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Movie Marathon

JR : “Let’s watch old movies all night. We’ll just veg out in front of the TV.”
RG : “Veg out?”
JR : “Yeah. Be still like vegetables, lay like broccoli.”

Do you remember this dialogue between Julia Roberts and Richard Gere from the Pretty Woman ?

That’s exactly what I did this weekend. The whole broccoli. On Saturday, TCM was airing 24 hours of Katherine Hepburn movies for the Summer Under the Stars feature. 12 consecutive movies in 24 hours. Ever since I saw Guess who is coming to dinner, I always wanted to see more of Hepburn and Spencer Tracy films. I started off with The Woman of the Year, co-starring a very young Spencer Tracy. After that I continued on to Without Love, Adam’s Rib, and Pat and Mike (all with Tracy). The evening movies included The Philadelphia Story and The Lion in Winter. Thanks to Tivo, I could record movies that were aired when I was sleeping. And so the movie marathon continued the next day with The Little Woman, A Woman Rebels and ended with the fantastic screwball comedy, Bringing up Baby.

The deluge of movies was not intentional. I had planned to watch just one or two movies of her with Tracy. But after each movie, I just could not resist watching just one more movie. There was something fresh and engaging in the way Katherine Hepburn essayed her roles in the various movies. In all the films her character is that of a woman who knows what she wants and is forthright about it. In the late forties where feminism was a dirty word and equality between sexes an unknown concept, Hepburn was way ahead of her times as an independent career woman. In her films with Spencer Tracy she plays a famous political analyst (Woman of the Year), a scientist’s assistant (Without Love), a successful lawyer (Adams Rib) and a talented sportswoman (Pat and Mike). Even when she is playing a ditzy heiress trying to attract a nerdy zoology professor (Cary Grant in an awesome role), she is the one who steers the film along with her crazy actions.

Each film was preceded by a 5 minute introduction with some nuggets of information about the film and/or its crew. The best feature of the TCM presentation was that there were no commercials in between the films. In fact there were hardly any even in between the films.

Next week , there is a movie marathon of another of my favorite onscreen couples: Doris Day and Rock Hudson. The movie marathon will continue next week….

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