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.
A young man in love with a girl from a rich family finds his unorthodox plan to go on holiday for the early years of his life met with skepticism by everyone except for his fiancée's eccentric sister and long-suffering brother.
Tess and Sam work on the same newspaper and don't like each other very much. At least the first time, because they eventually fall in love and get married. But Tess is a very active woman and one of the most famous feminists in the country; she is even elected as "the woman of the year." Being busy all the time, she forgets how to really be a woman and Sam begins to feel neglected.Written by
Chris Makrozahopoulos <email@example.com>
Knowing of Spencer Tracy's reputation as a heavy drinker, Katharine Hepburn served him strong tea between scenes. She also got him to paint, as she did, as an escape from the pressures of Hollywood life. See more »
In the opening scene when Sam enters Pinky's bar and they are listening to "Information Please," in some shots Sam is eating a full dinner along with coffee and in other shots, he is eating peanuts along with an alcoholic beverage. See more »
Watching this first pairing of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, it's easy to see why the two became a legendary screen couple (and real-life couple for that matter). They seem perfectly suited for one another, and you can't imagine either of them with anyone else.
But it's hard from a 21st Century sensibility not to be appalled at this WWII-era George Stevens dramedy. Tracy is a sports writer and Hepburn an international reporter for the same newspaper. They meet, marry and fight when she won't abandon her career to settle down into dutiful motherhood. In the end, she gets her comeuppance and realizes that what she wants more than anything is to learn how to separate eggs and make coffee.
Try to forgive it its decidedly un-feminist message though. This came out at a time when the culture was particularly threatened by the idea of women supplanting men in areas traditionally reserved for men, and it wouldn't have been good for soldier morale for men to think women back at home could carry on just fine without them. And at the very end, Tracy does come around and tell Hepburn that he doesn't necessarily want a barefoot and pregnant version of a wife any more than he wants a career-oriented wife who will put her work before her home, but rather wishes she could be something in between. As things play out in the film, this comes as too little too late, but it's a sophisticated attitude for the time and makes the movie much more relevant today, when women are being forced to juggle multiple roles.
Overall I enjoyed this movie, but I thought it was strangely directed by Stevens. I usually enjoy his 40s comedies, but his instincts feel off here. The way he chooses to shoot scenes many times seem in tone to be at odds with what's actually happening in them, so I wasn't always sure what was supposed to be light-hearted and funny and what wasn't. A striking example of this comes in the scene in which Tracy comes back to Hepburn's apartment after their first date. It's supposed to be an erotic and sexually charged scene, but it's shot like a film noir, with Hepburn silhouetted against brightly lit windows and the room in sinister shadow. There's a ponderousness to Stevens' direction that serves as a sneak preview of his prevailing style in the 50s, when he started to make socially "important" movies.
A solidly made but uneven film. If you're expecting a frothy comedy you will be disappointed.
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