Woman of the Year

Woman of the Year

DVD - 2017
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MPAA rating: Not rated.
A famous political commentator and a crass sports reporter at the same newspaper can't stand each other, until they fall in love.
Publisher: [United States] : The Criterion Collection, [2017].
Edition: Two-DVD special edition.
ISBN: 9781681432885
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (112 min.) : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 leaflet.
DVD video,4 3/4 in.
digital,optical,monaural,Dolby digital
fullscreen (1.37:1)
video file,DVD video


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Jul 31, 2018

I can see why this is a classic for its time (the 1940s), as women and men grappled with women flooding out of the home for the wartime effort and competently executing jobs formerly held by men. As a meta-issue, I think this change has been analyzed to death. On a personal level, it is pretty clear that Hepburn's character, as the sophisticated daughter of a world diplomat, had a headying childhood that resulted in a bit too much self-focus on herself. There's good character scenes between these two gifted actors, where she simply overrides her husband's wish to live by the river, brings in a refugee child without consulting him or considering what foster parenting means, and last and not least, denigrates his work as a sports journalist. Hepburn, in many ways, represents the privileged male position of that time period, with Tracy playing the less powerful spouse.

All that said and cute bickering aside, the ending veers dangerously into a box as Hepburn witnesses her father's re-marriage, making her realize what she may have lost in her own; she breaks into her husband's new apartment. There, she desperately tries to dim her own light and cook him breakfast like a dutiful wife. Oh noes, except she can't cook! Tracy wryly observes the ill-fitting attempts, acknowledges her form of apology, and then restores the equilibrium between them by acknowledging she can be both journalist and wife--he wouldn't have it any other way. (It is poignant to note that later, Hepburn would dedicate her life to Tracy without him leaving his wife, and with his descents into and out of alcoholism).

Jul 22, 2018

"Woman of the Year" is a 1940's style "battle-of-the-sexes" story where it's both parties who want to be the one who's wearing the pants in this rocky relationship.

When it comes to the realm of romance - Spencer Tracy (as sportswriter, Sam Craig) and Katharine Hepburn (as international columnist, Tess Harding) are the "least-likely-to succeed" couple.

Matching wits and wisecracks against each other - Tracy and Hepburn verbally duke it out on screen for the obvious enjoyment of the audience.

Filmed in b&w - "Woman of the Year" was directed by George Stevens. This would be the first of 8 films that paired Tracy and Hepburn together.

Jul 16, 2014

Hepburn is terrific. Tracy, not so much, because his character is sketched out rather than written, so he could only do so much with what he was given. Apparently (per iMDb) the original ending, which has been lost, tested poorly, and so the rather regrettable one you see, which has NOT aged well, leaves a bad taste. Also, given the actors' later personal history, the fact that one of their characters' initial bonding episodes is through a drinking contest of sorts, is really quite sad.


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