Spencer Tracy was a renowned American actor known for his exceptional talent and memorable performances in film. With a career spanning over four decades.

Tracy left an indelible mark on the history of cinema, earning critical acclaim and numerous awards for his outstanding performances.

Known for his versatile acting style, Tracy portrayed a wide range of characters with depth and authenticity, captivating audiences with his powerful and nuanced performances.

In this article, we will explore some of the best movies of Spencer Tracy, showcasing his exceptional talent and contributions to the world of cinema.

Best Spencer Tracy Movies

From his early works in the 1930s to his later career in the 1950s, Tracy’s films continue to be cherished by audiences and remain a testament to his enduring legacy as one of the greatest actors in American film history.

1. Inherit the Wind (1960)

“Inherit the Wind” is a 1960 American film directed by Stanley Kramer, based on the 1955 play of the same name by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee.

The film is a fictionalized account of the 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial, which dealt with the issue of teaching evolution in public schools in Tennessee.

The film stars Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, and Gene Kelly in leading roles, with Dick York, Donna Anderson, and Harry Morgan in supporting roles.

The film was a critical and commercial success and received four Academy Award nominations, including Best Actor for Tracy and Best Supporting Actor for March.

The film tells the story of a small town in Tennessee that is torn apart by a trial over the teaching of evolution in the local public school. Tracy plays Henry Drummond, a lawyer who defends the teacher who has been charged with violating a state law that forbids the teaching of evolution.

March plays Matthew Harrison Brady, a fundamentalist politician who leads the prosecution.

The film is widely regarded as a classic and has been adapted for television and stage numerous times.

It continues to be relevant today, as debates over the teaching of evolution and other scientific concepts in public schools continue to be a contentious issue in some parts of the world.

Inherit the Wind
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, Gene Kelly (Actors)
  • Stanley Kramer (Director) - Nedrick Young (Writer) - Stanley Kramer (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

2. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

“Judgment at Nuremberg” is a 1961 American courtroom drama film directed by Stanley Kramer and starring an ensemble cast, including Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich, Maximilian Schell, Judy Garland, and Montgomery Clift.

The film is set in post-World War II Germany and tells the story of a military tribunal that is convened to hear the cases of four German judges who are accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity for their role in the Nazi regime.

   

The trial becomes a test of the rule of law and the moral integrity of those involved, as the judges are forced to confront the reality of the atrocities committed by the regime they served.

“Judgment at Nuremberg” was a critical and commercial success, receiving eleven Academy Award nominations and winning two, including Best Actor for Maximilian Schell’s portrayal of a defense attorney.

The film is widely regarded as a classic of American cinema and a powerful examination of the human cost of war and the responsibility of those in power to protect the vulnerable.

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Judgment at Nuremberg
  • Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Marlene Dietrich (Actors)
  • Stanley Kramer (Director)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

3. Captains Courageous (1937)

Captains Courageous is a 1937 American adventure film directed by Victor Fleming, based on the 1897 novel of the same name by Rudyard Kipling. The film stars Spencer Tracy, Freddie Bartholomew, Lionel Barrymore, and Mickey Rooney.

The story follows the spoiled son of a wealthy businessman named Harvey Cheyne Jr. (Bartholomew), who falls off a luxury ocean liner and is rescued by a Portuguese fisherman named Manuel (Tracy).

Manuel takes Harvey on board his fishing boat and teaches him the ways of the sea and the value of hard work.

As Harvey learns to adapt to life on the fishing boat, he develops a deep bond with Manuel and the other crew members, including the gruff captain, Disko Troop (Barrymore).

But when Harvey’s father comes looking for him, the boy must choose between his old life of privilege and the new life he has come to love on the fishing boat.

Captains Courageous was a critical and commercial success upon its release, earning four Academy Award nominations and winning the Best Actor Oscar for Spencer Tracy. The film is considered a classic of the adventure genre and a landmark in Tracy’s career.

Captains Courageous (1937)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Freddie Bartholomew, Spencer Tracy, Lionel Barrymore (Actors)
  • Victor Fleming (Director) - Marc Connelly (Writer) - Louis D. Lighton (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

4. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)

“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” is a 1967 American comedy-drama film directed by Stanley Kramer and starring Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, and Sidney Poitier.

The film tells the story of an interracial couple, Joanna and John, who plan to get married, but must first meet and gain the approval of Joanna’s parents.

The film was groundbreaking for its time, as it tackled issues of race and interracial relationships at a time when they were still highly controversial in American society.

The performances of the lead actors were highly praised, with Tracy and Hepburn delivering some of their most memorable work, and Poitier receiving particular acclaim for his portrayal of John.

“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” was also notable for its social and political impact, as it was released just months before the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Loving v. Virginia, which struck down laws banning interracial marriage.

The film is considered a landmark in American cinema, and has been celebrated for its progressive themes, its powerful performances, and its enduring relevance to contemporary issues of race and social justice.

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Sidney Poitier (Actors)
  • Kramer,Stanley (Director) - William Rose (Writer) - Stanley Kramer (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

5. Father of the Bride (1950)

“Father of the Bride” is a classic American comedy film from 1950, directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, and Elizabeth Taylor.

The film tells the story of Stanley Banks (Tracy), a middle-aged man who is caught off guard when his daughter Kay (Taylor) announces her engagement and plans to get married.

As the wedding preparations get underway, Stanley becomes increasingly overwhelmed and emotional, struggling to come to terms with the fact that his daughter is growing up and starting her own life.

He must also contend with the mounting costs of the wedding, as well as the eccentricities of his future son-in-law and his family.

The film was a commercial and critical success, and is widely regarded as a classic of the romantic comedy genre. Spencer Tracy’s performance was particularly praised, as he skillfully portrayed the bittersweet emotions of a father watching his daughter leave the nest.

The film has since been remade twice, in 1991 and 2020, with Steve Martin and George Banks respectively playing the role of the father.

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Father of the Bride (1950)
  • Black & White - Full Screen
  • Subtitles English, French, & Spanish
  • Two Newsreels: President Truman Meets Father of the Bride and Wedding Bells for Elizabeth Taylor
  • Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Bennett, Spencer Tracy (Actors)
  • English, French, Spanish (Subtitles)

6. The Last Hurrah (1958)

“The Last Hurrah” is a 1958 American political drama film directed by John Ford and based on the novel of the same name by Edwin O’Connor.

The film stars Spencer Tracy in the lead role, along with an ensemble cast that includes Jeffrey Hunter, Dianne Foster, Pat O’Brien, Basil Rathbone, and John Carradine.

Set in Boston, the film follows the final campaign of Frank Skeffington (played by Spencer Tracy), an aging and influential Irish-American politician who is running for re-election as mayor.

Skeffington, known for his charisma and political skills, faces challenges from a younger generation of politicians and changing times.

As he navigates the complexities of politics, relationships, and the changing landscape of Boston, Skeffington tries to secure one last hurrah before his political career comes to an end.

“The Last Hurrah” is known for its engaging portrayal of politics and the characters that populate the political landscape. Spencer Tracy delivers a compelling performance as the seasoned politician who grapples with his past, present, and future in the world of politics.

The film explores themes of political power, loyalty, and the changing dynamics of political landscapes, while providing a nuanced look at the characters and relationships that shape the political sphere.

Directed by John Ford, a renowned filmmaker known for his work in Westerns and other genres, “The Last Hurrah” showcases his skill in storytelling and his ability to capture the complexities of human nature.

The film received critical acclaim for its performances, direction, and screenplay, earning two Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction and Best Supporting Actor for Edmond O’Brien.

“The Last Hurrah” remains a classic film that provides a thought-provoking exploration of politics, power, and human nature.

It is a notable entry in the filmography of Spencer Tracy, one of Hollywood’s most respected actors, and a testament to the talents of John Ford, one of the greatest directors in film history.

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7. Broken Lance (1954)

“Broken Lance” is a classic Western film directed by Edward Dmytryk and released in 1954. It stars Spencer Tracy in the lead role and features a stellar cast including Robert Wagner, Richard Widmark, Jean Peters, and Katy Jurado.

The film tells the story of a rancher named Matt Devereaux, played by Tracy, who is a stern and authoritarian figure struggling to maintain control over his land and family in the aftermath of a violent confrontation.

In “Broken Lance,” Tracy delivers a powerful performance as a complex character grappling with family dynamics, personal demons, and the changing landscape of the West.

His portrayal of Matt Devereaux showcases his ability to convey deep emotions and inner conflicts with subtlety and authenticity. Tracy’s performance is both commanding and vulnerable, capturing the essence of a man torn between love for his sons and his unwavering principles.

The film is known for its engaging storyline, rich character development, and breathtaking scenery, which was shot on location in Arizona.

Tracy’s performance in “Broken Lance” earned him critical acclaim and garnered him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. The film itself was also well-received and was nominated for several other awards, including Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction.

“Broken Lance” is regarded as one of Spencer Tracy’s best movies, showcasing his extraordinary talent and ability to portray complex characters with depth and authenticity.

His performance in this film remains a standout in his illustrious career and is remembered as one of the highlights of American cinema.

Broken Lance [DVD] (1954)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

8. Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

“Bad Day at Black Rock” is a 1955 American thriller film directed by John Sturges and starring Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis, and Lee Marvin.

The film tells the story of a one-armed World War II veteran who arrives in the small town of Black Rock, only to encounter hostility and violence from the locals as he investigates the disappearance of a Japanese-American farmer.

The film was released to critical acclaim and was a commercial success, earning four Academy Award nominations, including Best Actor for Spencer Tracy.

The film’s themes of prejudice and xenophobia were particularly relevant in the context of the time it was released, as America was grappling with issues related to racial and ethnic diversity.

Tracy delivers a powerful performance as John J. Macreedy, the veteran who faces intense hostility and suspicion from the townspeople as he tries to uncover the truth about the missing farmer.

Robert Ryan plays the town’s bully, Reno Smith, who is determined to prevent Macreedy from learning the truth.

“Bad Day at Black Rock” is regarded as a classic of the thriller genre and is notable for its taut direction, sharp writing, and memorable performances. It continues to be a popular film with audiences and critics alike.

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Bad Day at Black Rock
  • Bad Day At Black Rock - DVD Brand New
  • Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis (Actors)
  • John Sturges (Director) - Millard Kaufman (Writer) - Dore Schary (Producer) - Howard Briskin...
  • English, Spanish, French (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

9. The Old Man and the Sea (1958)

“The Old Man and the Sea” is a 1958 American adventure drama film directed by John Sturges and starring Spencer Tracy.

The film is based on the classic novel of the same name by Ernest Hemingway, which tells the story of an aging Cuban fisherman named Santiago who has not caught a fish in 84 days.

Determined to break his streak, Santiago sets out alone in his small boat into the Gulf Stream, where he hooks a giant marlin.

He struggles for three days to reel in the fish, battling exhaustion, hunger, and sharks along the way. The film is a visual and emotional portrayal of Santiago’s struggle to survive and his profound connection to the natural world.

Tracy’s performance as Santiago was widely praised and earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

The film also received nominations for Best Supporting Actor (for Felipe Pazos, who played the boy who accompanies Santiago on his journey) and Best Adapted Screenplay.

“The Old Man and the Sea” is considered a classic of American cinema and a faithful adaptation of Hemingway’s novel.

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The Old Man and the Sea [DVD]
  • DVD
  • Spencer Tracy, Felipe Pazos, Harry Bellaver (Actors)
  • Fred Zinnemann (Director) - Ernest Hemingway (Writer)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

10. Adam’s Rib (1949)

Adam’s Rib is a 1949 American romantic comedy film directed by George Cukor and starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.

The screenplay, written by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin, follows a married couple of lawyers, Adam and Amanda Bonner (Tracy and Hepburn), who find themselves on opposite sides of a high-profile court case.

The case involves a woman named Doris Attinger (Judy Holliday), who shoots her unfaithful husband after catching him in the act with another woman.

Amanda takes Doris’s case, arguing that she was justified in her actions, while Adam represents the prosecution, arguing that Doris is guilty of attempted murder.

As the case progresses, the Bonners’ professional rivalry spills over into their personal lives, causing tension and conflict in their marriage.

But despite their differences, they continue to love and support each other, ultimately coming together to defend the sanctity of marriage and equality between the sexes.

Adam’s Rib was a critical and commercial success upon its release, earning four Academy Award nominations and cementing Tracy and Hepburn’s status as one of Hollywood’s most beloved screen couples.

The film is widely regarded as a classic of the romantic comedy genre and a landmark in the history of feminist cinema.

Adam's Rib (1949)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Judy Holliday (Actors)
  • George Cukor (Director) - Ruth Gordon (Writer) - Lawrence Weingarten (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

11. Woman of the Year (1942)

“Woman of the Year” is a 1942 romantic comedy film directed by George Stevens and starring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.

The film tells the story of Tess Harding, a successful political columnist, and Sam Craig, a sports writer, who fall in love and eventually get married.

However, their marriage is complicated by the fact that Tess is a highly independent and ambitious woman, and struggles to balance her career with her personal life.

The film was notable for its depiction of a strong and independent female character, which was relatively rare in Hollywood at the time.

Hepburn’s performance as Tess was highly praised, and the film was a critical and commercial success. “Woman of the Year” was also the first of nine films that Hepburn and Tracy would star in together, and their on-screen chemistry would become legendary.

The film was also notable for its exploration of themes related to gender roles and the challenges faced by women in male-dominated professions.

It has been praised for its progressive themes and its portrayal of a complex and nuanced female character, and is widely regarded as a classic of American cinema.

Woman of the Year
  • Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Fay Bainter (Actors)
  • George Stevens (Director) - John Lee Mahin (Writer)
  • English, French, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

12. State of the Union (1948)

“State of the Union” is a classic American political drama film from 1948, directed by Frank Capra and starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.

The film tells the story of a wealthy businessman, Grant Matthews (Tracy), who is persuaded to run for President of the United States by his estranged wife Mary (Hepburn), who is also a political activist.

As the campaign heats up, Grant must navigate the treacherous waters of political maneuvering and deal with the conflicting demands of his personal and professional lives. Along the way, he grapples with his own beliefs and values, as well as the ambitions of those around him.

“State of the Union” was a critical and commercial success, and was nominated for several Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Spencer Tracy, and Best Supporting Actress for Angela Lansbury.

The film’s portrayal of the political process and the challenges faced by politicians and their families was widely praised, as was the chemistry between Tracy and Hepburn, who would go on to star in several more films together.

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State of the Union
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Angela Lansbury (Actors)
  • Frank Capra (Director) - Anthony Veiller (Writer) - Frank Capra (Producer)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • English (Publication Language)

13. Pat and Mike (1952)

“Pat and Mike” is a 1952 American romantic comedy film directed by George Cukor and starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.

It is widely regarded as one of the classic films featuring the iconic Tracy-Hepburn partnership, known for their on-screen chemistry and performances in a series of successful films.

In “Pat and Mike,” Spencer Tracy plays Mike Conovan, a sports promoter who discovers Pat Pemberton, played by Katharine Hepburn, a talented and athletic woman with potential in golf, tennis, and other sports.

Mike takes Pat under his wing and becomes her manager, helping her navigate the challenges and obstacles of the sports world while also developing a romantic relationship with her.

The film portrays Pat as a strong, independent, and capable woman who faces societal expectations and prejudices as she pursues her passion for sports.

Tracy and Hepburn deliver captivating performances, showcasing their chemistry and comedic timing, as they navigate the ups and downs of their relationship and Pat’s journey to success in the sports arena.

“Pat and Mike” is known for its witty dialogue, engaging performances, and the progressive portrayal of a strong female character in a male-dominated world.

The film received critical acclaim for its screenplay, direction, and performances, and remains a classic example of Tracy and Hepburn’s on-screen chemistry and comedic talent.

“Pat and Mike” is considered a gem in the romantic comedy genre, and it continues to be celebrated for its enduring appeal and the talents of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, two of the most accomplished actors in Hollywood history.

It is a delightful and entertaining film that has stood the test of time and remains a favorite among fans of classic cinema.

Pat and Mike (1952)
  • Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Aldo Ray (Actors)
  • George Cukor (Director) - Ruth Gordon (Writer) - Lawrence Weingarten (Producer)
  • English, French, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

14. Boys Town (1938)

“Boys Town” is a heartwarming drama film released in 1938, directed by Norman Taurog, and starring Spencer Tracy as Father Edward J. Flanagan, a real-life Catholic priest who founded a home for troubled and homeless boys in Nebraska, known as Boys Town.

The film also features Mickey Rooney as one of the boys in Boys Town, and the dynamic chemistry between Tracy and Rooney is one of the highlights of the movie.

In “Boys Town,” Tracy delivers a powerful and compassionate performance as Father Flanagan, a man dedicated to helping troubled youths and giving them a chance at a better life.

Tracy’s portrayal of the compassionate and determined priest earned him his first Academy Award for Best Actor, showcasing his ability to portray multifaceted characters with depth and sincerity.

The film follows Father Flanagan as he establishes Boys Town, a place where troubled boys are given a second chance and taught important values such as responsibility, respect, and compassion.

Tracy’s performance as Father Flanagan is heartfelt and moving, capturing the character’s unwavering belief in the potential of every child and his tireless efforts to make a positive difference in their lives.

“Boys Town” is not only known for Tracy’s outstanding performance, but also for its inspiring story, touching moments, and memorable performances by the entire cast.

The film’s message of hope, compassion, and the power of second chances resonated with audiences and earned critical acclaim. It was a commercial success and received seven Academy Award nominations, winning two, including Tracy’s Best Actor award.

“Boys Town” remains a beloved classic, and Tracy’s performance as Father Flanagan is considered one of his most iconic roles.

The film’s portrayal of the power of love, understanding, and empathy continues to inspire audiences to this day, making it a timeless masterpiece in American cinema.

Boys Town
  • Boys Town - DVD Brand New
  • Spencer Tracy, Mickey Rooney, Henry Hull (Actors)
  • Norman Taurog (Director)
  • English, Spanish, French (Subtitles)
  • English (Publication Language)

15. Desk Set (1957)

“Desk Set” is a 1957 American romantic comedy film directed by Walter Lang and starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.

The film tells the story of Bunny Watson (played by Hepburn), the head of a research department at a television network, who must deal with the arrival of a computer expert named Richard Sumner (played by Tracy) who has been hired to automate some of the department’s tasks.

As Sumner and Bunny clash over the use of the new computer, their relationship becomes more complicated and they begin to develop romantic feelings for each other.

The film explores themes related to the relationship between technology and humanity, as well as the challenges faced by women in the workplace.

“Desk Set” was a critical and commercial success upon its release and is still considered a classic of the romantic comedy genre.

Tracy and Hepburn’s on-screen chemistry is a major highlight of the film, and their banter and witty dialogue have become iconic in Hollywood history.

The film is also notable for its exploration of the potential benefits and drawbacks of new technologies, a theme that continues to be relevant in today’s digital age.

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16. Fury (1936)

“Fury” is a 1936 American drama film directed by Fritz Lang and starring Spencer Tracy and Sylvia Sidney. The film tells the story of Joe Wilson (played by Tracy), a man wrongly accused of a crime and nearly lynched by an angry mob.

After being beaten and left for dead, Wilson survives and is eventually cleared of the charges against him. He then sets out to seek revenge against those who wronged him, but ultimately realizes the destructive nature of vengeance and chooses a different path.

The film was praised for its powerful social commentary on mob violence and the dangers of mass hysteria. Tracy’s performance was also highly acclaimed and helped establish him as a leading Hollywood actor.

“Fury” was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Story, and Lang received a special award at the Venice Film Festival for his direction. The film is considered a classic of American cinema and a significant work in Lang’s filmography.

Fury (1936)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Sylvia Sidney, Spencer Tracy, Walter Abel (Actors)
  • Fritz Lang (Director) - Bartlett Cormack (Writer) - Joseph L. Mankiewicz (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

17. Edison, the Man (1940)

Edison, the Man is a 1940 biographical film directed by Clarence Brown and starring Spencer Tracy as inventor Thomas Edison.

The film tells the story of Edison’s rise from humble beginnings as a telegraph operator to become one of the most famous inventors in American history.

The film follows Edison’s struggles and triumphs, including his invention of the phonograph and the development of the first commercial electric power station.

It also delves into Edison’s personal life, including his relationship with his wife (played by Rita Johnson) and his strained relationship with his son (played by Charles Coburn).

Tracy’s performance as Edison was widely praised, with many critics noting the actor’s ability to capture Edison’s determination and passion for invention. The film was also notable for its use of actual Edison equipment and the involvement of the Edison family in the production.

Despite receiving mixed reviews upon its release, Edison, the Man has since become a cult classic and is considered one of the best biographical films of the era.

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18. The Seventh Cross (1944)

Edison, the Man is a 1940 biographical film directed by Clarence Brown and starring Spencer Tracy as inventor Thomas Edison.

The film tells the story of Edison’s rise from humble beginnings as a telegraph operator to become one of the most famous inventors in American history.

The film follows Edison’s struggles and triumphs, including his invention of the phonograph and the development of the first commercial electric power station.

It also delves into Edison’s personal life, including his relationship with his wife (played by Rita Johnson) and his strained relationship with his son (played by Charles Coburn).

Tracy’s performance as Edison was widely praised, with many critics noting the actor’s ability to capture Edison’s determination and passion for invention. The film was also notable for its use of actual Edison equipment and the involvement of the Edison family in the production.

Despite receiving mixed reviews upon its release, Edison, the Man has since become a cult classic and is considered one of the best biographical films of the era.

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19. San Francisco (1936)

“San Francisco” is a classic American drama film from 1936, directed by W.S. Van Dyke and starring Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, and Spencer Tracy.

The film is set in San Francisco in the early 1900s and tells the story of a singer named Mary Blake (MacDonald) who becomes involved with a wealthy businessman named Jack Burley (Gable) and a virtuous priest named Father Tim Mullin (Tracy).

As Mary’s singing career takes off, she must navigate the challenges of fame and fortune, as well as the complicated romantic relationships she finds herself in.

Meanwhile, Father Tim becomes increasingly concerned about the moral decay he sees around him, and tries to use his position of influence to make a difference in the community.

“San Francisco” was a huge commercial and critical success, and was nominated for several Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Spencer Tracy, and Best Director for W.S. Van Dyke.

The film’s portrayal of San Francisco, with its iconic images of the 1906 earthquake and the city’s rich cultural scene, was widely praised, as were the performances of its three leads.

The film also features the popular song “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair),” which has become a beloved anthem of the city.

The Seventh Cross
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Hume Cronyn, Agnes Moorehead, Jessica Tandy (Actors)
  • Fred Zinnemann (Director)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

20. Boom Town (1940)

“Boom Town” is a 1940 American adventure drama film directed by Jack Conway and starring Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Claudette Colbert, and Hedy Lamarr.

It tells the story of two oil prospectors who strike it rich and become successful oil tycoons, but their friendship is tested as they face challenges and conflicts in the oil industry.

In “Boom Town,” Clark Gable plays Big John McMasters, an ambitious and determined oil prospector, and Spencer Tracy plays Square John Sand, his loyal and dependable partner.

The film follows their journey from their initial strike to their rise as wealthy oil barons, as well as their relationships with their respective wives, played by Claudette Colbert and Hedy Lamarr.

As their success grows, so does the tension and rivalry between them, leading to conflicts and betrayals that threaten to destroy their friendship and business partnership.

“Boom Town” is known for its impressive performances by the star-studded cast, particularly the dynamic chemistry between Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy.

The film explores themes of ambition, greed, friendship, and the high stakes of the oil industry, portraying the cutthroat nature of the business world and the impact it can have on personal relationships.

The film also features stunning cinematography, capturing the vast landscapes and rugged terrain of the oil fields, as well as the excitement and danger of the oil drilling process.

“Boom Town” received critical acclaim for its performances, direction, and screenplay, and was nominated for three Academy Awards.

“Boom Town” remains a classic example of Hollywood’s Golden Age, with its captivating story, memorable characters, and strong performances by its talented cast, including Spencer Tracy.

It is a film that has stood the test of time and continues to be appreciated by audiences who enjoy classic films that combine adventure, drama, and compelling storytelling.

Boom Town (1940)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Claudette Colbert (Actors)
  • Jack Conway (Director) - John Lee Mahin (Writer) - Sam Zimbalist (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

21. Northwest Passage (1940)

“Northwest Passage” is an epic historical drama film released in 1940, directed by King Vidor and starring Spencer Tracy as Major Robert Rogers, a real-life American colonial frontiersman during the French and Indian War.

The film is based on the novel of the same name by Kenneth Roberts and depicts Rogers’ exploits leading his Rangers on a daring expedition through the wilderness of colonial America.

In “Northwest Passage,” Tracy delivers a commanding performance as Major Robert Rogers, showcasing his versatility as an actor in a physically demanding and emotionally charged role.

Tracy captures the rugged determination and leadership qualities of Rogers, who leads his men on a dangerous mission against formidable adversaries in the wilderness.

Tracy’s performance in “Northwest Passage” is memorable for his portrayal of a flawed and complex character.

He portrays Rogers as a conflicted figure torn between his loyalty to his men and his duty to his country, grappling with personal demons and the harsh realities of war.

Tracy’s nuanced performance brings depth and authenticity to the character, making Major Robert Rogers one of his most memorable roles.

The film is also noteworthy for its epic scale and stunning visuals, showcasing the beauty and brutality of the American wilderness during the French and Indian War era.

Tracy’s performance is complemented by a talented ensemble cast, including Robert Young, Walter Brennan, and Ruth Hussey, among others.

While “Northwest Passage” was not a commercial success upon its initial release, it has since gained recognition as a classic American film for its engaging storytelling, breathtaking scenery, and Spencer Tracy’s remarkable performance as Major Robert Rogers.

Tracy’s portrayal of the conflicted frontiersman remains a standout in his career and adds to his legacy as one of the greatest actors in Hollywood history.

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22. It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963)

“It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” is a 1963 American comedy film directed by Stanley Kramer and starring an ensemble cast of comedic actors, including Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, and Jonathan Winters.

The film follows a group of strangers who are all on a quest to find a buried treasure that has been hidden in a park.

As the group races across the country to find the treasure, they encounter numerous obstacles and obstacles, leading to chaotic and often hilarious situations. The film is known for its elaborate stunts and physical comedy, as well as its large ensemble cast and fast-paced plot.

“It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and has since become a beloved classic of the comedy genre.

The film was also notable for its use of a new widescreen format called Cinerama, which allowed for a more immersive viewing experience. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won the award for Best Sound Editing.

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
  • Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Ethel Merman (Actors)
  • Stanley Kramer (Director) - Tania Rose (Writer)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: G (General Audience)

23. Libeled Lady (1936)

“Libeled Lady” is a 1936 American screwball comedy film directed by Jack Conway and starring Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy, and Spencer Tracy.

The film tells the story of a newspaper editor who hires a former journalist to pose as a wealthy society man in order to discredit a socialite who has sued his paper for libel.

The plan becomes more complicated when the fake society man falls in love with the socialite and the newspaper editor’s fiancée becomes jealous. The resulting complications lead to a series of hilarious misunderstandings and misadventures.

“Libeled Lady” was a critical and commercial success upon its release, praised for its witty script and the chemistry between the four lead actors. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, and Loy received a nomination for Best Actress.

The film has since become a beloved classic of the screwball comedy genre, and is often cited as one of the best examples of the genre from Hollywood’s Golden Age.

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24. Test Pilot (1938)

Test Pilot is a 1938 aviation drama film directed by Victor Fleming and starring Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, and Spencer Tracy.

The film tells the story of a talented and ambitious test pilot, Jim Lane (Gable), who risks his life to push the limits of aviation technology, while also dealing with the complications of a love triangle between him, his girlfriend Ann (Loy), and his best friend and mechanic Gunner (Tracy).

The film features thrilling aerial stunts and high-speed plane crashes, but also explores the emotional toll that such dangerous work can take on those involved.

As Jim’s success grows, so does the pressure and scrutiny from the media and the aviation industry, and the strain on his personal relationships increases.

Test Pilot was praised for its realistic depiction of the aviation industry and the impressive aerial sequences, as well as the chemistry between Gable, Loy, and Tracy.

The film was a critical and commercial success, earning several Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and solidifying Gable’s status as one of Hollywood’s top leading men.

Test Pilot
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  • Myrna Loy, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy (Actors)
  • Victor Fleming (Director)
  • English (Publication Language)

25. Stanley and Livingstone (1939)

“Stanley and Livingstone” is a 1939 American adventure film directed by Henry King and starring Spencer Tracy, Cedric Hardwicke, and Nancy Kelly.

The film is based on the true story of the journalist and explorer Henry Morton Stanley, who was hired by the New York Herald to find the missing missionary and explorer David Livingstone in Africa in the 1870s.

The film depicts Stanley’s perilous journey through the African jungle, and his eventual discovery of Livingstone, who had been missing for several years.

The film is notable for its stunning African landscapes and for its portrayal of the complex relationship between Stanley and Livingstone, who initially distrust each other but eventually become close friends.

Tracy’s performance as Stanley was highly praised, and the film was a critical and commercial success, earning several Academy Award nominations.

“Stanley and Livingstone” was also notable for its historical accuracy, and for its exploration of themes related to colonialism, imperialism, and the exploitation of Africa by Western powers.

The film has been regarded as a classic of American cinema, and is widely considered to be one of the best adventure films of the 1930s.

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3 Reasons To Watch Spencer Tracy Movies

Exceptional Acting: Spencer Tracy was one of the most talented actors of the golden age of Hollywood. He was known for his ability to deliver powerful and nuanced performances, and was equally adept at comedy and drama.

Watching his movies is a masterclass in acting and a great way to appreciate the craft of a true Hollywood legend.

Range of Films: Spencer Tracy appeared in over 75 films, spanning multiple genres, from dramatic biopics like “Edison, the Man” to lighthearted comedies like “Father of the Bride.”

His versatility as an actor meant that he could portray a wide range of characters and situations, making his films a great choice for any mood or occasion.

Historical Significance: Spencer Tracy was a major figure in the golden age of Hollywood, and his films are a window into the cultural and social attitudes of the time.

Many of his movies also touch on important issues and themes that are still relevant today, such as race relations, social inequality, and the impact of war on individuals and communities.

Watching his movies can provide valuable insights into the history of American cinema and society.

Best Spencer Tracy Movies – Wrap Up

Spencer Tracy was one of the most iconic actors of Hollywood’s Golden Age, known for his subtle yet powerful performances and his ability to convey complex emotions with great depth and authenticity.

Throughout his career, he starred in a wide range of films, from drama to comedy, and left an indelible mark on American cinema.

Some of his best-known movies include “Boys Town” (1938), “Captains Courageous” (1937), “Adam’s Rib” (1949), “Inherit the Wind” (1960), and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967).

In these films, Tracy displayed his range as an actor, tackling a wide range of roles and characters with skill and nuance.

Tracy was also known for his collaborations with other Hollywood legends, including Katharine Hepburn, with whom he starred in several classic films, including “Woman of the Year” (1942) and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967).

Throughout his career, Tracy earned numerous accolades and awards, including two Academy Awards for Best Actor, and he remains a beloved figure in American cinema.

His influence can still be seen today in the work of contemporary actors who have been inspired by his talent and legacy.