Without Love is a war-time romantic comedy about two screwballs having to stay in the same place. Hepburn opens her home for rental to a military inventor near the end of World War II. For some reason, they’ve got to get married and now it’s on like Polio-Afflicted Donkey Kong.
Hepburn and Tracy are one of those classic Hollywood couples that holds up if you don’t dig too deep. But, I’m a pesky student of history (film and otherwise), so enjoy Googling the details behind what I’m going to say. If you were upset over my hot take on Clara’s Heart, this might bother you too.
Spencer Tracy was a sketchy dude, but a hell of an actor. After running out on his family, he never quite got around to divorcing his wife. What he did do was have his way with half of the MGM back lot. Tracy spent most of his glory days living around Los Angeles hotels and bagging every leading lady that came his way. Now, I’m not going to go into whether or not he seduced a 14 year Judy Garland.
That’s why I’m going to link to a ton of other people who had no problems doing the research. Sorry for the Without Love detour.
You may go Over the Rainbow here, here and here. Here’s a link to a piece about how MGM had a Tracy Squad to help out the troubles. If you really want to learn about Tracy at MGM, google Howard Strickling and let it blow your hair back.
Lucille Ball was starting to come into her own as an actress. So, naturally she got to play the prehistoric Rebel Wilson sideshow to the Hepburn and Tracy theatrics. She provides the laughs and serves as potential side piece, but we know that Tracy is going to end up with Hepburn. After all, he left his wife for her.
I kid! I kid! But, it’s fun to poke fun at a guy that tore ass through North Beverly Drive back when you could buy actual penny candy. Hepburn and Tracy did 9 films together, but as an adult all I can see is what has been suggested in tell-all books that came out decades later.
Hepburn really loved Tracy, but Tracy was himself. All of these films serve as paper-thin allegories about a woman trying to keep her independence but falling to Tracy’s charms when he leans into her face. There is enough subtext there to fill a College Freshman Psych student’s talking points. But, for now…I’ll just recommend checking out Without Love.
Warner Archive brings Without Love to Blu-ray with more special features than I thought existed. You get a vintage purity special and classic cartoon. If that wasn’t enough, you get the theatrical trailer. Real supplemental material that supports classic cinema is amazing. Thanks to Warner Archive for getting me to discover this film.