That Dinner of ’67

BBC Radio 4 – 2020

In 1967, as race riots swept the streets of America and the Supreme Court considered a landmark case about interracial marriage, Hollywood director Sidney Kramer started filming Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner about a pair of young lovers – one black, one white – seeking the blessing of their concerned parents before getting married.

He had assembled a stellar cast of Oscar winners Sidney Poitier, Spencer Tracy and Kate Hepburn, with Hepburn’s niece Katharine Houghton making her film debut.

This was a light-hearted, witty film but about a deadly serious subject. It was also the final act of one of Hollywood’s greatest true love stories as, after a love affair that had lasted 26 years and nine movies establishing them as one of the all-time great Hollywood double acts, it was also to be Tracy and Hepburn’s final film together.

Spencer was dying but determined that his final film with his beloved Kate would be both important and a masterpiece.

Tracy-Ann Oberman’s moving and timely play tells a story about love, a classic movie and the impact it had on a divided America.

Written by Tracy-Ann Oberman, with David Spicer.