Watch: State of the Union 1948 123movies, Full Movie Online – 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..
Plot: An industrialist is urged to run for President, but this requires uncomfortable compromises on both political and marital levels.
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|7.2/10 Votes: 3,908|
|80% | RottenTomatoes|
|N/A | MetaCritic|
|N/A Votes: 48 Popularity: 4.471 | TMDB|
Marital or political union on shaky ground
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.
One of the better Tracy-Hepburn collaborations
The plot is slick: Newspaper magnate Angela Lansbury wants to push her lover — aircraft tycoon Spencer Tracy — into running for President on the Republican ticket, thus making her the power behind the throne. But there are some sticky problems — the affair, the real wife (Katharine Hepburn), and Tracy’s own reticence to run. And, Lansbury wants to use Hepburn’s disdain of the affair as a way to lead her to support Tracy’s candidacy. The climax comes when a nationwide fireside chat is planned from the Matthews’ home, and both Lansbury and Hepburn are present.
Spencer Tracy: In this film, Tracy continues a very rapid transition from middle-aged to beginning to look old. Appropriate for a presidential candidate, but Tracy was aging rather quickly, considering that in his films of the mid-40s, he still looked mid-40ish himself. Then in films of the late 40s (“The Sea Of Grass” and “Cass Timberlane”) the transformation came quickly. And here, in 1948 he is looking very distinguished. Tracy is at his best, particularly at the climax of the film.
Katharine Hepburn: I consider this one of her best performances, particularly her soliloquy near the end of the film. And the chemistry between Spencer and Katharine…remarkable…and it certainly shines through here.
Van Johnson: As I was watching, I was thinking about how much better Van Johnson’s smart-aleck reporter went across in this Tracy film, than did Gene Kelly’s in “Inherit The Wind”. Here Johnson’s character attempted to show the negative side of politics, and succeeded, and it’s remarkable how many lines still ring true 60 years later! Adolphe Menjou: Not one of my favorites, but brilliant here as the stereotypical smoke-filled-room era politician, and interested to note that the conservative Menjou and the liberal Hepburn were apparently at each other to the point of not speaking during the shoot (according to the new Tracy biography).
Angela Lansbury: Remarkably, Lansbury was only 23 years old when this film was made, and I think you may see parallels between her role/performance here and in “The Manchurian Candidate”.
Lewis Stone: Has a small, but critical role at the beginning of the film as Lansbury’s father…a powerful but spurned politician that commits suicide while suffering from intestinal cancer…and the scenes between Lansbury and Stone are critical to understanding what makes Lansbury’s character do what she does.
This is a wonderful film, and one of the better examples of the Hepburn-Tracy relationship. Each shines here. And, of course, this is one of the later films by director Frank Capra, and although it is not held in as high esteem as some of his earlier films, I personally think it is one of his best. A great addition to your DVD shelf. My rating — an “8”.
Original Language en
Runtime 2 hr 4 min (124 min)
Genre Comedy, Drama
Director Frank Capra
Writer Howard Lindsay, Russel Crouse, Anthony Veiller
Actors Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Van Johnson
Country United States
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Aspect Ratio 1.37 : 1
Film Length N/A
Negative Format 35 mm
Cinematographic Process Spherical
Printed Film Format 35 mm