Keeper of the Flame

Keeper of the Flame

Director: George Cukor

Cast: George Cukor, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Richard Whorf

     
 

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If you're wondering what Citizen Kane might have looked like had it been produced by MGM, we submit for your approval Keeper of the Flame. War correspondent Spencer Tracy is assigned to write the life story of a recently deceased super-patriot. One would suppose that the much-beloved decedent's life would be an open book, yet his widow Katharine HepburnSee more details below

Overview

If you're wondering what Citizen Kane might have looked like had it been produced by MGM, we submit for your approval Keeper of the Flame. War correspondent Spencer Tracy is assigned to write the life story of a recently deceased super-patriot. One would suppose that the much-beloved decedent's life would be an open book, yet his widow Katharine Hepburn refuses to release any details concerning her late husband. Tracy gains Hepburn's confidence, and she agrees to help him with his article. Several curious incidents lead Tracy to believe that Hepburn was in some way responsible for her husband's death. While this is not entirely the case, Tracy stumbles upon a truth that has been carefully hidden from the public by the dead man's "damage control" people. Adapted by Donald Ogden Stewart from a novel by I. A. R. Wylie, Keeper of the Flame is perhaps the most dour of the Tracy/Hepburn vehicles; those expecting the usual battle-of-the-sexes repartee between the two stars would be better off with Adam's Rib or Pat and Mike.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
An oddity in the series of films Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn made together, Keeper of the Flame is not a romantic comedy filled with sparkling repartee as the two leads spar with each other on their way to an inevitable clinch and thus may disappoint those looking for another Adam's Rib or Pat and Mike. It also must be admitted that Flame is a bit heavy-handed and propagandistic, especially to modern viewers. That said, there's still magic in the pairing of the two stars and it's fun to see them in something so different, something that might be called a semi-Gothic politico-mystery. If that seems like an odd jumbling of genres, it is, and it's one of the reasons Flame doesn't totally satisfy. The political propaganda is at war with the mystery aspect, and the Gothic trappings don't sit as comfortably as one might wish. That said, director George Cukor does a marvelous job of building tension and suspense for as long as the script allows; he would have done an even better job if the screenplay didn't give the audience a "spoiler" too early in the proceedings, so that the viewer knows the big secret much earlier than Spencer Tracy's reporter. The stars are in good form, and the supporting cast is worthy.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/12/2011
UPC:
0883929175666
Original Release:
1942
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W]
Time:
1:40:00
Sales rank:
17,135

Special Features

Our Gang short going to press ; Classic cartoon The Blitz Wolf ; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Spencer Tracy Stephen O'Malley
Katharine Hepburn Christine Forrest
Richard Whorf Clive Kerndon
Margaret Wycherly Mrs. Forrest
Forrest Tucker Geoffrey Midford
Frank Craven Dr. Fielding
Stephen McNally Freddie Ridges
Percy Kilbride Orion Peabody
Audrey Christie Jane Harding
Darryl Hickman Jeb Richards
Donald Meek Mr. Arbuthnot
Howard Da Silva Jason Richards
Clifford Brooke William
Cliff Danielson Reporter
Diana Douglas Actor
Dick Elliott Auctioneer
Rex Evans John
Donald Gallagher Actor
Sam Harris Actor
Crauford Kent Ambassador
Manart Kippen Actor
Mickey Martin Messenger Boy
Louis Mason Gardener
Mary McLeod Janet
Edward McWade Lawyer
Harold Miller Man
Rita Quigley Susan
Jay Ward Pete
Blanche Yurka Anna
Art Howard Actor
Bob Pittard Tim
William Newell Piggot

Technical Credits
George Cukor Director
Adrian Costumes/Costume Designer
William H. Daniels Cinematographer
Jack Dawn Makeup
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Leon Gordon Associate Producer
Bronislau Kaper Score Composer
Jack D. Moore Set Decoration/Design
James Newcom Editor
Warren Newcombe Special Effects
Victor Saville Producer
Donald Ogden Stewart Screenwriter
Lyle Wheeler Art Director
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
I.A.R. Wylie Screenwriter

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