Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy: The Signature Collection. The films included are Woman of the Year, Pat and Mike, Adam's Rib and The Spencer Tracy Legacy. Woman of the Year (1942) was the first collaboration betw... more »een Hepburn and Tracy, and you can see why it was the spark that ignited the flame that lasted 25 years, in this classic battle of the sexes. In Adam's Rib (1949), the duo are back at it again, except this time they are in the courtroom battling it out as two married lawyers - on opposite sides of a case! Pat and Mike (1952) was George Cukor's eighth and final collaboration with Katharine Hepburn, but this magnificent film about the improbable relationship between a female golfer and a sports promoter was a movie that proved to be ahead of its time in terms of sexual politics, and earned the production two Academy Award? Nominations: Best Story and Best Screenplay. For the first time on DVD and sold exclusively in this collection is the very special The Spencer Tracy Legacy: A Tribute by Katharine Hepburn (1986) in which Katharine Hepburn looks back on the life of her former co-star and best friend, Spencer Tracy, in a touching and insightful look at one of the great American actors.« less
Three prime examples of Tracy & Hepburn at their best
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 01/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy made nine films together: "Woman of the Year" and "Keeper of the Flame" (1942), "Without Love" (1945), "The Sea of Grass" (1947), "State of the Union" (1948), "Adam's Rib" (1949), "Pat and Mike" (1952), "Desk Set" (1957), and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (1967). I think the lineup for "The Hepburn & Tracy Signature Collection" would be slightly improved if you substituted "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" for "Pat and Mike," only because you would then have their first and last movies together, but the key moments from their final film are included on "The Spencer Tracy Legacy." "Woman of the Year" and "Adam's Rib" are the two best movies the legendary pair did together and represent their on-screen battles of the sexes at its best. The main common denominator between the three films selected are that the scripts were all at least nominated for Oscars.
It is hard to watch the moment in "Woman of the Year" when Tracy's Sam Craig, a down-to-earth sportswriter for the "New York Chronicle," first sees Hepburn's Tess Harding, the paper's international columnist fixing her stockings. If you never noticed that Hepburn had great legs to go along with those great cheekbones and her clipped manner of speaking, this scene will rectify that shortcoming. Despite the fact they are totally mismatched, it is love at first sight. He calls her the "Calamity Jane of the fast International set," and tries to introduce her to baseball, vainly trying to explain the finer points of the game to her. Sam and Tess get married, when she has time to squeeze the ceremony into her busy schedule, but he discovers that being married to the "Woman of the Year" is no picnic. The Oscar winning original screenplay by Ring Larnder, Jr. and Michael Kanin does not back off from the ugly side of this particular marraige. The film, directed by George Stevens, also featured the screen debut of William Bendix as a bartender who once fought Jim Braddock, with Fay Bainter as Tess' aunt, Minor Watson as her father, and Dan Tobin as her officious secretary. Hepburn received her fourth Oscar nomination for Tess Harding, but lost out to Greer Garson's Kay Miniver.
"Adam's Rib" was written for Tracy and Hepburn by their good friends, Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon, whose screenplay was nominated for an Oscar. Amanda Bonner (Hepburn) is an attorney who ends up defending the dizzy blonde (Judy Holliday) who has shot her two-timing spouse (Tom Ewell). The only problem is that her husband, Adam (Tracy), a sharp assistant district attorney, has been assigned to prosecute the case. The battle in the courtroom between the two spills over into the bedroom of their swank New York apartment, and visa versa (it becomes part of the official court record that he calls her "Pinkie" and she calls him "Pinky"). The Bonners are happily married, but that does not stop them from arguing out the battle of the sexes in and out of court, with David Wayne as the songwriting lothario trying to take advantage of the rift to woo Amanda (but it is Cole Porter who write "Farewell, Amanda" for the film). The battle of the exes ends up as a split decision in this one, but it makes perfect sense given the twin battles being fought.
"Pat and Mike" reunited Tracy and Heburn, the Kanins and director George Cukor for a film that would show off Hepburn's athletic skills in a story that seems like it was written by Damon Runyon, or at least populated by people who talk in that manner. As Pat Pemberton, Hepburn ends up playing golf and tennis against real sports stars including Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Gussie Moran, Alice Marble, Betty Hicks, and Helen Dettweiler. Shady sports promoter Mike Conovan (Tracy) sees the opportunity to make money promoting her as the all-around Queen of Sports. The film has not only Tracy's famous line when watching Hepburn walk away ("She ain't got much meat on her...but that she's got is cherce!"), but a scene in which Hepburn turns the table on a thug played by a young Charles Buchinski (a.k.a. Charles Bronson). It terms of Tracy-Hepburn films "Pat and Mike" is one of the rare ones where he gives in to her in the end.
"The Spencer Tracy Legacy: A Tribute by Katharine Hepburn" aired in 1986 and has the actress looking at her co-stars career from start to finish. There are clips from Tracy's greatest films, including "Libeled Lady" (1936), "A Guy Named Joe" (1943), "Bad Day at Black Rock" (1955), "Inherit the Wind" (1960), and "Judgment at Nuremberg" (1961). The documentary reminds us that Tracy received nine Oscar nominations throughout his career and won two of them, for 1937's "Captains Courageous" and 1938's "Boys Town." It was not until Tom Hanks in the 1990s that another actor would win two Oscars in consecutive years (Hepburn is one of the few actresses to have done so as well). Along with Laurence Olivier and Marlon Brando, Spencer Tracy represented the epitome of the acting tradition and this documentary combines great clips with glowing testimonials from the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra.
The good news is that once you watch this trio of films starring Hepburn and Tracy there are six more of them out there, although a few of them are rather disappointing given our expectations for this pair of stars. However, if as your rule of thumb you check out the films for which either Tracy or Hepburn were nominated for Oscars you will be on much safer ground and you will have ample evidence for why they were two of the most admired movie stars of the 20th century."
"Warner Home Video present "The Hepburn & Tracy Signature Collection" (Woman of the Year / Pat and Mike / Adam's Rib / The Spencer Tracy Legacy) --- (Dolby digitally remastered)...featuring top performances by actors to die for from the '30s, '40s and '50s with outstanding plot lines and screenplays...from memorable films that will leave you sitting on the edge of your seat completely engulfed in the story and every scene...so pop some popcorn, sit back and enjoy the movie.
First up we have "WOMAN OF THE YEAR" (1942) (114 min. B/W)...under director George Stevens, producer Joseph L. Mankiewicz, screenplay by Michael Kanin and Ring Lardner, Jr, original music by Franz Waxman. . . .the cast include Spencer Tracy (Sam Craig), Katharine Hepburn (Tess Harding), Fay Bainter (Ellen Whitcomb), Reginald Owen (Clayton), William Bendix (Pinkie Peters), Dan Tobin (Gerald), Gladys Blake (Flo Peters), Minor Watson (William Harding),Roscoe Karns (Phil Whittaker), William Tannen (Ellis), Ray Teal (Reporter), Ludwig Stossel (Dr. Martin Lubbeck), Henry Roquemore (Justice of the Peace), Grant Withers (Guest), Michael Visaroff (Guest ), Joe Yule (Building Superintendent), Duke York (Football player), William J. Holmes (Man at Banquet), Edith Evanson (Alma) . . . . . . .our story has Hepburn and Tracy first time in a film together, both work on the same newspaper and can't stand one another... how the two react to one another, is great stuff...Hepburn is a feminist and Tracy a sports writer, but the two marry and the fun begins...can the two careers survive, just watch and see, as this is the one that started it all.
BIOS: 1. William Bendix Date of birth: 14 January 1906 - New York, New York, USA Date of death: 14 December 1964 - Los Angeles, California 2. George Stevens (Director) Date of birth: 18 December 1904 - Oakland, California Date of death: 8 March 1975 - Lancaster, California
Second film is "ADAM'S RIB" (1949) (101 min B/W)...under director George Cukor, producer Lawrence Weingarten, screenplay by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin , music score by Miklos Rozsa . . . . .cast includes Spencer Tracy (Adam Bonner), Katharine Hepburn (Amanda Bonner), Judy Holliday (Doris Attinger),Tom Ewell (Warren Attinger), David Wayne (Kip Lurie), Jean Hagen (Beryl Caighn), Hope Emerson (Olympia La Pere), Eve March (Grace), Clarence Kolb (Judge Reiser), Emerson Treacy (Jules Fr-ikke), Will Wright (Judge Marcasson), Elizabeth Flournoy (Dr. Margaret Brodeigh), Ray Walker (Photographer), Marjorie Wood (Mrs. Marcasson), Joseph E. Bernard (Mr. Bonner), Harry Cody (Criminal Attorney), Bert Davidson (Subway Guard), John Maxwell (Court Clerk), Tommy Noonan (Reporter) . . . . . .our story has married lawyers Hepburn and Tracy on opposite sides, as an attempt to kill her husband Tom Ewell, wife Judy Holliday gets Hepburn to defend her...but Tracy is the prosecutor and the sparks fly when the two are together in the courtroom and at home...once a perfect marriage is now a sparring ring on a daily basis...the script by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin is priceless, with a cast fresh from Broadway is Judy Holliday, David Wayne, Tom Ewell and Jean Hagen...one of my favorite actresses Hope Emerson makes the casting complete when she picks up Tracy in the courtroom...this is Hepburn and Tracy at their best, my all time favorite in the series of their films...less we not forget the final scene with David Wayne and Hepburn caught together by Tracy involving the gun made of licorice is an unforgettable moment in film history.
BIOS: 1. Judy Holliday (aka: Judith Tuvim) Date of birth: 21 June 1921 - New York, New York, Date of death: 7 June 1965 - New York, New York 2. George Cukor (Director) Date of birth: 7 July 1899 - New York, New York Date of death: 24 January 1983 - Los Angeles, California,
Third film on the collection is "PAT AND MIKE" (1952) (95 min B/W)...under director George Cukor, produced by Lawrence Weingarten, screenplay by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin, music by David Raksin. . . . . .cast includes Spencer Tracy (Mike Conovan), Katharine Hepburn (Pat Pemberton), Aldo Ray (Davie Hucko), Jim Backus (Charles Barry), William Ching (Collier Weld), Sammy White (Barney Grau), Chuck Connors (Police Captain), George Mathews (Spec Cauley), Loring Smith (Mr. Beminger), Phyllis Povah (Mrs. Beminger), Frank Richards (Sam Garsell), Owen McGiveney (Harry MacWade), Lou Lubin (Waiter), Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer (Bus Boy), Bill Self (Pat's Caddy) . . . . . our story brings Hepburn an exceptional athlete with Tracy a Damon Runyon character who isn't always on the level when promoting in the sports field, a bit shady at times...the two get mixed up with gangsters, a dim witted boxer and a jealous fiancé, the entire plot comes together like a fine ballet... Tracy is confronted by two hoods that are going to work him over, when suddenly Hepburn comes out of nowhere to give the two men what they justly deserve..."Pat and Mike" is full of the Hepburn/Tracy formula, with a first rate script and each one playing their part to the fullest, another winner from cinemas greatest acting couple.
BIOS: 1. Aldo Ray (aka: Aldo DaRe) Date of birth: 25 September 1926 - Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania Date of death: 27 March 1991 - Martinez, California
BONUS SPECIAL FEATURES: 1. "Woman of the Year" - Original theatrical trailer; 2. "Pat and Mike" - Original theatrical trailer; 3. "Adam's Rib" - Original theatrical trailer. 4. "The Spencer Tracy Legacy: A Tribute by Katharine Hepburn" (He made the movies matter, the award winning celebration of the actor and the man)
SPECIAL BIO: 1. Katharine Hepburn (aka: Katharine Houghton Hepburn) Date of birth: 12 May 1907 - Hartford, Connecticut Date of death: 29 June 2003 - Old Saybrook, Connecticut
Specal footnote, actress Katharine Hepburn (May 12. 1907 - June 29, 2003), Hepburn is the only film star to win four Academy Awards, all for her leading roles in "Morning Glory" (1932), "Guess Who's coming to Dinner" (1967), "The Lion In the Winter" (1968), and "On Golden Pond" (1980)...was nominated 12 times for the Academy Award, all as Best Actress, Hepburn beat out previous acting nomination record holder Bette Davis (a double winner who was nominated 10 times for an Academy Award, all of them Best Actress nods) with her 11th nod and 3rd win for "The Lion in Winter" (1968) (a record she extended with her 12 nomination and fourth win for "On Golden Pond" (1980)...playing strong independent women with minds of their own, often wore slacks instead of dresses, decades before it became fashionable for women to do so, distinctive way of speaking, with what many say is a "Bryn Mawr" accent...Hepburn quotes - "Love' has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get - only with what you are expecting to give - which is everything, I've been loved, and I've been in love, there's a big difference, I never realized until lately that women were supposed to be inferior, I always wanted to be a movie actress. I thought it was very romantic, and it was."...Hepburn was a natural red head....She and Spencer Tracy acted together in 9 movies: "Woman of the Year" (1942)..."Keeper of the Flame" (1942)..."Without Love" (1945)..."The Sea of Grass" (1947)..."State of the Union" (1948)..."Adam's Rib" (1949)..."Pat and Mike" (1952)..."Desk Set" (1957) and " Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (1967)...the Hepburn and Tracy relationship lasted from 1940 until his death in 1967.
SPECIAL BIO: 2. Spencer Tracy (aka: Spencer Bonaventure Tracy) Date of birth: 5 April 1900 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Date of death: 10 June 1967 - Beverly Hills, Los Angeles
Specal footnote, actor Spencer Tracy (April 5, 1900 - June 10, 1967) was a two-time Academy Award-winning American film actor who appeared in 74 films from 1930 to 1967, was often described as one of the finest actors in motion picture history...in 1935 Tracy signed with MGM, won the Academy Award for Best Actor two years in a row, for "Captains Courageous" (1937) and "Boys Town" (1938)....Tracy was also nominated for "San Francisco" (1936), "Father of the Bride" (1950), "Bad Day at Black Rock" (1955), "The Old Man and the Sea" (1958), "Inherit the Wind" (1960), "Judgment at Nuremberg" (1961), and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (1967)...Tracy and Laurence Olivier share the record for the most best actor Oscar nominations (9)...Tracy was one of Hollywood's earliest "realistic" actors; his performances have stood the test of time, other actors have noted that Tracy's work in 1930s films sometimes looks like a modern actor interacting with the more stylized and dated performances of everyone around him...In 1941, Tracy began a relationship with Katharine Hepburn, whose agile mind and New England brogue complemented Tracy's easy working-class machismo very well, though estranged from his wife Louise, he was a devout Roman Catholic and never divorced, Tracy and Hepburn made nine films together.
Want to thank Warner Home Video for releasing "The Hepburn & Tracy Signature Collection" (Woman of the Year / Pat and Mike / Adam's Rib / The Spencer Tracy Legacy), the digital transfere with a clean, clear and crisp print...looking forward to more high quality releases from the vintage era of the '40s & '50s...order your copy now from Amazon or Warner Home Video where there are plenty of copies available, stay tuned once again for top notch wonderful character actors of the cinema brought back so many wonderful memories of the times when film makers cared about you who purchased a ticket and came back for more...just the way we like 'em.
Total Time: 4-DVD-Set ~ Warner Home Video #67038 ~ (10/12/2004)"
Two of the best actors, three of their best films
Shane | New Zealand | 02/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It goes without saying that Katharine Hepburn is probably the greatest actress that graced the screen. At least, in my opinion she is. Spencer Tracy was also a brilliant actor. Without doubt one of the best in history also.
Any fan of one or the other, is most likely a fan of them both, as their 9 terrific films together provide is with one of the greatest Hollywood duos of all time, and truly an affair to remember.
This collection, containing three of their finest films, is a very good buy.
First off, Woman Of The Year, their first film together. Director George Stevens (who had directed Hepburn earlier in Alice Adams), does a masterful job, as do writers Ring Lardner, Jr. and Michael Kanin (from whom Hepburn got the script and went to Louis B. Mayer, head of MGM, and demanded Tracy as her leading man, and Stevens as her director. She had tried and failed to get Tracy once for The Philadelphia Story, having always been a fan, but succeeded in her second attempt...lucky us). The finished film is a perfect balance: beautiful dramatic edge, in parts- highly amusing, and also one of the most moving romances I've seen. It never gets sappy. Its real. And totally unique. The tale of a sports writer, Sam Craig (Tracy) and political columnist, Tess Harding (Hepburn) at the same paper who in their respective columns rag on each other, but soon meet and become rather smitten. They marry, but married life doesn't really bring quite the happiness they thought it would, as certain party's don't put marriage before career...
Adam's Rib. The duos sixth film together, another great film. Similarly to Woman of The Year, this film has perfect blend of drama, comedy and romance. Tracy and Hepburn play married lawyers. Adam Bonner (Tracy), the district attorney is assigned the case of prosecuting a woman, Doris Attinger (Judy Holliday) who tried to shoot her husband when she found out he was having an affair. The issues involved with the case is something his wife, Amanda (Hepburn) feels very strongly about, and she chases the case herself, defending Attinger in court. As the trial gains momentum, the Bonner's bring the court tension home, and the husband and wife antics into court, as the battle for equal rights between men and women rages. Truly a fine piece of work, George Cukor (one of the great Hollywood directors with many a classic to his name, that is often sadly over looked) has a divine knack for making first class romantic comedies, see for example, earlier work with Hepburn, The Philadelphia Story. Added to the craft of Cukor, a fine script by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin, this film ends up a true classic.
Pat & Mike, one of Hepburn & Tracy's most popular films, it makes fine use of Hepburn's talents in other areas: sport. Tennis: she held her own. Golf: played a good game. Tracy plays Mike Conovan, a smooth talking sports promoter, who believes Pat Pemberton (Hepburn) has huge potential as an all 'round athlete. Signing her, he takes her to pro golf and tennis tournaments, and Pemberton fares well, until her condescending, patronizing fiancé is present. Mike has to try and rid Pat of the nervousness of her fiancé's presence in order to succeed in play, but that becomes hard when some shady racketeers -who own a portion of Pat's contract- bargain with Mike to have her "throw" a tournament, to insure a gambling payout. The romance never outshone the comedy in this one, and the direction of Cukor again brings some very well done scenes on a tennis court, and all around fun filled Hepburn/Tracy pairing.
Also included in the collection is a documentary by Hepburn on Tracy - the Spencer Tracy Legacy, which pays tribute to Tracy's many great performances, and features interviews with many who worked with and knew him.
A must for fans of Tracy, Hepburn, or both, the films are classics, and documentary an insightful bonus.
It would be nice to have signature collections for Tracy and Hepburn separately, as well as a Volume Two of them as a duo."
Tracy and Hepburn - What a Duo
chatikati | New York | 03/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love their movies together. This is a wonderful gift for a true fan."
A Must See....
Tina Austen | Australia | 03/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No relationship could transcend to the screen better than that of the Tracy / Hepburn duo. This collection has three times the magic with three of their best movies including the extraordinary bonus DVD for your viewing pleasure."