One of Cukor’s most explicitly political films, Keeper of the Flame re-united offscreen couple Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn after their smash hit earlier the same year with George Stevens’ Woman of the Year. It was an unlikely second pairing: in place of a fizzy, domestic rom-com, audiences were met with a relatively high-minded reflection on the persistence of the past in the present, the conflict between personal and national duty, and the threat of grassroots fascism. The romantic tension between Tracy, playing a hotshot war correspondent, and Hepburn, as the widow of a national hero with a shady political past, is surprisingly muted—but the film moves at a crackle, and shows Cukor at the peak of his social consciousness.

  • Directed By George Cukor
  • 1942
  • USA
  • 35mm
  • 100 minutes