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Reuniting the team that brought ADAM'S RIB to the screen, PAT AND MIKE ($20) features Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn in front of the camera, along with writers Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin and director George Cukor behind the camera. Like ADAM'S RIB, PAT AND MIKE is another comic battle of the sexes, although instead of a skirmish with words, this movie gets a bit more physical. In PAT AND MIKE, Katharine Hepburn portrays Pat Pemberton, a woman of considerable physical prowess, who goes all to pieces whenever her fiancée is around.

Enter Mike Conovan (Spencer Tracy), a sports promoter who offers to manage the career of a potential champion "Lady Athlete" after witnessing Pat’s skills on the golf course. Of course, this situation doesn't sit well with her fiancée, but Pat is determined to live her life exactly as she sees fit. As you might expect, sparks fly in both the sporting arena and on the sidelines, as Pat and Mike’s professional relationship begins to get personal. PAT AND MIKE features a lot of snappy dialogue and some hilarious physical humor that harkens back to Hepburn's screwball comedy days. The movie also makes the most of Hepburn's physical abilities, showing that she had some potential as a "Lady Athlete." The cast of PAT AND MIKE also includes Aldo Ray, William Ching, Sammy White, George Mathews, Frank Richards, Jim Backus, Chuck Connors and an impossibly young Charles Bronson (billed as Charles Buchinski). Look for Babe Didrikson Zaharias and Gussie Moran, two of the real life sports figures from half a century ago that put in appearances in the film.

Warner Home Video has done a very nice job of transcribing PAT AND MIKE to DVD. PAT AND MIKE is presented in its proper 1.33:1 aspect ratio and the black and white film element utilized for the transfer it in great shape, with only minor markings to remind one that the movie is more than fifty years old. There is some mild film grain present, but otherwise PAT AND MIKE features a sharp, nicely defined image. Blacks are right on the money, plus the rich looking picture has excellent contrast and depth. There are no problems with digital compression artifacts during the presentation.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack is very clean for its age and is free from distortion. Although there are the expected frequency limitations in the sound, the track is well worth amplifying for David Raksin's enjoyable score. Subtitles are available on the DVD in English and French. The basic interactive menus provide access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as two theatrical trailers, a cast list and production notes.

PAT AND MIKE is a whole lot of fun for film buffs that appreciate the magical chemistry of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Warner's DVD looks and sounds just fine, making it a worthwhile addition to your collection.


Pat & Mike



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2001 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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