Hollywood costars take their onscreen romances offscreen
Maybe the reason Hollywood movies have trouble with adultery is that there’s been so much breaking of the Seventh Commandment behind the camera. For instance:
The Film: Woman of the Year (1942) Sportswriter (Spencer Tracy) falls for political columnist (Katharine Hepburn). The Affair: Married (and Catholic) Tracy first met Hepburn on this film, and their on-screen chemistry became an off-screen open secret. The Moment: Hepburn, on being introduced to Tracy prior to filming: ”I fear I may be a little too tall for you, Mr. Tracy.” Tracy: ”Don’t worry, Miss Hepburn-I’ll cut you down to my size.”
The Film: The Fountainhead (1949) Ayn Rand’s story of an idealistic architect (Gary Cooper) and the heiress who loves him (Patricia Neal). The Affair: Rand’s delirious symbolism must have gone to the leads’ heads, and their relationship shocked Hollywood. After a second movie with Neal, Coop returned to socialite wife Veronica Balfe. The Moment: The scene where heavy-breathing Neal watches quarry worker Cooper wield a huge, phallic drill. Hubba, hubba!
The Film: Let’s Make Love (1960) A millionaire (Yves Montand) goes undercover to woo a beatnik actress (Marilyn Monroe). The Affair: Monroe was married to Arthur Miller, Montand was married to Simone Signoret, but they took the movie’s title literally. The Moment: From Montand’s biography: ”I bent over to kiss her good night, but suddenly it was a hurricane I couldn’t stop.”
The Film: Cleopatra (1963) The Queen of the Nile (Elizabeth Taylor) plays fast and loose with Mark Antony (Richard Burton). The Affair: Taylor and Burton made love, made headlines, made a bad movie. The Moment: Italian newspaper Il Tempo calls Taylor ”this vamp who sucks on husbands like a praying mantis.”
The Film: Made in America (1993) Afrocentric mom (Whoopi Goldberg) and cracker sperm-bank donor (Ted Danson) have a fertile relationship. The Affair: A nation of tabloids was shocked—shocked—when Ted ditched longtime wife Casey to make Whoopi. The Moment: Asked about their relationship at a press conference, they hold up handwritten cardboard signs: His says ”Personal,” hers, ”Next Question.”