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Friday, August 13, 2010

CHRISTOPHER STRONG (1933)

The mythological creature that Katherine Hepburn cultivated as her remarkable screen persona began here, in her second feature. She plays a pioneering aviatrix (a sort of La-Di-Da Amelia Earhart) who also flies solo on the ground. But a chance meeting with Colin Clive, an ultra-faithful husband with a trusting wife & wayward daughter, proves life-changing for both of them. He loosens up, she settles down. It’ll never last. It’s hardly a good picture (as the only female director in town, you root for Dorothy Arzner’s pics, but they never live up to their potential), but here’s our Kate. The stubbornly independent Yankee with the androgynous beauty that could play the tomboy one moment and, in the next, out-dazzle those silly glamor gals by wearing a silver lamé gown . . . with antennae! (Her plane is called the Silver Moth.) Essential viewing.

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