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The movie concerns Joanna "Joey" Drayton (Houghton), a young white American woman who has had a whirlwind romance with Dr. John Prentice (Poitier), an African American man she met while on a holiday in Hawaii. Prentice plans to fly to New York later that night then on to an assignment in Switzerland. Joanna plans to join him there soon to be married even though she has only known him for a very short period of time. The plot is centered on Joanna's return to her liberal upper class American home in San Francisco, bringing her new fiance to dinner to meet her parents (Tracy and Hepburn), and the reaction of family and friends.
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner won the Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay for screenwriter, William Rose. Katharine Hepburn also won the Academy Award for Best Actress. The 1967 groundbreaking story dealt with the controversial subject of interracial marriage which had been illegal historically in most of the United States, and was still illegal in 17 Southern U.S. States up until June 12 of that year. Although legalized throughout the U.S. following the Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia, the topic was still taboo in many areas.