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DVD Picks: 'Tracy & Hepburn'

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DVD Picks: 'Tracy & Hepburn'

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DVD Picks: 'Tracy & Hepburn'

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

From theaters now to your couch, it's time for Bob Mondello's latest recommendation for your home video queue. And this week he's talking up a decades-long love affair that is fully documented in a new boxed set: "Tracy & Hepburn, The Definitive Collection."

(Soundbite of movie, "Woman of the Year")

Unidentified Man: Have you met Miss Harding?

Mr. SPENCER TRACY (Actor): (as Sam Craig) Yes. Yes, in a belligerent sort of way.

Ms. KATHARINE HEPBURN (Actor): (as Tess Harding) He hit me first. Hello.

BOB MONDELLO: That's the first moment they locked horns, "Woman of the Year," 1942; journalist Spencer Tracy barreling into an office, stopped cold by Katharine Hepburn straightening her stocking in a blaze of sunlight. All their films contrast his earthiness with her elegance. But, oh, the variations they could work on that theme - athlete and promoter in "Pat and Mike," dueling attorneys in "Adam's Rib."

(Soundbite of movie, "Adam's Rib")

Mr. TRACY: (as Adam Bonner) Mostly, I think females get advantages.

Ms. HEPBURN: (as Amanda Bonner) We don't want advantages and we don't want prejudices.

Mr. TRACY: (as Adam Bonner) Well, don't get excited, honey. And don't - oh, you're giving me the (unintelligible)?

Ms. HEPBURN: (as Amanda Bonner) Oh, what...

MONDELLO: This new set has all nine of their films, two for the first time on DVD: "Keeper of the Flame," an over-earnest wartime drama, and "Sea of Grass," a Western about a husband and wife who barely speak to each other - talk about misunderstanding your stars' chemistry.

Extras include cartoons, "Our Gang" comedies and Hepburn narrating a 1986 tribute to Tracy, in which she reads from a long letter; a love letter, really, that she wrote to him 18 years after he died.

Ms. HEPBURN: You told me the truth, didn't you, Spence? You really could not sleep. And I used to wonder then, why. Why, Spence? I still wonder. Living wasn't easy for you, was it?

MONDELLO: I began by playing their first scene together. Let me end with their last, from "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," shot just weeks before Tracy passed away. He's speaking of the characters, though he might as well be talking about him and Kate, as Hepburn looks on, eyes brimming with tears.

Mr. TRACY: (as Matt Drayton) The only thing that matters is what they feel and how much they feel for each other. And if it's half of what we felt, that's everything.

MONDELLO: Everything. "Tracy & Hepburn, The Definitive Collection."

I'm Bob Mondello.

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