Kramer vs. Kramer is a 1979 film adapted from the novel by Avery Corman. The film tells the story of a divorce and its impact on everyone involved, including the couple's young son. It received five Academy Awards at the 52nd Academy Awards in 1980, in the categories of Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Directed by Robert Benton. Written by Avery Corman (novel) and Robert Benton.


Contents

Ted KramerEdit

  • [having lunch with his boss] So the other morning, I'm at the refrigerator... you know, getting Billy ready for school. So I'm just in my underwear and he notices I've lost weight. And he comes in and pats me. He comes up to here... [touches his stomach]... and he says "Daddy, you've really lost a lot of weight", he looks up at me and he says "And it's all gone to your nose." [laughs] He was so cute. You know?
  • [in court] There's a lot of things I didn't understand, a lot of things I'd do different if I could. Just like I think there's a lot of things you wish you could change, but we can't. Some things once they're done can't be undone. My wife, my ex-wife, says that she loves Billy, and I believe she does, but I don't think that's the issue here.

    If I understand it correctly, what means the most here is what's best for our son. What's best for Billy. My wife used to always say to me: 'Why can't a woman have the same ambitions as a man?' I think you're right. And maybe I've learned that much. But by the same token, I'd like to know, what law is it that says that a woman is a better parent simply by virtue of her sex? You know, I've had a lot of time to think about what it is it that makes somebody a good parent? You know, it has to do with constancy, it has to do with patience, it has to do with listening to him. It has to do with pretending to listen to him when you can't even listen anymore. It has to do with love, like, like, like she was saying. And I don't know where it's written that it says that a woman has a corner on that market, that, that a man has any less of those emotions than a woman does.

    Billy has a home with me. I've made it the best I could. It's not perfect. I'm not a perfect parent. Sometimes I don't have enough patience because I forget that he's a little kid. But I'm there. We get up in the morning and then we eat breakfast, and he talks to me and then we go to school. And at night, we have dinner together and we talk then and I read to him. And, and we built a life together and we love each other. If you destroy that, it may be irreparable. Joanna, don't do that, please. Don't do it twice to him.

DialogueEdit

Joanna Kramer: I love you, Billy.
Billy Kramer: I love you too, Mommy.

Ted Kramer: For the last six months I've been spitting blood to get this agency one of the biggest account it's ever had. And at five o'clock this afternoon, we got the account. At eight o'clock, I am walking home with the vice president and tells me I'll be the next creative director of this department. I come through this door to share with my wife one of the five best days of my life, and she looks at me and tells me she doesn't want to live with me anymore!. Can't you understand what she's done to me?
Margaret Phelps: Yeah, She loused up one of the five best days of your life.
Ted Kramer: You're terrific. Boy, you're.... thanks very much, really. Sisterhood.

Ted Kramer: Margaret, I just need to know something. Did you set my wife up to this?
Margaret Phelps: No, I did not put Joanna up to this.
Ted Kramer: Give her a little pep talk, maybe?
Margaret Phelps: Joanna is a very unhappy woman and it took a lot of courage for her to walk out of here.
Ted Kramer: Really. How much courage does it take to walk out on your kid?

Billy Kramer: When's mommy coming back?
Ted Kramer: I don't know, Billy, soon.
Billy Kramer: How soon?
Ted Kramer: Soon.
Billy Kramer: Will she pick me up after school?
Ted Kramer: Probably. And if she doesn't I will.
Billy Kramer: What if you forget?
Ted Kramer: I won't forget.
Billy Kramer: What if you get run over by a truck and get killed?
Ted Kramer: Then Mommy will pick you up.

[Phyllis, naked, leaves the bedroom to use the bathroom. She runs into Billy, who is en route to the same place]
Billy Kramer, Phyllis Bernard: [simultaneously] Hi.
Billy Kramer: What's your name?
Phyllis Bernard: I'm Phyllis Bernard.
Billy Kramer: Who?
Phyllis Bernard: I'm a friend... uh, business associate of your father's... dad.
Ted Kramer: [In the bedroom] Oh, Jesus.
Billy Kramer: Do you like fried chicken?
Phyllis Bernard: Fried chicken? Very much.
Billy Kramer: So do I.
Phyllis Bernard: Uhm... well, it's really... It's been nice seeing you and...
Billy Kramer: Bye.
Phyllis Bernard: Bye.
[Phyllis comes back to the bedroom]
Phyllis Bernard: Kramer, I just met your son.

[Ted and Billy are having dinner]
Ted Kramer: How was school today?
Billy Kramer: Same as usual.
Ted Kramer: Hey, I see the Knicks finally won a game, what do you know?
Billy Kramer: I don't care.
Ted Kramer: What do you mean?
Billy Kramer: I like Boston.
Ted Kramer: Boston? Why do you like Boston?
Billy Kramer: 'Cause Mommy's from Boston.

Ted Kramer: [while Billy brings ice cream to the table] You go right back and put that right back until you finish your dinner... I'm warning you, you take one bite out of that and you are in big trouble. Don't... Hey! Don't you dare... Don't you DARE do that. You hear me? Hold it right there! You put that ice cream in your mouth and you are in very, very, VERY big trouble. Don't you dare go anywhere beyond that... Put it down right now. I am not going to say it again. I am NOT going to say it AGAIN.
[Billy eats ice cream]
Ted Kramer: [extremely furious, gets up from the chair and picks Billy up and takes him to his bedroom as punishment] I HAD ENOUGH!!
Billy Kramer: [shrieking] Ow! You're hurting me! [kicks Ted]
Ted Kramer: OW! DON'T YOU KICK ME!!!!
Billy Kramer: I hate you!
Ted Kramer: [angry] YOU'RE NO BARGAIN EITHER, PAL!!! YOU ARE A SPOILED, ROTTEN LITTLE BRAT AND I'LL TELL YOU RIGHT NOW...
Billy Kramer: I HATE YOU!!!!!!!!
Ted Kramer: [furious] AND I HATE YOU BACK, YOU LITTLE SHIT!!!!
Billy Kramer: [crying] I want my mommy!
Ted Kramer: [still angry] I'm all you got!

Billy Kramer: Daddy?
Ted Kramer: Yeah?
Billy Kramer: I'm sorry.
Ted Kramer: I'm sorry too. I want you to go to sleep because it's really late.
Billy Kramer: Daddy?
Ted Kramer: Now what is it?
Billy Kramer: Are you going away?
Ted Kramer: No. I'm staying here with you. You can't get rid of me that easy.
Billy Kramer: That's why Mommy left, isn't it? Because I was bad?
Ted Kramer: Is that what you think? No. That's not it, Billy. Your mom loves you very much... and the reason she left has nothing to do with you. I don't know if this will make sense, but I'll try to explain it to you. I think the reason why Mommy left... was because for a long time... I kept trying to make her be a certain kind of person. A certain kind of wife that I thought she was supposed to be. And she just wasn't like that. She was... She just wasn't like that. I think that she tried for so long to make me happy... and when she couldn't, she tried to talk to me about it. But I wasn't listening. I was too busy, too wrapped up... just thinking about myself. And I thought that anytime I was happy, she was happy. But I think underneath she was very sad. Mommy stayed here longer than she wanted because she loves you so much. And the reason why Mommy couldn't stay anymore... was because she couldn't stand me. She didn't leave because of you. She left because of me. Go to sleep now because it's really late, okay? Good night. Sleep tight.
Billy Kramer: Don't let the bedbugs bite.
Ted Kramer: See you in the morning light.
Billy Kramer: Daddy?
Ted Kramer: Yeah?
Billy Kramer: I love you.
Ted Kramer: I love you too.

[Joanna returns to New York]
Joanna Kramer: All my life I've felt like...somebody's wife or somebody's mother, somebody's daughter. Even all the time we were together I never knew who I was. And that's why I had to go away. And in California, I think I found myself. I got myself a job. I got myself a therapist, a really good one. And I feel better about myself than I ever have in my whole life. I learned a great deal about myself.
Ted Kramer: Such as?... No, really, I'd really like to know what you learned.
Joanna Kramer: Well, I've learned that I love my little boy. And that I'm capable of taking care of him.
Ted Kramer: What do you mean?
Joanna Kramer: I want my son.
Ted Kramer: You can't have him
Joanna Kramer: Don't get defensive. Don't try to bully me.
Ted Kramer: I'm not getting defensive. Who walked out 15 months ago?
Joanna Kramer: I don't care. I'm still his mother.
Ted Kramer: Yeah, from 300 miles away. And because you sent post cards gives you the right to come back?
Joanna Kramer: I never stopped wanting him.
Ted Kramer: What makes you sure he wants you?
Joanna Kramer: What makes you sure he doesn't want me?
Ted Kramer: Okay look. We're gonna sit here and bat this back and forth. It's like old times.
Joanna Kramer: You can't deny me...
Ted Kramer: Don't tell me what I can or cannot do!. Don't talk to me that way!.
Joanna Kramer: I anticipated this.
Ted Kramer: Okey look, I don't want to hear this. Do what you have to. I'll do what I have to.
Joanna Kramer: Fine... I am very sorry about this.
Ted Kramer: Okey, just do what you have to do.

[Ted Kramer hires a lawyer]
Ted Kramer: I don't know the legal jargon for it, but I think it's "desertion." I don't mean to tell you your job, but I think I have an open-and-shut case.
John Shaunessy: Well, at first Mr. Kramer, there's no such thing as an open-and- shut case where custody is involved. I'll bet your ex-wife has already found a lawyer who's advised her to move back to establish residency. The burden is on us to prove that your ex-wife is an unfit mother. That means I'll have to play rough. If I play rough, you can bet they will too. Can you take that?
Ted Kramer: Yes.
John Shaunessy: And it's going to cost you $15,000.

[Ted Kramer gets fired]
Ted Kramer: You're firing me?
Jim O'Connor: Yeah, I'm letting you go, yes.
Ted Kramer: Why?
Jim O'Connor: Now, look, Ted, this is a very painful thing for me. You don't know how badly I feel,. I've been getting a lot of pressure from the guys upstairs, and there wasn't anything else I could do. I thought a lot about this and it's really better this way. If I took your stripes... if I put you on a schlock account, you'd hate it, and me for doing it. This way it's a clean break. And believe me, that's the best thing.
Ted Kramer: You know my wife is fighting me for custody?. You know that we're going to court?. Do you know what my chances are if I'm out of a job?.
Jim O'Connor:Look, I understand that you're upset...
Ted Kramer: I don't want to beg, but I'm asking you, please, as a friend. Ah?... I'm asking you.
Jim O'Connor: You're an extremely bright guy. You've got a hell of a talent. You're gonna land on your feet. You're gonna survive...Teddy, look. I know you may be short on cash. No big hurry about paying this back.
Ted Kramer: Shame on you.

Joanna Kramer: I woke up this morning, kept thinking about Billy and I-I was thinking about him waking up in his room with his little clouds all around that I painted. And I thought I should have painted clouds downtown, because then he would think that he was waking up at home. I came here to take my son home. And I realized he already is home. Oh, I love him very much. [Joanna and Ted hug] I'm not gonna take him with me. Can I go up and talk to him?...
Ted Kramer: Listen why don't you go upstairs and see him and I'll wait here.
Joanna Kramer: [wipes the tears from her eyes and pats her hair] How do I look?
Ted Kramer: You look terrific.

CastEdit

External linksEdit

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