9 May 2005 | gftbiloxi
According to film lore, writers Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin were inspired to write PAT AND MIKE when they realized that Katherine Hepburn was a near-professional-level golfer and tennis player. The result is a sprightly tale of a college physical education teacher named Pat (Hepburn) who turns pro with the help of a slightly shady promoter manager named Mike (Tracy.)
As always, Tracy and Hepburn make for an engaging pair, and the supporting cast is crammed with memorable faces, including Jim Backus, Chuck Conners, a very young Charles Bronson, and even Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer--and every one plays with the same charming touch. The sports scenes also gives sports fans a glimpse at such legendary athletes as Babe Didrikson Zaharias. But the real interest here is the script itself: in an era noted for sexism, PAT AND MIKE is flatly feminist, and the story finds Hepburn first rebelling against fiancé William Ching's "little woman" mentality and then straightening out Spenser Tracy on the same point--and in one of the film's most memorable scenes, Hepburn effectively shoves Tracy aside to beat up two men who threaten him!
Given the nature of its story, PAT AND MIKE spends quite a lot of time on the golf course and the tennis courts, and those who have little interest in sports may not find it to their taste; that said, in spite of its many charms, the film isn't really in the same league with Tracy and Hepburn's ADAM'S RIB. Still, fans of the screen team will enjoy it quite a bit, and even purely casual viewers will have a good time.
Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer