Reviews and Reception
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner was a box-office hit in 1968 throughout the United States, including in the southern states where it was traditionally assumed that few white filmgoers would want to see any film with black leads. As a result, the success of this film meant that particular consideration in film marketing would never be considered a problem again. Despite this success, which included numerous film award nominations, Frank Rich of the New York Times wrote in November 2008 that the film was frequently labeled as dated among liberals. Another main point of contention was the fact that Poitier's character, the golden future son-in-law, had no flaws and a resume of good deeds that could fill an entire volume. Many people felt that the dynamic between the Draytons and Dr. John Wade Prentice (Poitier's character) would have inevitably resulted in a happily-ever-after film ending because Poitier's character was so perfect, respectable, likable, and proper. Some people went as far as saying Prentice was 'too white' to not be accepted by the Draytons.
The release of the film in the U.S. gave Poitier his third box-office success in six months in 1967, all of which placed the race of Poitier's character at issue.
In a 1995 review of the film by Ted Wick of Alberta Report Newsmagazine, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is deemed as being "well-worth viewing (or re-viewing)."
In a review of the film by New York Times, Lawrence Van Gelder wrote: "the suspicion arises that were the film made today its makers would come to grips a good deal more bluntly with the problems of intermarriage. Still, this remains a deft comedy and - most of all - a paean to the power of love."
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