Through the good graces of Turner Classic Movies and TiVo, I’ve been catching up on my Katharine Hepburn films. Today: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.
It’s astonishing that I have never seen this movie, and I was absolutely riveted. 35 years later, I watch the film with a skeptical eye – surely we’ve grown as a people and don’t act so shocked by something as silly as interracial marriage. But of course, we do. And I can’t overlook the fact that this movie would be so quickly and easily updated for 2003 by making the couple gay instead. What would change? Only a few lines of dialogue here and there.
What an incredible performance by Spencer Tracy, and what an enduring legacy he left – he died only 17 days after filming ended.
I leave you with his final speech of the film, his final speech of his career. Listen carefully to it – and realize how perfectly it sums up today’s issue of who can love whom, and how wrong it is to try to stem the tide of love with misguided and hurtful legislation. Times change, and we must change with the times.
[Update July 14: Columnist Fred Hiatt takes up this very subject in today’s Post.]