This is my kind of political drama. I actually understand most of it! I would love to read this play.
The story is kind of similar to Mr. Smith goes to Washington, but not. Which makes sense because this is a Capra film. I love and admire Frank Capra's work. I don't think there has been a single film of his that I did not enjoy thoroughly. This one was no exception. It focuses on the beginning of a man's champaign for the White House. A flashy newspaper syndicate owner, Miss Thorndyke (Angela Lansbury) and a political correspondent (Adolphe Menjou) team together with another newspaperman, turned Champaign Manager (Van Johnson), to turn Grant Matthews (Spencer Tracy), a prominent businessman, into the Republican candidate for the Presidency. Although incredibly against the idea at first Matthews soon gives in, and by doing so, drags his estranged wife (Katherine Hepburn) into the champaign. Things start off well, as all of these things do, with the candidate speaking his own mind and scaring the hell out of the politicians, but making amends with his wife and fighting the good fight. Then he loses his way, and things start to go adrift.
Everyone is utterly marvelous in this movie. Hepburn is utterly delightful, and hysterically funny. Tracy is a wonderful blend of sense and fun - then compromise. Lansbury seems like pure evil - which is interesting to watch. She's smart, determined, ciniving, but incredibly determined and driven. A wonderful character composite! And I love Van Johnson in this movie!
A great political film!
4 and 1/2 out of 5 stars