Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Girl Nerds in History: Katharine Hepburn

There are Girl Nerds in History and then there are Kick-Ass, Awe-Inspiring, Culture-Changing Girl Nerds in History. Katharine Hepburn is one of the latter. And for the next several days, Turner Classic Movies will be celebrating what would have been Kate's 100th birthday on Saturday with a selection of some of her finest films.

Kate Hepburn earns one of the top spots in the Girl Nerd Pantheon for one simple reason: she never, ever cared what anyone else thought about her. Literate, cheeky, bold, talented and mightily intimidating, Hepburn acted the pants off of everyone else around her -- and then proceeded to wear those pants in an early act of feminism that was both subtle and effective. By wearing trousers when few other women would, she managed to tell the world to piss off -- and as an added bonus, never had to worry about getting a snag in her hosiery. No one could tell her what to do. Except Spencer Tracy, but seriously, who could blame her? One look from that guy and I'd have buckled too. He had that voice, that stare. Margaret Thatcher would've been bringing him his tea and slippers every afternoon.

If you aren't that familiar with Hepburn's work or are convinced that she and Cate Blanchett are the same person, then be sure to check out Turner Classic Movies tonight, tomorrow and Saturday. If you can only fit in one or two of her films, then please carve out time for Holiday and The Philadelphia Story. The latter, co-starring James Stewart and Cary Grant, showcases all the reasons why he was the perfect foil for Hepburn, even more so than Tracy. He managed to bring out her humor and elicit a softness that few other actors ever could.

Now go buy some Ben and Jerry's, dig out the comfy jammies and get ready for a quality movie-watching weekend. If you don't, Spencer Tracy will kick a puppy.


Carol said...

Nice post...and was really interesting reading through it...thanks for sharing all these info!!!

Bakerloo said...

The Desk Set is my favorite Kate film. Dear lord, I love that woman!

katharine said...

Ah, Katharine, Katharine, Katharine...I still hope that just because our first names are spelled the same way a tiny bit of her mighty coolness will somehow manifest in me.