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State of the Union (1948)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  30 April 1948 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,153 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 28 critic

An industrialist is urged to run for President, but this requires uncomfortable compromises on both political and marital levels.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Grant Matthews
...
Mary Matthews (as Katherine Hepburn)
...
'Spike' McManus
...
Kay Thorndyke
...
Jim Conover (as Adolph Menjou)
Lewis Stone ...
Sam Thorndyke
Howard Smith ...
Sam I. Parrish
Charles Dingle ...
Bill Nolard Hardy
Maidel Turner ...
Lulubelle Alexander
Raymond Walburn ...
Judge Alexander
...
Art Baker ...
Leith - Radio Announcer
Pierre Watkin ...
Senator Lauterback
Florence Auer ...
Grace Orval Draper
Irving Bacon ...
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:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally distributed by MGM, rights later reverted to its production company, Liberty Films. The opening was altered to black out the MGM logo (although Leo the Lion's roar can still be heard). The film then continues with the "Liberty Films Presents" logo. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Kay Thorndyke: But there is one question on his mind you better have the answer to.
Jim Conover: What's that?
Kay Thorndyke: He's beginning to wonder if there is any difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.
Jim Conover: Now that's a fine question for a presidential candidate to ask. There's all the difference in the world. They're in and we're out!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Photographer George Folsey's name is misspelled in the opening credits (as George Falsey). See more »

Connections

Featured in Frank Capra's American Dream (1997) See more »

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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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