Adam's Rib

Adam's Rib (1949)

Adam's Rib
7/10 by 25 users

When a woman attempts to kill her uncaring husband, prosecutor Adam Bonner gets the case. Unfortunately for him his wife Amanda (who happens to be a lawyer too) decides to defend the woman in court. Amanda uses everything she can to win the case and Adam gets mad about it. As a result, their perfect marriage is disturbed by everyday quarrels.

Release Date:November 18, 1949
Genres:Comedy, Drama, Romance
Production Company:Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Production Countries:United States of America
Director:George Cukor, Joel Freeman, Jack Greenwood
Casts:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Plot Keywords:wife husband relationship, marriage, lawyer, singing, courtroom, prosecutor, subway station, grapefruit, 1940s, afi
  • Clever, humane comedy
    June 26, 2000
    For a while it seems that "Adam's Rib" will be hard to take. More precisely: Katharine Hepburn's Amanda is hard to take. Her feminism - when put to the test - amounts to little more than anthem singing; and however sympathetic her client may be, we can see at once that the case for the defence is almost entirely frivolous. Yet George Cukor is standing in the gallery, apparently cheering her on. It's infuriating. It's like watching an Edwardian comedy about suffragettes.
    Well, no. The film is a good deal smarter than we had given it credit for being ... oh, very well, smarter than *I* had given it credit for being. Gordon, Kanin and Cukor understand our infuriation; the supposedly shrill dispute in the first half is merely a starting point. Maybe audiences these days AREN'T too sophisticated for this kind of film. Maybe we're too stupid. (Oh, very well, maybe I'M too stupid.) -In any event, this is really a story about Adam and Amanda. Their story becomes deeper as the trial becomes shallower.
    Even while it's infuriating us (our infuriation will be used to good effect later, of course) "Adam's Rib" is never less than pleasant to watch. One reason is that Hepburn and Tracy are just so brilliant. The script serves them both well: neither player is denied good lines, and any impression that Hepburn is meant to be just some hothead, or that Tracy is meant to be just some schmuck, is transitory. This is a wonderful script! My only previous exposure to Hepburn and Tracy had been in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner", where their partnership was the only thing holding the film together; I wasn't at all prepared for the sheer energy they generate when they set to work on stronger material. Moreover they seem perfectly natural as a married couple.
    The music is good, too. There's a catchy original song (not a gratuitous addition ... although it wouldn't matter if it was) by Cole Porter; the rest of the score was written by Miklós Rózsa, in one of his rare lighter moments.