Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Two favourites: Lee & Kate

Two of our favourite ladies here are Katharine Hepburn and Lee Remick, and thanks to Daryl for sending me these two stills from their 1973 film A DELICATE BALANCE. I have used them before (see sidebar for that cover of "Films In Review" magazine), but lovely to see them again. 
I never saw Hepburn in person but got to meet Remick in 1970, as detailed before at her label, and also saw her on stage in London in BUS STOP in 1975. 

The story I have told before is that in 1957 when Lee was starting out she was up for the negligible role of one of the office girls in Hepburn's DESK SET with Tracy (the role played by Dina Merrill in the film). Kate advised her to take small parts to get noticed, but Spencer told her to hold out for a better role, which she certainly got in Kazan's A FACE IN THE CROWD that year - what a debut. Five years later of course they are both up for Best Actress in 1962, and a decade later played mother and daughter in the film of Albee's A DELICATE BALANCE, rather ignored at the time, but a real acting treat now.  Paul Scofield is marvellous here too as is Kate Reid, and they do Albee's play justice. Its one of Tony Richardson's better later efforts. (He also directed Lee in the 1961 SANCTUARY, a rare one we tracked down some years ago, as per review).  


  1. In the states, A Delicate Balance wasn't so much ignored as inaccessible. It could only be seen in a handful of theaters which had agreed to show movies made from Amaerican stage plays to a subscription-only audience, all under the banner of The American Film Theater.

    It lasted two years, and produced 14 films in total. It's goal was to bring faithful adaptations of great stage plays to an audience in the hinterlands (who apparently greeted the entire enterprise with a collective yawn).

    My family subscribed to the first year, which also included Gene Wilder, Zero Mostel and Karen Black in Ionessco's Rhinoceros (truly dreadful), and Melba Moore and Clifton Davis in Lost In The Stars (a gritty, bloated bore). But in addition to having to drive to a neighboring town and work around a very limited screening schedule (on school nights, yet), the films themselves weren't very good -- interesting, yes, certainly more challenging material that we were likely to find at the local movie houses, but still, just not very good.

    We bailed on the second year, as did many others apparently, and the enterprise collapsed beneath the weight of its good intentions.

  2. I chose Kate as my best actress for her role in this and Kate Reid as my best supporting actress.