Film Guide- Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)

Learning English with Film

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was released in 1967 at a time when interracial marriage was a hotly debated subject in the United States. Just twelve years earlier, Emmet Till, a fourteen year old black boy was lynched by a white mob in Mississippi, after being accused of offending a white woman. The brutality of his murder and the fact that his killers were acquitted caused outrage, and not only among the African American community.

By the mid 1960s revolution was in the air. From anti-war protests to the civil rights movement and the sexual revolution young people were challenging the old orthodoxy and campaigning for civil and political rights. The famous Loving v Virginia legal case, brought by a mixed race married couple, was headline news after the supreme court unanimously struck down Virginia’s long-standing ban on interracial marriage. This is the historical context of Stanley Kramer’s, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.  Illuminating these themes before showing the movie will give learners a much deeper appreciation of the film