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Sam Craig
Tess Harding
Ellen Whitcomb
William Harding
Pinkie Peters
Flo Peters
Phil Whittaker
Dr. Martin Lubbeck
Matron at Refugee Home
Justice of the Peace
Harding’s Chauffeur
Football Player
Building Superintendent
Man at Banguet


Original Screenplay by

Director of Photography
Art Direction by
Associate Art Director
Set Decorator
Film Editing by
Sound Recordist
Musical Score
Costume Design by
Makeup Artist
Hair Stylist
Assistant Director

Spencer Tracy
Katharine Hepburn
Fay Bainter
Reginald Owen
Minor Watson
William Bendix
Gladys Blake
Dan Tobin
Roscoe Karns
William Tannen
Ludwig Stoss
Sara Haden
Edith Evanson
George Kezas
Jimmy Conlin
Henry Roquemore
Cyril Ring
Ben Lessy
Johnny Berkes
Ray Teal
Duke York
Edward McWade
Joe Yule
Winifred Harris
William Holmes


George Stevens
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Ring Lardner Jr.,
Michael Kanin
Joseph Ruttenberg
Cedric Gibbons
Randall Duell
Edwin B. Willis
Frank Sullivan
Douglas Shearer
Franz Waxman
Jack Dawn
Sydney Guilaroff
Robert Golden


Film data

114 minutes
Produced: August 27-October 25, 1941

Premiere: January 1, 1942


International affairs columnist Tess Harding and Sam Craig, a sportswriter for the same newspaper, have a running feud over the game of baseball. Violating the sanctity of the press box, Sam introduces Tess to baseball and they become fast friends. Although extreme opposites, they are soon married, much to the amazement of their friends. Tess goes along as the same as before, putting her career ahead of wifely duties. Sam, who expected at least a little domesticity from his wife, eventually walks out. On the evening that Tess discovers her failure as a wife, she is named the Woman of the Year. Soon, when her father remarries, she listens to the wedding vows with new understanding and determines to make a go of her marriage.


Critics' reviews

Howard Barnes – The New York Herald Tribune – 1942
"In Woman of the Year is particularly fortunate in having Miss Hepburn and Mr. Tracy teamed for the first time in a film. For they are both so competent in the field of screen performing that they rarely miss in realizing all the potentialities of a script or in realizing all the conception of an able director."

Dave Kehr – Chicago Reader
"George Stevens's plodding, straitlaced direction takes much of the edge off this 1941 Katharine-Spencer Tray vehicle. The premise is promising: Tracy is a rumpled sportswriter, Hepburn is a world-famous political columnist, and the opposites duly attract. But Stevens lacks the courage to make much of the conflict; the film ends with an embarrassing sequence in which Hepburn is tamed and installed in the kitchen. Very much below George Cukor’s work with the Tracy-Hepburn mythos in Adams Rib."

Adrian Turner – Time Out
"Tracy and Hepburn were a great team, and this, their first outing together, set the seal on the pattern to follow into the next decade. He's a sports journalist, she's an influential political columnist, and after they marry he wants her to be a woman as well. The comic byplay between opposites – everyday guy Spence and haughty Kate – is a consistent pleasure, even if its sexual politics are ambiguous: Spence scores many more points than Kate, and the whole film is geared towards the climax when she cooks him breakfast like a good housewife. Produced by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, the film has that MGM glitter and literary sparkle."

Molly Haskell – From Reverence to Rape – 1974
"In Woman of the Year, screenwriters like Ring Lardner Jr. and Michael Kanin did everything possible to sabotage the career woman played by Katharine Hepburn. In their hands she becomes a Lady Macbeth of overweening ambition with so little of the 'mild of human kindness' that she is guilty of criminal negligence toward the child she and her husband Spencer Tracy have adopted. Tracy by contrast, is a dotting father – though never to the neglect of his newspaper work, which seems to say that love and ambition can coexist in a man but not in a woman. Yet because if the strength of character and integrity Hepburn brought to the screen, and the soft and radiance with which director George Stevens illuminated her (thereby contradicting the screenplay), she transcended the meanness of the plot without in any way excusing them."

David Thomson – The New Biographical Dictionary of Film - 2002
"[Hepburn’s] edge, beauty, and intimacy in this film are still breathtaking."

What Kate had to say

In treatment

What fellow actors, the director and friends had to say

George Stevens
"I saw Spence and Kate's friendship develop right under my eyes. They were such unusual people. I became terribly fond of them. They responded amazingly to the script, which was perfect to them. Mayer told me Spence was difficult, that he drank, and I said to him, 'I never found anybody I couldn't keep up with. It's all right, so long as it's not on the set.' Well, he was fine. And they fitted the parts so well: Kate the articulate woman, Spence the inarticulate Gl Joe who was too old to be drafted. She was the rarer beast of the two. Spence would come over before work to my little office and sit and talk, or I'd go in this dressing room. All of a sudden, there'd be a knocking on the door. The door would open, and it was Kate. She's say, 'What are you two conspiring about?' He would say, 'Kate, I like guidance about things, and this man is our director.' She said, 'and what about my guidance?' Spencer said, 'How could I be such a damn fool as to get into a picture with a woman producer and her director, how can I be such a dumb bastard as that?' From the beginning of the picture, and their relationship, Spence's reaction to her was a total, pleasant, but glacial put-down of her extreme effusiveness. He just didn't get disturbed about doing things immediately; she wanted to do a hundred and one things at once; he was never in a hurry. She loved to rehearse, to do everything except hang the arc lights; he loved to do nothing except 'be' the part, if possible on the first take. She 'worried to the bone'; he just took it and padded off with it. Slowly."


To read the original ending click here.

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