How Kate Inspired Pat and Mike

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Pat and Mike is another charming partnership with Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, director George Cukor, and the writing team of Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon.

“It was all very ensemble in spirit,” Hepburn remembered. “It was not just friendship, but an artistic collaboration.”


The idea came thanks to Katharine Hepburn. “As I watched Kate playing tennis one day, it occurred to me that her audience was missing a treat,” said Garson Kanin who wrote the screenplay with his wife, Ruth Gordon. They received an Academy Award nomination for their script.


Hepburn did her own stunts, and it was hard playing golf on “sloping green.” Kate said, “When I sank that putt, I really just jumped up and down for joy.”


Hepburn was filming out of country for The African Queen with Humphrey Bogart (read about that here) when the script was being written. Queen was considered a revitalization of Hepburn’s career and garnered her another Academy Award nomination.


Pat and Mike was Kate’s favorite Tracy-Hepburn team-up. Together, they completed nine films together. This film was preceeded by Adam’s Rib (1949) and followed by Desk Set (1957).


Charles Bronson appears in the film, but is credited as “Charles Buchinski.” Bronson would later change his name due to the Red Scare. His agent feared it would damage his career. Pat and Mike was the second time Bronson worked with Director George Cukor – the first being The Marrying Kind.