The Philadelphia Story

The Philadelphia Story

Cary Grant
Director: George Cukor Cast: Cary Grant
Cary Grant
, Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
, James Stewart
James Stewart
George Cukor


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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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Product Details

Release Date: 11/07/2017
UPC: 0715515205719
Original Release: 1940
Source: Criterion Collection
Time: 1:52:00
Sales rank: 1,936

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
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
Russ Clark John

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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