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Spitfire (1934)

Passed | | Drama | 30 March 1934 (USA)
Mountain girl Trigger Hicks, a fierce loner equally handy with a rock or a prayer, is in danger of having her faith-healing mistaken for witchcraft by the neighbors. She shows a vulnerable ... See full summary »

Director:

John Cromwell

Writers:

Lula Vollmer (from the play by), Jane Murfin (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Katharine Hepburn ... Trigger Hicks
Robert Young ... John Stafford
Ralph Bellamy ... George Fleetwood
Martha Sleeper ... Eleanor Stafford
Louis Mason ... Bill Grayson
Sara Haden ... Etta Dawson (as Sarah Haden)
Virginia Howell ... Granny Raines
Sidney Toler ... Mr. Sawyer
Will Geer ... West Fry (as High Ghere)
John Beck John Beck ... Jake Hawkins
Therese Wittler Therese Wittler ... Mrs. Sawyer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Irene Rich ... Undetermined Role (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Mountain girl Trigger Hicks, a fierce loner equally handy with a rock or a prayer, is in danger of having her faith-healing mistaken for witchcraft by the neighbors. She shows a vulnerable side when John Stafford, a philandering engineer working on a new dam, is attracted to her. Matters come to a head when Trigger "rescues" an abused baby from its parents, and seeks help from the engineers. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

engineer | dam | baby | witchcraft | prayer | See All (28) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 March 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Trigger See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The rights to the play "Trigger" were purchased with Dorothy Jordan in mind for the lead. However, Katharine Hepburn agreed to star on the condition that she could leave for New York on November 16, 1933 to appear in the play "The Lake". Shooting of the two final scenes ran about 6 hours late on November 15, 1933, but director John Cromwell was dissatisfied with the results and wanted to reshoot them. Miss Hepburn refused at first, citing the terms of her contract. She then demanded, and received, $10,000 (in addition to her $50,000 salary) to stay an extra day for the reshoot. See more »

Quotes

John Stafford: You trust me, don't you?
Trigger Hicks: Don't trust no man farther than a shotgun can hit.
John Stafford: Oh, you never loved a man, then, did you?
Trigger Hicks: Sure, I've loved a heap of 'em. The more I love 'em, the less I trust 'em.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Katharine Hepburn: All About Me (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

At the Cross
(1885) (uncredited)
Music by Hugh Wilson from "Martyrdom" (1800)
Hymn by Isaac Watts (1707)
Refrain and arrangement by Ralph E. Hudson (1885)
Sung a cappella by Katharine Hepburn
See more »

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User Reviews

Unintentionally funny - we're talking Miscasting Hall of Fame
4 January 2001 | by otterSee all my reviews

Okay, you have a lame script about a hillbilly girl. She's emotional and immature, ignert and superstitious, grubby and mystical, with an innocent yet powerful sexuality. Who do you cast? Perhaps an actress who can project some of those qualities? Possibly someone who can do the accept properly, maybe someone in the right age group, or even someone whose background has something in it that would allow her to connect to the character? YOU might, but the producers cast the most damnably Yankee actress in Hollywood - Katherine Hepburn.

Katherine Hepburn - of New England old money, graduate of Bryn Mawr, officially inducted into the Preppie Hall of Fame, the living embodiment of well-bred hard-headed plain-spoken Yankee common sense, whose best roles are as sophisticated and professional women... cast as a ragged teenage Hillbilly outcast illiterate mystic thought to be a witch by her backwoods neighbors? Hepburn had enough Yankee common sense to try everything possible to get out of doing this role, but the idiots who ran studio had the upper hand and forced her into this little stinker. Her awkwardness shows she knows what a fool she's making of herself, but still gives it the old college try (yuk, yuk), taking this movie from ordinary badness into truly amazing eye-popping badness. I mean, classy Kate Hepburn throwing stones at the neighbors and having bug-eyed visions? You have to see this to believe it.

Without Hepburn the movie would still be terrible (but with her it's funny). It's one of these horrible condescending scripts about how ignernt and cruel them backwoods white trash is, and how being ignernt and immature is kinda sexy in a purty girl. Eeew.

(Note: Way funnier than her second-most spectacularly miscast role. In 1941 she played a Chinese peasant woman in "Dragon Seed". It's not nearly as funny, being just a bad war-effort film, it's rather dull and this one is absolutely daffy.)


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