down many racial barriers upon its release (interracial marriage was still illegal in 17 States until June 12th of the year the film was released, 1967), but it is still so relevant in today’s society where same-sex marriage is discriminated.
The plot seems so simple, but its successful execution is a result of superior acting. This was Katherine Hepburn’s and Spencer Tracy’s ninth and final film together, and the tears in Hepburn’s eyes during Tracy’s final speech were said to be real because she knew this would be their last project together as he did not have much longer to live. Unfortunately he died seventeen days after the film wrapped and never saw the final product. Hepburn did not even see the finished film because she felt that it was too painful.
It has been a while since I have watched a film where I wanted to re-watch it the second it was over (I believe the last time was The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring…which I know is not related to this film in any way…ha!). The emotion that resonated with me from this film is something I really cannot describe. It was like something I have never seen or experienced before (maybe that is how it related to The Lord of the Rings?). The honesty behind each character is so inspiring. Sidney Poitier’s character is fully aware that this interracial marriage will be troubling for many, but his fiance (played by Katherine Houghton, Hepburn’s niece) is so optimistic and exuberant that the only thing she believes in is love, which is a powerful reminder to audiences that skin colour is irrelevant when it comes to love.
Poitier, Hepburn, and Tracy give enduring performances, and their presence will never fade from the face of cinema.