What happens when you combine Kat Hepburn, Cary Grant, James Stewart, and George Cukor? Amazingness, that's what! This 1940 film stars Katharine as a rich divorcee ready to remarry. Cary is her ex and he is out to make her day miserable. He gets reporter James and his photographer gal pal Elizabeth (played beautifully by Ruth Hussey) to act as friends of the family and get an inside look to this private bride's special day.
We learn right away that Cary and Kat were over!
Cary's plan seems like it is going to work until he confronts Kat and tells her the truth about who James and Ruth really are. She goes along with it though and welcomes them in.
As the family plans the wedding, which is going to be held the next day, they talk about Cary and why he has suddenly shown up! But after a while the act like they don't mind that the ex is around and even include him in the festivities!
The family puts on a show especially little sister Dinah who parades around like a fool to make a good headline for James and Ruth. After a while, father has had enough. He tells them they are on to their ploy and invite them to stay! Katharine is fine with this because we see her start to have some kind moments with James. Cue in shadowing. BTW, she is never with her groom, George!
As James and Kat start to canoodle, she learns from her friends and family that maybe she is acting like a queen. This is taken not well by Kat and she gets into a quarrel with Cary, and James, and father. Kat blows off some steam by taking a swim. Cary swoops in with a gift...a replica of the boat they sailed on during their honeymoon. Cary is laying it on thick!
The night before the wedding soiree begins. (Lets just take a second and drool over Kat's fabulous dress. Designed by Adrian, this gown steals the show!)
As the night progresses, James and Kat get closer while Kat and hubby begin to grow apart. Lots of booze is consumed which results in some late swimming and heavy petting. Fiancee George catches James and Kat in the act as Cary watches with enjoyment.
The next morning everyone is hungover and trying to recall the events of the night. Katharine must face her fiancee and explain her actions. The wedding is nearing and us viewers must watch as she decides who to marry! Her fiancee? Her ex husband? Her new reporter boyfriend? What to do?
Nothing says "bride" like a lace up cummerbund and prairie hat with ribbon!
Katharine had the rights to this film, given to her as a gift from beau Howard Hughes. She wanted Clark Gable to play Cary's role and Spencer Tracy to play James' role, without ever meeting either of them. This film was shot without any retakes (unusual) and there are some improve scenes where you can see Cary giggling and looking down. Cary gave his salary from this film to the British War efforts, and James won the Academy Award for best supporting actor.