Sight and Sound - 08/01/2003
"..With its witty and acerbic screenplay by Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon, Cukor's battle-of-the-sexes comedy has a verve and sophistication that seem beyond present-day Hollywood..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Assistant District Attorney Adam Bonner loves his wife Amanda, but doesn't care much for his opposing counsel in a sensational attempted-murder trial - an opponent who happens to be Amanda.
Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn were never more evenly matched than when they brought their sharpened wits and prickly affection to this George Cukor-directed comedy written by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin. Judy Holliday co-stars as the woman whose shooting of her philandering spouse becomes a feminist cause for Amanda. Hepburn generously saw Holliday's work as a screen test for casting the film of Holliday's stage vehicle Born Yesterday. Hepburn's ploy worked. So does this fine, funny movie.
A playful allusion to the Book of Genesis, ADAM'S RIB is an inspired farce and perhaps the best showcase for the fantastic Spencer Tracy/Katharine Hepburn duo. George Cukor uses the chemistry between his stars to create a delightful, sophisticated comedy about the battle between the sexes, based on a sharp and sprightly Oscar-nominated script by Cukor's collaborators, Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin. When two married lawyers take opposite sides of a case, they create comic fireworks both in and out of court. District Attorney Adam Bonner (Tracy) prosecutes a young woman, Doris Attinger (Judy Holliday), who has shot her philandering husband's mistress; her attorney and Bonner's wife, Amanda (Hepburn), is determined to prove that the prosecution's case is only a reflection of sexist double standards. Amanda thinks that women should have the right to do exactly what men have done for years--get revenge. ADAM'S RIB is a film that is superbly directed, written, and acted, a true romantic comedy in classic Cukor style.
When two married lawyers take opposite sides of a case, they create comic fireworks both in the court and out. District Attorney Adam Bonner heads the prosecution when a pistol-packing ditzy blonde goes after her girl-chasing husband and his mistress. But his wife and defense attorney Amanda thinks women should have the right to get revenge, taking on a trial that proves all's fair in love, war, and court. An ahead-of-its-time script by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin, combined with an electric chemistry between Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy and deft direction by George Cukor, make this a sophisticated piece of entertainment which was later turned into a television series.
Law / Lawyers |
Love Story |
Theatrical release: November 18, 1949.
The original title was MAN AND WIFE.
Screenwriting duo Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin drew on their experiences as former actress and former director in writing ADAM'S RIB.
ADAM'S RIB is number 22 on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Funniest Movies.
ADAM'S RIB was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1992.