Movies You Have Not Seen But Should: Woman of the Year


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Welcome back to Movies You Have Not Seen But Should.  This week we will step into the wayback machine and look at the 1942 romantic dramedy Woman of the Year, starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.

The film centers around Tess Harding (played by Hepburn) and Sam Craig (played by Tracy).  Both of them are award-winning writers.  Tess is an international affairs correspondent, while Sam is a sports writer.  They work at the same newspaper, the New York Chronicle.  Tess is well-traveled and speaks several languages fluently.  Sam is hard-working and very knowledgeable about a wide variety of sports.  Their meeting happens because of a feud in the paper over baseball.  Sam invites Tess to go to a ballgame, which leads to some interesting exchanges from the press box.  Later Tess invites Sam back to her apartment for a dinner party where none of the guests besides Sam can speak English.  And that was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

The two end up getting married.  While they love each other, there is a disconnect involving Tess and priorities. She tends to prioritize her work over the marriage.  She doesn’t consult Sam on big decisions, like adopting a 6-year-old Greek orphan named Chris.  When she is selected as “Outstanding Woman of the Year”, she thinks more about how she is perceived then caring about Sam or Chris.  What happens between Tess and Sam?  You’ll have to watch the movie to find out.

This film was the first time that Hepburn and Tracy were paired together.  They would go on to star in eight more movies together, including State of the Union, Adam’s Rib and Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner.  The film was directed by George Stevens. Stevens also directed such films as A Place in the Sun, Shane, Giant and The Diary of Anne Frank.  The film hit theaters on February 19, 1942 and grossed $2 million in its initial release, which is twice the amount it took to produce.  The movie won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, and Hepburn received a Best Actress nomination.  The film was later adapted into a Broadway musical in 1981, and by 1999 it was registered by the Library of Congress in the National Film Registry.

Woman of the Year is available on DVD and Amazon Instant Streaming.  This is a classic film that is worth checking out.  Even though it was made in the 1940s, the repartee between Hepburn and Tracy is timeless.  You’ll get wrapped up in the story.  It’s one of those classic films that you may not have seen, but you should.

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