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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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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