Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spencer Tracy (1900-1967)

Wisconsin born, Tracy did not begin his acting career as early as most.  He started out at Marquette Academy along with his friend Pat O'Brien then they quit to join the Navy at the end of WWI.  Luckily he never saw any combat during his time in the Navy but instead served at Norfolk Virginia.  Once out of the Navy he relocated to New York in 1922 to attend the Academy of Dramatic Arts.  While enrolled he took acting parts on the stage with the stock company Leonard Wood Players.  It was while performing that he met their leading lady, Louise Treadwell who soon became his leading lady off of the stage.  They married in 1923. Their son John was born the following year.

Like so many actors before him, Spencer made his way to Broadway where his performance in The Last Mile garnered him great reviews and an offer to relocate to Hollywood after John Ford saw his performance in the play.  When someone of John Ford's stature offers you a contract with Fox Studios you pack your bags and head west.  His first full length picture for Fox was "Up the River" in 1930 which co-starred Claire Luce and another newcomer, Humphrey Bogart.  Spencer had top billing in the crime drama directed by Ford which had mediocre success at the box office.

Tracy starred in three films during 1931, the most successful of them being the comedy "Goldie" opposite a red-headed Jean Harlow and Warren Hymer.  Then there was the very forgettable "Six Cylinder Love" and crime drama "Quick Millions".  The following year Fox got their money's worth out of Tracy by churning out 8 movies in 1932 with him carrying those films on his very capable and willing shoulders.  When  you're trying to find your niche and keep the studio providing you with a paycheck happy, you show up and do your best regardless of how awful the script.

With Virginia Bruce in "Murder Man" 1935

First up was the romantic drama "She Wanted a Millionaire" starring Joan Bennett and Una Merkel.  He plays a motorcycle cop in the comedy "Disorderly Conduct" which did fairly well at the box office and co-starred Sally Eilers as the gangsters daughter who's rescued  from a life of crime by Tracy's character.  The one film Tracy made during 1932 that stands out to me is "Me and My Gal" where he again plays a cop who falls in love with Joan Bennett but this time she plays a waitress in the romantic comedy.  Of course the male audience of 1932 would most likely prefer Tracy in his role of a prisoner who is wrongly accused of  murdering a mobster while on leave from Sing Sing, then theres Bette Davis who plays his devoted girlfriend in the moderate hit "20,000 Years in Sing Sing".

with Bette Davis in "20,000 Years in Sing Sing" 1932

Spence and Kate

1933 was another busy year for Tracy as he starred in 5 films all of which received mixed reviews but it certainly wasn't for his lack of trying even with weak scripts.  Then he played a bootlegger turned prisoner in "The Mad Game" opposite Clair Trevor, a railroad worker in "The Power and the Glory" co-starring Colleen Moore.  Then he plays a Navy man who's discharged while stationed in China. Fay Wray plays his leading lady in this campy drama.  His most memorable role that year is in the romantic drama "Man's Castle" co-starring Loretta Young. Two girls, one's a showgirl and the other one gets pregnant. One guess as to which one he's not so keen on.  Spencer was also celebrating the birth of his second child, Susie the previous year and the relocation to the family ranch in Encino California.

with Loretta Young in "Man's Castle" 1933

Click on Spencer's autograph from my collection and photos for a large view.

1934 would be Tracy's last year at Fox and a busy year with another 4 films before signing with MGM the following year.  He appeared alongside Madge Evans in the comedy "The Show-Off" then in "Looking for Trouble" with Jack Oakie before leaving Fox and starting the next chapter of his very successful career.  It's a good thing that MGM saw something in Spencer although his previous performances weren't exactly Oscar worthy roles.  Once allowed to thrive in better films, his talent began to shine in films like "Dante's Inferno" co-starring Claire Trevor,  then the romantic drama "Whipsaw" alongside the very talented Myrna Loy.

with Claire Trevor in "Dante's Inferno" 1935

By the end of 1936 Spencer's rugged good looks and screen presence would take him to another level in Hollywood.  MGM put him in a little movie titled "Riffraff" where he reunited with the now successful Jean Harlow.  I just re-watched this film recently and it's so fun to watch Harlow and Tracy playing off one another.  Talk about a tempestuous union.  Tracy also paired with Sylvia Sidney for the drama "Fury" which garnered him more well deserved kudos before filming "San Fransisco" with Clark Gable and Jeannette MacDonald.  Although a huge box office success with it's depiction of the 1906 earthquake then the musical scores were enough to make it a must see that year, quite the pay off for a film that cost over a million dollars to make in 1936.  

When MGM spares no expense in production and it's cast you can bet it will be nominated for a few Academy Awards. Spencer Tracy was nominated for his first Oscar but lost out to Paul Muni for "The Story of Louis Pasteur" then it was nominated for Best Picture but lost out to "The Great Ziegfeld".  The director W.S. Van Dyke was also nominated but lost out to Frank Capra for "Mr. Deed Goes to Town"  Spencer was also in another very successful film that year titled "Libeled Lady" which was also nominated for Best Picture and co-starred William Powell, Myrna Loy and  Jean Harlow.  Although this film packed a punch with star power and a fun script I just didn't care for it as much as many of Tracy's light comedies and trust me, as much as I love Loy and Powell in anything I wanted to!

with a very fit Clark Gable in "San Fransisco" 1936

with Jean Harlow in "Libeled Lady" 1936

1937 would be an even better year for Tracy with 4 more successful films and his first Oscar win.  He paired with the adorable tyke, Freddie Bartholomew and the acting legend Lionel Barrymore for "Captain Courageous".  Definitely a feel good story about a spoiled boy who's used to getting his way before he ends up being plucked out of the high seas by a salty fisherman played by Tracy.  It garnered Tracy his Oscar and rightfully so.  Spencer also starred opposite the talented Louis Rainer in "Big City that year which didn't do too bad at the box office either.  

with Freddie Bartholomew in "Captain Courageous" 1937

Spencer paired up with Clark Gable, Lionel Barrymore and Myrna Loy again in 1938 for "Test Pilot" then his good fortune and talent lead him to a little film titled "Boys Town" which even with all of his previous success, provided him an Oscar nod after his spectacular performance.  Any lover of Spencer Tracy's work will remember him as the beloved Father Flanagan, the role that gave him his well deserved second Academy Award win.  Tracy was not in attendance to accept his Oscar so his wife Louise did so on his behalf.  He starred in only one film during 1939, the historical drama "Stanley and Livingstone" where he plays Henry Stanley.

with Mickey Rooney in "Boys Town" 1938

with Myrna Loy and Clark Gable in "Test Pilot" 1938

1940 was another busy year for Tracy, turning out 5 pictures again.  He played Thomas Edison in "Edison, the Man", telling the story of his life from the age 22 on.  Once again he paired up with Clark Gable that year for the romp "Boom Town" which follows the lives of two oil men and their successes and love of the same woman.  Claudette Colbert and Hedy LaMarr who also co-star in the film deserve an honorable mention for not being entirely upstaged by Gable and Tracy.  

with Claudette Colbert in "Boom Town" 1940

Tracy would reprise his role as Father Flanagan in "Men of Boys Town" 1941. It was successful but like most follow-up films it just didn't compare to the first.  He would also try his hand at horror with "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" which was well received but when the character has been played previously by Fredric March those are pretty big shoes to fill in a remake of a classic.  The film also stars Lana Turner and Ingrid Bergman.

This would also be the year that Spencer's life would take a turning point and change drastically.  Although happily married to Louise for close to 20 years he met and fell in love with Katharine Hepburn.  Although their relationship would endure breakups and many heated arguments over the years, usually over Tracy's heavy drinking, their affair would last until Tracy's death.  Who's to say if his wife approved or even knew but considering the days and weeks he spent away from the family home with Hepburn I can't imagine she wouldn't have known.  And even though it was well known amongst everyone in Hollywood it was never discussed in the tabloids out of respect of the two very high profile stars, or perhaps MGM paid well to keep it on the QT!

in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" 1941

"Woman of the Year" was released in 1942, the film in which Tracy and Hepburn met.  I love the film and the on screen chemistry between the two stars as they do battle as rival reporters while trying to save their rocky marriage.  He would also reunite with Hedy LaMarr for the comedy "Tortilla Flat" where he portrays a Mexican-American who's being taken advantage of by his friends played by John Garfield and Frank Morgan after he comes into dough. Although a decent enough film I was surprised that it was directed by the great Victor Fleming.  His last film of the year which I've never been crazy about, was the drama "Keeper of the Flame" co-starring Kate Hepburn.  

with Katharine Hepburn in "Keeper of the Flame"

Tracy's only film of 1943 was the war drama "A Guy Named Joe" co-starring Irene Dunne and Van Johnson then directed by Victor Fleming.  Before filming could be completed on the film Van Johnson was critically injured in a car accident. Fleming was all set to replace him until Tracy stepped in and insisted they shoot around him.  He wasn't able to return to the set for over 3 months but thanks to Tracy his part was saved.  His only film the following year was the war drama "The Seventh Cross" which takes place in Nazi Germany and co-stars Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Signe Hasso and Agnes Moorehead.  It follows the struggles and survival of those in a concentration camp under Hitler's regime.  With the stellar cast and the plot it's unfortunately one of Tracy's early films that I haven't had the pleasure of seeing. 

with Irene Dunne in "A Guy Named Joe"

Spencer's only film of 1944 was the war drama centered around the career of an officer during Pearl Harbor, depicting the true story of  The Doolittle Raid, "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo".  With director Mervyn Leroy at the helm it won an Oscar for Best Special Effects and was nominated for Best Cinematography.  He started taking less parts going forward and would only star in one picture the following year, "Without Love" co-starring his off screen love interest Kate Hepburn. Another film with the two struggling through a loveless marriage.  I'm not sure if the studio was punishing them by putting them in these tumultuous relationships on screen or they just got put into films that imitated real life.  Or perhaps Hepburn pushed to have Tracy co-star with her since she played the character on Broadway with great success.  I'll just go with the latter here and stop guessing.

with Kate Hepburn and Keenan Wynn in "Without Love" 1945

Tracy would return to acting after a year long hiatus, starring with Hepburn in the romantic western "The Sea of Grass" then in the romantic drama "Cass Timberlane" with Lana Turner that year.  He would appear in only one film during 1948, "State of the Union" opposite Hepburn, his spouse in the film which covers his run for the presidency.  Gary Cooper was originally cast as the lead then replaced with Tracy, then Claudette Colbert who was originally cast was replaced by Capra due to her unwillingness to work late into the evening.  Spencer suggested Hepburn who would be perfect in the role and lets face it, their chemistry was hard to match.

with Lana Turner in "Cass Timberlane" 1947

With Kate Hepburn in "State of the Union"

Still able to pull off a box office success in 1949, Tracy would star in "Adam's Rib" with Hepburn   Yes, they still play dueling spouses but this time as they work as attorney's battling one another in court and at home.  He would also appear in the less successful "Malaya" with James Stewart and then "Edward My Son" with Deborah Kerr and Ian Hunter.  I have to admit that I did enjoy it and not "Adam's Rib".  

With James Stewart in "Malaya" 1949

Tracy's only film during 1950 was one of my favorites of his, "Father of the Bride".  With his co-stars Joan Bennett as the wife that keeps him held together then the ever so optimistic daughter played by the stunning Elizabeth Taylor the film was just great.  Of course Tracy playing the lovable curmudgeon  made me love him even though seeing Boys Town I thought he was already pretty darn fabulous.  He was once again nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his role and the film was nominated for Best Picture. The entire cast would reunite the following year for the sequel, "Father's Little Dividend" which was pretty successful with Vincente Minnelli at the helm.  Tracy's only other film of 1951 was the crime drama "The People Against O'Hara" where he would get to co-star with his long time friend, Pat O'Brien

With Joan Bennett, Elizabeth Taylor and Don Taylor in "Father of the Bride" 1950

Tracy was back on the screen with Hepburn in "Pat and Mike" in 1952. Hepburn gets to show off her golf skills in the film while feuding with Tracy who plays a sports reporter looking for a win and love while going at it with the mob. This would be Kate's favorite film that she made with Tracy out of the nine that they did together.  His other film of 1952 was "Plymouth Adventure", a historical piece co-starring Gene Tierney.  It was common knowledge in Hollywood that Tracy had a brief affair with Tierney during one of his many breakups with Hepburn.  It feels odd typing that considering the man was married with a family.  His only film in 1953 was "The Actress" co-starring Jean Simmons who plays his daughter in the film trying to make it as an actress while her family makes sacrifices to see her dreams come to fruition.  Tracy won a Golden Globe for Best Actor for the film which was directed by the talented George Cukor.

with Kate Hepburn in "Pat and Mike" 1952

Tracy's only film during 1954 was the western drama "Broken Lance" co-starring Robert Wagner, Richard Widmark and Jean Peters.  The picture had moderate success with Tracy playing a cattle baron dealing with his greedy, unruly sons.The following year he starred in "Bad Day at Black Rock" which would garner him another Oscar nod for his performance in the thriller which co-starred Ann Francis and Robert Ryan.  He would lose out that year to Ernest Borgnine for his superb acting in "Marty".  The character that Tracy plays in the film wasn't to have a disability originally but to get him interested in the project it was written in that he would have one arm which peaked Tracy's interest in the role, thus accepting it.  

Tracy in a publicity still for "Broken Lance" 1954

After doing the drama "The Mountain" with Robert Wagner in 1956, Tracy reunited with Hepburn the following year for "Desk Set".  I really liked this pairing even though they had played a feuding couple in most of their films, this one had something extra that made it a lot of fun for me plus the supporting cast of  Joan Blondell, Gig Young and Dina Merrill helped push the film dedicated to the day to day struggles and the resistance to change at the work place over the top for me.  

Tracy got another role of a lifetime the following year with Ernest Hemingway's film adaptation of "The Old Man and the Sea".  I can't think of anyone else who would have been better suited to play the determined fisherman and his adventures at sea. Obviously the Academy thought he was superb as he was nominated for yet another Oscar, but unfortunately he lost out to David Niven for "Separate Tables" that year.  Interestingly, Humphrey Bogart tried unsuccessfully to buy the film rights so he could play the lead role but was repeatedly denied the option.  He died before the film was made, never getting to see his good friend Tracy play the character he was so passionate about.  It must be noted that Tracy also won a BAFTA Award for his performance in the drama "The Last Hurrah" the same year.

Out at sea looking for that perfect Marlin in "Old Man and the Sea"

Tracy took a couple of years off from acting but returned to the studio in 1960 to star in "Inherit the Wind", a drama and true story based on two lawyers fighting in court over a science teachers right to teach evolution.  (We all know how the Scopes Monkey Trial in which the film is based on turned out!)  The film co-stars Fredric March and Gene Kelly.  Tracy was nominated for another Oscar under the direction of Stanley Kramer.  He would lose out to Burt Lancaster for "Elmer Gantry".  Don't give up hope for another win just yet Spence, I have a good feeling you'll get other chances.

Tracy paired up with Frank Sinatra in 1961 for "The Devil at 4 O'clock", another thriller directed by Mervyn LeRoy.  He gets to play a Father again, stranded on an island working to rescue children, another feel good movie with a lot of adventure and twists and turns, unfortunately it wasn't a huge hit at the box office but Tracy would move on to better roles.  The same year he starred in "Judgement at Nuremberg" with Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Maximillian Schell, Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich and Montgomery Clift.  The historical drama with Stanley Kramer directing was nominated for 11 Oscars with Spencer receiving another nod.  Marlon Brando had actually approached Kramer requesting the part that went to Schell, who the director wanted for the part from the get go.  Although Brando would have been intriguing as the German lawyer Hans Rolfe, their choice of the newcomer Schell would pay off with him receiving an Oscar win.  

Tracy in his Oscar nominated role "Judgement at Nuremberg"  1961

Now semi retired after making close to 60 films for MGM, Tracy starred in only one film during 1962, the western adventure "How the West was Won" with it's all star cast.  Content with a smaller role, he didn't earn another Oscar nod but the film was nominated for Best Picture, losing out to "Tom Jones". Spencer would return for the star studded spectacular "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World", his second to last film the following year.

Tracy would be coaxed out of retirement in 1967 although in very poor health due to diabetes and many years of alcoholism and heavy smoking, to reunite with Katharine Hepburn for "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner", and what a comeback it was.  Controversial in it's subject matter and thought provoking, his performance along with Hepburn, Poitier and Houghton make it a must see and amongst movie lovers favorite films.  Nominated for a total of 20 Academy Awards, and one last Oscar nod for Tracy, it was a nice way to exit Hollywood after a very long and successful career playing roles with great passion, range and professionalism. 

He was so ill during filming that everyone was doubtful that he would be able to complete the picture, he passed away just 17 days after filming was completed.  His career spanned four decades and included over 70 films with a total of 9 Academy Award nominations.  He was interred at Forrest Lawn Memorial Park at Glendale California, his grave site can be seen HERE.  Katharine Hepburn, his long time companion did not attend his funeral out of respect for his family.  It should be noted that Hepburn herself was divorced when they became involved romantically and she never remarried while with Tracy, her soul mate.

As Matt Drayton in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" 1967

Spencer Tracy Facts:

His wife Louise Treadwell worked tirelessly for deaf education after their son John was born hearing impaired, later founding the John Tracy Clinic at USC.  

He turned down Cary Grant's role in "Philadelphia Story" because he wanted to play the lead in "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde".  (I'm glad to hear that since I loved Cary Grant and Hepburn together in the film.  So very YAR!)

He was sought for the role that Fredric March played in "Desperate Hours" but he declined, not okay with second billing to Humphrey Bogart.

After suffering a heart attack at home, causing his death, he was found by Katharine Hepburn. 

The main character Carl from Pixar's "Up" is based on a combination of Walter Matthau and Spencer Tracy. (That's funny since I thought of Carl when looking at Tracy's photo from "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" again.  A perfect likeness)

MGM was hesitant in signing him due to his lack of sex appeal, continuing to give the plum roles to the very handsome Clark Gable.  Obviously Tracy proved that you don't have to be extremely handsome to draw an audience or receive Oscars.  

Kate Hepburn claimed to have never watched "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner", citing it was too painful for her after his death.

Without consulting Tracy, MGM released a statement the day after he won the Oscar stating that it would be donated to the real Boys Town of Nebraska.  Tracy agreed to the donation with the request that a replacement Oscar statuette be sent to him.  It was replaced but inscribed Dick Tracy by mistake.

At the beginning of filming for "The Old Man and the Sea" Ernest Hemingway took it upon himself to fish off of the coast of Peru to find a large marlin acceptable to be shown on film.  Needless to say he was unsuccessful in his adventure so a rubber fish had to be used in the film.  After seeing the film, Hemingway remarked that Spencer Tracy looked less like a Cuban peasant and more like the old rich actor that he was.  (I guess you just can't please everybody.)

Tracy being a devout Catholic refused to divorce his wife Louise in order to marry Kate Hepburn.  They would live together in secrecy off and on for over 25 years.  When asked later in life about not getting a divorce he said "I can't just get a divorce whenever I want to, but my wife and Kate like things just the way they are!"

When author W. Somerset Maugham visited the set of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" he watched Spencer Tracy then asked sardonically "Which one is he right now, Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde?"

Tracy pushed to have Kate Hepburn play both characters, Ivy and Beatrix in "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" to reinforce the good and bad qualities in every individual but luckily that idea was shot down by the studio. (I'm sure looking back, Ingrid Bergman, who played Ivy would have been pleased if Kate had been cast since she felt very miscast in the role.

Spencer showed up at Clark Gable and Carole Lombard's second wedding anniversary party wearing his makeup from his Mr. Hyde character.

The studio was so convinced that Tracy would not be able to complete "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" due to his deteriorating health, thus causing a huge financial loss so Katharine Hepburn put up her own wages to insure they would go through with filming.

with Hedy LaMarr in "I Take This Woman" 1940

Thanks for joining me for a look back at Spencer Tracy's life and career.  I hope you'll take the time to comment about your favorite role of his or anything else you want to discuss.  I apologize for such a long winded post so just a warning, please bring a snack when I finally get my Errol Flynn and Joan Crawford posts up.  Those two had a lot going on as you all know but hopefully it will be worth the read.  See ya in the funny papers.


  1. I was surprised to like 20,000 Years in Sing Sing as much as I did. Tracy was very effective and Davis was such a dish. I've always wondered how Tracy's wife felt about the Hepburn affair. Were they happily married before it started? Or did she feel relieved to be rid of him? Great post Page!

  2. Hi KC,
    You know as much as I've read about Tracy over the years I have never pieced together his relationship or understanding rather with his wife. It seems like the Davies, Hearst relationship in a lot of ways.
    I do know that his wife spent most of her time at their ranch in Encino while Tracy stayed either next door or behind Hepburn's house that was separated by a convenient gate. (I have read that on several occasions as fact)

    I'm really glad you stopped by and enjoyed the post. I always enjoy your comments.

  3. A great in-depth post about one of the greatest actors of all time. I adored Tracy in his roles opposite Katharine Hepburn (especially Adam's Rib), but my favorite role of his has to be Warren Haggerty in Libeled Lady. I wish he had done more screwball comedy in his career--he was fantastic at it.

  4. Thank you for a wonderful review of Spencer Tracy's long and illustrious career. My next blog is to be on "Father of the Bride" and I hope you won't mind if I link to this post for those interested in the details of Tracy's life on films (as well as off).

  5. TrueClassics,
    I'm glad you enjoyed this rather long post! I liked Adam's Rib but for some reason I prefer Desk Set then of course Guess Who's Coming to Dinner the most of their pairings. He certainly was one of the great actors and it's nice to see he was recognized over and over for such incredible performances. I watched "I Take This Woman" just recently but I just didn't feel it was up to par then his very odd chemistry with Hedy didn't work for me.

    Oh, I can't wait for your post on "Father of the Bride", as you can tell I adore that film. I've had it sitting on my DVR for a few weeks now but I never can find the time to re-watch it. Spencer was just Delightful in it too!

    I don't mind at all if you link back to this post! It would be an honor.

  6. Fantastic post, Page, so many movies covered and you obviously have more than a passing acquaintance with each!

    I guess my favorite Tracy comes semi-early as I love the somewhat bizarre Dante's Inferno and the intense Fury. I love Libeled Lady, but I think that's more for Powell than any of the other mega-stars in that one. I haven't seen 20,000 Years in Sing Sing for a good 15 years now (thanks AMC!) but I did record it when TCM aired it a few weeks ago and am really looking forward to watching it again!

    Cool pics, do you have your Tracy signature mounted with anything or is it loose right now?

  7. Hi Cliff,
    I'm pretty fond of Tracy! You know I missed TCM re-airing "20,000 Years in Sing Sing". I really would have loved to have seen it again. I've got the DVR so loaded with films right now but could have made room for that one.

    I have the Tracy autograph in a protective jacket right now. I have so many either mounted to matts with a photo or just in protective sleeves waiting for wall space and framing.

    I can't wait to see your Tracy photo's (referring to your tweet about them)

  8. Page, you are going to do a post about Errol Flynn?!! Don't wait too long -- I will be watching for it! He's my honey!

    I think Spencer Tracy was an extraordinary actor. Some of his movies may have been below par, especially the earlier ones, but he never gave a bad performance. My favorite Tracy movie is Inherit the Wind -- there just are not enough adjectives to describe his incredible performance. As for his movies with Hepburn, my favorite is Desk Set. Wonderful movie, funny, witty, great cast. I have always thought his take on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was tour de force acting. I loved Fredric March's version, but the two are so different they cannot really be compared. Tracy's Hyde was much more cerebral and subtle. I thought it was great.

    I didn't realize that I have never seen any of his early movies for Fox! I'll have to look them up. Your research and interesting trivia are a lot of fun to read, and I think this is a wonderful review of a great actor!

  9. Becky,
    Thanks for the nice comments! I agree that Tracy didn't stink in any project but it was often the script that left a lot to be desired. His early Fox pictures are pretty bad in substance but he makes them worth watching at least once if you can find them.

    And Yes, I'm working on an Errol post just for YOU! I'm trying to finish up his biography for a 2nd time. I may have to split it up into two posts! I have this one photo thats an 11x14 and it's in color AND a closeup! You might get palpitations over it! It's that fabulous! I have a few cool movie posters of his films that are just too large to scan so I need to make a trip to Kinkos...But he's so worth the effort.

  10. Thank you Page for this great post!!it brings back alot of memories to father was a big fan of spencer and we sat in the sofa when iwas a kid watching all his movies..the best Iremeber is captain courageos..Thank you also for visiting me..if you ever come to norway you can lend my house..many hugs and stay good!!iam looking forward to your next post!1Greetings from norway

  11. Anita,

    Thanks for sharing your childhood memories with your dad! Some of my best memories are watching old movies with my mom which is the reason I got started collecting all these years later. If you go back and read my very first post here titled "And So We Begin" you can get an idea about how important those childhood memories were in relation to why this blog came to be.

    I absolutely love Europe and I've had some incredible trips traveling around there but I've not had the good fortune of visiting Norway~ Thanks for the invite and the same hospitality is offered back to you if you make it stateside.

    I may do another photo review next so stay tuned. : )

  12. That was quite a comprehensive post, Page. I just received Libeled Lady in the mail yesterday in the TCM Harlow set. I haven't seen it yet and I am looking forward to that.

    Tracy could play quite a variety of parts, and look like he wasn't acting at all. One of the best, and he could never be considered a Bit Actor.

    I promise to spend more time reading at your Blog!

  13. BitPart,
    I'm glad you stopped by to comment on Tracy! I know you'll enjoy Libeled Lady....there really are a library full of films he made that should be on everyone's 'must see' list.

    I hope to see you back and theres a few past posts in the archives you might be interested in! I know it's just having the time though which seems to slip away from all of us.

  14. One of my favorite actors of all time. He could do anything. I'm preparing a post on one of his early movies that hopefully will go up this weekend. Otherwise, I'm not sure I have a favorite Tracy film, because I like so many of them. I did a post on him back at the end of December that you should check out, focusing on his 1930s work. (Can you tell I like him?) That final scene in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" gets me every time, because you get the feeling that he and Kate stopped acting and were letting us see them for a moment.

  15. CFB, just saw your post here on Page's site. I couldn't agree more with your statement about that scene in Dinner! That was not acting, I'm convinced. I've seen a lot of acting, great acting by the best, but that was not acting. I always tear up at that, I can't help it. It really was a goodbye for them.

  16. CFB and Becky,
    Just knock it off you two! I'm tearing up over this exchange and now I have to go watch that scene again...GRRR We are hopeless romantics and how fun is it that early Hollywood gave us so much to look back upon with enjoyment and pride. Who knows what todays teens will be reminiscing over 30 years from now! Sigh!

    So wish I grew up in the 30's sometimes so I could witness that period while it was happening. (Okay, and also so I could walk around dressed like a flapper and not get laughed at) And lets face it, very rarely do we get to see a new movie that brings out so much emotion. The last time I really adored a film and it left an impact like these old films do, was "The English Patient" which brought me to tears.

  17. Awwww -- so sorry Page! If I could, I'd give you a hanky... I just couldn't help it, but when you talked about the English Patient all I could think about was the Seinfeld episode where Elaine just hates that movie, and everybody around her thinks she is horrible for not being moved by it! I've had there experience before...ever happen to you?

  18. Becky,
    Why yes, I've had that happen just recently when everyone was having a love fest over Scarface! Ziiinnng! lol

    I love Seinfeld and I can re-watch episodes over and over. My favorite episode is about Puddy's Jesus Fish and I'll tell you a hilarious story about that via email.

  19. I love "The English Patient" in part because it reminds me of a classic movie but still feels fresh. The Seinfeld episode is great, and yes I have had that feeling more than once -- "Titanic" comes to mind.

  20. Oh it's so nice to meet someone else who felt the same way about Titanic as I did! I think I've said this somewhere before, but the moment Leonard diCaprio stood on the prow of the ship and yelled "WHOOO, I'm king of the world!" I knew what we were in for --my heart just sank!

  21. Becky and CFB,
    Raising hand to sit next to the 'not crazy about Titanic crowd'.

    I went to see it with a friend who was visiting from out of state and we were having severe weather. Luckily the power went out at the theater about an hour in!

    I can appreciate the work that goes in to these huge productions and because it was based loosely on an actual Historical event I did watch it in full eventually. But the love story between those two ruined it for me. BLECH
    I won't even get started on Avatar!