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Kramer vs. Kramer is a 1979 courtroom drama film adapted by Robert Benton from the novel by Avery Corman, and directed by Benton. The film tells the story of a married couple's divorce and its impact on everyone involved, including the couple's young son. It received the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1979. Music for the film features New York guitarist Frederic Hand.

Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman), a workaholic advertising executive is just given his agency's biggest new account. After spending the night drinking and carousing with co-workers he returns home to find his wife Joanna (Meryl Streep) in the process of leaving him.

Ted is left to raise their son Billy (Justin Henry) by himself. Ted and Billy resent each other as Ted no longer has time to carry his increased workload, and Billy misses the loss of love and attention he received from his mother. After many months of unrest, Ted and Billy begin cope with the situation and eventually grow to deeply love and care for one another.

Ted befriends his neighbor Margaret (Jane Alexander), who at the beginning had counseled Joanna to leave. Margaret is a fellow single parent and the two become kindred spirits. One day as the two sit in the park watching their children play, Billy falls off the jungle gym and severely cuts his face. Picking him up, Ted sprints several blocks through oncoming traffic to the hospital.

Ted and Billy

Now about a year and a half since she left, Joanna returns to New York in order to claim Billy and a custody battle ensues. During the custody hearing, both Ted and Joanna are unprepared for the brutal character assassinations that their lawyers unleash on the other. Eventually, the courts awards custody to Joanna.

On the morning that Billy is to move in with Joanna, she comes to the apartment and tells Ted that, while she loves Billy and wants him with her, she knows that his true home is with Ted. The movie ends with the elevator doors closing on the emotional Joanna, as she heads upstairs to talk to Billy.

Kramer vs. Kramer reflected a cultural shift which occurred during the 1970s and the period of second-wave feminism, when ideas about "motherhood" and "fatherhood" were changing. The film was widely praised for the way in which it gave equal weight and importance to both Joanna and Ted's points of view [2].

The film also addresses the predisposition to awarding child custody to the mother.

The Mad magazine parody of the film was titled "Crymore vs. Crymore"

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Release Date:  December 17, 1979
Runtime:  105 minutes
Studio:  Columbia Pictures
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review by . April 13, 2009
Though movies can be great ways to view how people viewed the world in the past, where movies can falter in this is the "this movie was ahead of it's time" film. Mainly because, I feel, these movies tend to have more cracks in them then a later movie that fully understood the situation would. "Kramer vs. Kramer" is film that was released to wide approval during the second-wave feminism, where the meanings behind motherhood and fatherhood was changing. The movie revolves around Ted Kramer (Dustin …
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