Episode 26 of 52: In which Tracy and Hepburn's best comedy shows that love, life, and law are a circus.
How are we already halfway through this series? How are we already halfway through this year? 2014 is going by faster than KHep’s dialog in Morning Glory. (See what I did there?) We’ve already covered one debut, an Oscar win, a masterpiece, a massive failure, an equally massive comeback, cinema chemistry history, racist history, communist history, and some odd miscellany, and we haven’t even gotten to the bulk of Kate’s Oscar nominations yet. Plus, in yet another moment of perfect symmetry, the 26th film is the pinnacle Tracy/Hepburn collaboration and a major milestone in Kate's career: Adam's Rib.
A woebegone wife attempts to shoot her husband when she finds him in the arms of his mistress. It’s the stuff that Law & Order episodes are made of. It’s also the prologue to this Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon courtroom comedy about two married lawyers (Spencer and Kate) arguing the opposite sides of a criminal case. He’s a law-enforcing Assistant DA, she’s a proto-feminist private attorney, but at the end of the day they’re just “Pinky” to each other. Side note: only Kate and Spencer could use such a saccharine sobriquet as “Pinky” and make it sound alternately endearing and weirdly sexy. Observe:
D'awww. Watch all the way through to see them duck offscreen for some Hays Code-appropriate fooling around at the end of it.
Tearing ourselves away from adorable antics of Adam and Amanda, you would notice that director George Cukor assembled a stellar supporting cast. David Wayne plays the possibly-gay-possibly-predatory neighbor/songwriter, Tom Ewell plays the cheating husband, Jean Hagan plays his mistress, and Judy Holliday plays the weepy wife Doris, a scene-stealing “screen test” role that deservedly landed her the lead in Born Yesterday (and her eventual contentious Oscar win). This is a good cast. And this is a complicated movie.