Grace Orval Draper
Based on the play by
Director of Photography
Art Direction by
Associate Art Director
Film Editing by
Costume Design by
Frank L. Clarke
George J. Folsey
A. Arnold Gillespie
Arthur S. Blake Jr.
VHS / DVD
Liberty Film Production Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Produced: September 29-December 6, 1947
Premiere: April 4, 1948
Mary Matthews joins her estranged husband-candidate Grant to bolster his political chances for the Republican nomination by pretending they enjoy a happy marriage. Pushed by people like Kay Thorndyke, a shrewd newspaperman's daughter, who also loves him, and Jim Conover, a sharp old-line politician, Grant gradually sacrifices all of his principles in favor of his 'White House fever'.
John McCarten – The New Yorker – 1948
"When "State of the Union most closely follows the Lindsay Crouse play from which it derives, if is a fairly enjoyable business, but then it lights out on its own, it becomes a manages to say as if she meant them such lines as 'Grant likes to get up on the mountains and slap the hurricanes down.'"
Dave Kehr – Chicago Reader
"A wheezy populist parable from Frank Capra's declining years. Spencer Tracy is running from national office, playing along with a group of questionable backers (led by Angela Lansbury) until wife Katharine Hepburn convinces him to stand up for his principles. The public humiliation scene – always an integral part of Capras’ comedies – seems unusually sadistic this time, and most of the gags are drowned by the pompous political sermonizing. A footnote to the Hepburn-Tracy myth, better left to the hard-core."
Geoff Andrew – Time Out
"An over-long and over-emphatic political satire, in which Tracy's presidential candidate enlists the help of his estranged wife (Hepburn) in order to present a happy, respectable front to the voters (as always with Capra, seen as gullible little people, here in danger of being duped by corrupt industrialists). It's the usual Capra recipe of homespun sentiment and mindless optimism, enlivened a little by the performances (though one can only dream of what Cukor might have done with Hepburn and Tracy), but turned unusually bitter by Cold War cracks. Horrible dated, too."
What Kate had to say
What fellow actors, the director and friends had to say
"I remember her saying, "I can't stand having to wear high heels but I have to wear them with these skirts." She wore space shoes when nobody else did. You went to a special man and he took a cast of your feet. A lot of rather strange long-haired intellectuals wore them, but Katharine wore them, too."