Katharine Hepburn: All About Me (1992)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Katharine Hepburn: All About Me</strong> (1992)

(On Cable TV, November 2018) When you’re Kathleen Hepburn and have remained a star through six decades of Hollywood history, the least you can be given is a feature-length documentary during which to comment your life and career. This is exactly what Katharine Hepburn: All About Me is about: Hepburn welcoming us home, leaving the camera running as she putters around the house and gives us the highlight reel of her career. Hepburn fans will note that the film came shortly after Hepburn’s 1991 autobiography and so offered her a complementary opportunity to cement her legacy even further by offering a movie-length trailer of the image she wanted to portray. In fact, you could argue that Hepburn here had a better vehicle for legacy summation than a book—after more than sixty years in show-business, the 85-year-old Hepburn remained an actor even when talking about her own life. Here we have poignant recollections, a few laughs, a warm portrait of Spencer Tracy (at a time when Hepburn was free to talk about their relationship without fear of being contradicted or annoying Spencer’s wife). This is all supported by great archival footage (including home movies) and Hepburn’s still-distinctive speaking style. This is Hepburn on Hepburn—much as I like her (and I really do like her a lot), there isn’t any place here for critical commentary on her life and work. This being said, All About Me remains quite a fascinating document for Hepburn fans—a 70-minute whirlwind tour of a career that could have sustained a much longer film, but also the portrait of a screen legend in her last few years. Perhaps her last great performance as well.

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