Joanna Drayton's (Katharine Houghton) unannounced early return from a Hawaiian vacation causes a stir when she brings her new fiancé to her childhood upper-class home in San Francisco.
The young doctor, a typical role for the young Sidney Poitier, was purposely created idealistically perfect, so that the only possible objection to his marrying Joanna would be his race, or the fact she had only known him for ten days: the character has thus graduated from a top school, begun innovative medical initiatives in Africa, refused to have premarital sex with his fiancée despite her willingness, and leaves money in an open container on his future father-in-law's desk in payment for a long distance phone call he has made.Nothing is made of the 14-year difference in their ages.Universally, it had been expressed by the parents that more than a few hours are necessary for a proper decision, but John's mother brings up her idea of what the men are missing about the situation: passion.When the elder Prentice tells John that he is making a huge mistake, John says that his father thinks of himself as a black man, whereas John thinks of himself as a man. Prentice tells Matt that he and her husband, in growing old, have forgotten what it's like to feel romantic passion.Production had been set for January 1967 and ended on May 24, 1967.
Spencer Tracy was in poor health and insurance companies refused to cover him. Kate and I put up our own salaries to compensate for the lack of an insurance company for Spence.
The Draytons' black maid, Tillie (Isabel Sanford), is even more horrified, suspecting that John is trying to "get above himself" by marrying a white woman.
Joanna is oblivious to the reactions of her parents.
I love to listen to all kinds of music and dance around the house..I always try to see the good in people and not judge.
I don't need to be swept off my feet just, maybe impressed.
They are unsettled by her engagement with John since they never thought that her choice would be a black man, and further unsettled by John's decision that if Joanna's parents do not accept the engagement that day, that he will end it.