State of the Union

State of the Union

Director: Frank Capra

Cast: Florence Auer, Spencer Tracy, Irving Bacon

     
 

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Frank Capra's only MGM film, State of the Union was adapted by Anthony Veiller and Myles Connolly from the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse. Spencer Tracy plays an aircraft tycoon who is coerced into seeking the Republican Presidential nomination by predatory newspaper mogul Angela Lansbury. Campaign manager Van Johnson suggestsSee more details below

Overview

Frank Capra's only MGM film, State of the Union was adapted by Anthony Veiller and Myles Connolly from the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse. Spencer Tracy plays an aircraft tycoon who is coerced into seeking the Republican Presidential nomination by predatory newspaper mogul Angela Lansbury. Campaign manager Van Johnson suggests that, for appearance's sake, Tracy be reunited with his estranged wife Katharine Hepburn (replacing Claudette Colbert, who'd ankled the project after a pre-production donnybrook with director Capra). Realizing that Tracy and Lansbury are having an affair, Hepburn nonetheless agrees to grow through the devoted-wife charade because she believes that Tracy just might make a good President. Her faith is shattered when Tracy, corrupted by the Washington power brokers, publicly compromises his values in order to get votes. Only in the film's last moments does Tracy prove himself worthy of Hepburn's love and his own self-respect by admitting his dishonesty during a nationwide radio-TV broadcast. Much of the biting wit in the original Broadway production of State of the Union is sacrificed in favor of the director's patented "Capracorn," but the film is no less entertaining because of this. As usual, the supporting cast is impeccable, from featured players Adolphe Menjou (whose off-camera political arguments with Hepburn threatened to shut down production at times) and Margaret Hamilton, to bit actors like Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer and Tor (Plan 9 From Outer Space) Johnson. Because the television rights to State of the Union belonged to Capra's Liberty Films, the picture was released to TV by MCA rather than MGM's syndication division.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Another one of director Frank Capra's delightful blends of romantic melodrama and socio-political morality play, State of the Union is one of the most loved of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn's collaborations. Most similar to earlier Capra films, Meet John Doe (1941) and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), State is less idealistic and sentimental than those two classics, thanks to a more complex portrait of its main character. In the lead role, the always-effortless Tracy gets a chance to play against his righteous typecasting: the parallel between his character's questionable political integrity and his faltering marriage is a fascinating one. Hepburn and Angela Lansbury are also very good as, respectively, his wife and his manipulative mistress.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/22/2006
UPC:
0025192063022
Original Release:
1948
Rating:
NR
Source:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
2:03:00
Sales rank:
8,822

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Florence Auer Grace Orval Draper
Spencer Tracy Grant Matthews
Irving Bacon Buck Swenson
Katharine Hepburn Mary Matthews
Art Baker Radio Announcer
Van Johnson Spike McManus
Angela Lansbury Kay Thorndyke
Tom Fadden Waiter
Adolphe Menjou Jim Conover
Margaret Hamilton Norah
Lewis Stone Sam Thorndyke
Charles Lane Blink Moran
George Nokes Grant Matthews, Jr.
Tom Pedi Barber
Howard I. Smith Sam Parrish
Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer Bellboy
Maidel Turner Lulubelle Alexander
Raymond Walburn Judge Alexander
Pierre Watkin Sen. Lauterback
Harry Anderson Actor
George Barton Actor
Jack Boyle Photographer
Patti Brady Joyce Matthews
Douglas Carter Actor
Charles Coleman Actor
Gene Coogan Actor
Thornton Edwards Actor
Roger Moore Actor
Bert Moorhouse Actor
Stanley Price Actor
Marshall Ruth Man
Charles Sherlock Actor
Lew Smith Actor
Wilson Wood Actor
Fred Zendar Actor
Charles Dingle Bill Hardy
Rhea Mitchell Jenny
Stanley Andrews Senator
Sam Ash Editor
Frank Austin Crackpot
Brandon Beach Editor
Maurice Cass Little Man
Davison Clark Crump
David Clarke Rusty Miller
Frank L. Clarke Joe Crandall
Edwin Cooper Bradbury
Boyd Davis Doctor
Mahlon Hamilton Businessman
Dell Henderson Broder
Tor Johnson Wrestler
Marion Martin Blonde Girl
Russell Meeker Politician
Arthur O'Connell First Reporter
Garry Owen Brooklynite
Francis Pierlot Josephs
Eve Whitney Secretary
Dave Willock Pilot
Howard Mitchell Doctor
Eddie Phillips Television Man

Technical Credits
Frank Capra Director,Producer
Arthur S. Black Asst. Director
Myles Connolly Screenwriter
Jack Dawn Makeup
George Folsey Cinematographer
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
William W. Hornbeck Editor
Irene Costumes/Costume Designer
Emile Kuri Set Decoration/Design
Urie McCleary Art Director
Douglas Shearer Sound/Sound Designer
Anthony Veiller Associate Producer,Screenwriter
Victor Young Score Composer

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