Keeper of the Flame (DVD)
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War correspondent stumbles on a little known fact that an honored American war patriot had in fact worked for the Fascists; wife urges writer to expose the facts for history.
It's no surprise that Keeper of the Flame came out in 1942, the same year as Casablanca. In this would-be film noir, the problems of two little people again don't amount to a hill of beans when it comes to fighting fascism in other countries--not to mention the United States. Spencer Tracy stars as Steven O'Malley, a war correspondent who comes home to write a book about a great industrialist who's died under mysterious circumstances. He hopes to gain insight from the man's wife (Katharine Hepburn), but she is reticent to play along with the reporter. It's not difficult to figure out the "truth" that Tracy discovers, but the film is an interesting piece of period propaganda. Director George Cukor (who also directed Tracy and Hepburn in Adam's Rib and Pat and Mike) is definitely making what they used to call a message picture, but Tracy and Hepburn's always-apparent chemistry keeps it fun to watch. --Paige Newman
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 5.25 x 0.5 inches; 2.4 Ounces
- Item model number : WHV1000184254DVD
- Director : George Cukor
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC
- Run time : 1 hour and 40 minutes
- Release date : April 12, 2011
- Actors : Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Richard Whorf, Margaret Wycherly, Forrest Tucker
- Producers : Victor Saville
- Language : English (Dolby Digital Plus)
- Studio : WarnerBrothers
- ASIN : B004K4FUK2
- Writers : Donald Ogden Stewart
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #46,612 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
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George Cukor directed this film -- beautifully photographed in black and white so that the shadows are a presence on screen that helps to set the mood for the eventual outcome. Hepburn is radiant in the role of the bereaved wife with a secret and I don't think I am the only person who seeing the scene of her during her husband's funeral who was be struck by how much Hepburn reminds one of Jacqueline Kennedy at the funeral of JFK in 1963. It's quite eerie.
I highly recommend this film to anyone who is fan of Tracy and Hepburn and to anyone who is just a fan of fine films from the Golden Age of movies.
Along the way he gets some intriguing information from a taxi driver played by Percy Kilbride---not doing his Pa Kettle shtick, but dispensing homespun common sense and independence of thought.
There are many blind alleys that add to the atmosphere of menace, and the final revelation, which comes in a memorable monologue by Hepburn, is stunning, but all too believable.
The only flaw is the final scene, in which everything seems to be happening at once, as though director George Cukor discovered that he was running out of film and had to wrap up the production in a hurry.
But the glorious final montage ties it all together for a dramatic, convincing and satisfying conclusion.