Katharine Hepburn in Holiday, 1938
Favourite Classic Films (in no particular order)
The African Queen (1951), dir. John Huston
By the authority vested in me by Kaiser William II, I pronounce you man and wife. Proceed with the execution.
Katharine Hepburn: More dapper than you since 1935
I think that I must have been very self-conscious about my appearance, that I wanted to present something that looked as though it had just come out of the woods or something, and everyone thought, ‘I’ve never seen anything like that before.’
I liked to look as if I didn’t give a damn. I think you should pretend you don’t care… but it’s the most outrageous pretense. I said to Garbo once, ‘I bet it takes us longer to look as if we hadn’t made any effort than it does someone else to come in beautifully dressed.’
One thing they did for me that I noticed they did for everybody on that set… No matter how big or how small, they treated everybody as if they were the star. They made me feel that I was the greatest actor in the world. I mean, between takes they would compliment me and tell me how fantastic I was. The two of them… I noticed the patience that they had with all the other actors, like Cecil Kellaway. He only had a few lines in one scene, and they must have made about thirty takes just to get those few lines out right. They always encouraged him, and they were always patient, and they were always sort of festive, and they made him feel good. They made everybody feel as if they were the greatest thing since the wheel.
D’Urville Martin, Frankie, the kid with the roadster in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
Of course I promise you. I give you my sacred word of honor. But I suppose you’re remembering, I’ve promised before. I’ve no word of honor. I’m not blaming you, dear. How can you help it? How can any of us forget? That’s what makes it so hard for all of us, we can’t… forget.
Woman of the Year (1942)
I’ve never yet made a picture with any object in view other than to translate into moving pictures a story, a character, a love affair or a place which appeals to me and I would like to show to others. In a sense it’s a child’s desire, for like a child who finds a new toy, a strange animal or a brightly coloured flower, I want to show my discovery to others. I suppose that quality is what has made me become a film director.
What appealed to me in the idea of Summertime? Loneliness. Why? Because I think that loneliness is in all of us, it is a more common emotion than love, but we speak less about it. We are ashamed of it. We think perhaps that it shows a deficiency in ourselves. That if we were more attractive, more entertaining and less ordinary we would not be lonely.
The film is about a lonely woman who falls in love, and as I know no better remedy for the complaint I hope you will find it sympathetic.
David Lean: A Biography | Kevin Brownlow
No one will ever believe we were married sober.
Woman of the Year (1942)