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August 19, 2018

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Michael Dempsey

Herewith, a possible bit of blasphemy.

These energetically detailed analyses of the Hepburn/Tracy films that the two of you have discussed together thus far with such acutely rendered detail and commentary have reminded me of a forgotten Tracy movie about rubber smuggling to the US from what used to be called Indochina during the post-Pearl Harbor weeks of World War II:

"Malaya", directed by Richard Thorpe, co-starring James Stewart and Sydney Greenstreet in his last role (each of them and the rest of the cast firing on all cylinders).

In this apparently more or less forgotten but exceptionally lively melodrama, Tracy is not only bursting with superbly controlled high-spirits but also has a leading lady, Valentina Cortese (billed as Cortesa), with whom he shares a spirit of witty, intelligent romantic chemistry that, at least for me...

...surpasses all of his screen partnerships with Katharine Hepburn (as meritorious as they mostly are)...

In the words of the eminent philosopher Cable Hogue, "Just thought I'd mention it. Amen."

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