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Keeper of the Flame (1942)

Passed  -  Drama | Mystery  -  December 1942 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,201 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 12 critic

Journalist Steve O'Malley wants to write a biography of a national hero who died when his car ran off a bridge. Steve receives conflicting reports and tales that make him question what the truth about the hero is.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: Keeper of the Flame (1942)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Steven 'Stevie' O'Malley
...
Mrs. Christine Forrest
Richard Whorf ...
Clive Kerndon
Margaret Wycherly ...
Old Mrs. Forrest
...
Geoffrey 'Geoff' Midford
Frank Craven ...
Doctor Fielding
Stephen McNally ...
Freddie Ridges (as Horace McNally)
Percy Kilbride ...
Orion Peabody, Taxi Driver
Audrey Christie ...
Jane Harding
...
Jeb Rickards
...
Mr. Arbuthnot
Howard Da Silva ...
Jason Rickards (as Howard da Silva)
William Newell ...
Piggot, the Horse Handler
Edit

Storyline

Journalist Steve O'Malley wants to write a biography of a national hero who died when his car ran off a bridge. Steve receives conflicting reports and tales that make him question what the truth about the hero is.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The screen's most exciting lovers in their newest romantic triumph! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

December 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Keeper of the Flame  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Hepburn biographer Alvin H. Marill, Hepburn was very vocal in critiquing the direction of long-time collaborator George Cukor during filming. After Cukor filmed a fire scene, she questioned his handling of the actors, " I don't think they would have to be told about the fire. They would smell the smoke." Cukor finally Spoke up to his star, "It must be wonderful to know all about acting AND all about fires." See more »

Goofs

Right after Old Mrs. Forrest complains about her son having been "stabbed in the back", she is shown with her hand at chest level. Immediately afterward, there is a cut to a wider shot, and her hand is down by her waist. See more »

Connections

Edited into Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Marcia Funebre
(uncredited)
from "Symphony No.3 in E Flat Major "Eroica", Op.55" (1806)
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
played as background music during the funeral
See more »

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User Reviews

The only screen death
20 April 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Keeper of the Flame is the answer to the trivia question, what film contained the only screen death for either Katherine Hepburn or Spencer Tracy in their joint projects.

This was their second teaming and after the comedy of Woman of the Year, they tried a change of pace with a melodrama. Pearl Harbor was still fresh in everyone's minds and so was the discredited isolationist movement.

It's chief spokesperson was Charles Lindbergh on whom the character of Hepburn's husband Robert Forrest was based. Lindbergh's too close association with Germany tarred him for the rest of his life.

Here Robert Forrest is killed right at the beginning of the film as he drives over a bridge that's ready to collapse. The death of Forrest brings out the grief of a nation and reporters flock to his Manderley like estate.

One of those reporters is Spencer Tracy who by some chicanery gains entrance to the place and meets the widow Forrest and her husband's chief aide Richard Whorf. The place reeks of sinister and Tracy's curiosity is aroused. He also meets Margaret Wycherly who is Hepburn's mother-in-law. She's one batty old dame. A far cry from Gary Cooper's mother a year before who Wycherly played in Sergeant York.

Hepburn seeks to preserve her late husband's reputation at the risk of her own in sending Tracy out on a red herring. He discovers the truth and how he does it and the result therein is the crux of the film.

Tracy and Hepburn are at their professional best working for the first time with George Cukor who later guided them through Adam's Rib and Pat and Mike. Richard Whorf is very good as the malevolent aide.

After over 60 years the film still packs a powerful dramatic punch.


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