Mirth and Laughter


Friday, December 29, 2006

Hepburn and Tracy

Today, dh and I watched Adam's Rib for the ?? time (double digits at least). I started thinking about dynamic couples, and what makes them so. What was it about Hepburn and Tracy that created such a spark -- both on and off the screen?

Well, in the nine movies that Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy made together, there was always a power struggle. In Woman of the Year, Hepburn's character's career overshadowed Tracy's. Then there was the hilarious Adam's Rib, where they squared off in court. He complaind that she wasn't his wife, she was a "competitor." Of course, the very thing that drove him nuts about her is what attracted him to her. Their relationship wouldn't grow stale because of that "edginess."

In Desk Set (which scares me because it looks just like the first place I worked with computers), his job threatened hers. More tension.

And in the lovely Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, the last movie Tracy made before dying, they played a married couple who loved each other deeply, but went head to head over whether or not their white daughter whould marry a black man (in the era when that was socially scorned).

Maybe their onscreen sparks flew because their relationship was so heated in real life. They definitely had something special. What do you think it was? Because, I want to bring some of that heat and tension to my hero and heroine. Some of that spark.

Do you have a favorite onscreen pairing? If so, what do you think makes them dynamic?


  • At 12:08 PM, Blogger Lucy said…

    Interesting topic E. I'll have to give that a bit more thought before I respond. :~)

  • At 2:39 AM, Blogger Shannon said…

    I'm going to have to agree with Lucy. I don't know off the top of my head if I have a favorite on screen pairing. Then again, I'm not as familiar with the classics, such as those you mentioned, Ellen. But, they are on my Netflix queue!

    Happy holidays!

  • At 3:22 AM, Blogger MarlyMathews said…

    Ah...Hepburn and Tracy...can you get much better than that?

    Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire were also great as an onscreen couple...but they didn't have the kind of spark that Hepburn and Tracy had..:)


  • At 10:33 AM, Blogger Ellen said…

    I also liked Hepburn with Bogart in The African Queen, which amazingly, I saw for the first time a couple of days ago. But I like him best paired with Lauren Bacall.

    Shannon -- enjoy those Netflix movies. I wondered about that service since we don't have HBO or any of those movie channels.

    Marly, I love Fred and Ginger together too. *sigh*

  • At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Can I go modern and say Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks? Joe Vs. the Volcano, Sleepless. . . awesome. Also, she had amazing chemistry in French Kiss with Kevin Klein.

    Oh, and it's weird, but I think Adam Sandler and Emily Watson had amazing chemistry in the movie Punch Drunk Love.

    And Colin Firth with Renee in Bridget Jone's.

    The list goes on. Can you tell I'm a romance writer, LOL?

  • At 3:16 PM, Blogger Ellen said…

    LOL, Lillian! I loved those pairings too. :) And who can forget Robin Wright and Cary Ewles (sp?) in The Princess Bride.

  • At 4:17 PM, Blogger Kristen said…

    I've been wracking my brain and can't come up with a pair. Guess this means I better go stare at the dvd towers and pray for a bolt of inspiration?

    Ohhh...one popped.. The pair from Invincible--- Mark Wahlberg's character (Vince Papale) and the girl bartender (Janet Cantrell) played by Elizabeth Banks.

    Back to thinking of more...

    Happy New Year to you and yours, E.

  • At 9:34 PM, Blogger Ellen said…

    I'll have to see Invincible, K. :)

    Happy New Year to you and yours!

  • At 1:06 AM, Blogger MarlyMathews said…


    Those are great pairings. I loved Meg and Kevin in French Kiss...they had such great chemistry. And, Colin and Renee in Bridget Jones... *sigh*

    I also liked him with Jennifer Ehle in Pride and Prejudice, but then I usually like Colin in any movie he makes...:)

  • At 10:43 PM, Blogger Ellen said…

    Marly, I love Colin paired with anyone too.


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