George Cukor, 1949
USA | Format: 35mm | 101 minutes
Introduction by filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich and Locarno Film Festival artistic director Carlo Chatrian on December 14!
In Cukor’s manic, strikingly modern battle of the sexes, feuding lawyer spouses Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy let their domestic power struggles spill over into the public sphere when they end up on opposite sides of a high-profile murder trial. As the film cycles from home to courtroom and back again, it stacks up a series of unforgettable set pieces: Tracy visualizing the trial’s key male players as women, and vice versa; a female circus performer matter-of-factly hoisting Tracy aloft by the feet; even a film-within-a-film that gives Cukor a chance to reflect on his own complicity in the proceedings. More than a classic screwball comedy, Adam’s Rib is one of Hollywood’s most sophisticated meditations on the gender gap, and a genuinely moving portrait of a marriage on the brink.