In Memoriam: Katherine Hepburn
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JIM LEHRER: Finally, farewell to Katharine Hepburn. The four-time Oscar winner was a leading lady with an unparalleled career. She starred in a wide variety of films, from screwball comedy to English period dramas.
Here’s a look at Hepburn in three roles that show some of her range. First, she plays a trick on Cary Grant in the 1938 comedy “Bringing up Baby.” Then, she tries to win back her on-screen and off-screen love, Spencer Tracy, in the 1942 film “Woman of the Year.” And finally, her Oscar-winning role in the 1968 drama “The Lion in Winter,” Hepburn plays the imprisoned and scheming wife of an aging king Henry II, played by Peter O’Toole.
GRANT (“Bringing up Baby” 1938): Hello? Oh, it’s you. Well… well, I can’t hear you very well. Come closer to the telephone.
HEPBURN: I said, “Good morning, David.” Now I said, “do you want a leopard?”
GRANT: A leopard? Now why should I want a leopard?
HEPBURN: Well, for that matter, why should I? But I’ve got one.
GRANT: Susan, where would you get a leopard?
HEPBURN: Well, I wouldn’t get a leopard, David. My brother, Mark, got him. He’s hunting in brazil. I guess he caught it.
GRANT: Oh, of course, he’s a stuffed leopard.
HEPBURN: Of course. Now why shouldn’t my brother mark be hunting stuffed leopards in brazil when he… when he can find them right here in New York? Well, David, it’s lucky I met you yesterday because you’re the only zoologist I know. Well, of course I know what a zoologist is. Get out of here. No, no, not you, David. Oh, Baby, get back into that bathroom and stay there. You’re making a nuisance of yourself. No, not you, David. No, I want you to come right over. Oh, David, don’t be irrelevant. The point is I have a leopard. The question is, what am I going to do with it?
GRANT: Well, Susan, I regret to say the leopard is your problem.
HEPBURN: You mean you refuse to help me? But David, you can’t do that. You can’t leave me alone with a leopard. No, I’m going to come and get you… ( crashing )
GRANT: Susan, what happened? Is it the leopard?
HEPBURN: No, no, nothing happened to me, David. I just… I mean, the leopard! David, the leopard! (Crashing )
GRANT: Can you hear me, Susan?
HEPBURN: Oh, oh, oh!
GRANT: Susan, be brave! Be brave. I’ll be right there, Susan. Hold on there, Susan. Susan, can you hear me? I’ll be there, Susan.
HEPBURN: (“Woman of the Year” 1942) Good morning.
TRACY: What now?
HEPBURN: I’ve come home, Sam.
TRACY: Afraid I can’t agree with you, Tess.
HEPBURN: Sam, this is our apartment by the river you’ve always wanted, isn’t it? I’m going to be part of it.
TRACY: What’s the gag?
HEPBURN: Sam, Pop and Ellen were married last night. I listened to the words. You can’t listen to them without believing…
TRACY: You listened to them once before, didn’t you?
HEPBURN: But I didn’t hear them, Sam. Honestly I didn’t. I heard them last night, though. I love you, Sam. Will you marry me?
TRACY: You mean love, honor, cherish and obey, until death do us part?
HEPBURN: Yes, Sam.
TRACY: Well, you mean you’re going to live here with me and kiss me good-bye in the morning and wait for me to come home at night loaded down with pipes and slippers and stories about what you and the girls did all day.
HEPBURN: Yes, Sam.
TRACY: Are you going to run up little, diminutive curtains and sew buttons on my underwear?
TRACY: Cook and sew and put on your rubber gloves and wash the dishes on the maid’s day off?
HEPBURN: Yes, darling!
TRACY: This is the top phony of them all. You’ve pulled some dandies, but you’ve really reached the heights now. Barging in here at the crack of dawn, flushed and starry-eyed and expect me to smell orange blossoms and see rice and old shoes floating through the air.
HEPBURN: Sam, why won’t you believe me?
TRACY: I’ll tell you why I won’t believe you. Because every time you’ve tried to duck an issue you’ve made love to me, and I fell for it, until in the office yesterday you realized for the first time that I was wise to you, and now you’re trying a new one. Now, why don’t you drop the curtain on this act and let Miss Harding take her makeup off?
HEPBURN: But, Sam, you don’t understand. I’m going to give up my job.
TRACY: Really? What are you going to do? Run for president?
HEPBURN: I’m going to be your wife. You don’t think that I can do the little ordinary things that any idiot can do, do you?
HEPBURN: Why not?
TRACY: Because you’re incapable of doing them, that’s why. You can’t expect Seabiscuit to stop in the middle of the stretch, drink a glass of water and count to seven at the same time, you know. That takes training.
HEPBURN: Well, I’m not Seabiscuit.
HEPBURN: (“The Lion in Winter” 1968): What kind of spindly, ricket- ridden, milky, withered, dim- eyed, gammy-handed, limpy line of things will you beget?
O’TOOLE: It’s sweet of you to care.
HEPBURN: And when you die, which is regrettable but necessary, what will happen to frail Alice and her plumy prince? You can’t think Richard is going to wait for your grotesque to grow.
O’TOOLE: You wouldn’t let him do a thing like that.
HEPBURN: Let him? I’d push him through the nursery door.
O’TOOLE: Well, I’m not that cruel.
HEPBURN: Don’t fret. We’ll wait until you’re dead to do it.
O’TOOLE: Eleanor, what do you want?
HEPBURN: Just what you want, a king for a son. You can make more; I can’t. You think I want to disappear? One son is all I’ve got and you can blot him out and call me cruel? For these ten years you’ve lived with everything I’ve lost and loved another woman through it all, and I am cruel? I could peel you like a pear and God Himself would call it justice.
O’TOOLE: I will die sometime soon. One day I’ll duck too slow and at Westminster they’ll sing out “long live the king” for someone else. I beg you, let it be a son of mine.
HEPBURN: I am not moved to tears.
O’TOOLE: I have no sons.
HEPBURN: You have too many sons. You don’t need more.
O’TOOLE: Well, wish me luck. I’m off.
HEPBURN: To Rome?
O’TOOLE: That’s where they keep the pope.
HEPBURN: You don’t dare go!
O’TOOLE: I’ll be rid of you by Easter.
HEPBURN: You go. You’ll go to Rome, they’ll rise against you.
O’TOOLE: Who will?
HEPBURN: Richard, Geoffrey, John and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
O’TOOLE: That will be the day that pigs have wings.
HEPBURN: There will be pork in the treetops come morning.