|The Philadelphia Story
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Here comes the bride the ex-husband and the gossip-rag columnist on assignment. Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 09/27/2005 Starring: Cary Grant James Stewart Run time: 112 minutes Rating: Nr
Re-creating the role she originated in Philip Barry's wickedly witty Broadway play, Katharine Hepburn stars as the spoiled and snobby socialite Tracy Lord in this sparkling 1940 screen adaptation of The Philadelphia Story, one of the great romantic comedies from the golden age of MGM studios. Applying her impossibly high ideals to everyone but herself, Tracy is about to marry a stuffy executive when her congenial ex-husband (Cary Grant), arrives to protect his former father-in-law from a potentially scandalous tabloid expos¨¦. In an Oscar-winning role, James Stewart is the scandal reporter who falls for Tracy as her wedding day arrives, throwing her into a dizzying state of premarital jitters. Who will join Tracy at the altar? Snappy dialogue flows like sparkling wine under the sophisticated direction of George Cukor in this film that turned the tide of Hepburn's career from "box-office poison" to glamorous Hollywood star. --Jeff Shannon
- one of my favorites
The Philadelphia Story is one of my all time favorites. The casting of the 3 leads is wonderful.The role of Tracy Lord was tailor-made for Katharine Hepburn. She plays the part with the perfect balance of haughty arrogance and vulnerability. Cary Grant is snappy and sexy andJames Stewart is charming and loveable. This has been remade several times but has never been improved upon....more info
- The Golden Age of Hollywood
Katharine Hepburn recreated her Broadway role as the spoiled brat socialite caught between 3 men, her ex-husband (Cary Grant), her boring fianc¨¦e, and the sneaky reporter (Jimmy Stewart) who's come to cover the society doings and snoop into a brewing scandal. George Cukor directed this sparkling, witty, fast-paced 1940 movie that propelled Hepburn into Hollywood fame and provided the structure for many knock-offs, including, several decades later, High Society.
The Philadelphia Story gives an excellent intro if you're into following the trajectory of Katharine Hepburn and the other fine, famous actors who starred in this film....more info
- Still Terrific After All These Years
#51 on the American Film Institute's Top 100 List, "The Philadelphia Story" is a 1940 comedy that has never lost its popularity. It's the film that rekindled Katherine Hepburn's then-ailing film career, the only movie James Stewart ever won an Oscar for, and a movie that Cary Grant demanded a huge salary for. Surprisingly, the movie is actually funny to this very day.
Grant plays C.K. Dexter Haven, a millionaire who has recently separated from his wife Tracy Lord (Hepburn). Now, Tracy is getting remarried and Dexter has hired two people from the gossip magazine Spy to cover the marriage. They are Macaulay Connor (Stewart) and Elizabeth Imbrie. Neither one is happy to be there. Connor is on the verge of quitting his job at the Spy, as he fancies himself a writer and is sick of writing gossip articles. Elizabeth fancies herself a painter and is sick of taking photographs of rich people. Pretty soon, Connor finds himself falling for Tracy as Dexter finds himself falling for her again.
Stewart deserved his Oscar as he steals every scene he's in. As I said, the film is still very funny to this day (a rarity, since comedy has changed so much over the years). Anyway, "The Philadelphia Story" is not my favorite film of all time. It think there's plenty of films on the list placed beneath it that are much better, but "The Philadelphia Story" is a charming film that is definitely worth your time.
GRADE: A-...more info
- YES, BUY THIS ONE, YOU WON'T REGRET IT.
This is my absolute favorite performance by the great Katherine Hepburn. She is breathtaking and absolutely wonderful. Brilliant performances all across the board, an especially funny performance by James Stewart is just the icing on the cake. Cary Grant,one of my faves, also delivers a magnificent performance. Also worth mentioning is the very beautiful Ruth Hussey, whose potrayal of Liz is stunning. She was one of the most attractive actresses at the time, in my humble opinion. This movie is very funny and the sets and costumes are among the best Hollywood has ever offered. I highly recommend this as a must own....more info
- I've never been able to get the magic
I am a pre-war comedy enthusiast. Since the directors were restricted by the Hays code, many of the 1930s comedies depended on wit, goofy physical comedy, double ententres, and a manic energy to get the laughs. The result: comedies that are still funny and smart today. Some famous examples include Capra's It Happened One Night, the newspaper comedy His Girl Friday, the enchanting Shop Around the Corner, the Carole Lombard comedies, Bringing Up Baby ... The last comedy had the Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn pairing. It's a good cinematic match: Grant's cruel humor and elegance mix well with Hepburn's brittle, patrician charm. Bringing Up Baby was a box-office failure, but it's funny, warm, and absurd.
Two years later, Hepburn chose as a comeback "vehicle" of sorts (she was labeled box office poison after a string of failures) The Philadelphia Story, starring Cary Grant, James Stewart and John Howard. The story is of an heiress, Tracy Lord, and her remarriage to the respectable George (Howard). On the eve of her wedding, reporter Mike Connor (Stewart) and Tracy's ex-husband C.K. Dexter Haven (Grant) crash the festivities, with the predictable results. Connor and Tracy also have a brief flirtation.
The movie has a reputation as a "classic" and I hate to sound grouchy but I think it's overrated. For one thing, director George Cukor was known as an actress's director but this is a case where he might have given too much leeway to his actress, Hepburn. She indulges in all her mannerisms (the arch looks, the halting scratchy voice, the head-shaking "vulnerability") and except for a few funny moments takes herself way, way too seriously for this type of comedy. The famous scene where Tracy breaks Dexter's golf clubs is an exception in the movie -- mostly it's her talking a LOT. Hepburn doesnt have the natural rapidfire wit of a lot of screwball actresses and plus I just dont think the screenplay is all that funny. Unlike Bringing Up Baby, Hepburn here seems afraid to play for laughs. Her Tracy is haughty and tough-tender like a lot of Hepburn heroines, but she's not funny.
James Stewart won an Oscar for this movie, and that might be the worst Oscar call in history (they passed over Henry Fonda in Grapes of Wrath). Mike Connor is a small role, and his flirtation with Tracy Lord in the end is inconsequential to the movie. And plus, Stewart is funnier in a lot of other movies (like Shop Around the Corner). As for Grant, his character is a cipher. He has his usual charm and zaniness, but without really good lines, he's wasted.
The movie is also, at 112 minutes, overlong. In fact, the movie on the whole falls into a lot of "star vehicle" traps -- arch dialogue, overlength, and a general feeling of "tries too hard" to be a masterpiece. And it's not really funny. In the end, it's like who the hell cares who Tracy ends up with? I just want the movie to be over.
- Great Fun
A must for every fan of Katherine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant. Funny, sad, touching, wonderful!...more info
- Philadelphia Story is Fabulous!
One of the best films of all time! Fans of Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant are in for a treat with this one....more info
- The Philadelphia Story 1940 (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Just about everything that blue-chip comedy should have - a witty , romantic script , the flavor of high-society elegance and a splendid cast of performers . . Sophiscated romatic comedy archieved its pinnacle in this timeless classic voted one of the topp 100 American Films all time by American Film Institute . Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003) , Cary Grant (1904-1986) , James Stewart (1908-1997) star in the masterful comedy (directed by George Cukor 1899-1983) about a faultfinding bride-to-be sociate who gets her comeuppance. (Writer Donald Ogden Stewart 1894-1980 won the film's second Oscar for adapting Philip Barry's (1896-1949) play) . High Quality Transfer . Many Funny features ....more info
- A classic among the classics!
You will adore this fabulous and splendidly acted comedy of romances in Philadelphia with a towering performance of Mrs. Hepburn , a clever acting of Cary Grant and the winner James Stewart in this smart and delightful film plenty of irony , tastefully written and best directed for George Cukor. ...more info
- My, she was yar...
They make few movies of the level of quality as "The Philadelphia Story." This movie is just full of life, good and bad. Cary Grant, James Stewart and Katharine Hepburn are a trifecta of astounding talent, and they blend together with ease and style. Like real people, everyone has their faults and their strengths. Everyone is right and wrong at the same time, in their own way.
The dialog is so amazing, you want to quote it at every opportunity, although your life probably doesn't provide the opportunity to drop these kinds of quotes. The "High Society" at play, and the lowbrow crashers making their nickels and dimes all the while allowing their pretensions to art...this is great drama.
The DVD is not particularly exciting, and is a surprising let down for such an amazing film, however a film this great doesn't need extras. The main course is filling enough.
Definitely something you will watch over and over again. One of the best....more info
- All Star Cast
Another great movie with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn funny with love...more info
- the philadephia story
just about the best work of kathyn hepburn. can't go wrong with the
fun they all have...more info
Ther is one problem with this movie- which of the three stars outperforms the others? Cary Grant is simply Grant and the story is full of wit that draws many laughs even if you have seen this movie a dozen times....more info
- Tremendous Aplomb
No need to chronicle the miracle that this vehicle wrought in Kate Hepburn's career, sufficing to say that Howard Hughes bought the rights for her and she took it from success on Broadway to Hollywood gold with tremendous aplomb. She insisted on control of director (Cukor) and co-stars (Grant and Stewart) and her gambit paid big dividends. The rest is movie magic.
Hepburn portrays a Main Line divorcee on the eve of Wedding Number Two. Grant is Husband Number One and Stewart is the initially-under-cover reporter there to chronicle `An Intimate Day with a Society Bride' for "Spy" magazine. Hepburn's character is the one to watch as she grows from a distant goddess to a flesh and blood woman, but it is fair to say that one and all undergo some pretty rooty tooty transformations before The End.
Marvelous moments abound--it is playwright Philip Barry's masterpiece, after all. Favorites...
Hepburn and Virginia Weidler's send up of the Main Line drawl, complete with the lockjaw pose is dead on--people in Bryn Mawr and Chester County Horse Country still talk like that if you can believe it.
Droll moments include the witticisms about South Bend (Hepburn says vaguely, "It sounds like dancing, doesn't it?), about Duluth (Hepburn again: Duluth. That must be a lovely spot. It's west of here, isn't it?), of Stewart's friends ("Of whom you have many, I'm sure...").
And Weidler's over the top rendition of "Lydia, the Tattooed Lady".
The witty repartee holds throughout the film, and at one point, perhaps the key moment in the film, Barry gives Hepburn's character Tracy Lord the best line in this or any film, "The time to make up one's mind about someone is (pause) never."
The ending is one of the three or four ideal wedding endings in film, along with "The Graduate", "It Happened One Night" and "Four Weddings and a Funeral".
P. S. The play was remade as the musical "High Society" with Bing, Blue Eyes and soon-to-be Princess Grace, which is not half bad. But "The Philadelphia Story" is better, and among the best 20 films of all time.
- Delightfully done.
Always wondered where High Society,the Movie, came from. All is revealed.
Think Grant & Hepburn were sensational. Having seen High Society first, have to say Sinatra & Holm were a better team than Stewart & what's her name; and Sinatra did a much better job on Grace Kelly than Stewart did on Hepburn! This Movie was good value tho'....more info
- Deserves Better
This film is famous enough--justifiably, I might add--that I need not provide a synopsis. IMHO, it would be pretty hard not to enjoy the delicious antics played out in this Broadway-hit-turned-Hollywood-classic unless, like a previous reviewer, you have an extreme aversion to any of its cast members. No, my complaint is with the print itself.
Little or no restoration has been done, leaving images somewhat flickery and not very sharp with fairly poor contrast. Warner has done fine work on some of its other releases but I'm now inclined to wonder if it only applies to non-MGM titles--perhaps a little unresolved rivalry in evidence? There are subtitle and caption options and the lone extra is the original trailer which looks no worse in quality than the film itself. Sound is clear, plain-vanilla mono which is fine since that's how it was originally released.
This film was remade as a musical, High Society, in 1956 starring beautiful Grace Kelly who was, coincidentally, the daughter of Philadelphia parvenus before retiring to become Princess of Monaco. I personally prefer the original and would add that, predictably, Hepburn provides more convincing depiction of Yankee royalty as she was closer to the genuine article (I believe she was a DAR). My advice is that if you're a fan for whom this is a must-own (and I include myself among these numbers), try not to pay list for this no-frills release and hope for better things in the future....more info
THE PHILADELPHIA STORY is the kind of screwball comedy that other screwball comedies aspire to be, though, rarely succeed. For starters, there is a tour de force cast made up of some of the most accomplished and well respected actors in the industry, who surged in popularity during the era that the film was released (Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart). Secondly, nothing is left unexamined in the story, which takes an honest look at the events leading up to the wedding day for the lead character, Tracy Lord (Hepburn) a spoiled socialite, who promptly threw her ex-husband out of the her home (Grant)--literally! Yet, it's the next occurance right afterwards that became one of the most well-recognized scenes from Katherine Hepburn's film repertoire. Grant's character promptly marches up to Tracy Lord and pushes her down, face first!
What's more, the reporter hot on the trail of Lord is falling in love with her.
This film is brilliant, funny and incomparable. What's more, time has been very kind to it and it doesn't seem dated at all. It'll leave you laughing....more info
- Loved this movie
I really like Katherine Hepburn, but her role in this movie was phenomenal...if only it had been in color then I think it would have really sparkled. I have watched this movie numerous times and I'm always finding a new joke or snarky/funny remark. Enjoy!...more info
- OVERRATED FILM!!
First let me say this: I AM NOT A KATHARINE HEPBURN FAN. I find her mannerisms, rapid fire speech, twittering high pitched voice and her hyperactive personality too much for me! She gets on my nerves and the best scene in this movie is when Cary Grant pushes her through the door and she falls flat. I only wish when she had fallen she wouldn't have gotten back up and the film would have ended right there. For this reason I have never been able to sit through an entire showing of this film, despite the star power of Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart who make up for what is lacking in its leading lady...(Just my opinion). I know I'm in the minority here and we all have different tastes, so please, no offense to Hepburn admirers. I actually have two movies of hers that I love her in...(Stage Door (1937) and Dragon Seed (1944). Its because in those films she toned down her mannerisms and wasn't unlikeable. Perhaps its just the hyperactivity that gets to me, I don't know. I can't give this film an honest critique because I've never been able to sit through an entire showing of it. I either fall asleep or get too much of Hepburn (who in my opinion was severely overrated as an actress....of all the golden era actresses, needless to say she is my least favorite....). So this review of "The Philadelphia Story" may be unfair and biased. One thing is certain....the Oscar that Jimmy Stewart won for this was given to him because the Academy overlooked him the year before in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington". His role is truly secondary to Hepburn's and Grant's. The Oscar that year by Stewart's own admission should have gone to Henry Fonda for "The Grapes of Wrath". As I said, I'm in the minority here but we all have different tastes. If you're like me and don't like Hepburn, then stay away from this one. ...more info
- Funny and clean--how often does that happen?
It seemed for a while like I was fated never to watch this DVD. I received it as a Christmas present and having heard from another classic movie buff that I just HAD to see it, I was quite eager. But one thing after another came up and I only just got to watch it last Sunday.
Well, I have to say this is one of my favorite movies of all time. Although I have never been a fan of Katharine Hepburn, I really liked her in this. She played the part of Tracy Lord, a wealthy young woman who is about to marry for the second time. However, her ex-husband C.K. Dexter Haven (Cary Grant) has other ideas. He sends in two reports from Spy Magazine (Jimmy Stewart and Ruth Hussey) to do a story on the wedding. Tracy's precocious young sister Dinah (Virginia Weidler) stands by, avid for scandal. ("Mother, maybe he's going to sock her again!")
This is a good, clean movie. This makes it possible for the whole family to watch it, although young children will probably not see the point and be bored. The only reason I left one star off was because there are virtually no special features on the DVD.
Once you see "The Philadelphia Story" I bet it will be on your list of favorite movies, too!...more info
You cannot say enough good things about this movie!! Cary Grant was I think snubbed for the Oscar but Jimmy Stewart well deserved it too!! Dinah (the litttle sister) is hilarious! Katharine Hepburn of course shines and her presence is what makes the movie so fantastic!...more info
- Great Story!
Love this movie! Can't decide which version I like better - this one or the one with Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby! Both are great!...more info