7.2/10
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37 user 28 critic

State of the Union (1948)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama | 30 April 1948 (USA)
An industrialist is urged to run for President, but this requires uncomfortable compromises on both political and marital levels.

Director:

Frank Capra

Writers:

Howard Lindsay (play), Russel Crouse (play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Spencer Tracy ... Grant Matthews
Katharine Hepburn ... Mary Matthews
Van Johnson ... 'Spike' McManus
Angela Lansbury ... Kay Thorndyke
Adolphe Menjou ... Jim Conover
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
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Storyline

Kay Thorndyke (Dame Angela Lansbury) loves Grant Matthews (Spencer Tracy) 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 (Katharine Hepburn) 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first act of the play sets up the fact that Grant's marriage is in shambles and that his affair with Kay is sustaining him. For 1940s audiences, this was uncharted territory - building sympathy for "the other woman" before the character of the wife has even been introduced. The play's strength lies in its authors' refusal to pass judgment on any of their characters and Producer and Director Frank Capra's ability to maintain this structure for the movie version without censorship impeding the process. This was likely due to the fact that the script never clarified whether Grant and Kay's affair had been consummated. It was only after the screenplay had received the censors' stamp of approval that Capra began adding little touches that made the consummation crystal clear to viewers. See more »

Goofs

At approximately 1:31:44, a newspaper article has Grant's name misspelled as "Grand." See more »

Quotes

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.
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Crazy Credits

When this film was reissued, new titles and credits were printed. The original end cast listing was retained, so the cast names which are misspelled in the reissue's opening credits are spelled correctly in the closing cast list. See more »

Connections

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

User Reviews

 
Marital or political union on shaky ground
23 July 2001 | by lora64See all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 April 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Frank Capra's State of the Union See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,600,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Liberty Films (II) See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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