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Woman of the Year (1942)

Spencer Tracy , Katharine Hepburn , George Stevens  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Fay Bainter, Reginald Owen, Minor Watson
  • Directors: George Stevens
  • Writers: John Lee Mahin, Michael Kanin, Ring Lardner Jr.
  • Producers: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC
  • Language: English, French, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 19, 2000
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004TJOE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,464 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Woman of the Year" on IMDb

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughs when you least expect it... December 15, 2003
Aside from Hepburn & Tracy's debut as a team, all credit should be given to director George Stevens for putting together this very complicated story so seamlessly. Mr. Stevens finally won an Oscar in 1951 for "A Place in the Sun" and again in 1956 for "Giant". After "Woman ofthe Year", Stevens was nominated for "The More the Merrier", another complicated plot that he handled with brilliance (remade in the 60's as a Cary Grant romp). Tracy & Hepburn are wonderful (Kate getting a nomination), and Kate's pant-suits certainly must've made a fashion statement; Kate was certainly more comfortable in those clothes than the glamour girls of the time, and though not a great beauty, she was glamorous. I still don't understand why Kate became "box-office poison" in the late 30's; I thought she was brilliant in "Stage Door", "Holiday" and "Bringing Up Baby". I don't see any difference in her choice of roles as with Irene Dunne, who did crazy comedy ("The Awful Truth") as well as sensitive drama ("Love Affair"). Who's to say what tastes were at the time? Though "Woman of the Year" has a few slow, serious moments, it's the light-hearted moments that hold interest. It won an Oscar for Screenplay, much deserved by Michael Kanin and the later black-listed Ring Lardner, Jr. And there's a particularly lovely performance from Fay Bainter who seemed to be over-looked. I enjoy this film for many reasons; it was timely, due to its release during the WWII years, as well as attacking attitudes of society which are today ever-present. I think it's most entertaining.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tracy and Hepburn--perfection despite the flaws June 14, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
WOMAN OF THE YEAR stars Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn in their first film together, his Sam Craig matched with her Tess Harding; his subtle, underplaying acting style with her stylised, personality-driven performance. It's an acting tour de force, to be sure--the two of them make the best of (and often far surpass) a somewhat limited script and interesting but stiffly played-out plot. In fact, their chemistry in this film is palpable. When someone speaks of cinematic magic, of chemistry sparking off (if not engulfing) the screen, *this*--Tracy, Hepburn, Tracy and Hepburn--is what they are talking about, even back in the days of the Hays Code. It's all mostly chaste kisses and long eye contact, often carried out in semi-darkness, and yet the two main players establish a relationship more sexual and believable than so many of the relationships portrayed in films these days. (Take the tiny moment in the cab--not the drunk scene that everyone loves, but that moment when he says, "I've got to get something off my chest", and she mumbles, "I'm too heavy", and raises her head. When he gently pulls it back to where you feel it would always belong, you know that these actors are doing something incredible.)
This isn't to say that the film is without flaws. Far from it. The writing is clipped and most of the words on their own have little spark. (It takes Spencer Tracy's glowering eyes, or Katharine Hepburn's radiant smile, to add life to those words.) Even the relationship between Sam and Tess isn't set up in the most fluid of ways, leap-frogging from moment to moment, from scene to scene, without quite making the necessary connections--if you believe in Sam and Tess together (and I do), it's only because you can truly believe in Tracy and Hepburn together.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Start of a Screen Team August 13, 2002
By A. Eby
"Woman of the Year" is known more for being Tracy and Hepburn's first screen pairing than for being an oustanding film. It's certainly not a bad one; the dialogue just seems a bit stilted and overly dramatic at times. In lesser hands, this would've been stuffed on a back shelf awhile ago. Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn are extremely talented, though, both alone and as a team, so the end result is a cheerful, electric little romantic comedy. The subject matter -wife has more prestigious job than husband- is actually rather controversial for its time (I wonder how the ending would have changed if it was remade now). It's a joy to watch Tracy and Hepburn together; they rank right up there with Bogie and Bacall as one of the best screen teams of all time.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Katharine Hepburn already established the headstrong aspect of her screen persona in 1938's "Holiday" and 1940's "The Philadelphia Story", but she adds a worldly intellect and a beguiling sexual ardor that prove most fetching in her portrayal of multilingual political journalist Tess Harding in this 1942 film classic. In her first teaming with lifelong off-screen partner Spencer Tracy, she sets off palpable sparks with the normally taciturn actor, who plays sportswriter Sam Craig working at the same newspaper. Written by Ring Lardner Jr. and Michael Kanin, the plot is about the characters' whirlwind courtship from an immediate sexual attraction to an impulsive marriage, all the while struggling with each other's priorities. Needless to say, given that it's a product of its era, it becomes a matter of time before Tess bends to Sam's will but not until some intriguing observations are made about sex roles in a basically fractious relationship.

However, rather than the comic fireworks generated by their later collaboration, 1949's "Adam's Rib", this film treads in unexpectedly sentimental melodrama, especially in the episodes where Tess has to let go of a Greek orphan she wants to adopt and in the climactic scene when she tearfully recognizes her wifely responsibilities as her aunt Ellen marries her father. Still, the pair's familiar bantering occurs when Sam explains the rules of baseball to Tess and in the final feminist reversal as she fails miserably in her attempt at domesticity. George Stevens directed the film, and he displays his sure hand with actors and an acute sense of craftsmanship throughout. Intriguingly, for a Tracy-Hepburn vehicle, it feels much more like her movie than his, and consequently their rapport is not quite up to their normal standard here.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Tracy and Hepburn are great in this one
Tracy and Hepburn are great in this one. She's the original women's libber and tries to have it all--husband, child, career. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Granny B.
2.0 out of 5 stars Diamond in the Rough
Patchy, Puerile, but Promising. Before God made a woman from Adam’s rib, he caused Adam to go into a deep sleep. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tim Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice
It's nice to see this couple in a movie that is similar to true life they share. I enjoyed this film
Published 2 months ago by Heidy Leiva Henriquez
5.0 out of 5 stars very good
Really enjoyed this movie. Kathryn Hepburn and Spencer Tracy were so made for each other. She is all woman and he is a man that is more than up to her.
Published 2 months ago by L. Grueneberg
2.0 out of 5 stars Yes, yes, Hepburn and Tracy are great, but . . . !
Oh, no! Oh, no! My husband has been a grouch ever since we got married because I have gone on with my internationally-important work! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Carol Wolf
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!!!!
I love classic movies.The studios were the molders of these talented individuals who have set the standard for actors since Hollywood's Golden Age. Read more
Published 5 months ago by CLC
4.0 out of 5 stars Billed as a Comedy, but...
Woman of the Year is billed as a comedy, but it is not. There are a handful of funny parts, but most of the movie is a study of the relationship between the ambitious and... Read more
Published 5 months ago by TheDacian
5.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood's golden age
If you love the Tracy/Hepburn movies this is a great one to have because it's the first. It's a comedy with some dramatic themes added in for good measure. Read more
Published 6 months ago by M. Olson
4.0 out of 5 stars The stirrings of feminism!
Audrey Hepburn didn't disappoint as a brilliant female journalist in the 1940's attempting to juggle a vibrant career and marriage.
Published 7 months ago by Gabriell DeBear Paye
5.0 out of 5 stars classic Hepburn & Tracy
Great to see Hepburn & Tracy`s chemistry on screen. They are so cute together in this movie as it was in the beginning of their off screen relationship.
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
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