Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Pat and Mike (1952)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Pat and Mike (1952)

In director George Cukor's sports-related romantic comedy, about an apparently mis-matched and unlikely couple who would beat the odds and become a romantic partnership; it was the 7th of 9 films (from 1942-1967) featuring Tracy and Hepburn:

  • widowed, independent and smart, outdoorsy college phys-ed instructor and Pacific Technical College coach Pat Pemberton (Katharine Hepburn), was introduced during a foursome golf game; she had been partnered with Mr. Beminger (Loring Smith), who was being groomed to be a college donor, while matronly Mrs. Beminger (Phyllis Povah) was playing with Pat's overbearing, pompous and demanding fiancée Collier Weld (William Ching) - a college administrator; Pat was encouraged to play her best and win with her partner
  • whenever in the presence of a very reproachful and highly-critical Collier, however, Pat would become overly nervous and develop an inferiority complex; during the game on the golf course, she played poorly and was criticized for her lack of coordination; she was advised to tense up her gluteal muscles in order to help her golf-stance by a screechy Mrs. Beminger; following a condescending barrage of golf tips, Pat responded by twice pushing her into a chair before hitting nine teed-up golf balls in a row to impress her: ("If you could possibly lift the needle from that long-playing phonograph you keep in your face....Watch this. Will you excuse me?"); she struck nine golf balls with perfect drives, and then reprimanded Mrs. Berninger: "You know what you can do with your gluteal muscle? Give it away for Christmas"
  • Pat was invited to play in the Women's National amateur championship (one of her opponents was famed female golf player Babe Didrikson Zaharias); one of the attendees who marveled at Pat's play - and was pursuing her as one of his potential clients, was unscrupulous, seedy, rough-hewn sports promoter Mike Conovan (Spencer Tracy); he told her: "Well, I still think you got possibilities...You got my business card?...Get in touch with me. There's a nice dollar laying around waiting for you and I to pick it up....I mean legitimate, you know....A lady athlete properly handled - always a market...I don't think you've ever been properly handled"; he suggested that he could become her manager; she retorted: "That's right, not even by myself"
  • and then as Pat strutted away across the golf course green, he commented on her and her figure: "There's one thing I gotta say, though... Nicely packed that kid...There's not much meat on 'er, but what's there is cherce"

Mike to Pat: "I don't think you've ever been properly handled"

Mike Commenting on Pat: "...what's there is cherce"
  • Pat lost the tournament on the last putt due to Collier's presence, and then thought she might reconsider Mike's offer to manage her (he was also willing to promote her other sports skills - as a tennis player and target shooter); she met with Mike in his New York office, and signed a contract with him to represent her; as her confident manager, he took over her rigid training schedule and imposed various rules - no liquor, cigarettes, late hours or interaction with Collier (who always compelled her to lose)
  • during a tennis tournament in San Francisco at the Cow Palace, Pat was excelling as the headliner until one afternoon, Collier attended; Pat suddenly broke down as she delusionally imagined the tennis net getting higher, while her racket was shrinking in size; she fainted on the court in the middle of her match
  • after overcoming many hurdles in their relationship (including her persistent fiancée, crooked racketeering gamblers who attempted to beat up Mike and pressured Pat to throw a golf tournament, and a jealous, dim-witted boxer named Davie Hucko (Aldo Ray)), Pat became a well-known, nationwide sports celebrity
  • their concluding decision was to work together; Pat suggested that Mike take care of her, and that they could team up romantically; he first reacted with: "I figure you can take care of yourself.... I'll bet you could even lick me...Sure, I think so...I don't know if I can lick you, or you can lick me, but I'll tell ya one thing I do know. Together, we can lick 'em all"
  • Mike had further reservations, however: "I can't handle this in my head. It rocks me....It's as though Hucko walked in and handed me an engagement ring....There's one thing only about us. Coming together, that's what I call a plenty long shot....An upper-cruster like you and my kinda type that can't even speak left-handed English yet. The whole gismo, it's hard to believe....Okay, kid. You got yourself a deal" - and they shook hands on a partnership (and agreed to get married)
  • in a short final scene the next day, during a major golfing tournament event, she restarted their conversation by asking him three questions (during her final three holes) to clinch the deal: "I'm gonna ask you the three big questions. Who made you? ("You did")...Who owns the biggest piece of you?" ("You do") - and then after sinking her long final putt to win the game (even with Collier present in the crowd), she asked: "What would happen if I ever dropped you?"; when he answered her last query with: "I'd go right down the drain," he also suggested that she join him: "And take you right down with me, Shorty."

Pat's Reprimand by Mrs. Berninger During a Golf Foursome

Pat Striking Nine Golf
Balls in a Row to Show Off for Mrs. Beminger

Teaming Up Together: "Together, we can lick 'em all"

- "Who owns the biggest piece of you?"

- "What would happen if I ever dropped you?"

"I'd go right down the drain...and take you right down with me, Shorty!"


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