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.


George Cukor


I.A.R. Wylie (novel), Donald Ogden Stewart (screenplay)





Complete credited cast:
Spencer Tracy ... Steven O'Malley
Katharine Hepburn ... Christine Forrest
Richard Whorf ... Clive Kerndon
Margaret Wycherly ... Mrs. Forrest
Forrest Tucker ... Geoffrey Midford
Frank Craven ... Dr. Fielding
Stephen McNally ... Freddie Ridges (as Horace McNally)
Percy Kilbride ... Orion Peabody
Audrey Christie ... Jane Harding
Darryl Hickman ... Jeb Rickards
Donald Meek ... Mr. Arbuthnot
Howard Da Silva ... Jason Rickards (as Howard da Silva)
William Newell ... Piggot


American military leader and war hero Robert Forrest, universally beloved and respected within the country and thus touted as Presidential material, has just died in a freak car accident on his sprawling estate, where, during an unexpected rainstorm, the car he was driving plunged over a ravine as he didn't notice the washed-out bridge. While the nation mourns, the national reporters descend on his small hometown to write the story of the incident. One reporter who won't is renowned Steven O'Malley, who wants instead to write an in-depth piece on the man to preserve his status within the public consciousness. Although happy to use official documents and records, O'Malley wants most specifically to speak to his wife, Christine Forrest, which may be a difficult task as she has refused to grant any interviews as a very private person. O'Malley is able to meet with Christine in person, and although she is reluctant to oblige his request at first, she is convinced by Robert's aide, Clive ... Written by Huggo

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-SPENCER TRACY (in the kind of role you love him for) ! *KATHARINE HEPBURN (in her greatest role ever)! (print ad - Lubbock Avalanche Journal - Midway Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - Feb. 11, 1945) See more »


Drama | Mystery


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This film received its initial television broadcast in New York City Monday 1 April 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2), followed by Hartfotd CT 6 April 1957 on WHCT (Channel 18), by Chicago 12 May 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), by Syracuse 2 June 1957 on WHEN (Channel 8), by Phoenix 20 June 1957 on KPHO (Channel 5), by both Philadelphia and Chicago 9 July 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6) and on KING (Channel 5), by New Haven CT 23 July 1957 on WNHC (Channel 8), by Portland OR 28 July 1957 on KGW (Channel 8), by Altoona PA 11 August 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), by Minneapolis 8 September 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), and by Los Angeles 12 September 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11); in San Francisco it was first telecast 6 March 1959 on KGO (Channel 7). See more »


The damage to the doctor's car by the taxi driver is very minimal. However, if you take into account the speed of the taxi and the sound of the crash the damage should have been significantly much more. See more »


Christine Forrest: But what was really shocking to me, was the complete cynicism of the plan. Each of the groups was simply to be used until its usefulness was exhausted. Hates were to be played against hates. If one group threatened to get too powerful, it would be killed off by another group. And in the end, those poor little people who never knew to what purpose they were lending themselves would be in the same chains, cowed and enslaved.
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Featured in Katharine Hepburn: All About Me (1993) See more »


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

Today's politicians should take note
15 January 2004 | by apir51See all my reviews

Tracy's speech at the end of the movie about the American public being able to handle the truth is a point that should be well taken by today's politicians. Nothing is worse than finding out you have been lied to. Instead of sweeping it under the rug, Tracy's character brings the deception to the forefront for all to see. We would all be better off if our media and representaives had the same courage.

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Release Date:

December 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Keeper of the Flame See more »


Box Office


$1,172,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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