Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy Movies

Throughout their illustrious careers, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy captivated the world with their exceptional chemistry on-screen. The duo starred in nine films together, spanning from 1942 to 1967: Woman of the Year, Keeper of the Flame, Without Love, Sea of Grass, State of the Union, Adam’s Rib, Pat and Mike, Desk Set, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.

While it’s no easy task to rank such iconic movies, we’ve attempted to do so below. From worst to best, here is our list of the nine films that Hepburn and Tracy created together. Whether you’re a long-time fan or just beginning your journey into Old Hollywood, this selection offers something for everyone. Dive into timeless romantic comedies, gripping dramas, and everything in between – be sure to check out these classic films!

Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy Movie Collaborations, Ranked

9. Sea of Grass (1947)

  • Genre: Western / Drama
  • Starring: Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Robert Walker, Melvyn Douglas
  • Directed by: Elia Kazan

4th Hepburn-Tracy Movie Ever Made

Sea of Grass is definitely an interesting movie. Directed by the wonderful Elia Kazan and stacked with a stellar cast, it’s a shame this movie falls flat in some areas. It’s not the best Tracy and Hepburn film… but it is worth a watch if you enjoy these two actors.

In Sea of Grass, Hepburn and Tracy play a married couple in New Mexico. Tracy’s character is hated by many in the area because he won’t let anyone on his land — the “Sea of Grass”. Meanwhile, his wife has an affair with his enemy… so this one’s definitely a drama in the Hepburn-Tracy catalog.

8. Without Love (1945)

  • Genre: Romance / Comedy
  • Starring: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Keenan Wynn
  • Directed by: Harold S. Bucquet

3rd Hepburn-Tracy Movie Ever Made

Without Love is truly a lot of fun. However, compared to the other movies on this list, it has to come in eighth place. But don’t be worried — this movie is still a very fun 40s romantic comedy!

In Without Love, a widow (Hepburn) decides to marry a military scientist/inventor (Tracy) amid the World War II housing shortage. The two agree to a marriage of convenience — absolutely no love or real romance. Of course, this doesn’t happen, and the two slowly start to fall for each other!

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7. Keeper of the Flame (1942)

  • Genre: Mystery / Drama
  • Starring: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Richard Whorf
  • Directed by: George Cukor

2nd Hepburn-Tracy Movie Ever Made

Keeper of the Flame is the second movie Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy ever made together, and it happens to be quite different from the other films on this list. This movie is a mystery, and it’s very watchable!

Spencer Tracy plays a reporter assigned to write a story about the death of a World War I soldier who also happens to be a national hero. While at first, he thinks this will be an easy, run-of-the-mill story, he quickly uncovers a mystery surrounding the whole story — and begins to question the man’s widow (Hepburn) to get to the truth.

6. State of the Union (1948)

  • Genre: Comedy / Drama
  • Starring: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Van Johnson, Angela Lansbury, Adolphe Menjou
  • Directed by: Frank Capra

5th Hepburn-Tracy Movie Ever Made

State of the Union is definitely one of the best Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy movies ever made. I’m a BIG fan of director Frank Capra. So, why wouldn’t we be fans of this excellent movie?

State of the Union follows an aircraft tycoon (Tracy) who is convinced to run for president by his girlfriend (Lansbury). In order to keep up appearances, he reunites with his estranged wife (Hepburn). Throughout the film, he attempts to hold onto his values… and his wife. A riveting movie — and a must-watch if you love Capra or this great duo.

5. Pat and Mike (1952)

  • Genre: Romance / Comedy
  • Starring: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Aldo Ray
  • Directed by: George Cukor

7th Hepburn-Tracy Movie Ever Made

Pat and Mike doesn’t get nearly enough credit. It is such a fun romantic comedy, yet I feel like it’s quite overshadowed when compared to all the other excellent Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy movies. It’s a great film — and obviously a must-watch.

This sports comedy begins when a sports manager (Tracy) sees a college athletics instructor (Hepburn) playing golf. She’s quite good and has been competing in many tournaments, and he offers to train her to help her get even better. However, when he realizes that she doesn’t play as well when her fiance is around, he starts to try to keep her away from him… especially as he begins to develop feelings for her himself.

4. Desk Set (1957)

  • Genre: Romance / Comedy
  • Starring: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Gig Young, Joan Blondell
  • Directed by: Walter Lang

8th Hepburn-Tracy Movie Ever Made

Much like all of the romantic comedies on this list, Desk Set is a whole lot of fun. This is the last true romantic comedy Hepburn and Tracy made together, which makes it all the more special.

Desk Set follows a library reference clerk (Hepburn) who begins to worry that she’ll be out of a job when a computer expert (Tracy) begins to automate her department. They bicker and don’t like each other at first… but, of course, start to fall in love. It’s adorable! Plus, Joan Blondell stars in this movie, too!

3. Woman of the Year (1942)

  • Genre: Romance / Comedy / Drama
  • Starring: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Fay Bainter, Reginald Owen
  • Directed by: George Stevens

1st Hepburn-Tracy Movie Ever Made

Woman of the Year was the first movie Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy ever made together — and it also happens to be one of the very best. The two were electric from the start on-screen together, which you can see in their very first collaboration. It’s so very fun to watch.

Woman of the Year — which is also a part of the Criterion Collection (spine #867) — follows a married couple and all of their ups and downs. A political journalist (Hepburn) and a sports reporter (Tracy) who work at the same paper fall in love and get married, then begin to realize that maybe their marriage isn’t working out.

Gender roles are switched here, especially as Hepburn’s character wins a Woman of the Year award — and the entire thing is marvelous to watch!

2. Adam’s Rib (1949)

  • Genre: Romance / Comedy
  • Starring: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Judy Holliday, Tom Ewell, David Wayne, Jean Hagen
  • Directed by: George Cukor

6th Hepburn-Tracy Movie Ever Made

The absolute best romantic comedy that Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy ever made is Adam’s Rib. This movie is SO GOOD. The only reason it’s not at the #1 spot is because another iconic film holds that spot… but goodness is this a wonderful movie.

In Adam’s Rib, a married couple finds themselves at odds as they face each other in court. A prosecutor (Tracy) and defense attorney (Hepburn), fight in court over a case involving a woman (Holliday) who shot her cheating husband (Ewell). An absolutely great movie — and Judy Holliday is MARVELOUS in her second credited movie role!

1. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)

  • Genre: Drama
  • Starring: Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn, Katharine Houghton
  • Directed by: Stanley Kramer

8th Hepburn-Tracy Movie Ever Made

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner is, hands down, the best movie Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy ever made together. How could it not be? Starring opposite the absolutely incredible Sidney Poitier, as well as Katharine Houghton (Hepburn’s niece!). This movie is considered a classic for a reason. It’s one of the best movies ever made.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner follows a dinner where a young white woman (Houghton) introduces her fiance, a black doctor (Poitier), to her parents (Tracy and Hepburn). The fiance’s parents are also set to attend. Both sets of parents have reservations about this upcoming marriage — and the couple works to shed light on their prejudices.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner is notable for quite a lot of reasons. This movie was made when interracial marriages were still illegal in many states. Plus, this was one of the first movies where interracial marriage was actually shed in a positive light.

In regard to Hepburn and Tracy, Tracy was severely sick while shooting this film, though he continued on. Tracy would pass away only 17 days after shooting his final scene. Hepburn, losing the man who was in every way her partner for the last three decades, never saw the completed film.

What’s Your Favorite Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy Movie?

Alright, now it’s time to hear from you! What’s your favorite Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn movie? Hit the comments below with all your thoughts and opinions — we’d love to hear them!

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