AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Adam's Rib
Director: George Cukor (Dir)
Release Date:   18 Nov 1949
Duration (in mins):  101
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Cast: Spencer Tracy  (Adam Bonner)
  Katharine Hepburn  (Amanda Bonner)
  Judy Holliday  (Doris Attinger)
 

Summary: Doris Attinger, a mother of three who is fed up with her husband Warren's philandering, arms herself with a gun, follows her husband to his mistress Beryl Caighn's Manhattan apartment and clumsily fires shots at the couple. Beryl manages to escape without injury in the shooting, but Warren is wounded. The following morning, attorney Amanda Bonner reads a sensational newspaper story about the details of the shooting to her husband Adam, an Assistant District Attorney, and an argument over who is at fault ensues. Adam, who is lovingly called Pinky by Amanda, disagrees with the assertion that she, who is called Pinkie by her husband, was acting out of a desire to keep her family intact, and that society uses a double standard between the sexes in infidelity cases. Amanda and Adam are soon afforded the opportunity to argue their differing opinions in a courtroom when Adam is assigned to defend Warren, and Amanda decides to represent Beryl. Following the first day of a contentious jury selection process, Adam and Amanda return home and settle into their daily routine until Adam tries to persuade Amanda to bow out of the case. Amanda reacts angrily, but their quarrel is interrupted by the arrival of singer Kip Lurie. Kip, a friend of the Bonners, quickly sides with Amanda and leaves after singing a new song he wrote for her entitled "Farewell, Amanda." The trial gets off to an explosive start when Amanda tests her husband's patience, first by calling attention to every prejudicial remark he makes, and then by coaxing his client to admit that he struck his wife and stopped loving her because she got fat. Later, when Adam tells Amanda that he is ashamed of her, Amanda decides to fight her husband with even greater intensity. Amanda's presentation of the case for the defense includes testimony from a number of female witnesses who are called to the stand to prove Amanda's point that there are many accomplished women in society. When Amanda signals one of the women, a circus performer, to demonstrate her skills on Adam, she does a spectacular series of backflips across the courtroom and then lifts Adam off the floor and over her head. The trial comes to a close with a verdict in Doris' favor, and Adam appears crushed about the outcome. Adam's reaction troubles Amanda and prompts her to visit Kip seeking comfort and advice. Kip, however, takes advantage of Amanda's vulnerability and makes a pass at her. Adam sees the silhouette of Kip and Amanda's loving embrace waiting on street below, and bursts into Kip's apartment with a gun pointed at both of them. After forcing Amanda to admit that he, like Doris, is wrong to use a gun to try to prove his point, he points the barrel of the gun, which is made of candy, to his mouth and takes a bite out of it. Adam and Amanda soon reconcile, but when Adam tells Amanda that he will be running for the post of County Court Judge on the Repubican ticket, Amanda asks if the Democrat opponent has been chosen yet. 

Distribution Company: Loew's Inc.
Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Director: George Cukor (Dir)
  Jack Greenwood (Asst dir)
Producer: Lawrence Weingarten (Prod)
Writer: Ruth Gordon (Scr)
  Garson Kanin (Scr)

Subject Major: Battle of the sexes
  Lawyers
  Marriage
  Murder
  Public defenders
  Trials
 
Subject Minor: Acrobats
  Friendship
  Gunshot wounds
  Infidelity
  Jealousy
  New York City
  Singers

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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