Katharine Hepburn had it all: looks, smarts, sass and talent. The Newport Harbor Art Museum is presenting a three-film tribute to her starting Friday night with "Adam's Rib." The 1949 movie, directed by George Cukor, also stars Hepburn's equally famous real-life lover, Spencer Tracy. It's one of their better screen team-ups.
He plays a prosecutor and she plays his defense attorney wife in a comedy that veers between screwball and sophistication. The couple's legal battles carry over into their marriage; the results are some soul-searching and many gags. Judy Holliday also is in this one.
Up next, Aug. 23, is "Bringing Up Baby" (1938), directed by Howard Hawks. Cary Grant plays a paleontologist who gets involved with a headstrong heiress (Hepburn) and her bone-stealing dog, George (Baby is her pet leopard).
The series ends Sept. 20 with "The African Queen" (1951), directed by Walter Huston. Humphrey Bogart plays a crusty riverboat pilot hired to take a prim missionary spinster (Hepburn) down the dangerous Congo. The script was written by James Agee; Robert Morely and Theodore Bikel play supporting roles.
Arthur Taussig, an instructor and film historian from Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, will introduce each film and discuss it afterward.
* What: The Katharine Hepburn Festival.
* When: Friday, and Aug. 23 and Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m.
* Where: The Newport Harbor Art Museum, 850 San Clemente Drive, Newport Beach.
* Whereabouts: Go north on Jamboree Road from Pacific Coast Highway (1), turn right onto Santa Barbara Drive, then left onto San Clemente Drive.
* Wherewithal: $5 general admission; $3 for students, seniors and museum members.
* Where to call: (714) 759-1122.