The Philadelphia Story (1940)

The Philadelphia Story (1940)
7.9
  • 61572
  • Not Rated
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release year: 1940 ()
  • Running time: 112 min
  • Original Title: The Philadelphia Story
  • Voted: 61572

Philadelphia socialites Tracy Lord and C.K. Dexter Haven married impulsively, with their marriage and subsequent divorce being equally passionate. They broke up when Dexter's drinking became excessive, it a mechanism to cope with Tracy's unforgiving manner to the imperfect, imperfections which Dexter admits he readily has. Two years after their break-up, Tracy is about to remarry, the ceremony to take place at the Lord mansion. Tracy's bridegroom is nouveau riche businessman and aspiring politician George Kittredge, who is otherwise a rather ordinary man and who idolizes Tracy. The day before the wedding, three unexpected guests show up at the Lord mansion: Macaulay Connor (Mike to his friends), Elizabeth Imbrie - the two who are friends of Tracy's absent brother, Junius- and Dexter himself. Dexter, an employee of the tabloid Spy magazine, made a deal with its publisher and editor Sidney Kidd to get a story on Tracy's wedding - the wedding of the year - in return for Kidd not ...

#PersonCharacters
1Cary GrantC. K. Dexter Haven
2Katharine HepburnTracy Lord
3James StewartMacaulay Connor
4Ruth HusseyElizabeth Imbrie
  • Delightful Classic Romantic Comedy by 9

    In Philadelphia, the divorced socialite Tracy Samantha Lord (Katharine Hepburn) is close to her second marriage with George Kittredge (John Howard), the successful manager of Tracy's father mines. Her former husband is the playboy Dexter Haven (Cary Grant), a friend of the family Lord since Tracy's childhood. Dexter is working in Buenos Aires in the Spy' magazine, and he decides to use the tabloid to revenge Tracy. On the nuptial eve, Dexter arrives at the Lord's mansion with the tabloid reporter and writer Macauley 'Mike' Connor (James Stewart) and the photographer and painter Elizabeth 'Liz' Imbrie (Ruth Hussey), pretending they were friends of Tracy's brother. Tracy does not buy the lie, but Dexter blackmails Tracy with reportage about her father and her lover, and she accepts to host Mike and Liz. Along the two days, many delightful situations happen in the Lord's house. 'The Philadelphia Story' is a magnificent romantic comedy, being very theatrical in many parts, but with great dialogs, including about fight of classes, and never boring. The cast is splendid and the black and white photography is wonderful. My vote is nine.

    Title (Brazil): 'Núpcias de Escandalo' ('Nuptials of Scandals')

  • Sophisticated and classic comedy!!! by 10

    A truly spectacular film that moves gracefully throughout the lives of several people of differing social class to create a smart and insightful comedy. The dialogue always brings me to the edge of my seat as I listen attentively to the fast-paced, cutting banter of Grant, Hepburn and Stewart. Tracy (Hepburn) is a young woman of "old money" about to marry a man who is "nouveau riche". Two working class stiffs (Stewart and Hussey) are reporters out to scoop this scandalous poor boy/rich girl story for a tabloid newspaper. When Tracy's first husband, C.K. Dexter Haven (Grant), returns to win back his bride.....the fun begins.

    The chemistry between Hepburn and her two leading co-stars (Grant and Stewart) is palpable. Hepburn gives the performance of her career in a once in a lifetime role. The character of Tracy is vibrant and smart, with a unique sarcastic flair. C.K. Dexter Haven is dashing, witty and touchingly vulnerable. Grant is brilliant. Hussey and Stewart are equally great in their roles as the "every day man and woman" who have somehow managed to work their way to center stage to the social event of the year.

    Through it all, you will laugh at this delightful mix of people and recognize yourself in a little of each one of them. A delightful social commentary!

    Fun, fun, fun. If you enjoy great dialogue......you'll love this movie.

  • The Philadelphia Story by 8

    The Philadelphia Story is a brilliant rom com. It's smart, funny, emotional, romantic and so much more. Much of this comes from its brilliant screenplay (its Oscar win was well deserved) and the actors who make it come to life. The story is a creative twist on classic tropes (for example, rather than a love triangle it has an odd love polygon, featuring three potential suitors competing for Katharine Hepburn's Tracy Lord and a sub-triangle surrounding James Stewart's Macaulay Connors), the dialogue is clever and witty, and the humor works extremely well. It is a wild, fast-paced joyride of a film, but it manages to never get the audience lost along the way, even through multiple faked identities and misunderstandings among the characters. Much of the credit for the success of The Philadelphia Story goes to the actors. Its central figures are played Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, and Cary Grant, all undeniable titans of filmmaking. The manic pacing of the film presents a challenge to these actors, as they need to be over the top to meet the demands of the script, but going too far makes the film hokey and unbelieveable. Luckily, the film delivers on the promise of its billing, with each of the three leads delivering a stellar performance. The film is also stocked with scene stealing supporting players such as Ruth Hussey, Roland Young, and Virginia Weidler, each one adding to the merits of an already excellent film. The Philadelphia Story fits into a number of subgenres. While it is most associated the remarriage subgenre, in which a divorced couple rediscovers love, much to the chagrin of their current romantic partners (ex. His Girl Friday), but it also fits into the wedding subgenre in which one of the romantic leads is about to get married to another person and the other lead has to break up the wedding (ex. The Wedding Singer, Made of Honor), and the journalism subgenre, in which one of the romantic leads is tasked with writing a story about the other and in doing so falls in love (ex. It Happened One Night, 27 Dresses). Ultimately, this subgenre transcendence reflects one of the more fascinating traits of The Philadelphia Story: it is a combination of a number of classic romcom themes. It explores the relationship between social class and romance, definitions of manhood and masculinity, the validity of marriage, and female sexual agency, to name a few. Dealing with so many issues often could dilute each of them; however, the confused and manic nature of the film makes this compounded exploration of issues successful. The hectic pace implies that all of these anxieties coming up at once is in itself an anxiety unto itself. To the extent that The Philadelphia Story doesn't get the attention it deserves, it can only be attributed to the fact that it is often overshadowed by its central player's other output. Each of the three leads was incredibly successful both before and after The Philadelphia Story, collectively appearing in films such on the level of Bringing up Baby, His Girl Friday, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It's a Wonderful Life, Vertigo, North by Northwest, and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, to only name films from the top of my head. However, The Philadelphia Story is a phenomenal achievement and not one to be missed.

  • ?With rich, it only takes some patience." by 9

    THE PHILADELPHIA STORY is a great comedy directed by George Cukor. Despite the fact that the thematic framework already narrated and seen earlier this movie seems fresh. I think in this film, everyone can find something for themselves. Humor is a varied and meaningful. See Grant, Hepburn and Stewart in the same film is quite challenging. The script is very good and is followed by an even better acting.

    The Philadelphia Story is the story of luxury and elegance, teasing, sarcasm, love, drinking, arrogance and generally, a wide range of human qualities. The cellophane high society are seamlessly wrapped diversity that makes us who we are.

    Three men and three different characters are linked, each in its own way, with the rich ice queen Tracy Lord (Katharine Hepburn). C.K. Dextera Havena (Cary Grant) is profound, eloquent and charming ex-husband. This character is a bit neglected, but always in the right place and pronounce the keywords at the right time. Grant is excellent, but I was a bit bored with the roles of ex-husbands. Macaulay Connor (James Stewart) is "forever" unhappy writer who immigrated to write the yellow press. The voice of criticism, and the voice of reason. The character who has something to say to everyone except himself. George Kittredge (John Howard) He was betrothed young rich and untouchable upstart who answer its her standards.

    Cukor with the help of the aforementioned scenarios exported tangle heated, smart and wiggly dialogue, spiced with romantic intrigue which no lack of questions. Antagonisms and friendship between the characters is another of the features that contribute to such receptivity of the film, which are equally contributed by all.

    Stewart and Grant are the face and did a great job. However, my sympathies were given ladies. Hepburn is in her crazy performance authentic, of forcing a prude who does not forgive until the fine souls who want love and violations of their own (unnecessary) rules and countless prejudices. Ruth Hussey as Elizabeth Imbrie is paparazzo and would-be painter. She offered a lot of sarcasm beneath which hides their romantic thoughts. Always responds readily to prevent the drawer own feelings.

    An honest, romantic, funny and extremely sophisticated comedy who on my own joy is not a failure.

  • Just Not My Cup of Tea by 5

    When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself. Or, at least, that's the way the plot is often summarized.

    Of all the romantic comedies I've seen lately, particularly of the first half of the 20th century, "The Philadelphia Story" was my least favorite. Maybe I was in the wrong frame of mind and need to see it again, but I just didn't find it very funny and more often than not just thought it boring and dragging on too long.

    Cary Grant is alright, but this is not his best role. Katherine Hepburn is a hideously ugly beast, an annoying leading woman and her mouth belches out lines with a voice that would kill anything within earshot. How she is considered one of Hollywood's biggest star in this or any era is beyond me. Jimmy Stewart plays the redeeming character in this one, and it helps that at times he comes across as a rambling drunk. His drunkness is not as great as Doc Boone's from "Stagecoach", but still notable.

    The actress who plays Dinah Lord, Virginia Weidler, is the hidden gem here. She appeared in 44 films over the course of her lifetime, but probably none you've ever seen (besides this one). I'm not sure how she managed to be in so many films, but almost never in any successful ones. Whether that's her fault or that the casting director never picked her for the right roles, I don't know.

    Until I see this one again, which i don't plan on being soon, I'll have to say it didn't thrill me and the only really lasting legacy of this movie is that Tracy Lord became the namesake of one of the world's most notorious porn stars. For whatever that's worth.

#PersonCrew
1Franz Waxmancomposer
2George Cukordirector
3Joseph L. Mankiewiczproducer
4Donald Ogden Stewartwriter
5Philip Barrywriter
6Waldo Saltwriter