SPOTLIGHT: Precocious Pre-Code Hepburn (IV)



Welcome to a new Film Friday and the conclusion of our spotlight series on the Pre-Code work of the unforgettable Katharine Hepburn. Though her greatest fame would occur after 1934, Hepburn nevertheless made several important and interesting pictures in the Pre-Code era. So far we’ve covered A Bill Of Divorcement (1932), Christopher Strong (1933) and Morning Glory (1933). Today…


Spitfire (1934)


A backwoods faith healer falls for a married man from the big city. Starring Katharine Hepburn, Robert Young, Ralph Bellamy, and Martha Sleeper. Screenplay by Jane Murfin and Lula Vollmer. Based on the play by Lula Vollmer. Directed by John Cromwell. It is unfortunate to end our brief four-week series on Katharine Hepburn’s Pre-Codes with the one that works the least. Despite warnings from several well-respected sources, I tried incredibly hard to like Spitfire. The film, adapted from a play, features an interesting story and a lot of fascinating themes (that I think would be great fodder for a theatrical work). The problem is Hepburn herself, who is cast in a role that really doesn’t suit her, dragging the picture to an irredeemable level of, for lack of a better word, rottenness. Is it a complete waste? No, but the worthwhile moments come too late.


2 thoughts on “SPOTLIGHT: Precocious Pre-Code Hepburn (IV)

    • Hi, bobster427! Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Yes — SPITFIRE was an accidental choice for 400. (Would much rather it have been CHRISTOPHER STRONG or MORNING GLORY!)

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