Tag: katherine hepburn

MOVIE REVIEW | Little Women (1933)

Little Women (1933)_04

“If wearing hair up means becoming a lady, I’ll wear it down until I’m 100 years old.”

There are some actors who were seemingly never young.  You find the oldest Sean Connery movie you can, I guarantee he’s at least middle aged in it.  I know Clint Eastwood was on telly as a younger man, but you find his earliest work on the big screen, he’s already gravelly and craggy.  Katherine Hepburn is an actress who I always imagine as having a kind of confidence that only comes with a certain maturity.  Even when she’s the young love interest in something like Bringing Up Baby, she still feels old enough to be kind of worldly.  But today I found a movie where she is out and out young, and it was kind of jarring to see that, in Little Women.


It’s the American Civil War, and while their father is off fighting for the North, the four March girls and their mother (Spring Byington) try to maintain the family’s Massachusetts home.  Eldest daughter Meg (Frances Dee) runs the home and strives to be appositive influence on her younger sisters.  Second eldest is Jo (Hepburn), the headstrong tomboy who bucks every traditional expectation.  Daughter three is Beth (Jean Parker), the quiet sensitive one.  While youngest March girl, Amy (Joan Bennett) is the bratty school girl. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***AFI WEEKEND*** #44. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.
 philadelphia story

“You’ll never be a first class human being or a first class woman until you’ve learned to have some regard for human frailty.”

I’d say that for as long as I’ve been a serious movie fan, I’ve appreciated the work of Cary Grant, James Stewart and Katherine Hepburn.  But I’d also say that it’s only since writing this blog and forcing myself to actively seek out the classics, that I’ve finally started to appreciate why these three, amongst many others, are so revered all these years later.


I know this level of appreciation must be a relatively new thing, because I’ve seen The Philadelphia Story before, about five years ago.  And somehow, I didn’t remember that these three icons are all in it together.  And seriously, how could I forget these three together, even if the result was somehow terrible?  So the fact that The Philadelphia Story is up there with the best any of them ever did, makes me wonder how dumb was I, or how little attention did I pay, when I watched it five years ago? (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***AFI WEEKEND*** #65. The African Queen (1951)

“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.
 African Queen
“Well I ain’t sorry for you no more, ya crazy, psalm-singing, skinny old maid!”

Great pairings of legendary actors are almost always a reason to see a movie.  Even if the story and direction aren’t that great, seeing two heavy weights go toe to toe is pretty much guaranteed to be worth your time.  And that is the main reason I was pumped to see The African Queen.  It’s reputation as a classic isn’t as strong as a lot of movies on this countdown, but the combination of Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn is hard to not get excited about.


It’s the First World War, only Rose (Hepburn) and her husband don’t know it yet.  It takes a while for news to reach their isolated African plantation.  And when it does arrive, it’s via the African Queen, a dilapidated old riverboat, captained by a dilapidated old booze hound named Charlie (Bogart).  When the Great War does make its way into Rose’s world, her husband dies of a heart attack and she has nowhere to turn, until Charlie arrives in the African Queen. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***AFI WEEKEND*** #88. Bringing Up Baby (1938)

“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.
Bringing-Up-Baby-Poster
“Now it isn’t that I don’t like you, Susan, because, after all, in moments of quiet, I’m strangely drawn toward you, but well, there haven’t been any quiet moments.”

The screwball comedy is a cinematic miracle. Or, I should say, the good screwball comedy is a cinematic miracle. It seems like it should be so easy, just get a mismatched romantic couple who start out not liking each other, then pile on misunderstandings, obstacles, culture clashes, coincidences and prat falls until the couple realises they love each other. But it’s the piling on bit that separates the good screwball comedies from the bad. The bad ones fall in a heap. The good ones teeter on the edge of total collapse for long stretches at a time, but somehow always stay standing, no matter how unstable they may appear. And possibly the greatest and classic definition of a good screwball is Bringing Up Baby.


The buttoned down and conservative David (Cary Grant) is a palaeontologist who has been rebuilding a dinosaur skeleton for his local museum for four long years when he finally receives the last bone he needs. Later that day on a golf course, he meets the free spirited Susan (Katherine Hepburn). She has recently received a tame leopard named Baby that she wishes to give to her aunt. Here’s where the screwball coincidences and misunderstandings really start to kick in. (more…)