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Tess and Sam work on the same newspaper and don't like each other very much. At least the first time, because they eventually fall in love and get married. But Tess is a very active woman and one of the most famous feminists in the country; she is even elected as "the woman of the year." Being busy all the time, she forgets how to really be a woman and Sam begins to feel neglected. Written by
Chris Makrozahopoulos <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Legend has it that Spencer Tracy said he would cut Katharine Hepburn down to size when upon meeting her in heels for the first time on the set of Woman of the Year.
I think that's what the authors of the screenplay Michael Kanin and Ring Lardner, Jr., had in mind in the script as well. As mismatched a pair if there ever were, he a down to earth sports columnist and she a world famous news reporter and commentator, fall in love.
As her celebrity is much wider known than his, Hepburn expects to have it all her own way. The rest of the film is concerned with their efforts to adjust to each other.
Katharine Hepburn's character is based on liberal radio commentator and reporter Dorothy Thompson. Not surprising that no one has mentioned that yet in all the reviews so far. The giveaway is Tracy first hearing her voice on the radio while in his favorite sports bar on Information Please where Thompson was a guest. Her career petered out after World War II, so she's not known to today's audience.
Writers Kanin and Lardner had as a model for the Tracy character Lardner's own father. Ring Lardner was one the celebrated sports writers of the first half of the 20th century, a great reporter and humorist. While Tracy is not as witty as Ring Lardner, he is definitely as down to earth.
My favorite scene is Spencer Tracy trying to feel comfortable at an international gathering at her place, looking even for people who speak English. Of course she's equally as uncomfortable at William Bendix's bar where Tracy likes to hang out.
Hepburn, comfortable in her celebrity, just sails through life, getting awards here and there. When she thinks of a Greek orphan kid she gets pressured into taking in as another award, that's when Tracy puts his foot down.
Based on some real celebrities, Tracy and Hepburn become those celebrities in the flesh. It's an awesome debut for what turned out to be a great screen team.
Look for fine performances by William Bendix, Fay Bainter, Minor Watson and Dan Tobin. Kanin and Lardner copped the film's only Oscar for an original screenplay. Hepburn was nominated for Best Actress, but lost to Greer Garson in Mrs. Miniver.
If Woman of the Year were remade today, the producers might consider making the woman the sports reporter. Seeing Jeannie Zelasko covering the World Series this year, I'm sure it would work very well.
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