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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   2,372 votes »
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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:
Tracy and Hepburn fight dirty politics... 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?

Adolphe Menjou was a hard-line political conservative who had willingly co-operated with the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and named names. Katherine Hepburn was decidedly more liberal and had been an outspoken critic of the blacklist. When Hepburn learned Menjou had worked with HUAC, she refused to speak to or have anything to do with him unless they were filming a scene. Once the cameras were off, she kept her distance.See more »
Revealing mistakes: Adolphe Menjou's name is also misspelled, but only in the opening credits, where he is credited as 'Adolph'. In the closing credits, however, his named is spelled correctly.See more »
Mary Matthews:It's a small request, but I'd give anything for a good smack on the south end.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in "MGM: When the Lion Roars" (1992)See more »


What was the criticle reception to the film in the late 1940s?
See more »
5 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Tracy and Hepburn fight dirty politics..., 4 November 2006
Author: Neil Doyle from U.S.A.

It's ironic that this is probably the least well-known of the Tracy/Hepburn collaborations--and yet, it's among their best as far as performances and overall content is concerned. Everyone, including KATHARINE HEPBURN and SPENCER TRACY, looks good in this film. VAN JOHNSON has one of his most engaging roles as the good guy who sees through the manipulations of corrupt ANGELA LANSBURY and ADOLPHE MENJOU.

And so, dirty politics is the theme of this film taken from the stage play by Howard Lindsey and Russel Crouse that starred RALPH BELLAMY and RUTH HUSSEY. Unfortunately, as directed by Frank Capra, it has a certain staginess about the proceedings with actors making entrances and exits as if on cue in rather static situations. But it's a pretty polished script and it's amusing to see the wonderful ANGELA LANSBURY (all of 23) playing a sophisticated woman in her 40s with such ease and perfection.

Spencer has a role tailor-made for his abilities, a man whose integrity is so challenged that he refuses to play by the rules of the game and play party politics. Hepburn, as the wife aware of his affair with Lansbury, is forthright and honest in her performance and, thankfully, less mannered than usual.

Still timely in the way it talks about Republicans and Democrats, it's worth seeing for the marvelous cast and what they manage to do with the stage material. The title, of course, refers to politics as well as the marital union of Tracy and Hepburn.

Was the above review useful to you?
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