🎥 Adams Rib – 1949
The Story …
Doris Attinger follows her husband with a gun in Manhattan one day, suspecting he is having an affair with another woman.
In her rage, she fires wildly and blindly around the room and at the couple multiple times. One of the bullets hits her husband in the shoulder. His lover escapes unscathed.
The following morning, the married New York lawyers Adam and Amanda Bonner read about the incident in the newspaper …
Adam is an assistant district attorney, while Amanda is a solo-practicing defense attorney. They argue over the case. Amanda sympathizes with the woman, particularly noting the double standard that exists for men and women regarding adultery.
Adam thinks Doris is guilty of attempted murder. When Adam arrives at work, he learns that he has been assigned to prosecute the case. When Amanda hears this, she seeks out Doris and becomes her defense lawyer.
Amanda bases her case on the belief that women and men are equal, and that Doris had been forced into the situation by her husband’s adultery and emotional and physical abuse. Adam thinks Amanda is showing contempt for the law, since there should never be any excuse for such criminal behavior.
Tension increasingly builds at home as the two battle each other in court. The situation comes to a head as Adam feels humiliated during the trial when Amanda encourages one of her witnesses, a woman weightlifter, to lift him overhead. Later at home that evening, Adam still angry, gives Amanda an earful; he doesn’t want to be married to a liberated “new woman.”
Having just packed his bags, he storms out of their apartment. When the verdict is returned, Amanda’s plea to the jury to “judge this case as you would if the sexes were reversed” proves successful, and Doris is acquitted.
That night, Adam, who has left their upper-floor apartment, looks through its window and sees the silhouettes of his wife Amanda and their neighbor Kip Lurie, a popular singer, songwriter and piano player who has shown a keen interest in Amanda all along, and repeatedly taunted Adam, as the two of them seem to be dancing and drinking together.
Adam breaks into the apartment enraged, pointing a gun at the pair. Amanda is horrified and says to Adam, “You’ve no right to do this – nobody does!” Adam feels he has proven his point about the injustice of Amanda’s line of defense. He puts the gun in his mouth, as Amanda and Kip scream in terror. Then Adam bites a large piece off the gun and chews it. It is made of licorice. Amanda is furious with this prank and a three-way fight ensues.
Now in the midst of a divorce, Adam and Amanda reluctantly reunite for a meeting with their tax accountant. Going through their expenses for the year, they talk about their relationship in the past tense.
They talk about the farm they own and recall burning the mortgage. Tears begin to roll down Adam’s cheeks. Astonished and touched, Amanda gently bundles her sobbing husband out of the office and to the farm. That night, Adam announces that he has been selected as the Republican nominee for County Court Judge.
Amanda jokes about running for the post as the Democratic candidate. Adam says it would make him cry and demonstrates how easily he can turn on the tears, remarking that men can use crocodile tears to manipulate people too.
Amanda says there really isn’t any difference between the sexes as Adam jumps in bed and closes the curtains.
- Directed by George Cukor
- Written by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin
- Produced by Lawrence Weingarten
- Cinematography : George J. Folsey
- Edited by George Boemler
- Music by Miklós Rózsa
- Production Company : Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
- Distributed by Loew’s Inc
- Release Date : November 18, 1949
- Spencer Tracy as Adam Bonner
- Katharine Hepburn as Amanda Bonner
- Judy Holliday as Doris Attinger
- Tom Ewell as Warren Attinger
- David Wayne as Kip Lurie, songwriter and piano player
- Jean Hagen as Beryl Caighn
- Hope Emerson as Olympia La Pere
- Eve March as Grace
- Clarence Kolb as Judge Reiser
- Emerson Treacy as Jules Frikke
- Polly Moran as Mrs. McGrath
- Will Wright as Judge Marcasson
- Elizabeth Flournoy as Dr. Margaret Brodeigh
- Marvin Kaplan as court stenographer
Film Information :
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