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Each was an Oscar®-winning superstar before ever appearing in a film together, and throughout their 25-year collaboration, both maintained distinguished individual careers. But from the moment they first locked eyes in 1942's Woman of the Year, the combustible chemistry between Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn ignited the greatest and most sustained star coupling in movie history.
Now, for the first time, all nine films starring this legendary duo have been brought together in Tracy & Hepburn: The Definitive Collection. This extraordinary 10-disc set is destined to be a cornerstone of any film buff's collection. Here are:
Woman of the Year
The one that started it all, and it's easy to see why. He's a down-to-earth sports writer; she's a sophisticated political columnist—who suggests that sports should be suspended for the duration of World War II! Still enjoyable romantic comedy directed by George Stevens (Giant, A Place in the Sun), who had guided Hepburn's earlier triumph in Alice Adams.
Keeper of the Flame
George Cukor was the director who worked most often with Tracy & Hepburn, both individually and in tandem. Their first joint venture was this atmospheric melodrama reminiscent of Citizen Kane. Reporter Tracy is determined to uncover the truth behind the sudden death of a famous and beloved American—despite the reluctance of the man's widow (Hepburn) to cooperate.
In wartime Washington, Tracy & Hepburn enter a platonic marriage of convenience. How long will that last? In addition to the stars, there are memorable comic contributions by Keenan Wynn and young Lucille Ball, who had previously appeared with Hepburn in Stage Door.
The Sea of Grass
Perhaps the duo's most unusual collaboration, directed by Elia Kazan (his second film). Tracy is an unscrupulous 19th-century New Mexico cattleman who alienates wife Hepburn, driving her into the arms of rival Melvyn Douglas (Ninotchka, Hud).
State of the Union
Will industrialist Tracy have to compromise his principles in order to win a political campaign? Not if wife Hepburn has anything to say about it. Frank Capra (It's a Wonderful Life) directed this adaptation of the hit Broadway play. Trivia fans take note: Hepburn was actually a last-minute replacement for Claudette Colbert, who dropped out shortly before filming began.
Laugh-out-loud comedy about married attorneys on opposite sides of a high profile case. Written by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin, and all but stolen by hilarious Judy Holliday as the defendant.
Pat and Mike
Another Gordon-Kanin script tailor-made for the stars. He's a sports promoter; she's a promising athlete he takes under his wing. Hepburn's own considerable golf and tennis skills are on full display.
Hepburn heads up a TV network research department—threatened with replacement by Tracy's computer. Star duo in peak form, ably assisted by Gig Young and the always delightful Joan Blondell.
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
In a glorious final bow, Tracy and Hepburn are an affluent couple whose liberal beliefs are put to the test when their daughter (Katharine Houghton, Hepburn's real-life niece) announces her engagement to an African-American doctor (Sidney Poitier, at his most charming). Tracy died just days after completing filming, and when Hepburn received the Best Actress Oscar® for her performance, she noted, "This one is for both of us."