- Actors: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Fay Bainter, Reginald Owen, Minor Watson
- Directors: George Stevens
- Producers: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
- Format: PAL, Black & White
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Studio: Warner Home Video
- Run Time: 109 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- ASIN: B000MEA00Y
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,042 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Woman Of The Year 
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SYNOPSIS: He's earthy, she's erudite. He's lumpy, she's angular. He's Tracy, She's Hepburn. Together, they're spectacular. Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn show what chemistry is all about in this Academy Award winner about the grand, bumpy romance between a meat-and-potatoes sportswriter and a world-renowned political pundit. This is the first of the duo's nine collaborations, and legend says the pairing had portentous start. "I'm afriaid I'm a little too tall for you" the willowy actress observed, "Don't worry, I'll cut you down to my size," Tracy replied. George Stevens directs, ending this alternately dramatic and comic delight with a standout of a slapstick breakfast scene that helps make a movie for every year. ABOUT THE DVD: This is a release by WARNER HOME VIDEO for the UK market (Region 2 PAL format - which will play on all standard DVD players in the UK and the rest of Europe - buyers outside of Europe will need a multi-region player in order to view this). The film is presented in its original BLACK & WHITE and FULL SCREEN format (1.33:1 aspect ratio) and runs for a total of 109 minutes - the AUDIO is the original ENGLISH and MONO (there are also French and Italian dubbed soundtracks on the disc) - SUBTITLES are in English, Dutch, Arabic, French and Italian (plus Hearing Impaired subs for English and Italian languages only) - the DVD also contains the film's original theatrical trailer.
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The script, by Ring Lardner Jr., is a case-study in how to write beautiful, witty and truthful prose. The wit is so deft and fluent that it's easy to miss. For instance, at one point, Sam and Tess are being driven somewhere in a taxi. In the back seat they declare their love for each other, each engulfed in the rapture of the moment. Then the taxi stops, and the driver says "This is it". Sam replies "It sure is". Another time, when Sam meets Tess's father for the first time, he nervously says "I've been dreading this moment for days". Her father replies "I've been dreading it for years".
I've never regarded Hepburn as a particular beauty, having always thought her, like Leni Riefenstahl, as more striking than lovely. However, here she is both striking and beautiful, with the camera capturing her fox-like, angular face at its perfect best. The chemistry between Tracy and Hepburn is almost tangible, and it comes as no surprise to find that this is the film in which they first met and then fell in love (like Bogart and Bacall in "To Have and Have Not"). For some reason, this film is probably the least known and regarded of the nine films they made together over the years, and it beats me as to why this should be the case, as it's one of the finest films I've ever seen. If you haven't seen it, or have been put off doing so by indifferent reviews elsewhere, trust me and watch it - it's wonderful.
That the film doesn't always portray them as a loving couple is down to their superb acting - they had to act as though they hated each other at times.
Back at the time, during WW2 (film was released in 1942) and with women having more and more general employment, due to the men having been conscripted, many could see possibly a situation where the woman wore the trousers, to coin an outdated expression. We have Ms Hepburn, running here and there - the film starts with press releases telling us that she is interviewing Winston Churchill - she is a very important and much in demand person.
Similar in a way to their later 'Adam's Rib', we have in the other corner, an everyday bloke, set in his ways and here he is someone who has a very male-dominated profession - that of a sports correspondent. Naturally, Tess (Hepburn) who's extremely intelligent and inquisitive, wants to know the ins and outs of baseball. She tries to enter and understand his world.
Naturally, this all causes slight havoc. She's always got her personal assistant hanging round her. She never knows which senior politician is going to phone her up - or when. Then, she is voted "Woman Of the Year". Her fiance, Sam (Tracy) should be delighted. But isn't. The dreams he had of a normal, happy marriage slips further away from him....
The narrative flow IS a bit lumpy - there are scenes - the final kitchen scene is in real-time and we just let it unfold naturally - but that's what life - and love - is often about. I rather like the way it is broken up by changing tempos and situations, being more natural and as a result, the pair seem very real to us.
Some fans of the two actors believe that this is their best pairing, others think Adam's Rib is. I'm going to go for the second, myself, as it is slightly cleverer and the story is a touch stronger. Never-the-less, this is still extraordinarily good film-making and a fine movie.
I watched the DVD as part of the Tracy/Hepburn 4 disc boxset.
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