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Kramer vs. Kramer
Kramer vs. Kramer
is a 1979 American family drama film directed and written by Robert Benton, based on Avery Corman's novel. The film stars Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Jane Alexander
Jane Alexander
and Justin Henry. It tells the story of a couple's divorce and its impact on everyone involved, including the couple's young son. The film upon release received critical acclaim with particular praise for the performances of its cast. The film also became a major commercial success grossing $106.3 million against a budget of $6 million, becoming the highest grossing film of 1979.The film received a leading nine nominations at the 52nd Academy Awards, winning the highest five : (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress).

Contents

1 Plot 2 Cast 3 Production

3.1 Hoffman-Streep Conflict

4 Reception 5 Cultural impact 6 Awards and nominations 7 Adaptation 8 See also 9 References 10 External links

Plot[edit] Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman) is a workaholic advertising executive who has just been assigned a new and very important account. Ted arrives home and shares the good news with his wife Joanna (Meryl Streep) only to find that she is leaving him. Saying that she needs to find herself, she leaves Ted to raise their son Billy (Justin Henry) by himself. Ted and Billy initially resent one another as Ted no longer has time to carry his increased workload and Billy misses his mother's love and attention. After months of unrest, Ted and Billy learn to cope and gradually bond as father and son. Ted befriends his neighbor Margaret (Jane Alexander), who had initially counseled Joanna to leave Ted if she was that unhappy. Margaret is a fellow single parent, and she and Ted become kindred spirits. One day, as the two sit in the park watching their children play, Billy falls off the jungle gym, severely cutting his face. Ted sprints several blocks through oncoming traffic carrying Billy to the hospital, where he comforts his son during treatment. Fifteen months after she walked out, Joanna returns to New York 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. Margaret is forced to testify that she had advised an unhappy Joanna to leave Ted, though she also attempts to tell Joanna on the stand that her husband has profoundly changed. Eventually, the damaging facts that Ted was fired because of his conflicting parental responsibilities which forced him to take a lower-paying job come out in court, as do the details of Billy's accident. The court awards custody to Joanna, a decision mostly based on the assumption that a child is best raised by his mother. Ted discusses appealing the case, but his lawyer warns that Billy himself would have to take the stand in the resulting trial. Ted cannot bear the thought of submitting his child to such an ordeal, and decides not to contest custody. On the morning that Billy is to move in with Joanna, Ted and Billy make breakfast together, mirroring the meal that Ted tried to cook the first morning after Joanna left. They share a tender hug, knowing that this is their last daily breakfast together. Joanna calls on the intercom, asking Ted to come down to the lobby. She tells Ted how much she loves and wants Billy, but she knows that his true home is with Ted, and therefore will not take custody of him. She asks Ted if she can see Billy, and Ted says that would be fine. As they are about to enter the elevator together, Ted tells Joanna that he will stay downstairs to allow Joanna to see Billy in private. After she enters the elevator, Joanna wipes tears from her face and asks her former husband "How do I look?" As the elevator doors start to close on Joanna, Ted answers, "You look terrific." Cast[edit]

Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman
as Ted Kramer Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
as Joanna (Stern) Kramer Justin Henry as Billy Kramer Jane Alexander
Jane Alexander
as Margaret Phelps Petra King as Petie Phelps Melissa Morell as Kim Phelps Howard Duff
Howard Duff
as John Shaunessy George Coe as Jim O'Connor JoBeth Williams
JoBeth Williams
as Phyllis Bernard Howland Chamberlain as Judge Atkins Dan Tyra as Court Clerk

Production[edit] Kate Jackson
Kate Jackson
was originally offered the role played by Meryl Streep but was forced to turn it down. At the time, Jackson was appearing in the TV series Charlie's Angels, and producer Aaron Spelling
Aaron Spelling
told her that they were unable to rearrange the shooting schedule to give her time off to do the film.[3] The part was then offered to various other actresses including Faye Dunaway, Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda
and Ali McGraw, all of whom turned it down. Streep was initially cast as Phyllis (the role eventually given to JoBeth Williams), but she was able to force her way into auditioning for Joanna in front of Hoffman, Benton and Jaffe. She found the character in the novel and script unsympathetic, ("an ogre, a princess, an ass", as she called her) and insisted on approaching Joanna from a more sympathetic point of view.[4] Hoffman believed that the recent loss of her fiancé, John Cazale, only months earlier, gave Streep an emotional edge and "still-fresh pain" to draw on for the performance.[5] Gail Strickland was first cast as Ted's neighbor Margaret, but departed after a week of filming due to "artistic differences" and was replaced by Jane Alexander.[6] The truth was that Strickland was so intimidated by Hoffman while filming their scenes together that she developed a nervous stammer which made her lines unintelligible.[7] Strickland herself disputes this account, saying that she couldn't memorize the improvised lines which Hoffman gave her fast enough, which agitated him and led to her firing two days later.[8] Cinematographer Néstor Almendros, a collaborator on numerous François Truffaut
François Truffaut
films, had been hired with the expectation that Truffaut would direct. Truffaut seriously considered it, but was too busy with his own projects and suggested screenwriter Robert Benton direct. Hoffman-Streep Conflict[edit] Hoffman has been widely reported in different media to have harassed Streep during the making of the movie, and the two had a contentious working relationship as a result.[9][10] In a 1979 Time magazine interview, Streep claimed that Hoffman groped her breast on their first meeting.[11] The two actors battled over their characters, with Streep wanting to portray Joanna as more sympathetic and vulnerable than she was written.[12] As a famously committed method actor[13], Hoffman would also hurl insults and obscenities at Streep, taunting her with the name of her recently deceased fiancé, John Cazale, to draw a better performance out of her.[14] He also famously threw a wine glass against the wall without telling her (although he did inform the cameraman beforehand), which shattered and sent glass shards into her hair. Her response was: "Next time you do that, I'd appreciate you letting me know." [15] In 2018 she confirmed what had first been reported in 2016, that Hoffman had slapped her hard without warning while filming a scene:

"This is tricky because when you’re an actor, you’re in a scene, you have to feel free. I’m sure that I have inadvertently hurt people in physical scenes. But there’s a certain amount of forgiveness in that. But this was my first movie, and it was my first take in my first movie, and he just slapped me. And you see it in the movie. It was overstepping."[16]

Reception[edit] The film received positive reviews from critics. It holds an 88% approval rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with an average score of 7.9/10. The consensus reads: "The divorce subject isn't as shocking, but the film is still a thoughtful, well-acted drama that resists the urge to take sides or give easy answers."[17] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
gave the film four stars, giving praise to Benton's screenplay: "His characters aren't just talking to each other, they're revealing things about themselves and can sometimes be seen in the act of learning about their own motives. That's what makes Kramer vs. Kramer
Kramer vs. Kramer
such a touching film: We get the feeling at times that personalities are changing and decisions are being made even as we watch them."[18] Cultural impact[edit] Kramer vs. Kramer
Kramer vs. Kramer
reflected a cultural shift which occurred during the 1970s, 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.[18] Awards and nominations[edit]

American Film Institute
American Film Institute
Lists

AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies – Nominated[19] AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) – Nominated[20] AFI's 10 Top 10 – #3 Courtroom Drama

Award Category Recipients and nominees Result

52nd Academy Awards Best Picture Stanley R. Jaffe Won

Best Director Robert Benton Won

Best Actor Dustin Hoffman Won

Best Adapted Screenplay Robert Benton Won

Best Supporting Actor Justin Henry Nominated

Best Supporting Actress Jane Alexander Nominated

Meryl Streep Won

Best Cinematography Nestor Almendros Nominated

Best Film Editing Jerry Greenberg Nominated

BAFTA Awards Best Film Stanley R. Jaffe Nominated

Best Direction Robert Benton Nominated

Best Actor Dustin Hoffman Nominated

Best Actress Meryl Streep Nominated

Best Screenplay Robert Benton Nominated

Best Editing Jerry Greenberg Nominated

César Awards 1981 Best Foreign Film Robert Benton Nominated

David di Donatello
David di Donatello
Awards Best Foreign Film Won

Best Foreign Actor Dustin Hoffman Won

Special
Special
David Justin Henry Nominated

37th Golden Globe Awards Best Motion Picture – Drama Stanley R. Jaffe Won

Best Director Robert Benton Nominated

Best Motion Picture Actor - Drama Dustin Hoffman Won

Best Screenplay Robert Benton Won

Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture Justin Henry Nominated

Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture Jane Alexander Nominated

Meryl Streep Won

New Star of the Year – Actor Justin Henry Nominated

Japan Academy Prize Outstanding Foreign Language Film Robert Benton Won

Blue Ribbon Awards Best Foreign Language Film Won

Directors Guild of America Outstanding Directing – Feature Film Won

Hochi Film Award Best International Picture Won

Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards 1979 Best Film Won

Best Director Won

Best Actor Dustin Hoffman Won

Best Supporting Actress Meryl Streep Won

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards 1979 Best Film Robert Benton Won

Best Director Won

Best Actor Dustin Hoffman Won

Best Supporting Actress Meryl Streep Won

National Board of Review
National Board of Review
Awards 1979 National Board of Review: Top Ten Films Robert Benton Won

Best Supporting Actress Meryl Streep Won

National Society of Film Critics Awards 1979 Best Film Robert Benton Nominated

Best Director Won

Best Actor Dustin Hoffman Won

Best Supporting Actress Jane Alexander Nominated

Meryl Streep Won

1979 New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Film Robert Benton Won

Best Director Nominated

Best Actor Dustin Hoffman Won

Best Supporting Actress Jane Alexander Nominated

Meryl Streep Won

Writers Guild of America Award Best Adapted Screenplay Robert Benton Won

2nd Youth in Film Awards Best Leading Young Actor in a Feature Film Justin Henry Won

Adaptation[edit] In 2013 Kramer vs. Kramer
Kramer vs. Kramer
was remade with a Mexican twist and an unexpected ending as Instructions Not Included (original Spanish title: No se aceptan devoluciones, literally No Returns Accepted.) Comedy-drama film co-written, directed by, and starring Eugenio Derbez. In 1995, Kramer vs. Kramer
Kramer vs. Kramer
was remade in India as Akele Hum Akele Tum, starring Aamir Khan
Aamir Khan
and Manisha Koirala. See also[edit]

"Kramer vs. Kramer: Kenny to Cosmo" Trial film

References[edit]

^ Oscarblogger: Kramer vs. Kramer. Retrieved April 1, 2013 ^ "Kramer vs Kramer (1979)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-11-17.  ^ Spelling, Aaron; Graham, Jefferson (1996). A Prime-Time Life: An Autobiography. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 112. ISBN 0-312-14268-4.  ^ Michael Schulman (2016-03-29). "How Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
Battled Dustin Hoffman, Retooled Her Role, and Won Her First Oscar". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2018-01-03.  ^ Michael Schulman (2016-03-29). "How Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
Battled Dustin Hoffman, Retooled Her Role, and Won Her First Oscar". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2018-01-03.  ^ " Kramer vs. Kramer
Kramer vs. Kramer
(1979)". American Film Institute. Retrieved 2018-01-04.  ^ Michael Schulman (2016-03-29). "How Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
Battled Dustin Hoffman, Retooled Her Role, and Won Her First Oscar". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2018-01-03.  ^ Michael Schulman (2016-03-29). "How Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
Battled Dustin Hoffman, Retooled Her Role, and Won Her First Oscar". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2018-01-03.  ^ Michael Schulman (2016-03-29). "How Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
Battled Dustin Hoffman, Retooled Her Role, and Won Her First Oscar". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2018-01-03.  ^ Hunter Harris (2018-01-03). " Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
Calls Out Dustin Hoffman for Kramer vs. Kramer
Kramer vs. Kramer
slap: 'It was overstepping'". Vulture. Retrieved 2018-01-03.  ^ Ruth Graham (2017-11-02). " Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
once said Dustin Hoffman groped her breast the first time they met". Slate magazine. Retrieved 2018-01-03.  ^ Michael Schulman (2016-03-29). "How Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
Battled Dustin Hoffman, Retooled Her Role, and Won Her First Oscar". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2018-01-03.  ^ Michael Simkins (2016-03-31). " Method acting
Method acting
can go too far - just ask Dustin Hoffman". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-01-03.  ^ Olivia Blair (2016-03-30). " Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman
'slapped and taunted Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
with the name of her dead boyfriend during filming', book claims". The Independent.  ^ Michael Schulman (2016-03-29). "How Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
Battled Dustin Hoffman, Retooled Her Role, and Won Her First Oscar". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2018-01-03.  ^ Cara Buckley (2018-01-03). " Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
and Tom Hanks on the #MeToo Moment and 'The Post'". New York Times. Retrieved 2018-01-03.  ^ " Kramer vs. Kramer
Kramer vs. Kramer
(1979)". Retrieved April 29, 2010.  ^ a b Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
(December 1, 1979). " Kramer vs. Kramer
Kramer vs. Kramer
(1979)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 29, 2010.  ^ AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies Nominees ^ AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) Ballot

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Kramer vs. Kramer

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v t e

Films directed by Robert Benton

Bad Company (1972) The Late Show (1977) Kramer vs. Kramer
Kramer vs. Kramer
(1979) Still of the Night (1982) Places in the Heart
Places in the Heart
(1984) Nadine (1987) Billy Bathgate (1991) Nobody's Fool (1994) Twilight (1998) The Human Stain (2003) Feast of Love
Feast of Love
(2007)

v t e

Academy Award for Best Picture

1927/28–1950

Wings (1927/28) The Broadway Melody
The Broadway Melody
(1928/29) All Quiet on the Western Front (1929/30) Cimarron (1930/31) Grand Hotel (1931/32) Cavalcade (1932/33) It Happened One Night
It Happened One Night
(1934) Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) The Great Ziegfeld
The Great Ziegfeld
(1936) The Life of Emile Zola
The Life of Emile Zola
(1937) You Can't Take It with You (1938) Gone with the Wind (1939) Rebecca (1940) How Green Was My Valley (1941) Mrs. Miniver
Mrs. Miniver
(1942) Casablanca (1943) Going My Way
Going My Way
(1944) The Lost Weekend (1945) The Best Years of Our Lives
The Best Years of Our Lives
(1946) Gentleman's Agreement (1947) Hamlet (1948) All the King's Men (1949) All About Eve
All About Eve
(1950)

1951–1975

An American in Paris (1951) The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) From Here to Eternity
From Here to Eternity
(1953) On the Waterfront
On the Waterfront
(1954) Marty (1955) Around the World in 80 Days (1956) The Bridge on the River Kwai
The Bridge on the River Kwai
(1957) Gigi (1958) Ben-Hur (1959) The Apartment
The Apartment
(1960) West Side Story (1961) Lawrence of Arabia (1962) Tom Jones (1963) My Fair Lady (1964) The Sound of Music (1965) A Man for All Seasons (1966) In the Heat of the Night (1967) Oliver! (1968) Midnight Cowboy
Midnight Cowboy
(1969) Patton (1970) The French Connection (1971) The Godfather
The Godfather
(1972) The Sting
The Sting
(1973) The Godfather
The Godfather
Part II (1974) One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

1976–2000

Rocky
Rocky
(1976) Annie Hall
Annie Hall
(1977) The Deer Hunter
The Deer Hunter
(1978) Kramer vs. Kramer
Kramer vs. Kramer
(1979) Ordinary People
Ordinary People
(1980) Chariots of Fire
Chariots of Fire
(1981) Gandhi (1982) Terms of Endearment
Terms of Endearment
(1983) Amadeus (1984) Out of Africa (1985) Platoon (1986) The Last Emperor
The Last Emperor
(1987) Rain Man
Rain Man
(1988) Driving Miss Daisy
Driving Miss Daisy
(1989) Dances with Wolves
Dances with Wolves
(1990) The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Unforgiven
Unforgiven
(1992) Schindler's List
Schindler's List
(1993) Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump
(1994) Braveheart
Braveheart
(1995) The English Patient (1996) Titanic (1997) Shakespeare in Love
Shakespeare in Love
(1998) American Beauty (1999) Gladiator (2000)

2001–present

A Beautiful Mind (2001) Chicago (2002) The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) Million Dollar Baby (2004) Crash (2005) The Departed (2006) No Country for Old Men (2007) Slumdog Millionaire
Slumdog Millionaire
(2008) The Hurt Locker
The Hurt Locker
(2009) The King's Speech
The King's Speech
(2010) The Artist (2011) Argo (2012) 12 Years a Slave (2013) Birdman or: (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) Spotlight (2015) Moonlight (2016) The Shape of Water
The Shape of Water
(2017)

v t e

Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama

1940s

The Song of Bernadette (1943) Going My Way
Going My Way
(1944) The Lost Weekend (1945) The Best Years of Our Lives
The Best Years of Our Lives
(1946) Gentleman's Agreement (1947) Johnny Belinda / The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) All the King's Men (1949)

1950s

Sunset Boulevard (1950) A Place in the Sun (1951) The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) On the Waterfront
On the Waterfront
(1954) East of Eden (1955) Around the World in 80 Days (1956) The Bridge on the River Kwai
The Bridge on the River Kwai
(1957) The Defiant Ones (1958) Ben-Hur (1959)

1960s

Spartacus (1960) The Guns of Navarone (1961) Lawrence of Arabia (1962) The Cardinal
The Cardinal
(1963) Becket (1964) Doctor Zhivago (1965) A Man for All Seasons (1966) In the Heat of the Night (1967) The Lion in Winter (1968) Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

1970s

Love Story (1970) The French Connection (1971) The Godfather
The Godfather
(1972) The Exorcist (1973) Chinatown (1974) One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) Rocky
Rocky
(1976) The Turning Point (1977) Midnight Express (1978) Kramer vs. Kramer
Kramer vs. Kramer
(1979)

1980s

Ordinary People
Ordinary People
(1980) On Golden Pond (1981) E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
(1982) Terms of Endearment
Terms of Endearment
(1983) Amadeus (1984) Out of Africa (1985) Platoon (1986) The Last Emperor
The Last Emperor
(1987) Rain Man
Rain Man
(1988) Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

1990s

Dances with Wolves
Dances with Wolves
(1990) Bugsy
Bugsy
(1991) Scent of a Woman (1992) Schindler's List
Schindler's List
(1993) Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump
(1994) Sense and Sensibility (1995) The English Patient (1996) Titanic (1997) Saving Private Ryan
Saving Private Ryan
(1998) American Beauty (1999)

2000s

Gladiator (2000) A Beautiful Mind (2001) The Hours (2002) The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) The Aviator (2004) Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain
(2005) Babel (2006) Atonement (2007) Slumdog Millionaire
Slumdog Millionaire
(2008) Avatar (2009)

2010s

The Social Network
The Social Network
(2010) The Descendants
The Descendants
(2011) Argo (2012) 12 Years a Slave (2013) Boyhood (2014) The Revenant (2015) Moonlight (2016) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Mis

.