ADAM’S RIB BY GEORGE CUKOR: A VIDEO ESSAY

This entry was posted on August 4th, 2017

Adam’s Rib (1949) | The Kobal Collection / MGM

By Monica Delgado

In three moments of Adam’s Rib (EEUU, 1949), George Cukor uses the resource of breaking the fourth Wall, not with the usual intention in comedy, but to obtain some kind of filiation of the spectator in this war of the sexes which was declared. Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy look at the camera in a surprising and brief way, revealing the traps of the arguments and actions in this legal competition of husband and wife. These two brief gestures show that if men win it’s because the passion has won: tears, gifts, infatuations. The women always end up giving up, from the failed killer played by Judy Holliday to Hepburn herself.

Cukor shows this through an architecture of oppositions but also of correspondences, through a mise in scene of dichotomies, without the need of camera movements, only fixed shots that little by little reinforce the week/strong, loving/hating, jealous/elusive angles.

Adam’s Rib by George Cukor, a video essay from Monica Delgado on Vimeo.