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11
4.1 out of 5 stars
State Of The Union [DVD] [1948]
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
This is a story of a rich industrialist (Spencer Tracy) who is persuaded by his mistress and owner of a chain of newspapers (Angela Lansbury) to run for presidency as the republican candidate. However his idealistic wife (Katharine Hepburn) decides to use the little influence she still has over her husband.

The film, like most of Capra's films is a bit too moralistic for my taste, which is only works against it. It isn't as good as "Mr Smith goes to Washington" but it's in the same line. Spencer Tracy is good, Katharine Hepburn isn't as memorable as in most of her films and Adolph Menjou and Van Johnson are quite good supporting characters. But the best of the film is undoubtedly Angela Lansbury. Her scheming character is but a sample of what she would later do so well in "The Manchurian Candidate".

The DVD is presented in a bare bone release with a very nice print. And just out of the trivia bag: the reason why you hear MGM's lion's roar over a black screen is because the film was originally distributed (but not produced) by MGM, but the rights later on change hands and possibly they didn't want to use (couldn't use?) the lion anymore.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Intelligent, wordy political drama with high production values, excellent performances and the enduringly potent theme of personal integrity.

Fans of the more comedic Tracy/Hepburn films may find it a struggle but as always they perform with consummate skill, as do the rest of the cast, with Lansbury and Menjou outstanding.

New World Order conspiracy theorists will be surprised by the Tracy character's call for one world government, though it is clear that he sees it as a Utopian ideal rather than a means of universal subjugation.

I noted, by the way, that at the end Hepburn listens to Tracy's passionate, liberating speech with tears brimming in her eyes, just as she was to do some twenty years later in their touching farewell, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2011
Frank Capra was a master of "preaching" to the audience through his works and this movie isn't any different. I would like to point out that a lot of Spencer Tracy's lines are still very relevant today, especially the part before he falls under total influence of the brilliant Angela Lansbury, in my opinion the real star of this film. She did a terrific job playing what we'd nowadays call a "cutthroat bitch". Tracy and Hepburn are captivating as always...enough said!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 August 2010
State of the Union is Frank Capra's 1948 political satire, laced with both dark humour and uplifting appeals to the American way.

There can't be many films which spell the lead actress's name wrong in the credits ("Katherine" for "Katharine" Hepburn), though otherwise this is a film of high production quality, even if the sharp camera cuts within scenes do sometimes jar to an eye used to modern editing.

The film tells the story of a self-made businessman (Spencer Tracy) who is lured into politics by a young looking Angela Lansbury and others. He then faces a battle between staying true to himself or shifting his political views in order to win the support of key individuals.

Although the script is heavily laden with references to 1940s American politics, this is done mostly in the form of passing references to names such as Truman, Roosevelt and Taft. If you don't recognise all the names, it doesn't hinder understanding the overall meaning of what is being said.

The quick-fire dialogue and political rhetoric still sparkle today, particularly the exchanges over extending health care to all Americans - which could have been uttered by an American politician on the stump in the last few years.

Films of this vintage often show their age in their attitude towards women. However, not only are there two strong female characters courtesy of Hepburn and Lansbury, but the humour still raises a laugh rather than a cringe - such as when one man explains why there will never be a female President: "Because no woman would want to admit to being over 35" (the minimum age for standing for President).

The ending is very Capra, by which I mean the main character discovers a heart of gold and gives a rousing speech about how great America can be. Very saccharine but also a logical extension of the plot up to that point.

All in all, an enjoyable 110 minutes, particularly as the plot manages to speed along at quite a pace without the direction ever being too predictable - most notably when there is an interlude for aeroplane acrobatics, dramatically shot.
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on 19 August 2015
Well, Capra + Tracy and Hepburn - you could say no more. I started with classics years ago thanks to Frank Capra, and ST and KH were two of the first stars I ever knew. I would soon watch them together, first in Woman of the Year, and then the movie with my favorite director, Frank Capra. I'm really not the one who could ever pin down any work by Capra. I respect him and appreciate him that much. But I can say that this isn't one of his very, very best movies. But it is a very good movie, I don't know who could say that it isn't. It doesn't hit you like the other Frank Capra's, if that's what you mean. But it has great messages as well. I guess also maybe you'd like to see ST and KH more in comedies than dramas. I don't know. Anyway, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn did such a great, great job - as usual I guess, right? One of my very favorite on screen couples of course!! Other two bonuses are a meanie Angela Lansbury and the forever charming Van Johnson. And other great character actors. I can't really be too objective about this movie, as, as I said, it was among my first classics, even if not among my very firsts. But it IS a very good movie, and I still like it very much.
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on 1 March 2015
They don't make 'em like this anymore. Lets be real about this. If you're going to buy a film that was made in 1948 there has to be a reason. In my case it was the actors......Katharine & Spencer. The plot makes no never-mind and the urge to see films that I have not seen for many many years overcame me. I have to resort to buying these kind of films as they rarely (if at all) show them on the zillions of channels available now-a-days. Sheer nostalgia and well worth the purchase.
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on 19 August 2014
I love Frank Capra and one with Hepburn and Tracy seemed too good to miss. Well there is a reason that I did not know this film. It is awful. Just awful. None of the charm or fun that you usually get from Capra. Just heavy footed Republican politics and a cast of cartoon villains. Too be avoided even Spencer and Katherine are dreadfully wooden. A huge disappointment.
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on 14 June 2014
Angela Lansbury plays a mature role in this film which would probably have been better suited to someone like Anne Baxter, Vivien Leigh or Hedy Lamarr who could bring a believable dark conspiracy to it. A fine performance by Lansbury at the age of 22 playing a woman of the world in her 40s, but I didn't believe she had the darkness of Jean Simmons.or Hedy Lamarr.
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on 1 March 2015
Bought this for a Katherine Hepburn fan and she loved it
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on 27 August 2015
This dvd s stars were real life lovers the late Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracey, they stayed partners until his death but never married because he was already married and a strong catholic with a disabled wife, they made lots of films together one of which is this one which was nominated for an oskar
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