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Woman of the Year (1942)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | February 1942 (USA)
Rival reporters Sam and Tess fall in love and get married, only to find their relationship strained when Sam comes to resent Tess' hectic lifestyle.

Director:

George Stevens

Writers:

Ring Lardner Jr. (original screen play), Michael Kanin (original screen play)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Spencer Tracy ... Sam Craig
Katharine Hepburn ... Tess Harding
Fay Bainter ... Ellen Whitcomb
Reginald Owen ... Clayton
Minor Watson ... William J. Harding
William Bendix ... 'Pinkie' Peters
Gladys Blake ... Flo Peters
Dan Tobin ... Gerald Howe
Roscoe Karns ... Phil Whittaker
William Tannen ... Ellis
Ludwig Stössel ... Dr. Lubbeck (as Ludwig Stossel)
Sara Haden ... Matron
Edith Evanson ... Alma
George Kezas George Kezas ... Chris
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Storyline

Tess and Sam work on the same newspaper and don't like each other very much. At least the first time, because they eventually fall in love and get married. But Tess is a very active woman and one of the most famous feminists in the country; she is even elected as "the woman of the year." Being busy all the time, she forgets how to really be a woman and Sam begins to feel neglected. Written by Chris Makrozahopoulos <makzax@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The picture of the year!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance | Sport

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Russian | German | Spanish | Greek

Release Date:

February 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Woman of the Year See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first of nine films to feature Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. See more »

Goofs

In the first scene in the bar, in which all are listening to the NBC Radio program "Information, Please", the dial of the AM radio on the shelf behind the bar changes location between long shots and close-ups. It is correct in close-up, at 660kHz, one of the broadcast frequencies NBC used in New York City in the 1940s, and at 880kHz in long shots, the frequency of the New York City CBS affiliate. See more »

Quotes

Phil Whittaker: Women should be kept illiterate and clean, like canaries.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Five Came Back: The Mission Begins (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Anchors Aweigh
(1906) (uncredited)
Music by Charles A. Zimmerman
In the score near the end
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Don't Worry, I'll Cut You Down to Size."
27 October 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Legend has it that Spencer Tracy said he would cut Katharine Hepburn down to size when upon meeting her in heels for the first time on the set of Woman of the Year.

I think that's what the authors of the screenplay Michael Kanin and Ring Lardner, Jr., had in mind in the script as well. As mismatched a pair if there ever were, he a down to earth sports columnist and she a world famous news reporter and commentator, fall in love.

As her celebrity is much wider known than his, Hepburn expects to have it all her own way. The rest of the film is concerned with their efforts to adjust to each other.

Katharine Hepburn's character is based on liberal radio commentator and reporter Dorothy Thompson. Not surprising that no one has mentioned that yet in all the reviews so far. The giveaway is Tracy first hearing her voice on the radio while in his favorite sports bar on Information Please where Thompson was a guest. Her career petered out after World War II, so she's not known to today's audience.

Writers Kanin and Lardner had as a model for the Tracy character Lardner's own father. Ring Lardner was one the celebrated sports writers of the first half of the 20th century, a great reporter and humorist. While Tracy is not as witty as Ring Lardner, he is definitely as down to earth.

My favorite scene is Spencer Tracy trying to feel comfortable at an international gathering at her place, looking even for people who speak English. Of course she's equally as uncomfortable at William Bendix's bar where Tracy likes to hang out.

Hepburn, comfortable in her celebrity, just sails through life, getting awards here and there. When she thinks of a Greek orphan kid she gets pressured into taking in as another award, that's when Tracy puts his foot down.

Based on some real celebrities, Tracy and Hepburn become those celebrities in the flesh. It's an awesome debut for what turned out to be a great screen team.

Look for fine performances by William Bendix, Fay Bainter, Minor Watson and Dan Tobin. Kanin and Lardner copped the film's only Oscar for an original screenplay. Hepburn was nominated for Best Actress, but lost to Greer Garson in Mrs. Miniver.

If Woman of the Year were remade today, the producers might consider making the woman the sports reporter. Seeing Jeannie Zelasko covering the World Series this year, I'm sure it would work very well.


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