Meryl Streep was unconvinced that a mother in a financially stable marriage would want to leave her son until her own mother told her that she herself had moments when she had wanted to walk out the door.
In the restaurant scene where Joanna returns to tell Ted that she wants Billy back, Dustin Hoffman had become highly agitated due to Meryl Streep arguing with director Robert Benton about switching the dialogue around. When the scene concludes and Ted gets up from the table, then smashes his wine glass against the wall, it was a real moment of frustration from Hoffman and Streep's reaction is genuine.
George Coe, the actor who plays Ted Kramer's boss, was one of the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players on Saturday Night Live
. Although it is little known, he was in fact listed as such for the first three episodes. He remained on the show for the first season filling in small parts but was taken off the opening credits.
The courtroom was an existing location, an actual abandoned courtroom the studio got permission to use. This caused problems for cinematographer Nestor Almendros because the room was huge and no movie lights could be hung above the set. He and his crew rewired the light sockets in the room and used light bulbs as high as 500 watts to shoot the scene.
During the scene where Ted Kramer intrudes on a company Christmas party to secure a job, Dustin Hoffman ends it by kissing a woman unexpectedly. The woman was Ingeborg Sørensen, a Playboy Playmate and one-time Miss Norway.
Kramer vs. Kramer
had an unusually long post-production due to the fact that it finished shooting in December of 1978 and the studio wanted it to run during awards season, which begins in December. As a result, Robert Benton and editor Jerry Greenberg had months to hone and perfect the film before it was finally released, a full year later.
Justin Henry, at age eight, became the youngest nominee for any Oscar® in the Academy's history, a record he still holds. During the awards, Melvyn Douglas was nominated in the same category, Best Supporting Actor, at age 79. It was the biggest age difference between competitors in Academy history and Douglas himself became the second oldest winner, behind George Burns for The Sunshine Boys
by Greg Ferrara
Memorable Quotes from KRAMER VS KRAMER
Margaret Phelps (Jane Alexander): "Joanna is a very unhappy woman and it took a lot of courage to walk out this door."
Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman): "How much courage does it take to walk out on your kid?"
Billy Kramer (Justin Henry): "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."
Ted Kramer: "Come on now, what about Billy?"
Joanna Kramer (Meryl Streep): "I'm not taking him with me. I'm no good for him. I'm terrible with him. I have no patience. He's better off without me."
Ted Kramer: "Joanna, please."
Joanna Kramer: "And I don't love you anymore."
Ted Kramer: "Where are you going?"
Joanna Kramer: "I don't know."
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."
Billy Kramer: "Who's gonna read me my bedtime stories?"
Ted Kramer: "Mommy will."
Billy Kramer: "You're not gonna kiss me good night anymore, are you, Dad?"
Ted Kramer: "No, I won't be able to do that. But, you know, I get to visit. It's gonna be ok, really."
Billy Kramer: [crying] "If I don't like it, can I come home?"
Billy Kramer: "I want my mommy!"
Ted Kramer: "I'm all you got."
Billy Kramer: "We need cereal."
Ted Kramer: "Okay, what color?"
Ted Kramer: "Listen why don't you go upstairs and see him and I'll wait here."
Joanna Kramer: "How do I look?"
Ted Kramer: "You look terrific."
Compiled by Greg Ferrara