IMDb > Woman of the Year (1942)
Woman of the Year
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Woman of the Year (1942) More at IMDbPro »

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Woman of the Year -- Rival reporters Sam and Tess fall in love and get married, only to find their relationship strained when Sam comes to resent Tess' hectic lifestyle.

Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   6,037 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Ring Lardner Jr. (original screen play) and
Michael Kanin (original screen play)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Woman of the Year on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 January 1942 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The picture of the year!
Plot:
Rival reporters Sam and Tess fall in love and get married, only to find their relationship strained when Sam comes to resent Tess' hectic lifestyle. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(448 articles)
Wright Was Earliest Surviving Best Supporting Actress Oscar Winner
 (From Alt Film Guide. 15 March 2015, 12:05 AM, PDT)

Actor Emory Bass Dies at 89
 (From Variety - TV News. 10 March 2015, 3:21 PM, PDT)

Actor Emory Bass Dies at 89
 (From Variety - Film News. 10 March 2015, 3:21 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
The sexual politics of role reversal... See more (66 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Spencer Tracy ... Sam Craig

Katharine Hepburn ... Tess Harding
Fay Bainter ... Ellen Whitcomb

Reginald Owen ... Clayton
Minor Watson ... William J. Harding

William Bendix ... 'Pinkie' Peters
Gladys Blake ... Flo Peters
Dan Tobin ... Gerald Howe

Roscoe Karns ... Phil Whittaker
William Tannen ... Ellis
Ludwig Stössel ... Dr. Lubbeck (as Ludwig Stossel)
Sara Haden ... Matron
Edith Evanson ... Alma
George Kezas ... Chris
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jimmy Ames ... Cab Driver (uncredited)
Herbert Ashley ... Stage Doorman (uncredited)
Dorothy Ates ... Phone Girl (uncredited)
Brooks Benedict ... Clayton's Secretary (uncredited)
John Berkes ... Pal (uncredited)
Symona Boniface ... Tess' Party Guest (uncredited)
Elfriede Borodin ... Leni (uncredited)
Jack Carr ... Baseball Spectator Behind Tess (uncredited)
Ruth Cherrington ... Foreigner (uncredited)
Ann Codee ... Madame Sylvia (uncredited)
Jimmy Conlin ... Reporter at Bar (uncredited)
Jules Cowles ... Joe the Bartender (uncredited)
Floyd Criswell ... Policeman (uncredited)
Fern Emmett ... Justice of the Peace's Wife (uncredited)
Curt Furburg ... Foreigner (uncredited)
Lisa Golm ... Yugoslav Consul's Wife (uncredited)
George Guhl ... Door Attendant (uncredited)
Winifred Harris ... Chairlady (uncredited)
Carey Harrison ... Spaniard (uncredited)
William Holmes ... Man at Banquet (uncredited)
Bobby Larson ... Dickie Dunlap (uncredited)
Ben Lessy ... Punchy (uncredited)
Murdock MacQuarrie ... Head Copy Reader (uncredited)
Edward McWade ... Adolph (uncredited)
Frank Mills ... Mug (uncredited)

Gerald Mohr ... Radio Emcee (voice) (uncredited)
Amber Norman ... Showgirl (uncredited)
Sergio Orta ... Mr. Yes (uncredited)
George Ovey ... Little Sports Reporter (uncredited)
Bob Perry ... Referee (uncredited)
Jack Raymond ... Mug (uncredited)
Cyril Ring ... Mr. Harding's Chauffeur (uncredited)
Julian Rivero ... Spaniard (uncredited)
Henry Roquemore ... Marcus P. Calverton - Justice of the Peace (uncredited)
Cy Schindell ... Pinkie's Listener in Bar (uncredited)
Harry Semels ... Mug (uncredited)
John Sheehan ... Red Face (uncredited)
Eddie Lou Simms ... Champ (uncredited)
Walter O. Stahl ... Yugoslav Consul (uncredited)
Charles Sullivan ... Cabby (uncredited)

Ray Teal ... Married Sports Reporter (uncredited)
Harry Tenbrook ... Mug (uncredited)
Michael Visaroff ... Russian Guest (uncredited)
Harry Wilson ... Lubbeck's Bodyguard (uncredited)
Duke York ... Football Player (uncredited)
Joe Yule ... Building Superintendent (uncredited)

Directed by
George Stevens 
 
Writing credits
Ring Lardner Jr. (original screen play) and
Michael Kanin (original screen play)

John Lee Mahin  contributing writer (uncredited)

Produced by
Joseph L. Mankiewicz .... producer
 
Original Music by
Franz Waxman (musical score)
 
Cinematography by
Joseph Ruttenberg (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Frank Sullivan (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
 
Set Decoration by
Edwin B. Willis (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Adrian (gowns)
 
Makeup Department
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair stylist
Jack Dawn .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert A. Golden .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Randall Duell .... associate art director
Robert McKnight .... sculpture: Katharine Hepburn's bust (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Wally Heglin .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Paul Marquardt .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Charles Maxwell .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leonid Raab .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
114 min
Country:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Finland:S | Germany:6 | New Zealand:PG | Sweden:Btl (cut) | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (certificate #7844)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Katharine Hepburn refused to reveal who wrote the screen play to Louis B. Mayer until after he bought the project from Hepburn. Hepburn was afraid that Mayer would low-ball the two authors (Michael Kanin and Ring Lardner Jr.) because at the time they were both relatively unknown.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: Sam Craig calls "Soldier Field" "Soldiers Field."See more »
Quotes:
Phil Whittaker:Women should be kept illiterate and clean, like canaries.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The American President (1995)See more »
Soundtrack:
Anchors AweighSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
25 out of 31 people found the following review useful.
The sexual politics of role reversal..., 2 June 2002
Author: gaityr from United Kingdom

WOMAN OF THE YEAR stars Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn in their first film together, his Sam Craig matched with her Tess Harding; his subtle, underplaying acting style with her stylised, personality-driven performance. It's an acting tour de force, to be sure--the two of them make the best of (and often far surpass) a somewhat limited script and interesting but stiffly played-out plot. In fact, their chemistry in this film is palpable. When someone speaks of cinematic magic, of chemistry sparking off (if not engulfing) the screen, *this*--Tracy, Hepburn, Tracy and Hepburn--is what they are talking about, even back in the days of the Hays Code. It's all mostly chaste kisses and long eye contact, often carried out in semi-darkness, and yet the two main players establish a relationship more sexual and believable than so many of the relationships portrayed in films these days. (Take the tiny moment in the cab--not the drunk scene that everyone loves, but that moment when he says, "I've got to get something off my chest", and she mumbles, "I'm too heavy", and raises her head. When he gently pulls it back to where you feel it would always belong, you know that these actors are doing something incredible.)

This isn't to say that the film is without flaws. Far from it. The writing is clipped and most of the words on their own have little spark. (It takes Spencer Tracy's glowering eyes, or Katharine Hepburn's radiant smile, to add life to those words.) Even the relationship between Sam and Tess isn't set up in the most fluid of ways, leap-frogging from moment to moment, from scene to scene, without quite making the necessary connections--if you believe in Sam and Tess together (and I do), it's only because you can truly believe in Tracy and Hepburn together. The film occasionally feels like a play cobbled together from various scenes, until it hits its stride midway through the film (after Sam and Tess get married).

Script aside, the plot is interesting, and certainly quite radical for its time. However, the ending (a hilarious set-piece of comedy though it might be) leaves things largely unresolved. We have a wonderful, strong female character in Tess Harding--this is clear enough in the first half of the film. But her strength, her forceful personality and go-getting attitude, become her weakness in the second half, so much so that she becomes almost a caricature of the original Tess Harding. Some of the things she does (her 'humanitarian' wholesale adoption of Chris, for example; her rudeness and blithe ignorance of Sam's worth) are truly reprehensible, and the point the writers are making is clear--a female who tries too hard to be a male loses her feminity, and cannot ever really be fulfilled. In this sense, the gender politics, as other commenters have pointed out, is 'deplorable'.

And yet there is a grain of truth in it; if one *can* be brought to believe that Tess could really treat Chris and Sam in the way she does, one can't help but applaud Sam's decision to leave. The role reversal is almost complete--Sam himself comments on the fact that she 'makes love' to him to smooth over their quarrels. She charges on her own merry way without asking him about his life, his opinion, or anything that remotely matters to him. Their union was neither perfect, nor a marriage, as he justifiably charges.

The uneasy tension between the admirable and the deplorable Tess Hardings comes at the end: you most certainly get the impression that the film itself didn't quite know whether or not to affirm the Tess character. In fact, by all accounts (even Hepburn's own), the film originally ended with an unqualified affirmation of Tess's character--promising to be more involved in her husband's life, Tess is depicted at a baseball game, cheering alongside Sam, getting louder and louder and rising higher in her seat above him. It was both an affirmation of Tess the character, and a lingering question mark about the Harding-Craig reunion.

Test audiences didn't like it. (Apparently, it was the *women* who felt threatened by the character Hepburn portrayed on screen. She was too strong, too beautiful, too *everything* all at once.)

What transpired in the end, then, was a re-shot ending that muddied the moral of the film in suggesting that women could not really be fulfilled without their men. Sam wants her to be Tess Harding Craig; she wants to be Mrs. Craig; she wants to change; he thinks (and probably knows) she can't. The logical ending would have seen Tess, cast as she had been in the traditional masculine role, wooing Sam back, only to cast doubt over whether her atypical (for the time) strength as a female would unequivocally threaten the typical male figure as embodied in Tracy's character. The original ending would have better borne out the logic of the film--a valuable DVD extra if ever there was one. You can perhaps applaud the spirit of the film, without accepting the fact that it seems to let that spirit fade away in the end.

So what is there of worth in WOMAN OF THE YEAR, with its original ending gone, and its revolutionary potential muted by a slapstick scene in a kitchen with exploding waffles, too much coffee, and a woman who just can't seem to figure out how to separate eggs? Well, the answer is simple, and it's already been given. This is a movie to watch, and to watch *again*, because it is the first cinematic pairing of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. For a couple of hours, you're allowed to watch these two great, mythical actors playing two people in love... while falling in love themselves. That is most certainly a rare privilege, if ever there was one.

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