Friday, March 17, 2017

“Adam’s Rib” is the April Film Classic in Bigfork

For the fan of the Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn duo in romantic comedies in films, the April movie classic, "Adam’s Rib” (1949), is a perfect one to see on the big screen of the Edge Center in Bigfork. It was written for the two playing opposite each other and was the sixth time they teamed up in movies of that era.  It’s about two married lawyers who represent opposite sides in an attempted murder trial because the accused wife shoots and wounds her cheating husband. Hepburn's character believes the wife was justified.  “Adam’s Rib” is the April Classic Movie shown at  the Edge Theatre in Bigfork by Jack Nachbar. It will be accompanied by Jack’s presentation providing a better understanding of the time period of the movie.  Date: Thursday April 13th. Time: 6:30PM. Price: free of charge.

Since Tracy's character believes she did not have the right to try and kill him regardless of his infidelity the two lawyers end up opposing each other in court where we see all the sparks and action you might expect.  It’s a great movie and gives the two stars a wonderful opportunity to show their talents.   

It is not just the stars doing their regular great performances in a movie that makes this one stand out, but the story behind the concept remains current.  The “are the sexes equal?” question is taken head on by the attempted murder.  Not saying that anyone one’s mind will be changed by this film, but you certainly will be given a lot of things to think about by seeing it. That is kind of what many of the great classics have in common. Add to that, the film, written by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin, was inspired by a real life case.  The movie was nominated for an Oscar for best story and best screen play. In 1992, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, or aesthetically significant.  It is on AFI’s 100 years…100 Laughs list at number 22 and AFI’s top 10 best Romantic Comedy Films at number 7.

Spencer Tracy insisted on top billing for this film, and when the producer asked if he ever heard
of “ladies first”, Tracy responded, “This is a movie not a (blankiey-blank) life boat.” ,

Katharine Hepburn (1907 -2003) was known for her fierce independence and spirited personality. She was a successful leading lady in Hollywood for more than 60 years and played virtually every kind of character you can imagine. She won four Oscars for leading actress (which is a record) and in 1999 was named by the American Film Institute as the greatest female star of classic movies. Her outspoken personality and lifestyle set the norm for today's "modern" woman.  In her film career she did a total of nine films opposite Spencer Tracy and he was her companion for a quarter century until his death. During filming, Tracy and Hepburn always stayed in separate houses, as was their habit when traveling, thereby helping to keep their decades long relationship out of the press.

 Spencer Tracy (1900-1967) was a major star during Hollywood’s golden age.  Always knows for his versatility, he appeared in 75 films. He was nominated for nine Oscars and won twice. His first film with Hepburn was in “Woman of the Year” (1942), and his last film was “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”(1967), again with Hepburn which was finished just 17 days before his death. In 1999 the American Film Institute ranked Spencer as the ninth greatest male star of Classic Hollywood Cinema.

One film critic’s opinion of the movie is what Bosley Crowther of The New York "Times" who had to say about the movie on December 26th 1949 ."Our first thanks should go to the authors of the script, for they are the chief one responsible for the pleasures of ‘Adams Rib.” It is their delightful improvising on a nimble and fragile little tale of a violent courtroom rivalry between a lawyer-husband and his lawyer-wife that makes this current picture bounce and spin with thorough glee…”

Come and see this highly thought of romantic comedy at: The Edge Center for the Arts, Bigfork. Date and time: Thursday April 13th at 6:30PM. It will be worth going to Bigfork, because Jack will provide you with background about the movie and a cartoon of the period. An appropriate snack will be served courtesy of Jack and his wife/projectionist, Lynn.

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