When Katharine Hepburn bombed in Chapel Hill

“Eric Johnston [head of the Motion Picture Association of America] … revealed that an audience in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, had actually stoned the screen of a theater showing a Hepburn film. Most likely the film was ‘Song of Love’… which had screened at the Carolina Theatre the week of Oct. 24 [1947].

“While neither the [Chapel Hill News] nor the files of the police department have any record of the incident, it’s likely the theater owner would’ve turned first to the Motion Picture Association anyway. He didn’t want negative publicity. What he wanted was to be relieved of the burden of showing Hepburn films….

“The Chapel Hill patrons weren’t angry about the film’s boring plot. They were riled up by photos of Kate [wearing a red dress while speaking at a Henry Wallace rally] in local papers linking her to the subversives in Washington.”

–From “Kate: The Woman who was Hepburn” (2006) by William J. Mann


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