Cinema: Two with Tracy

Spencer Tracy is a man of many moods, and he is rich and famous enough to indulge them—even while the cameras are rolling. In one of two new pictures he worked hard and gave a performance that may well win him an Academy Award. In the other he sulked at the director and hardly bothered to act at all.

The Last Hurrah (John Ford; Columbia) is based on Edwin O'Connor's 1956 bestseller about the bad old days when political machines were run on blarney, graft, openhanded charity and shamrock oil, and about the last...