Her roles were largely stereotypical, yet her charm and goofiness made her memorable. Here’s a look at her work beyond Gone With the Wind.

DESIGN IN FILM: THE MODERN HOUSEAn eight-minute video montage of modern homes—real and fake—as seen on the silver screen.

An examination of the lengthy career of the Chinese-American character actor, from Charlie Chan to Woody Allen.

70MMThirty visually stunning films that illustrate the grandeur of large-format filmmaking.

Our look at the Texas actor’s 43-year film career, including an ill-advised Oscar campaign. 

A look at the professional life of an actress who proved to be much more than just the Wicked Witch of the West.

NEBRASKANSA look at some of the memorable talentsfrom Astaire to Zanuck—to come from the Cornhusker State.

Twenty-five cool photos reveal what goes on outside of movie camera range.

Our list of at least a dozen silent film performers that are happily still with us.

12 GREAT MOVIE SONGSElvis, The Beatles and The Supremes join our list of favorite movie themes of the 1960s.

WILHELM SCREAMWe trace the history of one of the most famous and beloved sound effects in movies.

LOST HORIZONA dud receives its due as we explore the elements that made this 1973 musical so preposterously memorable.

One hundred films whose final words of dialogue make indelible lasting impressions.

25 GREAT SILENT MOVIE POSTERSOur selection of artwork from the early days of motion pictures that expertly illustrate the tone and tale of the films they represent.

RAVES AND RASPBERRIES We select some choice bits from reviews by the late Roger Ebert.

ERROL FLYNN GETS WHACKEDThe actor recalls an unforgettable moment with Bette Davis on the set of The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex.

CINEMATIC RIDESTen films where carnival attractions add to the plot and give their protagonists a cheap thrill.

Three overwrought cautionary tales from the 1930s examine the perils of smoking marijuana in polite society.

20 DIRECTORS / 20 FILMSSome of the world’s best moviemakers from Hollywood’s Golden Era provide a behind-the-scenes look at their creations.

LOS ANGELES IN THE 1920SVintage clips offer a look at famous boulevards, studios, theaters, eateries and more.

BILLY WILDEROur favorite lines of dialogue from the Oscar-winning writer/director.

WOODY ALLENChoice lines of dialogue, from Take the Money and Run to Midnight in Paris.

KATHARINE HEPBURNTen authoritative moments when Kate's movie character speaks her mind.

UFA MOVIE POSTERSA look at the early one sheets from the longest standing film studio in Germany.

THE LANGUAGE OF NOIRWe celebrate tough talk from the best of Hollywood’s gritty crime dramas.


Aerial shots of Hollywood in 1958 includes Griffith Observatory, Grauman’s Chinese Theater and major studios.

AMERICAWe celebrate one of the most exuberant dance numbers committed to film, a thrilling showcase for freakishly talented folks with music in their bones.

HOLLYWOOD POSTCARDSTen vintage postcards revealing the glories of Southern California's movie mecca.

MAJOR FILMS, MINOR GAFFESTwenty-five mistakes in some of the greatest movies ever made.

GEORGE GERSHWINTen classic songs as seen on the silver screen.

GREAT ENDINGSA memorable tussle in Death Valley caps Erich von Stroheim’s broken classic.

10 GREAT POSTERSOur look at striking works of art that just happen to sell movie tickets.

MUST READMGM: Hollywood's Greatest Backlot provides a fascinating look at a lost treasure.

IN THE COOL, COOL, COOL OF THE EVENINGJane Wyman and Bing Crosby charm with the Oscar-winning song from Here Comes the Groom (1951).

PLUNDER ROADFilm noir at its best—and most economical. No backstory, a lean look and just 72 minutes long.

W.C. FIELDSTen of his most memorable character names.

Aliens and mutants take center stage in twenty-five spectacular movie posters from the 1950s.

Our list of ten must-see films—ten artful depictions of the human condition—by one of the world’s most influential directors.

Accomplished directors from the past 50 years talk about their triumphs and challenges in bringing a story to the big screen.

We single out five films that display the talent and range of the Warner Bros. character actor.

AL HIRSCHFELDWe select our ten favorite movie posters by the famed caricaturist.

Five films that best represent the fluttery voiced character actress’s charms.

DIAMOND SETTINGSWe take a look at five of our favorite baseball movies of the ‘40s and ‘50s.


A dozen books that became publishing phenomena and, at times, well-made and popular films.

SCREEN TESTSAudition footage from Monroe, Dean, Brando and others.

MOVIE MOMENTS THAT MAKE LIFE WORTH LIVINGOur collection of ten little moments of breathtaking beauty, expert craftsmanship and happy accidents that rank as our favorites.

A tribute to a character actress who’s made aunts and spinsters her specialty.

STARS ON STARS: 30 CANDID OPINIONSA collection of favorite quotes from movie folk discussing their peers.

We take a good look at the work of MGM’s legendary art director.

JOHN QUALENFive of our favorite performances from the character actor’s lengthy career.

We select three movie musicals we deeply wish the sunny singer/actress would have made.

Twelve examples of what made the late actor such an enduring movie star.

Ten artful, playful and downright silly shots from some of the most famous movies in existence.

JEFFREY HUNTERWe tip our hat to the underrated (and very pretty) actor best known for going toe-to-toe with John Wayne in The Searchers and hanging on the cross in Nicholas Ray’s King of Kings.

ELVIS PRESLEYFive essential films for the Elvis movie fan.

We take a closer look and listen at Johnny Mercer’s witty ditty about the coming of the season.

BILL GOLD’S MOVIE POSTERSOur salute to the legendary graphic artist, including 25 of his posters for some of the most famous movies ever made.

BEAUTIFUL MENFilm giants Cary Grant and his ilk will have to wait. Here we look at ten not-so-obvious choices—actors blessed with incredible good looks, if not legendary status.

BEAUTIFUL WOMENTen of the most physically stunning females to grace the silver screen.

FOOTBALLFive classic films where gridiron shenanigans drive the plot. 

THE 43 FACES OF JOHNNY DEPPWe review the wide variety of characters the actor has played, from early teenager roles to larger-than-life eccentrics.

FRED ASTAIREFive lively numbers from the peerless hoofer.

THE ROAD TO HELEN LAWSONJudy Garland, Susan Hayward and the bumpy road Valley of the Dolls producers experienced in casting an important role in a truly lousy film.

 AMERICAN LANDMARKS ON FILM From the Empire State Building to the Golden Gate Bridge, we take a look at ten famous sights that added drama to the movies.

THE GIRL HUNT BALLETWe revisit the stylish Fred Astaire dream ballet from The Band Wagon (1953).

IOWA FILMS & STARSTen contributions the Hawkeye State has made to motion picture history.

FOX THEATEROur fond look back at one of San Francisco’s grandest movie palaces.

AUTOBIOGRAPHIESTen great titles penned by industry legends.

THE BAND WAGONNanette Fabray recalls a glaring mistake in the 1953 classic musical.

TRIGGERWe celebrate the life and somewhat creepy afterlife of Roy Rogers's favorite mount.

CHARACTERS: AGNES GOOCHPeggy Cass's memorable turn as a plain Jane coaxed into living a little in Auntie Mame (1958).

DESIGNS ON FILMA handsome volume by author and designer Cathy Whitlock chronicles the history of Hollywood set design.

REBECCAFive screen tests for Hitchock’s 1940 classic, with comments by David O. Selznick.

CHARACTERS: BABY ROSALIEIn a daffy send-up of Shirley Temple, June Preisser plays an aging child star in MGM's let's-put-on-a-show musical, Babes in Arms (1939).

PRESTON STURGESSnippets of dialogue from six of the writer/director’s best films.

ANSELMO BALLESTEROur gallery of ten striking one sheets from the Italian poster artist.

GREAT MOVIESCelebrating the cool jazz short, Jammin’ the Blues (1944).

BETTY HUTTONTwelve films that exemplify the charms of this freakishly energetic performer.

JOSEPH L. MANKIEWICZSmart dialogue from the Oscar-winning screenwriter.

DESERT NOIROur report from this year’s Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Palm Springs.

RED DREAM FACTORYWe profile eight films from a unique Russian-German film studio of the twenties and thirties.

« September 15 | Main | September 14 »

Katharine Hepburn Explains It All For You

If you've seen enough Katharine Hepburn movies, you know the momentthat big scene when Hepburn's character just has to speak her mind. Whether she can no longer suffer fools (Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Pat and Mike), has suppressed her affections long enough (Without Love, Holiday), is compelled to utter a simple and strong declaration of independence (Morning Glory) or merely has a powerful speech to deliver (Adam's Rib), it's a moment where Hepburn owns the screen and audiences take notice. Here are ten examples of Kate laying it on the line.

Now I have some instructions for you. I want you to go straight back to the gallery—start your motor. When you get to the gallery, tell Jennifer that she will be looking after things temporarily. She's to give me a ring if there's anything she can't deal with herself. Then go into the office and make out a check, for "cash," for the sum of $5,000. Then carefully, but carefully, Hilary, remove absolutely everything that might subsequently remind me that you had ever been there, including that yellow thing with the blue bulbs which you have such an affection for. Then take the check, for $5,000, which I feel you deserve, and get—permanently—lost. It's not that I don't want to know you, Hilary, although I don't. It's just that I'm afraid we're not really the sort of people that you can afford to be associated with. Don't speak, Hilary, just...go.
— Christina Drayton, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)

Chelsea, you havea  great big chip on your shoulder which is very unattractive. It is, it is…you stay away for years at a time, you only come home when I beg you to, then when you do, all you can do is be disagreeable about the past. Don’t you think everyone looks back on their childhood with a certain amount of bitterness and regret? It doesn’t have to ruin your life. Aren’t you tired of it all? Bore, bore bore. Life marches by, Chelse…I suggest you get on with it.
— Ethel Thayer, On Golden Pond (1981)

Nellie, they've all been trying to frighten me. They've been trying to frighten me into being sensible, but they can't do it. Not now. Not yet. They've got to let me be as foolish as I want to be. I, I want to ride through the crowd. I want to…I want to go buy me a mink coat. And I'll buy you a beautiful present. And Mr. Hedges! I'll buy Mr. Hedges a little house. And it'll have rooms full of white orchids. And they've got to tell me that I'm much more wonderful than anyone else because, Nellie—Nellie, I'm not afraid. I'm not afraid of being just a morning glory. I'm not afraid. I'm not afraid. I'm not afraid. Why should I be afraid? I'm not afraid.
— Eva Lovelace, Morning Glory (1933)

Mrs. Beminger, if you could possibly lift the needle from that long playing phonograph you keep in your face…
[forcing Mrs. Beminger into a chair, twice]
Watch this…[to a fellow golfer] Will you excuse me? [drives nine golf balls in succession]
[to Mrs. Beminger
] You know what you can do with your gluteal muscle? Give it away for Christmas!
— Pat Pemberton, Pat and Mike (1952)

Of course he has a knife. He always has a knife. We all have knives! It's 1183 and we're barbarians! How clear we make it. Oh, my piglets, we are the origins of war: not history's forces, nor the times, nor justice, nor the lack of it, nor causes, nor religions, nor ideas, nor kinds of government, nor any other thing. We are the killers. We breed wars. We carry it like syphilis inside. Dead bodies rot in field and stream because the living ones are rotten. For the love of God, can't we love one another just a little— that's how peace begins. We have so much to love each other for. We have such possibilities, my children. We could change the world.
— Eleanor of Aquitaine, The Lion in Winter (1968)

You've got no faith in Johnny, have you, Julia? His little dream may fall flat, you think. Well, so it may, what if it should? There'll be another. Oh, I've got all the faith in the world in Johnny. Whatever he does is all right with me. If he wants to dream for a while, he can dream for a while, and if he wants to come back and sell peanuts, oh, how I'll believe in those peanuts!
— Linda Seton, Holiday (1938)

Reuben, I have to say it. Livin' with you has been an adventure any woman would relish for the rest o' time. I look at cha, with your burned out face and your big belly and your bear-like paws and your shining eye, and I have to say you're a credit to the whole male sex, and I'm proud to have ya for my friend.
— Eula Goodnight, Rooster Cogburn (1975)

You're safe, you old poop and you're definitely still you picking on poor old Charlie. After lunch, after we've gobbled up all those silly strawberries we'll take ourselves to the old town road. We've been there a thousand times. A thousand. And you'll remember it all. Listen to me, mister. You're my knight in shining armour. Don't you forget it. You're gonna get back up on that horse and I'm gonna be right behind you holding on tight and away we're gonna go, go, go.
— Ethel Thayer, On Golden Pond (1981)

Jamie Rowan (Katharine Hepburn): We’re so utterly different, we could help each other, couldn’t we? I mean really help, that is, if we if we…
Pat Jamieson (Spencer Tracy): If we what?
Jamie Rowan: Don’t rush me, give me time.
Pat Jamieson: One, two, three, four…
Jamie Rowan: You see, it’s as I’ve told you, I’ve been thinking all sorts of things in all sorts of ways—backwards, forward, every which way, but chiefly forwards.
Pat Jamieson: Well, I, uh, I, uh, hope that mean that you’ve decided to stop living in the past.
Jamie Rowan: Yes that’s it, and I got to thinking maybe you’re right. I..it is stupid of me, it is selfish, but it is a terrible world to live in alone with just memories, and, and you’ve got such qualities to face it with, to do something about it with. Your eyes so clear you see so straight, you’re so so honest, so quick, so aware of everything, and fearless and foresighted.
Pat Jamieson: Wait a minute, wait a minute…
Jamie Rowan: No, don’t stop me now. I know I’m none of those things, except maybe honest. I’ve got qualities for it, too. I’m strong, and have, have lots of energy, and I’m brave, too, in a way—things don’t get me down, and I can take punishment. It isn’t just this house I can offer you or myself as an assistant. I thought that after all we said to each other that first night and the way we understand each other about love and so forth. I mean, I really, well you know I never could and I know how you never could or would or would want to. And then there’s all that, you know, what you call that powerful commodity to be put to use, so I thought…
Pat Jamieson: So you thought…
Jamie Rowan: So I wondered if maybe you’d like to marry me.
Without Love (1945)

And so the question here is equality before the law, regardless of religion, color, wealth or, as in this instance, sex. Law, like man, is composed of two parts. Just as man is body and soul, so is the law, letter and spirit. The law says thou shalt not kill, yet men have killed, and proved a reason and been set free. Self defense, defense of others, of wife, of children, of home. If a thief breaks into your house and you shoot him, the law will not deal harshly with you, nor indeed should it. So here you are asked to judge not whether or not thise acts were committed, but to what extent they were justified.
And now, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I request that you join me in a revealing experiment. I ask you all to direct your attention to the defendant, Mrs. Attinger. Now keep looking at her, keep watching, listen carefully and look at her, look at her hard. Now imagine her…a man. Go on now—use your imaginations. Think of her as a man sitting there, accused of a like crime, a husband who was only trying to protect his home. Now hold it, hold that impression and look at Beryl Caighn. Look at her, look at her hard. A man, a slick homewrecker, a third party…a wolf! You know the type. All right, hold that impression and look at Mr. Attinger and suppose him a woman. Try, try hard, ah yes, there she is—the guilty wife! Look at her! Does she arouse you sympathy? All right, now you have it. Judge it so. An unwritten law stands back of a man who fights to defend his home. We ask you, apply this same law to this maltreated wife and neglected woman. We ask you no more…equality.
Deep in the heart of South America there thrives today a civilization far older than ours, a people known as the Locañanos, descended from the Amazons. In this vast tribe, members of the femael sex rule and govern and systematically deny equal rights to the men, made weak and puny by years of subservience, too weak to revolt. And yet, how long have we lived in the shadow of a like injustice?
Consider this unfortunate woman’s act as though you yourselves had each committed it. Every living being is capable of attack if sufficiently provoked. Assault lies dormant with us all. It requires only circumstance to set it violently in motion. I ask you for a verdict of not quilty. There was no murder attempt here. Only a pathetic attempt to save a home.
— Amanda Bonner, Adam’s Rib (1949)

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