And it's another thing I will definitely be doing again. Symphony Space is only a few blocks from my apartment, and while I had both seen and been in performances there, I had never been to see any films there, and they show interesting old classic films that I would never otherwise see on a big screen. They show double features every Sunday, and this month they are showing Hepburn films - today was a Hepburn/ Spencer Tracy double feature with two films from the early 50's; "Pat and Mike" and "Adam's Rib".
It's pretty amazing what a renegade actress Hepburn was, and how her roles were so ahead of their time- many of her movies could almost be made today which is definitely not the case with the majority of movies I've seen from the 50's. Both movies dealt with heavy feminist issues in a comedic and light way. "Pat and Mike" was about Hepburn as an athlete who doesn't want to marry her fiance until she feels she can be independent and achieve her own accomplishments (in the 50's - whoa!). Every time her fiance shows up in the stands for one of her matches, she chokes up and ruins the game. Tracy is her manager, and as manager and athlete they agree to have a relationship that is 50-50 - completely equal, and of course, she eventually dumps her fiance for the equal rights loving Tracy character. Movie number two, Adam's Rib, dealt square on with feminine equality. Hepburn and Tracy are married lawyers representing opposing sides in a case where a woman shoots her husband when she catches him cheating. Hepburn argues that if the shooter were a man, she would be acquitted and she wins the case, but almost loses her marriage when her husband feels emasculated by the whole process. This could seriously be a sex and the city episode right now - in fact I think it might have been. These movies were really interesting because they show just how much things have changed in certain ways, and how in other ways we haven't actually come that far in the past 60 or so years. I guess it never occurred to me to think of Hepburn as an important proponent of the feminist movement, but she certainly was bucking the stereotypes previously expected of actresses of her era. Go K-Hep!