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State of the Union (1948)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama | 30 April 1948 (USA)
An industrialist is urged to run for President, but this requires uncomfortable compromises on both political and marital levels.

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Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, David Manners, Sam Hardy
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Mary Matthews (as Katherine Hepburn)
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'Spike' McManus
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Kay Thorndyke
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Jim Conover (as Adolph Menjou)
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Sam Thorndyke
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Sam I. Parrish
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Bill Nolard Hardy
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Lulubelle Alexander
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Judge Alexander
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Art Baker ...
Leith - Radio Announcer
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Senator Lauterback
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Grace Orval Draper
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Buck Swenson
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Storyline

Kay Thordyke loves Grant Matthews and helps him become Republican nominee for President. The party machine begins to worry as Grant begins to speak for himself. At an important dinner his wife Mary condemns corrupt politicians and Grant learns to speak out even more boldly.. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

How's the State of the Union? It's GREAT!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 April 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Frank Capra's State of the Union  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gary Cooper was originally chosen for the role of Grant Matthews. See more »

Goofs

(at around 47 mins) Madams Matthews and Draper are having a cocktail in the study prior to Mr. Matthews's speech broadcast from home. They request another round, A tray of four is brought to them. Before it is set down, it's already seen on the table. A few shots later, the tray disappears then reappears. See more »

Quotes

Lulubelle Alexander: I haven't enjoyed myself this much since Huey Long died!
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Crazy Credits

The cast names which are misspelled in the opening credits are spelled correctly in the closing credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Scandal: The State of the Union (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Dated, but profound
2 April 2004 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Lindsay and Crouse wrote this very topical play for 1946 involving the upcoming race for President. Harry Truman was thought to be a dead duck, but he crossed everyone up in 1948. The story involves the race for the Republican nomination and the current political names like Dewey, Taft, Vandenberg, Stassen, etc. are dotted throughout the film. You have to have some knowledge of American history to appreciate some of the lines and issues that are being talked about.

Spencer Tracy plays Grant Matthews, a character based loosely on Wendell Wilkie, the Republican dark horse candidate from 1940 and Katherine Hepburn his estranged wife who reconciles with him for the sake of his White House run which is being quarterbacked by Adolphe Menjou, a Republican political operative and Angela Lansbury a powerful newspaper publisher who is Tracy's mistress.

Frank Capra said that the one thing about this film that stood out was that MGM gave him a lavish budget and spared no expense. It shows and I think Capra spent it on the cast which has some very familiar movie faces and there isn't a sour note in the group.

Dated though the story is, there is one scene in it that is probably my favorite Spencer Tracy scene. It's where he's sitting down to a hamburger with Adolphe Menjou and explaining the kind of speech he wants to make that night. The speech is the views he holds and the things he wants done as President. It's pure Tracy, simple, direct, profound and it should be both required viewing for aspiring actors and politicians both. I only wish that someone with Grant Matthews ideals does run for President from some party. Ironically what he talks about are issues that are as relevant today as in 1946. That part of the film is timeless.


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