The Philadelphia Story

( 11 )

Overview

We open on Philadelphia socialite C.K. Dexter Haven Cary Grant as he's being tossed out of his palatial home by his wife, Tracy Lord Katharine Hepburn. Adding insult to injury, Tracy breaks one of C.K.'s precious golf clubs. He gallantly responds by knocking her down on her million-dollar keester. A couple of years after the breakup, Tracy is about to marry George Kittridge John Howard, a wealthy stuffed shirt whose principal recommendation is that he's not a Philadelphia "mainliner," as C.K. was. Still holding a...
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Overview

We open on Philadelphia socialite C.K. Dexter Haven Cary Grant as he's being tossed out of his palatial home by his wife, Tracy Lord Katharine Hepburn. Adding insult to injury, Tracy breaks one of C.K.'s precious golf clubs. He gallantly responds by knocking her down on her million-dollar keester. A couple of years after the breakup, Tracy is about to marry George Kittridge John Howard, a wealthy stuffed shirt whose principal recommendation is that he's not a Philadelphia "mainliner," as C.K. was. Still holding a torch for Tracy, C.K. is galvanized into action when he learns that Sidney Kidd Henry Daniell, the publisher of Spy Magazine, plans to publish an exposé concerning Tracy's philandering father John Halliday. To keep Kidd from spilling the beans, C.K. agrees to smuggle Spy reporter Macauley Connor James Stewart and photographer Elizabeth Imbrie Ruth Hussey into the exclusive Lord-Kittridge wedding ceremony. How could C.K. have foreseen that Connor would fall in love with Tracy, thereby nearly lousing up the nuptials? As it turns out, of course, it is C.K. himself who pulls the "louse-up," reclaiming Tracy as his bride. A consistently bright, bubbly, witty delight, The Philadelphia Story could just as well have been titled "The Revenge of Katharine Hepburn." Having been written off as "box-office poison" in 1938, Hepburn returned to Broadway in a vehicle tailor-made for her talents by playwright Philip Barry. That property, of course, was The Philadelphia Story; and when MGM bought the rights to this sure-fire box-office success, it had to take Hepburn along with the package -- and also her veto as to who her producer, director, and co-stars would be. Her strategy paid off: after the film's release, Hepburn was back on top of the Hollywood heap. While she didn't win the Oscar that many thought she richly deserved, the little gold statuette was bestowed upon her co-star Stewart, perhaps as compensation for his non-win for 1939's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Donald Ogden Stewart no relation to Jimmy also copped an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. The Philadelphia Story was remade in 1956 with a Cole Porter musical score as High Society.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Digitally remastered movie with commentary by film historian Jeannine Basinger; George Cukor movie trailer gallery; Subtitles: English, Français & Español; 2 insightful documentaries about the star and director: Katharine Hepburn: All About Me - A Self-Portrait and The Men Who Made the Movies: George Cukor; Robert Benchley short That Inferior Feeling; Cartoon The Homeless Flea; Audio-only bonus: 2 radio adaptations featuring the movie's 3 stars
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
Playwright Philip Barry reportedly based the central character of The Philadelphia Story on Katharine Hepburn's brittle public persona, so it should be little surprise that she plays the part so well. The film is a quick-witted translation of the play, essentially a parlor drama with witty, Oscar Wilde-like banter and glib repartee from nearly every actor. There are moments of rare beauty in the dialogue, even if director George Cukor rarely uses them to give the film more visual flair or energy. The story both spoofs and plays sly homage to Clifford Odets' earnest socialist dramas, in which kind-hearted socialites learn to love and admire the working poor -- except that, in The Philadelphia Story, Hepburn turns her back on the working-class hero and returns to her own kind, the aristocratic, debonair, completely irresistible Cary Grant (who does a wonderful job of being...Cary Grant). The aristocrats are well-skewered by the delightful screenplay, and James Stewart is excellent as the cynical but smitten reporter, in a performance that won him his only Academy Award. Donald Ogden Stewart's faithful adaptation of the Barry play was also recognized by the Academy. High Society, the 1956 musical version of this story, was moderately successful, but not in the same classic league.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/1/2005
  • UPC: 012569699021
  • Original Release: 1940
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:52:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cary Grant C.K. Dexter Haven
Katharine Hepburn Tracy Lord
James Stewart Macauley Connor
Ruth Hussey Liz Imbrie
John Howard George Kittredge
Roland Young Uncle Willie
John Halliday Seth Lord
Mary Nash Margaret Lord
Virginia Weidler Dinah Lord
Henry Daniell Sidney Kidd
Lionel Pape Edward
Rex Evans Thomas
Hillary Brooke Mainliner
Veda Buckland Elsie
Lita Chevret Manicurist
Russ Clark John
David Clyde Mac the night watchman
Dorothy Fay Main Line Society Woman
Claude King Willie's Butler
Florine McKinney Main Line Society Woman
Lee Phelps Bartender
Hilda Plowright Librarian
Helene Whitney Main Line Society Woman
Technical Credits
George Cukor Director
Adrian Costumes/Costume Designer
Jack Dawn Makeup
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Joseph L. Mankiewicz Producer
Wade B. Rubottom Art Director
Joseph Ruttenberg Cinematographer
Waldo Salt Screenwriter
Douglas Shearer Sound/Sound Designer
Donald Ogden Stewart Screenwriter
Frank Sullivan Editor
Franz Waxman Score Composer
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Disc One
1. Credits [1:35]
2. Uncoupling [:42]
3. Bride's High Standards [3:56]
4. George Saddles Up [3:21]
5. The Philadelphia Story [4:07]
6. Spies Invade the Manor [4:12]
7. Dexter's Small Blackmail [5:38]
8. Lydia the Tattooed Lady [3:13]
9. Tracy Meets the Press [3:29]
10. The Family for Lunch [5:39]
11. Library Research [3:25]
12. Patron Lady [2:55]
13. Virgin Goddess [5:19]
14. "My, She Was Yar" [4:14]
15. Right Kind of Daughter [3:48]
16. Exposed and Pinched [2:05]
17. Drinks for Everyone [4:47]
18. Talkative Visitor [5:28]
19. Class System [:33]
20. Hearthfires and Holocausts [5:57]
21. Advice to Liz [3:03]
22. The Mighty Fallen [1:58]
23. Eye Openers [4:41]
24. Dinah's Dream [4:13]
25. Missing Memory and Watch [2:45]
26. Not Very Yar [3:35]
27. George's Letter [5:20]
28. There Goes the Groom [3:48]
29. Tracy's Announcement [2:44]
30. Cast List [4:45]
Side #2 -- Disc Two
1. Introduction; Early Life [3:08]
2. Showoff (Little Women) [2:45]
3. Beginnings of an Actress [3:25]
4. Early Films [3:25]
5. Morning Glory [2:22]
6. The Price [3:24]
7. Alice Adams, Mary of Scotland [3:41]
8. Sylvia Scarlett, Stage Door [3:39]
9. Bringing Up Baby; Fenwick [3:02]
10. The Philadelphia Story [2:42]
11. Spencer Tracy [5:38]
12. Adam's Rib; Pat and Mike [3:15]
13. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner [4:50]
14. Thank You, Spencer [1:24]
15. The African Queen [2:59]
16. Summertime; the Classics [5:48]
17. The Lion in Winter [2:13]
18. Two Legends [3:53]
19. Up to Your Potential [2:44]
20. On Golden Pond; What Counts [4:27]
21. End Credits [1:04]
1. Introduction; Handling Actors [3:42]
2. What Price Hollywood? [4:06]
3. David Copperfield [3:42]
4. Camille [6:27]
5. Dinner at Eight [6:17]
6. A Bill of Divorcement [2:03]
7. Sylvia Scarlett [2:33]
8. Holiday [1:59]
9. The Philadelphia Story [5:35]
10. Adam's Rib [5:17]
11. Pat and Mike [3:28]
12. The Actress [2:50]
13. A Star Is Born [6:17]
14. End Credits [:36]
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Menu

Side #1 -- Disc One
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Commentary by Jeanine Basinger
      Cukor Trailer Gallery
         Dinner at Eight (1933)
         Little Women (1933)
         The Women (1939)
         The Philadelphia Story (1940)
         Gaslight (1944)
         Adam's Rib (1949)
         Pat and Mike (1952)
         A Star Is Born (1954)
         Les Girls (1957)
         My Fair Lady (1964)
         Play All
      Awards
   Languages
      Spoken Languages: English
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Français
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Off
Side #2 -- Disc Two
   Katharine Hepburn: All About Me - A Self-Portrait
      Chapter Index
      Play
   The Men Who Made the Movies: George Cukor
      Chapter Index
      Play
   That Inferior Feeling
   The Homeless Flea
   Radio Programs
      7/20/1942 Victory Theater Broadcast
      3/17/1947 Lady Esther Screen Guild Playhouse Broadcast
      Web Address
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(11)

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2014

    Hilarious: One of the funniest and interesting films of it's tim

    Hilarious:
    One of the funniest and interesting films of it's time. With great's like Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and James 
    Stewart. Even a wonderful performance by Ruth Hussey. This film is a must have and a treasure to the business!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Love This Movie!

    The Philadelphia Story is a wonderful film! One of Cary Grant's Best! Definitely a classic!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Superb Classic!

    This is one of my favorite old black and white movies. It is superb and so is the cast but especially Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and James Stewart. The movie has some wonderful witty dialoge and I highly recommend buying it on DVD!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Classic Romantic Comedy at its best

    I absolutely love this film. It is the quintessential romantic comedy. Each performance from the legendary Stewart, Grant, and Hepburn is classic and timeless. After a disappointing loss the year before for Best Actor, Jimmy Stewart nabbed it in 1940 for this film. I love it! A great choice for any classic film fan!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best Romantic Comedy!!!

    It's timeless film that age very well. It prove that the people hasn't change at all. I was very entertaining by this film and Jimmy Stewart and Katherine Hepburn are at their best. The story will rivet your eyes to the screen and will keep you being entertaining.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews