I have written about The Philadelphia Story and my favorite Tracy – Hepburn films in previous blog posts. How could I begin any conversation about classic chick flicks or even classic movies without including Katharine The Great, Katharine Hepburn?
Considered one of the greatest actresses of all time, Katharine Hepburn is also my favorite actress and largely responsible for my deep love of movies-especially classic movies. Winner of 4 Best Actress Oscars; with 12 nominations.
Katharine was a woman who loved life by her own rules. Katharine was an unconventional beauty with red hair and an athletic figure in an age when Hollywood produced buxom blonde beauties. I love Katharine because she taught me some really important life lessons.
Don’t Let Them Change You…Just Be Yourself
Hepburn was a Connecticut Yankee who got her acting start on the Broadway stage. In Hollywood, Kate earned her first Oscar in 1933 for her role in Morning Glory.
Her unconventional beauty combined with her refusal to be a glamour girl and play the ‘Hollywood Game’ by wearing slacks and not wearing makeup, in addition to a string a flops labeled Kate ‘box office poison‘ and the Hollywood moguls would touch her.
Handle Your Business!
Katharine didn’t take this laying down. In typical Hepburn fashion, she took matters into her own hands, bought the rights to the popular Broadway play, The Philadelphia Story, and sold them to MGM on the condition that she plays the lead role of Tracy Lords.
How is that for taking care of business? The Philadelphia Story is one of my all-time favorites, with three of my favorite actors doing what they do best. It is a classic romantic comedy, full of witty dialogue.
“As one goes through life one learns that if you don’t paddle your own canoe, you don’t move.”
How To Win The Battle of The Sexes
One of my favorite movie lines is in The Rainmaker, in which Katharine stars with Burt Lancaster. Kate plays a spinster whose family is anxious for her to find a husband. Her frustrated brother (Lloyd Bridges) tells her “You gotta get a man the way a man gets got!”
Hepburn was a fiercely independent and intelligent woman and that showed on the screen. Perhaps that is why she was able to hold her own with some of Hollywood’s best leading men.
Men like Gary Grant in Bringing Up Baby, Holiday and The Philadelphia Story; Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen; Henry Fonda in On Golden Pond; Peter O’Toole in The Lion in Winter and the wonderful films she made with Spencer Tracy. Katharine was not willing to play the games or give up her convictions.
Somehow she knew how to strike the perfect bargain in order to follow her dreams and keep her man happy.