This week in history: 9th – 15th December

Alan RIckman carries a discheveled Kate Winslet through a grassy field

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Almost half a century ago on December 11th 1967, Stanley Kramer’s comedy Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was released. The film pushed boundaries by positively portraying an interracial marriage between Joanna (Katherine Houghton) the daughter of a liberal upper-class parents, and John (Sidney Poiter) a young black physician.

This was rare for a film at the time, in 1967 interracial marriage was still illegal in 17 states of the USA. Sidney Poiter was also the first black person to win an Academy Award for Best Actor.

On December 13th 1995, Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility was released, it was the first cinematic Austen adaptation in 50 years. The adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel has a large cast of well known actors, including a young Emma Thompson, a very young Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman.

Emma Thompson wrote the screenplay for the film. While working on the script her computer developed a problem and she lost the file. She took the computer to Stephen Fry for help. After seven hours he managed to retrieve the file.

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