In WWII Pat Jamieson is a scientist working, with Government support, on a high-altitude oxygen mask for fighter pilots. But he has nowhere to conduct his research in secret until he meets Jamie Rowan, a woman with an unused house with a scientist's basement. Jamie has no hopes of marrying for love (and neither does Pat) but Jamie wants to help the war effort and she likes this quirky scientist and his dog, so to satisfy the proprieties they agree on a business arrangement: a marriage of convenience and partnership. They happily work on oxygen mixes instead of honeymooning. But as the footing of their relationship begins warm up, Jamie is courted by another man and the old flame that broke Pat's heart is back in his life. It will take a sleepwalking ruse, dodging in and out of doors, and a working oxygen mask to get them together again. Written by
The poem that Katharine Hepburn's character recites while riding in the horse buggy with Paul (Carl Esmond's character) is Sir William Watson's "Song" (1897). Ms. Hepburn's character, however, misquotes the line from the poem. She says, "April, April, with her girlish laughter." The lines she is quoting actually appear in the poem as, "April, April, / Laugh thy girlish laughter." See more »
Pat pushes a tall chest of drawers in front of his bedroom door so he won't leave the room if he sleepwalks. If you look closely, you will see a stagehand on the other side of the dresser helping him move it. See more »
Kate's had the best of it, Spence had the worst of it
Without Love is the third Philip Barry play that Katharine Hepburn was in on Broadway and then brought to the screen. It certainly is less well known than Holiday and The Philadelphia Story, but it's not as good.
The story concerns a government scientist who arrives in town without a place to stay. The housing shortage in Washington, DC during the World War II years was the whole premise behind The More the Merrier. Here it's a vehicle that gets Tracy to meet Hepburn. She's a Washington socialite with a big house that she's trying to sell. Perfect for Tracy and his experiments trying to invent an oxygen mask for high altitudes.
They develop feelings for each other, but both have been married before. Tracy's gone through a bad divorce and Hepburn is a widow. They agree to marry, but without emotional involvement.
How that all works out is the reason you ought to see the film. For me it's the weakest of all their films together. It doesn't have the sparkle of either Woman of the Year or Adam's Rib.
Possibly because on stage, Tracy's part was played by Elliott Nugent. I'm sure that the part had to have been built up for someone of Tracy's stature to even consider it even if it was Hepburn as the leading lady.
Lucille Ball, Keenan Wynn, and Patricia Morison all have good supporting parts here.
The fans of Tracy and Hepburn, individually and collectively, should appreciate this. That's a group that takes in a whole lot of territory.
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