Original theatrical poster
|Directed by||Dorothy Arzner|
|Produced by||David O. Selznick|
|Screenplay by||Zoë Akins|
|Based on||Christopher Strong
by Gilbert Frankau
|Music by||Roy Webb|
|Edited by||Arthur Roberts|
|Distributed by||RKO Radio Pictures (US)|
|Running time||78 min.|
Christopher Strong is a 1933 RKO film, directed by Dorothy Arzner and starring Katharine Hepburn in her second screen role. The screenplay by Zoë Akins is adapted from the 1932 novel by Gilbert Frankau.
Originally intended as a vehicle for Ann Harding and Leslie Howard, Christopher Strong is a tale of illicit love among the English aristocracy. Hepburn plays Lady Cynthia Darrington, a strong-spirited aviator, who is over the age of 21 and has never had a lover or an affair because she is too devoted to her work. But she falls in love with a member of Parliament, Christopher Strong (Colin Clive), and has an affair with him after her prize-winning around-the world flight, much to the distress of his wife, Lady Elaine (Billie Burke) and their daughter, Monica (Helen Chandler).
However, Christopher Strong isn't the only indiscreet person in the family: Monica had previously had an affair with the married Harry Rawlinson (Ralph Forbes). While waiting for him to divorce his wife and marry her, she runs off for a brief affair with an Italian romeo, Carlo (Jack La Rue).
Six months after Monica and Harry are married, they announce her pregnancy to her elated grandparents-to-be. Lady Cynthia simultaneously learns that she is pregnant, and saves Sir Christopher's moral position and political career by committing suicide while setting an altitude record in her airplane.
- Katharine Hepburn as Lady Cynthia Darrington
- Colin Clive as Sir Christopher Strong
- Billie Burke as Lady Strong - His Wife
- Helen Chandler as Monica - His Daughter
- Ralph Forbes as Harry Rawlinson
- Irene Browne as Carrie Valentine
- Jack La Rue as Carlo
- Desmond Roberts as Bryce Mercer
The working title for this film was A Great Desire, and it represented the first opportunity to Hepburn to begin developing her screen image as the independent woman in the 20th century. This was the only time in her film career that Hepburn played the "other woman". One of the most notable scenes in the film had Hepburn's character dressed for a costume party in a stunning, form-fitting glittering moth costume designed by Howard Greer. The musical score for this film is by Max Steiner. This film earned a slim profit.
An image of Hepburn in Christopher Strong wearing her aviator's suit was used on the poster for the Led Zeppelin North American Tour 1975.
- The Times, 29 June 1933: First advertisement for Christopher Strong at the Plaza - Times Digital Archive. Checked 2013-06-09
- Variety film review; March 14, 1933, p. 14.
- Harrison's Reports film review; March 25, 1933, p. 47.