Last week I shared some of the movies I didn’t understand when I was younger. Add Woman of the Year to that list. I’ve seen this Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn romantic comedy more times than I can count. Every time it dawns on me that this entire movie is all about sex. There is also a World War II subplot centered around a concentration camp escapee. But it gets brushed over in favor of sex. The things you don’t catch on to as a preteen. Continue reading “Friday Night Classic: Woman Of The Year (1942)”
Today would be Katharine Hepburn’s birthday 104th. In honor of my favorite actress, here are clips from some of her performances I love and consistently watch.
Susan Vance – Bringing Up Baby (1939)
Rose Sayer – The African Queen (1951)
Terry Randall – Stage Door (1937)
Jane Hudson – Summertime (1955)
Tracy Lord – The Philadelphia Story (1940)
The longest summer of my life – one filled with laughter and romance, never ending drama, countless mistakes, new places, people and experiences, more than 2000 miles of driving and sheer exhaustion – is finally coming to an end.
As I pack up my Mount Everest of crap before I head back to Mount Holyoke on Monday, I can’t help but to think about everything. I’m at this strange stage in my life where I have to start thinking seriously about the future, but not so seriously that I don’t enjoy being 20 (almost).
Fortunately (and perhaps coincidentally), when I collapsed on my couch tonight and turned on the television, there just happened to be Katharine Hepburn, attempting to make Spencer Tracy breakfast in the last moments of Woman of the Year. And that was followed by The African Queen.
These movies don’t necessarily help or even solve my problems. But they certainly help me forget about something. Just for a little while.
That’s more than enough to get me through the next few days.
I found this tag on Kung Fu Monkey. Thought it was an interesting challenge and decided to give it a whirl.
“The challenge is to explain America to someone from somewhere else by giving them 10 movies to watch.
The idea is not to give them a history lesson, so you don’t have to start with The New World and end with Jarhead. What you’re trying to do is give them a sense of who we are — your take on our dreams, our attitudes, our idioms, what we think we are, what we are afraid we are, what we really might be.”
I’m not sure how well I did, but I tried. Here are my picks:
1) Field of Dreams (1989) – One word: baseball. Paired with a touch of magical realism, a game of catch between father and son, road trips with no destination, Burt Lancaster’s last role, dreaming big when no one else believes, and listening to voices no one else hears.
2) Almost Famous (2000) – A witty coming of age picture with great music. You could probably argue that this one doesn’t belong on the list, but I think it shows a fun and loving side to America.
3) Woman of the Year (1942) – The first pairing of Hepburn and Tracy. It’s all about career, love, and the battle of the sexes. It all about the compromises to have a successful marriage and career.
4) The Searchers (1956)– To have a list of American movies without including a Western, is sacreligious. To have a Western but not a John Ford directed picture, is just crazy. But including a Western on any list and it NOT starring John Wayne would be like a day without sunshine. Westerns are America. Simple enough.
5) To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)- A man who possesses great honesty, integrity, and wisdom, stands up against the injustice of a fellow man. Atticus Finch, the greatest hero in American film. We can learn a lot from him.
6. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) – A naive man takes on the supremeacy and corruption of the US Senate. Politics in this country aren’t always pretty and this movie shows that.
7. The Breakfast Club (1985) – A brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. The stereotypes of an American high school. 20 years later and this film still resonates.
8. Manhattan (1979) – Most Woody Allen films are a testimate to New York City. From the black and white cinematography to the shots of the NY skyline, this film showcases how far the love of a city and of home stretches. This is my city…. I’ve been through a lot with her over the years.
9. Out of the Past (1947) – The first film noir ever. Romance, mystery, thriller. Every person has their skeletons and you may never know the truth.
10. The Graduate (1967) At some point in life, we all feel like Benjamin. We’re a little lost in the big world and in Benjamin’s case, being smart and wealthy isn’t much help. If only we had Mrs. Robinson to fill the void.
The Runners Up:
In the Heat of the Night
Singin’ in the Rain
Stand by Me
North by Norhtwest
The Maltese Falcon
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Bonnie and Clyde
The Best Years of Our Lives
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
The Philadelphia Story
From Here to Eternity
Touch of Evil
What’s missing from my list?
Obviously, there is a lack of romantic comedies and not every great star is represented. Perhaps a documentary could have been included. But ten is a small number when it comes to selecting films. There are so many good movies that represent American ideals and culture, picking ten was enough work.
I tried. Now it’s your turn.