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State of the Union (MGM 1948, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn)

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Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy are ably guided by Capra in fascinating political drama State of the Union that becomes a warm romance. Aircraft manufacturer Tracy takes a run at the presidency, but finds his campaign hindered by what we would call the ‘character issue.’ He’s been separated from wife Hepburn for years, and dallies with newspaper publisher Angela Lansbury. Tracy convinces Hepburn to stand with him during the campaign and the romantic feelings return. But their new affection is threatened by Tracy’s willingness to sacrifice his ideals for political expediency.

Claudette Colbert was cast in the female lead but dropped out due to a contract dispute. Katharine Hepburn, who had been rehearsing the screenplay with Spencer Tracy, stepped into the role on less than 48 hours’ notice.

Based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse.

production details
USA | MGM | 124 minutes | 1948
Director: Frank Capra
Script: Anthony Veiller, Howard Lindsay, Russel Crouse, Myles Connolly,

cast
Charles Lane as Blink Moran
Margaret Hamilton as Norah
Irving Bacon as Buck Swenson
Raymond Walburn as Judge Alexander
Katharine Hepburn as Mary Matthews
Howard Smith as Sam I. Parrish
Eve Whitney as Secretary
Arthur O’Connell as First Reporter (uncredited)
Spencer Tracy as Grant Matthews
Van Johnson as ‘Spike’ McManus
Angela Lansbury as Kay Thorndyke
Adolphe Menjou as Jim Conover
Lewis Stone as Sam Thorndyke
Charles Dingle as Bill Nolard Hardy
Maidel Turner as Lulubelle Alexander
Ellen Ross as Secretary
Frank Mayo as City Official (uncredited)
Tor Johnson as Wrestler (uncredited)
Patti Brady as Joyce Matthews
Georgie Nokes as Grant Matthews Jr.
Carl Switzer as Bellboy (as Carl Switzer)
Tom Fadden as Waiter
Tom Pedi as Barber