The Philadelphia Story

1940

Comedy / Romance

4
IMDb Rating 8.0

Synopsis


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2.14G
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English
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113 min
P/S 91 / 88
1.36G
Normal
English
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113 min
P/S 51 / 98

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing 9

After Katharine Hepburn was one of a group of stars dictated &quot;box office poison&quot; by the ruling moguls of Hollywood she went east and scored a complete triumph on stage with The Philadelphia Story. But our Kate was the shrewd one, she had the foresight to buy the film rights from author Philip Barry and peddle them to the studio that would guarantee her repeating her stage role and giving her creative control. <br/><br/>On stage she had co-starred with Joseph Cotten, Van Heflin, and Shirley Booth all of whom became movie names later on, but meant nothing to Hollywood in 1940. She had the choice of leading men and cast in their places, Cary Grant, James Stewart and Ruth Hussey. <br/><br/>This was Grant&#39;s fourth and final appearance on screen with Hepburn. It&#39;s a typical Cary Grant part, witty and urbane, with a touch of the rogue in him. He&#39;s Hepburn&#39;s ex-husband, still very much in love with his ex-wife, but she&#39;s marrying stuffed shirt John Howard.<br/><br/>Reporter James Stewart and photographer Ruth Hussey are covering Hepburn&#39;s wedding for Spy Magazine, the National Enquirer of the day. Through a little judicious blackmail they&#39;re invited to this premier society wedding, but both feel out of place and used.<br/><br/>After The Philadelphia Story, Katharine Hepburn was a movie name the rest of her long life. Even with an occasional clinker no one ever questioned her about being box office poison.<br/><br/>James Stewart won the Best Actor Oscar in probably the most romantic he was ever on the screen. A lot felt it was a consolation Oscar for not winning it for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington in 1939. Stewart himself proclaimed to all who&#39;d listen that he voted for good friend Henry Fonda in the Academy Sweepstakes for The Grapes of Wrath. I&#39;ve always felt that when Stewart talked about those hearth fires banked down low to Hepburn, he was really talking about himself. He&#39;s a cynical fellow at first and his romantic side comes as a surprise to him more than even the audience.<br/><br/>The Philadelphia Story has become such a classic that even the musical remake High Society doesn&#39;t try to copy it, it just presents a softer musical alternative. But I&#39;d kind of liked to have seen Hepburn do this with her original cast as well. Oscars were in the future for Van Heflin and Shirley Booth and Joseph Cotten the following year made his debut in the biggest film of all.

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Reviewed by FlickJunkie-2 10

This is a delightful romantic comedy about the life and loves of a high society girl. Tracy Lord (Katharine Hepburn) is about to be married to George Kittredge (John Howard), a self made man who elevated himself from the lower class. The wedding is supposed to be a private affair, but Tracy&#39;s ex-husband C.K. Dexter Haven (Cary Grant) blackmails her into letting two reporters, Macaulay Conner and Elizabeth Imbrie (James Stewart and Ruth Hussey) cover the event. What ensues is a screwball courtship for the heart of Tracy as everyone falls in love with her at once.<br/><br/>Director David Cukor (`Little Women&#39;, `My Fair Lady&#39;) provides a fast paced comedy with rapid-fire repartee and fosters a bubbly chemistry between the cast members, which brims with laughs. Cukor received one of his five Oscar nominations for this film and it was well deserved.<br/><br/>Katharine Hepburn is marvelous as the blueblood bride to be. She is a well-grounded girl who is not beyond putting on airs for show. She is simultaneously sassy and dreamy and her comic timing is superb earning her one of twelve nominations for best actress. Despite a star&#39;s billing, Cary Grant plays a supporting role as the sarcastic Dexter Haven. With his deadpan delivery, he provides the perfect foil to Hepburn and Stewart.<br/><br/>Even with the luminous cast, Jimmy Stewart steals the show with a comedic tour de force. His inebriated scene with Cary Grant is uproariously funny and his puppy dog wooing of Katherine Hepburn is enchanting. It is hard to believe that James Stewart only won one Oscar in his outstanding career. Though nominated five times, the only role for which he won the statue is this one, a performance that is unquestionably among his best.<br/><br/>This tremendous comedy brings together three screen legends at the peak of their careers. It was nominated for six Academy Awards winning two, and it was rated #51 on AFI&#39;s top 100 of the century. It is a timeless classic that is sure to please. I rated it a 10/10. See it and enjoy.

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Reviewed by MF210 7

My Rating: ***1/2 out of ****.<br/><br/>The Philadelphia Story is one of the earlier Romantic Comedies. It is also one of the best. This film basically has what most romantic comedies today dont have. That would be a well-written script, Great Acting, and actually funny.<br/><br/>The acting is a huge strength in the film. This is called Katharine Hepburn&#39;s best role by many, while I admit she is excellent in a number of scenes, I think she tends to overact at times. Cary Grant is great here. Everyone else is Great but I believe James Stewart to be the standout. He is perfect for this role, its a flawless performance, that he deservedly won the Best Actor Oscar for.<br/><br/>The Script has wonderful dialogue thats delivered flawlessly by the actors. Even simple dialogue like &quot;Isn&#39;t that awful&quot; was delivered superbly by Katharine Hepburn. George Cukor made this project look like nothing, he made many films which were &quot;womens films&quot; but he does a damn good job here.<br/><br/>If you think Romantic Comedies of today are good, look at The Philadelphia Story and they will pale in comparison. The Philadelphia Story is a very good film and worth remembering, unlike the mediocre to crappy romantic comedies of today. The Philadelphia Story is highly recommended.

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