MovieChat Forums > Christopher StrongĀ (1933) Discussion > Oddity, see it for early Hepburn curiosi...

Oddity, see it for early Hepburn curiosity


Well, if anyone ever wondered how Katharine Hepburn was branded "Box Office Poison", I suggest that they view this film for starters!

Not a horrible film, but terribly awkward in places. Racy story elements (suicides, illegitimate pregnancies, adulterous affairs) are handled openly but with heavy moralistic repercussions in most all cases, and ultimately with tragic results for our heroine.

Hepburn gets top billing, is striking on camera in several scenes and even manages to be personable and fascinating. But, as she is the "other woman" in affair with a man married to a woman (wonderfully played by Billie Burke) whose character is not quite as exciting, but full of goodness, I found myself rooting for the wife and not for the Hepburn character.

To spoil it, she gets hers in the end, but it's so predictable, you should have seen it coming from the first ten minutes of the film.

A historical curiosity and oddity. Not a great film, by any means. To see Hepburn in the silver moth get up is well worth the price of admission. What was that all about???? She appears out of nowhere in that costume and we never get any explanation of why.

reply

It could go no other way. Audiences back then would demand it. Hepburn's character had to pay for what she did..

I know it was so old fashioned but there are times I do wish that our society still had a little bit more "old fashioned". And this comes from a baby boomer that partied in the 70's! Maybe as we get older we do wish that.

reply

That moth costume really is something else! But it was explained that she was going to a fancy dress party---and I daresay she chose the costume for to tie in with her plane's name, which I believe was called "The Silver Moth."

reply

I agree that it's an interesting curiosity. One of the few Hepburn movies I haven't seen. In all honesty I thought her performance was gabbled. She is rather fascinating to watch as ever, though I much preferred the stillness of the normally very fluttery Billie Burke as the wife, and the troubled daughter played wonderfully by an actress who was extremely troubled in life also, the ethereal Helen Chandler.

reply

Hepburn curiosity, as its been described on this thread, was the sole reason I watched Christopher Strong. Hepburn's performance was mostly unconvincing particularly in her character's affair. Colin Clive conveyed more emotional depth to the affair than Hepburn. And regarding the death of Hepburn's character it was clearly in line with the Hay's code regarding marriage, I think feminists would have a field day with Christopher Strong.

"I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not".

reply

This is one of the many oldies which my father-in-law used to avidly record on VHS off the TV. I saw the last 10 minutes of the film in the late 80s where Hepburn was flying up into the clouds to set an altitude record or something. Yes, "oddity" would be the right description.

reply