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State of the Union
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State of the Union (1948) More at IMDbPro »

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State of the Union -- Academy Award-winning screen icons Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn shine in a classic film about marriage, politics and the pursuit of the American dream.


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7.4/10   2,261 votes »
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Down 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Howard Lindsay (play) and
Russel Crouse (play) ...
View company contact information for State of the Union on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 April 1948 (USA) See more »
How's the State of the Union? It's GREAT!
An industrialist is urged to run for President, but this requires uncomfortable compromises on both political and marital levels. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Marital or political union on shaky ground See more (25 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Spencer Tracy ... Grant Matthews

Katharine Hepburn ... Mary Matthews (as Katherine Hepburn)

Van Johnson ... 'Spike' McManus

Angela Lansbury ... Kay Thorndyke

Adolphe Menjou ... 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

Margaret Hamilton ... Norah
Art Baker ... Leith - Radio Announcer
Pierre Watkin ... Senator Lauterback
Florence Auer ... Grace Orval Draper
Irving Bacon ... Buck Swenson

Charles Lane ... Blink Moran
Patti Brady ... Joyce Matthews
Georgie Nokes ... Grant Matthews Jr.

Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer ... Bellboy (as Carl Switzer)
Tom Fadden ... Waiter
Tom Pedi ... Barber
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Don Anderson ... Television Technician (uncredited)
Harry Anderson ... Photographer (uncredited)
Stanley Andrews ... Senator (uncredited)
Sam Ash ... Editor (uncredited)
Frank Austin ... Crackpot (uncredited)
David Bair ... Minor Role (uncredited)
George Barton ... Photographer (uncredited)
Brandon Beach ... Editor (uncredited)
Anne Beck ... Receptionist (uncredited)
Lennie Bluett ... Page Boy (uncredited)
Jack Boyle ... Photographer (uncredited)
Norma Brown ... Cigarette Girl (uncredited)
Douglas Carter ... Photographer (uncredited)
Maurice Cass ... Little Man at White House Gate (uncredited)
Davison Clark ... Newspaper Editor Crump (uncredited)

David Clarke ... Rusty Miller (uncredited)
Frank L. Clarke ... Joe Crandall (uncredited)
Gene Coogan ... Photographer (uncredited)
Edwin Cooper ... Bradbury (uncredited)
Fred Datig Jr. ... Elevator Boy (uncredited)
Bert Davidson ... Reporter (uncredited)
Boyd Davis ... Doctor (uncredited)
Lew Davis ... Reporter (uncredited)
Drew Demorest ... Reporter (uncredited)
Helen Eby-Rock ... Business Woman (uncredited)
Thornton Edwards ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Franklyn Farnum ... Congressman (uncredited)
Sam Finn ... Reporter (uncredited)
Sig Frohlich ... Page Boy (uncredited)
Joe Gilbert ... Newsreel Cameraman (uncredited)
Herschel Graham ... Assistant Cameraman (uncredited)
Jesse Graves ... Jesse - Butler (uncredited)
Mahlon Hamilton ... Businessman (uncredited)
Phil Harron ... Reporter (uncredited)
Timmy Hawkins ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Dell Henderson ... Broder (uncredited)
Al Hill ... Television Technician (uncredited)
Art Howard ... City Official (uncredited)
Tor Johnson ... Wrestler (uncredited)
Eddie Kane ... Television Prompter (uncredited)
Jimmy Lennon Sr. ... Reporter (uncredited)
Marion Martin ... Blonde Girl (uncredited)
Frank Mayo ... City Official (uncredited)

Frank McClure ... Reporter (uncredited)
Charles Meakin ... Editor (uncredited)
Russell Meeker ... Politician (uncredited)
Fred Miller ... Labor Leader (uncredited)
Howard M. Mitchell ... Doctor (uncredited)
Rhea Mitchell ... Jenny (uncredited)
Ralph Montgomery ... Reporter (uncredited)
Roger Moore ... Photographer (uncredited)
Bert Moorhouse ... Politician (uncredited)

Arthur O'Connell ... First Reporter (uncredited)
Garry Owen ... Brooklynite (uncredited)
Netta Packer ... Nurse (uncredited)
Frank Pharr ... Editor (uncredited)
Eddie Phillips ... Television Technician (uncredited)
Francis Pierlot ... Newspaper Editor Josephs (uncredited)
Stanley Price ... Photographer (uncredited)
Ed Randolph ... Reporter (uncredited)
Barry Regan ... Reporter (uncredited)

Ellen Ross ... Secretary (uncredited)
Henry Russell ... Labor Leader (uncredited)
Marshall Ruth ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Jerry Schumacher ... Newsreel Cameraman (uncredited)
Charles Sherlock ... Photographer (uncredited)
Robert Skelton ... Reporter (uncredited)
J. Lewis Smith ... Photographer (uncredited)
Robert Spencer ... Guard (uncredited)
Ted Stanhope ... Reporter (uncredited)
Charles Sullivan ... Television Sound Technician (uncredited)
Henry Sylvester ... Butler (uncredited)
Frank Whitbeck ... Trailer Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Eve Whitney ... Secretary (uncredited)
Dave Willock ... Pilot (uncredited)
Wilson Wood ... Photographer (uncredited)
Fred Zendar ... Photographer (uncredited)

Directed by
Frank Capra 
Writing credits
Howard Lindsay (play) and
Russel Crouse (play)

Anthony Veiller (screenplay) and
Myles Connolly (screenplay)

Produced by
Frank Capra .... producer
Anthony Veiller .... associate producer
Original Music by
Victor Young 
Cinematography by
George J. Folsey (director of photography) (as George J. Falsey)
Film Editing by
William Hornbeck 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Urie McCleary 
Set Decoration by
Emile Kuri 
Edwin B. Willis (uncredited)
Costume Design by
Makeup Department
Jack Dawn .... makeup creator
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair styles designer
Production Management
Arthur S. Black Jr. .... production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Arthur S. Black Jr. .... assistant director
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
Conrad Kahn .... sound (uncredited)
Special Effects by
A. Arnold Gillespie .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Mervin Bradner .... grip (uncredited)
Robert J. Bronner .... camera operator (uncredited)
Jerome Hester .... still photographer (uncredited)
Music Department
Sidney Cutner .... orchestrator (uncredited)
George Parrish .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leo Shuken .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Leland Hayward .... stage producer
Eylla Jacobs .... script supervisor (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Frank Capra's State of the Union" - USA (complete title)
See more »
124 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Australia:PG | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:S | Sweden:Btl | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (re-rating) (2005) | USA:Approved | USA:Passed
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Katharine Hepburn's , Adolphe Menjou's and George J. Folsey's names are misspelled in the opening credits because the distribution rights were originally owned by MGM, but only for seven years. The rights were then sold to another company, which had to create its own opening credits.See more »
Continuity: A newspaper, meant to be for the current date in the movie, is shown with the date Monday, April 5, 1948. Later, another newspaper, also meant to be for what is now the current date, is shown, and the date is Friday, March 26, 1948.See more »
Mary Matthews:Another thing - he used to hate to hear me swear. Whenever I'd let with something, he'd smack me on my sitter, hard. I've done a lot of swearing on this trip.
Jim Conover:And no smacks?
Mary Matthews:It's a small request, but I'd give anything for a good smack on my south end.
Jim Conover:I wish there was something I could do about that.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Remade as State of the Union (????)See more »


What was the criticle reception to the film in the late 1940s?
See more »
22 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
Marital or political union on shaky ground, 23 July 2001
Author: lora64 from Canada

My impressions: Fast paced, fast talking, no letup, enough dialogue for three movies! It's a frank look at the underbelly of politics, the wheelings and dealings of the back room. Grant Matthews (Spencer Tracy) is the likely candidate for the presidency but he's filled with such fine idealism that he becomes more of an encumbrance to his supporters who think that getting ahead means sacrificing one's ideals, pandering to those in authority, or whatever it takes to gain votes. Enter on the scene Grant's wife, Mary (Kate Hepburn) who is adamant and uncompromising when she sees how dishonest and insipid his public speeches are forced to become. But right triumphs in the end.

I must say Angela Lansbury, here in the role of a wealthy heiress, is remarkably poised and mature as an older woman in spite of her youthful looks -- a very talented lady. Both Adolphe Menjou and Van Johnson keep up the pace of dialogue and events splendidly as substantial supporting cast members.

If the term can be coined, this is a "politician's movie" yet still of interest to the ordinary viewer.

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