- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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state of the union
- kevin sellers
Frank Capra's virtual remake of "Mr. Smith," only this time dealing with the executive rather than the legislative branch of the federal government, is about half as good as his earlier classic. Myles Connolly and Anthony Veiler's screenplay provides plenty of witty one liners to a wide (and mostly good) cast but it falls way short in the story department. The biggest sense of dismay is the absence of any comic byplay whatsoever between the two leads. This is of course not good in a movie billed as a comedy. Especially a Tracy/Hepburn comedy. Instead we're treated to several scenes between Spence and Kate that range from teary/inspirational to teary/lugubrious. As a corollary to this bad screenplay choice we are given no insight into why Grant and Mary Matthews have decided to split up. Nor are we presented with a reason why Tracy's character should have fallen for Angela Lansbury's amoral newspaper tycoon. And finally, the catfight scene between Hepburn and Lansbury which the audience has been patiently waiting and hoping for through two hours of sometimes saggy pacing and which you can bet your story sense that Kanin and Gordon would have damn well included had they written the screenplay is blithely left out of Connolly/Veiler's work. So let's give this one a generous B minus if only for certain performances and scenes that stay with you, like Lewis Stone's dying, bitter father of Lansbury, Margaret Hamilton showing that she can be funny as well as terrifying as a ditzy maid, Van Johnson never better as a cynical newsman (who looks kinda like Sean Spicer) and the great stuff between Hepburn and Maidell Turner as a drunken Southern pol's belle that is the only sustainably funny part of this rather dreary film.
Among The Best Movies Ever
Two of my most favorite movies came out shortly after WW2: It's A Wonderful Life and State of the Union. Frank Capri who had no equal in these kind of movies directed both. This one has an extraordinary cast delivering first class performances. Not just Tracey and Hepburn but Van Johnson, Menjou, Landsbury, Dingle and more. A great movie enhanced in black and white without the distraction of color. Enjoy.
Great Syrup Combo
This is a a well produced and directed play with many of the finest actors and well written dialog. It is a great combination for the creation of meaningless Hollywood style propaganda syrup.
State of the Union
- AB Williams
Why, Oh why is not this movie being shown more often?Spencer Tracy has a catalog second to none, but this movie will help those now a days know Spenser as more than an iconic trivia game show question.Come on TCM !!!
- JM Dempsey
I like "State of the Union" a lot; Hepburn can be adorable when she wants to be. However, Tracy's speech about one world government ... all I can say is, I hope you like that government, because if you don't, there's nowhere else to go.
Some things never change
- Jeff Boston
I've seen ten Capra movies and eight Tracy movies, and "State of the Union" is typical work of Capra (populist) and Tracy (preachy). A campaigner compromising his ideals to get elected will always be a contemptuous reality and a compelling story. Good drama. Super liberal Tracy and Hepburn as Republicans, and Hollywood making one of its first of many anti-Republican films in an presidential election years (this one in 1948). Bad comedy.
Spenser Tracy should have gotten an Academy Award!
I watched this movie last night and was riveted by the slick dialog and excellent acting by Hepburn and Tracy. I agree with another reviewer who said that Hepburn was less "refined" in this roll compared to some of her other rolls, and I found that very refreshing. I especially enjoyed Tracy's speech at the end where he is telling the radio/television audience that he is not worthy of any nomination, much less to be the president of the United States. I thought the energy he put into this speech make the whole movie and was possibly the best performance I had ever witnessed from Spenser Tracy. If only politicians were only this honest!
- Steve S.
For my money, this is one of those "almost perfect" film's, thanks to Mr. Capra and company (what a script).Hepburn & Tracy have this acting/chemistry thing down to a science.Van Johnson as "Spike" is just wonderful as the comic relief and Adolphe Menjou is his usaul glorious self.Ms. Lansbury provides with a good "heavy"; you know, someone you love to hate.And in the end, all is well with the world.A must see motion picture!
FORGOTTEN TRACY-HEPBURN GEM!
One of the least known Tracy-Hepburn pairings and my all-time favorite! Just excellent - everyone in it - from start to finish. Highly recommend it to anyone who likes political films, Tracy, Hepburn, Van Johnson, Angela Lansbury, Adolph Menjou and especially Frank Capra. Not a false note. Character parts perfect too. My sister - who thought she'd seen EVERY Spence-Kate film - never heard of it when I recommended it. And loved it too. I was delighted to finally find it on DVD and bought one right away. Watch and enjoy. It'll getcha.