Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Monologues

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner

Now it became clear that we had one single day in which to make up our minds as to how we felt about this whole situation. So what happened? My wife typically enough decided to simply ignore every practical aspect of the situation, and was carried in some kind of romantic haze which made her in my view totally inaccessible to anything in the way of reason.

Now I have not as yet referred to His Reverence, who began by forcing his way into the situation, and insulted my intelligence by mouthing 300 platitudes and ending just a half hour ago by coming up to my room and challenging me to a wrestling match.

Now, Mr. Prentice, clearly a most reasonable man, says he has no wish to offend me, but wants to know if I’m some kind of a nut. And Mrs. Prentice says, that like her husband, that I’m a burnt out old shell of a man, who cannot even remember what its like to love a woman the way her son loves my daughter … and strange as it seems, that’s the first statement made to me all day with which I’m prepared to take issue. Cause I think you’re wrong. You’re as wrong as you can be.

I admit that I hadn’t considered it, hadn’t even thought about it but I know exactly how he feels about her, and there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that your son feels for my daughter that I didn’t feel for Christina. Old? Yes. Burnt out? Certainly. But I can tell you the memories are still there — clear, intact, indestructible. And they’ll be there if I live to be 110. Where John made his mistake I think was attaching so much importance to what her mother and I might think. ‘Cause in the final analysis it doesn’t matter a damn what we think the only thing that matters is what they feel, and how much they feel for each other. And if it’s half of what we felt … that’s everything.

Spencer Tracy delivers an incredible monologue as Matt Drayton in 1967’s Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,¬†as he blesses the upcoming wedding of his daughter to Black doctor John Prentice (Sidney Poitier). This was Tracy’s last screen appearance (he died in June of 1967, months before the movie was released).

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (Dr. John Prentice)

You listen to me. You say you don’t want to tell me how to live my life. So what do you think you’ve been doing? You tell me what rights I’ve got or haven’t got, and what I owe to you for what you’ve done for me. Let me tell you something. I owe you nothing! If you carried that bag a million miles, you did what you’re supposed to do! Because you brought me into this world. And from that day you owed me everything you could ever do for me like I will owe my son if I ever have another. But you don’t own me! You can’t tell me when or where I’m out of line, or try to get me to live my life according to your rules. You don’t even know what I am, Dad, you don’t know who I am. You don’t know how I feel, what I think. And if I tried to explain it the rest of your life you will never understand. You are 30 years older than I am. You and your whole lousy generation believes the way it was for you is the way it’s got to be. And not until your whole generation has lain down and died will the dead weight of you be off our backs! You understand, you’ve got to get off my back! Dad… Dad, you’re my father. I’m your son. I love you. I always have and I always will. But you think of yourself as a colored man. I think of myself as a man. Now, I’ve got a decision to make, hm? And I’ve got to make it alone, and I gotta make it in a hurry. So would you go out there and see after my mother?