My Favorite Film Love Story

by Jan Johnson


If you’re a classic movie buff, you know there were lots of actors that were paired time and again in the films of the 1930’s – 1960’s. Some of them even married in real life, like Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.   But, there was no love story quite like that of my favorite actors of all time, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.

Space and time prohibit me from going into the details of this complicated love story, but there are two good books about it: An Affair to Remember: The Remarkable Love Story of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy by Christopher Andersen; and Tracy and Hepburn: An Intimate Portrait, by Garson Kanin.

Each of these actors was a phenomenal talent individually, but when they teamed up to do a film together, they could make movie magic because of the love they felt for each other in real life.

Tracy and Hepburn did nine films together, my favorites of which are the final four:

Woman of the Year - Wikipedia

Woman of the Year (1942)

Keeper of the Flame (film) - Wikipedia

Keeper of the Flame (1942)

Without Love (1945) - IMDb

Without Love (1945) Sea Of Grass, The (DVD) : Pandro S. Berman, Marguerite Roberts,  Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Walker, Melvyn Douglas, Phyllis  Thaxter, Elia Kazan: Movies & TV

Sea of Grass (1947)

Watch State of the Union | Prime Video

State of the Union (1948) Adam's Rib : Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Judy Holliday,  Tom Ewell, David Wayne, Jean Hagen, Hope Emerson, Eve March, Clarence Kolb,  Emerson Treacy, Polly Moran, Will Wright, George J. Folsey, George

Adam’s Rib (1949)

Pat and Mike (1952) - IMDb

Pat and Mike (1952)

Desk Set (1957) - IMDb

Desk Set (1957)

Movie Monday: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)


They excelled at comedy. Adam’s Rib is a prime example and is a delight to watch.  Their timing was perfect and they could adlib seamlessly without losing a beat. You can see their deep admiration, respect and love for each other in their demeanor on set.

Their final film together, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, gives an intimate peek into the depth of their love for each other, a love that endured nearly three decades. Check out the closing scene and know that while they were filming, it was clear that Tracy was really talking about his love for Hepburn. A true tear-jerker for audiences and actors.

Who is your favorite film couple?