Discussion of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
Consider the time period of the film, 1967, the same year as the Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court decision, which struck down as un-Constitutional the remaining anti-miscegenation laws in The United States, i.e., laws against interracial marriage. The Lovings were an interracial couple — a Black woman and White man married in Washington, DC (where it was legal) and then returned to their home state of Virginia, where it was not. They were arrested. Leon Bazile, the county judge in Virginia who originally heard their case in 1958 and decided against them, famously stated,
Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.
In Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, what are some of the perspectives the film presents through the various characters and conversations: Joey’s mother (Christina), her father (Matt); the maid Tillie; John’s mother (Mrs. Prentiss), his father (Mr. Prentiss); Joey’s mother’s friend and business associate (Hillary)?
What do you think was the point was of the scene with the butcher’s delivery boy and the younger maid, Dorothy?
What other reactions, observations, or questions do you have?
By the way, the 2005 film Guess Who, starring Bernie Mac, Ashton Kutcher, Zoe Saldana, and Judith Scott is a loosely-based update of the 1967 film.