867 Woman of the Year

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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domino harvey
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867 Woman of the Year

#1 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:50 pm

Woman of the Year

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Before Katharine Hepburn ever met Spencer Tracy, she wanted him as her costar in this film. George Stevens's Woman of the Year, conceived to build on the smashing comeback Hepburn had made in The Philadelphia Story, is the story of rival newspaper reporters who wed only to find that their careers aren't so compatible, and in it the pair forged a fresh and realistic vision of what marriage could be. The freewheeling but pinpoint-sharp screenplay by Ring Lardner Jr. and Michael Kanin won an Academy Award, and Hepburn was nominated for best actress. Woman of the Year marks the beginning of the personal and professional union between Hepburn and Tracy, who would go on to make eight more films together, and it stands as a dazzling, funny, and sometimes rueful observation of what it takes for men and women to get along—both in the workplace and out of it.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New interview with George Stevens Jr.
• 1967 audio interview with George Stevens
• New interview with George Stevens biographer Marilyn Ann Moss
• New interview with writer Claudia Roth Pierpont on actor Katharine Hepburn
George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey, a 112-minute 1984 documentary by George Stevens Jr.
The Spencer Tracy Legacy: A Tribute by Katharine Hepburn, an eighty-six-minute documentary from 1986
• Trailer
• PLUS: An essay by critic Stephanie Zacharek

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Lowry_Sam
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Re: 867 Woman of the Year

#2 Post by Lowry_Sam » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:42 pm

So is everyone so overwhelmed with enthusiasm for this one they are speechless?

I wonder if the "More!" for this one will include the alternate ending & Hepburn's comments on the ending.

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Rayon Vert
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Re: 867 Woman of the Year

#3 Post by Rayon Vert » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:59 pm

Far and away the best Tracy-Hepburn film. (I'd be rewatching it if it was on the master list for the all-time list project.) It tends to lose a little steam towards the end (
SpoilerShow
in the dramatic near-separation that precedes Tracy and Hepburn's reunion
, as well as in the not totally successful last comedic scene in the kitchen), but it's very charming and enjoyable for most of the ride. The romantic scenes are very sweet and surprisingly steamy at times for a post-Code film like this, and Hepburn is very seductive and she just really shines in this one. B+

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knives
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Re: 867 Woman of the Year

#4 Post by knives » Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:21 am

I dunno if I can agree. For my money Desk Set, The Sea of Grass, and especially Without Love are all better.

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Re: 867 Woman of the Year

#5 Post by Werewolf by Night » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:18 am

Rayon Vert wrote:the not totally successful last comedic scene in the kitchen
The only part of the movie I like.

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Re: 867 Woman of the Year

#6 Post by John Doe » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:53 pm

Sigh. Another Turell's personal fav?

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Re: 867 Woman of the Year

#7 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:23 pm

Not to derail but I have to second knives' mention of Desk Set (even if I slightly prefer other Tracy and Hepburn films), mostly because I've kind of always wanted a job as a research librarian ever since seeing the film, and love the paen to internalised, wide-ranging knowledge and the human element of making connections between information that a computer cannot really manage, even when the computer is as big as an entire room! Though it is kind of sobering to think that that whole department is just performing the function that a Google search does nowadays!

Basically any Tracy and Hepburn film that isn't Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? is worth a watch!

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domino harvey
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Re: 867 Woman of the Year

#8 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:30 pm

Pat and Mike is godawful, so it could certainly be worse

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Re: 867 Woman of the Year

#9 Post by Morgan Creek » Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:35 pm

But why not Adam's Rib?

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Re: 867 Woman of the Year

#10 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:08 pm

Morgan Creek wrote:But why not Adam's Rib?
THIS.

Woman of the Year starts off well but stumbles terribly when it nears the end. Even then it doesn't reach (much less sustain) the same heights as Adam's Rib, the one unqualified masterpiece in their distinguished but uneven run of films together.

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domino harvey
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Re: 867 Woman of the Year

#11 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:23 pm

I don't think it's a masterpiece, but Adam's Rib is definitely on the higher end of their pairings. This sounds like a release they put out because Warners/Paramount wouldn't relinquish A Place in the Sun

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Re: 867 Woman of the Year

#12 Post by Lowry_Sam » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:52 pm

domino harvey wrote:This sounds like a release they put out because Warners/Paramount wouldn't relinquish A Place in the Sun
A Place in the Sun is off the table? Bummer, this was high on my Warner's wish list. When did this happen?

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Rayon Vert
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Re: 867 Woman of the Year

#13 Post by Rayon Vert » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:19 pm

Without Love: some good moments, but spread out thin in a very dully directed film that never frees itself from its stage origins. Adam's Rib: slightly enjoyable but overrated. Fresh because of the proto-feminist script, but the comedy doesn't produce many laughs, and the Tracy-Hepburn chemistry comes across as meandering and underwhelming. There are also some strangely, extremely long takes, especially in the early parts of the film, that take away from the liveliness that is obviously aimed at. Pat and Mike: even more overrated Gordon & Kanin. Some charm in the acting, but a weak story and the laughs are practically absent. Yeah, all the T&H films are definitely uneven.
Last edited by Rayon Vert on Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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domino harvey
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Re: 867 Woman of the Year

#14 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:20 pm

I mean, we're all skirting around the main issue here: As fascinating and iconic as the idea of Tracy and Hepburn is, the films they made together weren't very good

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Re: 867 Woman of the Year

#15 Post by Rayon Vert » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:26 pm

domino harvey wrote:I mean, we're all skirting around the main issue here: As fascinating and iconic as the idea of Tracy and Hepburn is, the films they made together weren't very good
In the end I kind of agree... with the partial exception of Woman of the Year. I can predict my appreciation of it will probably diminish when I see it again (only seen it once), but I'd rate it as good-to-almost-very-good. I remember it as looking damn good, though - which probably explains part of the appeal it had for me.

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Re: 867 Woman of the Year

#16 Post by The Narrator Returns » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:09 pm

The 'More!'
- 1967 audio interview with George Stevens
- George Stevens: A Filmmaker’s Journey, a 112-minute 1984 documentary by George Stevens Jr.
Also, the transfer has been bumped up to a 2K restoration.

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Re: 867 Woman of the Year

#17 Post by Magic Hate Ball » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:55 pm

domino harvey wrote:I mean, we're all skirting around the main issue here: As fascinating and iconic as the idea of Tracy and Hepburn is, the films they made together weren't very good
It's like the X Files - great chemistry, middling content.

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Gregory
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Re: 867 Woman of the Year

#18 Post by Gregory » Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:54 pm

I can relate to the lukewarm reception to these comedies, but since there are nine Hepburn-Tracy films in all, and they're hardly all cut from the same cloth, I think it's worth making a few exceptions. I'm already on record a few times over the years of the forum for defending Desk Set as the best of the comedies. Interestingly it's also the final one and seems always to be overshadowed by Woman of the Year and Adam's Rib. Of the dramas my pick would probably be State of the Union.

Woman of the Year probably could have been a good film if it hadn't been for the unfunny and mean-spirited ending, which was not how the screenwriters saw the story's resolution. It was tacked on after the film had been completed, due to a perceived need to backpedal the basic strength and confidence of the Tess Harding character. A woman who excels in work outside the home was still seen by many as just too "threatening," though I think this was a somewhat reactionary view even for its time—the release year of 1942 was also the year of the famous "We Can Do It!" Westinghouse poster. Image

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867 Woman of the Year

#19 Post by TMDaines » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:40 am

I wondered why I've never seen much of Spencer Tracy despite making my way through much of Hollywood's canon in recent years. The reason for this is actually quite simple: there's little room for his films in the canon. He's not in a single film in TSPDT's top 1000! Found that quite amazing.

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domino harvey
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Re: 867 Woman of the Year

#20 Post by domino harvey » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:54 am

I think Tracy is a remarkably bad actor, but he's also a strong and charismatic personality who carries his films on the weight of his image and presence (see: Gary Cooper). It's not too surprising to hear none of his films made the Top 1000, but I do recommend Captains Courageous, which netted Tracy his first Oscar (albeit he won more for the lovable role than his performance of it-- though he attempts something approaching range here, which is not the norm)

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Re: 867 Woman of the Year

#21 Post by andyli » Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:11 pm

I'm pretty sure Fury and Bad Day at Black Rock used to feature in that list. Also, I believe Father of the Bride is a decent Minnelli film in which Tracy put in a great performance. I'll second Domino's recommendation of Captains Courageous, which I saw as a kid and had impressed me a great deal.

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Re: 867 Woman of the Year

#22 Post by Drucker » Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:26 pm

TMDaines wrote:I wondered why I've never seen much of Spencer Tracy despite making my way through much of Hollywood's canon in recent years. The reason for this is actually quite simple: there's little room for his films in the canon. He's not in a single film in TSPDT's top 1000! Found that quite amazing.
Seriously Fury is an excellent film, and better than a decent share of Lang's German output.

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domino harvey
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Re: 867 Woman of the Year

#23 Post by domino harvey » Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:27 pm

Most of Lang's Hollywood films are better than his German films

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Re: 867 Woman of the Year

#24 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:34 pm

There's still a lot I haven't seen, but I think Man's Castle, Adam's Rib, Fury and Father of the Bride may well be his best films. Great films in my book, and he's great in all of them, but they tend to be overshadowed by other films in each respective director's oeuvre.

The comparison to Gary Cooper is spot on, but I wouldn't call it "bad" acting. It's hard to see how the same approach worked for both men on stage prior to their movie careers but it works beautifully on film and why they define great film acting for so many. It really comes through in close-up when they're not really doing anything - it's naturalism in the sense that they've inhabited their roles and their surroundings so well.

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Re: 867 Woman of the Year

#25 Post by knives » Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:47 pm

He's quite good in Kazan's Sea of Grass (another of the Hepburn films)and Libeled Lady which on some days is my favorite screwball.

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