Adam’s Rib. 1949. USA. Directed by George Cukor. Screenplay by Ruth Gordon, Garson Kanin. With Judy Holliday, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn. 101 min.
Adam and Amanda Bonner are a wonderful married couple of successful attorneys. When Amanda is hired to defend Doris Attinger, who attempted to kill her cad of a husband in front of his mistress, she’s surprised to discover that opposing counsel is none other than Adam. This classic meeting of the minds—and battle of the sexes—cannily explores the roles of men and women at mid-century. Amanda is capable, ambitious, and also feminine. Adam, a traditionalist, can’t reconcile the many facets of his wife’s persona, even though he very much loves her. Judy Holliday’s Doris is indisputably sympathetic—the faithful wife of a philandering husband who needed his two-timing ways seriously curtailed.