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Pat and Mike

1 rating: 3.0
A movie directed by George Cukor

One of the most engaging George Cukor comedies, this was the director's eighth and last film with Katharine Hepburn. With exceptionally witty dialogue (the Kanin/Gordon script got an Academy Award nomination), PAT AND MIKE was tailor made for its … see full wiki

Cast: Jim Backus
Director: George Cukor
Release Date: 1952
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about Pat and Mike

Pat & Mike 1952

  • May 5, 2003
Pros: Tracy & Hepburn

Cons: none except that age thing

The Bottom Line: hello

Sometimes you just have to step back and enjoy a movie because it is a movie. You have to go back to what the movie business is all about – acting and characterization. It isn’t about how big the bomb blows or how many animated creatures scamper about or surrealistic space ships. It is about people and how they interact with each other.

Probably one of the most famous and most interacting two people in movie history are Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. I don’t care what they did off screen, I don’t care who was boinking who, I only care about what they did when they faced the camera together.

Released in 1952, Tracy was 52 at the time, Hepburn was 45. Her age is the only problem I have with the entire movie. Ok, it’s a movie, but they were passing her off as someone just starting in the sports world. As tainted as my 2002 vision is, I know that sports figures start practically at birth. Well, maybe it was different back then, I didn’t pay much attention to sports.

Hepburn (Pat) was a widow and a physical education teacher, engaged to some limp piece of fluff known as Collier. Now Collier was an obtrusive a s s that simply wanted a pretty woman on his arm – mind your manners and keep your yap shut, have babies, clean the house, and be good type of woman. Pat will not and cannot be this, perfect for Hepburn to play because her own force is so dynamic.

It seems whenever col-l-I-e-r is around Pat turns into a nincompoop. Frankly, I don’t know why except to give the story flesh. In the throes of one of her really bad times, she meets up with Mike (Tracy), who is a sports promoter of sorts. He thinks Pat is really great to look at – when she’s working. He wants to sign her up for a golf gig, not knowing her talents lie in many fields.

First she fights it but when col-l-I-e-r once again acts like the a s s that he is, she jumps ship and joins Mike. Of course, Mike has backing, a bit of the underworld if you will. And naturally they want to make money off their ‘acquisitions’ even if they are good. Throwing a gig is not in Pat’s nature. In fact, she can be quite vocal, and physical, about her stance on that subject.

Although Mike always appears to be quiet, he still has an explosive personality and Pat, as we know, just can’t keep her mouth shut. There will always be sparks flying between these two. But that is what makes it a story and their acting abilities are what entertain us.

This was a black and white production and sound quality was all that, but it was an entirely enjoyable movie. A good deal of ‘real’ athletes were present in the movie and as a matter of fact Hepburn trained under Dettweiler I believe for this part. Now I may be mistaken, it was on the ‘extras’ feature of the DVD and I must say that feature was really poor. White writing [tiny white writing] on a light gray background, what were they thinking?

A few of the other people to appear in the movie were Gussie Moran, Babe Didrikson, Don Budge, Alice Marble, Frank Parker, Betty Hicks, Beverly Hanson, Helen Dettweiler, Jim Backus, Chuck Connors, Aldo Ray, and, oh yeah, Charles Buchinski [later known as C. Bronson] who played one of the underworld thugs.

It’s a family movie, except I fear not too many families enjoy these any longer. The magic between Hepburn & Tracy will long be admired, both comedic and serious at the same time. What a pair.

It was written by Ruth Gordon, a highly talented actress as well, and directed by George Cukor.



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