PAT AND MIKE

(1952)
With Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Aldo Ray, Jim Backus, William Ching, Sammy White, Chuck Connors, George Mathews
Directed by George Cukor
Black and White
Reviewed by JL

Mike and Pat    Kate Hepburn displays her own real-life athletic prowess in the role of Pat Pemberton, a world-class player of both tennis and golf.  Pat's potential in the sports world is stymied by Collier Weld (William Ching), her insufferable snob of a fiance, whose presence always unnerves her just as she's trying to sink a putt or return a volley.  Enter Mike Conovan (Spencer Tracy), a gruff but lovable New York sports promoter with more than a few shady acquaintances.  He takes Pat under his wing, makes her a champion, and helps build her character and self-confidence enough to break her engagement with Collier the clod (by which time she's rather smitten with Tracy anyway).  Hepburn shines in a role written for her by Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon, but for me Tracy comes close to stealing the picture with one of his most colorful and broadly comic performances.  Though ADAM'S RIB is regarded as the best Tracy-Hepburn film, PAT AND MIKE runs a very close second. 4½ - JL

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