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Katharine Hepburn Takes Control in Woman of the Year

Fresh off her successful collaboration with George Cukor on The Philadelphia Story, Katharine Hepburn secured her comeback after a brief career slump with George Stevens’s 1942 Woman of the Year. This clever battle-of-the-sexes comedy—which marked the actor’s first on-screen partnership with Spencer Tracy, with whom she would go on to make eight more films and share a decades-long romantic relationship—follows the story of two newspaper reporters who fall in love and get married, only to realize that their lives may not be as compatible as they had imagined. Our new edition, out this week on Blu-ray and DVD, features writer Claudia Roth Pierpont discussing how the film gave Hepburn the chance to exude the sexuality that had been latent in her previous work. In the excerpt below, Pierpont details the ways in which the star’s intimate involvement in the project helped shape its direction.

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