Journalist Steve O'Malley wants to write a biography of a national hero who died when his car ran off a bridge. Steve receives conflicting reports and tales that make him question what the truth about the hero is.
This western begins with St. Louis resident Lutie Cameron (Katharine Hepburn) marrying New Mexico cattleman Col. James B. 'Jim' Brewton (Spencer Tracy) after a short courtship. When she ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
There was tension on the set between the strongly conservative Adolphe Menjou and liberal thinking Katharine Hepburn, who had recently made a public speech against America's anticommunist hysteria and was facing a backlash as a result. See more »
During the airliner loop scene Katharine Hepburn is seen rotating in a complete circle, however, items on the table, her hair, or the item she's knitting never move. It is obvious the movie frames were rotated in a circle. See more »
It never ceases to amaze me how one can see a film about politics made in the '30s, '40s, '50s - doesn't matter when it was made, it always seems like it was made yesterday. "State of the Union," a 1941 Frank Capra film, is another political film that comes off as very fresh. A plain speaking, likable man, Grant Matthews (Spencer Tracy) is convinced to run for President by the publisher of a newspaper, Kay Thorndyke (Angela Lansbury) who is also his mistress, and before he knows it, his words and intentions are no longer his own. Because he wants to win, he compromises and lies down with the dogs. When he stands up, he's got fleas.
Katharine Hepburn costars as Grant's wife Mary in a role intended for Claudette Colbert, and she's excellent. She got the part by sheer happenstance - she was with Tracy when Capra called to say that Colbert was out. Colbert wanted to be filmed from the left only and didn't want to work after 5. Because the studio wanted the film out before the actual 1948 Presidential election, there wasn't the time or budget to accommodate her.
All the performances in this film are marvelous. Van Johnson is very funny and charming as a newspaperman who becomes Grant's campaign manager. Adolphe Menjou is perfect as Kaye's mouthpiece who wants to go after the money people and court big business and the union heads. Lansbury is fantastic as the ambitious, cutthroat Kaye, who took over the paper from her father and knows how to use and abuse power.
By today's standards, "State of the Union" is probably too talky - Capra often has big monologues in his films, but they're always delivered powerfully. Here is no exception. A rousing film about the breakdown of idealism before political realities.
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