The Philadelphia Story (1940)

With the release of the black and white Indie comedy “The Party,” I’ve decided to check out the 1940 romantic comedy “The Philadelphia Story,” which is part of a Fathoms Event. It’s based on Phillip Barry’s 1939 play, and it won two Oscars: Best Actor (James Stewart) and Best Screenplay (Donald Odgen Stewart).

Katharine Hepburn was nominated an Oscar for her role of Tracy Lord, the eldest daughter of a wealthy family, who is set to marry George Kittredge (John Howard), a general manager of her father’s company. “Everybody loves Kittredge,” as they say.

Reporter Macaulay “Mike” Connor (James Stewart) and photographer Elizabeth Imbrie (Ruth Hussey) are sent to do an interview with Tracey, courtesy of her ex-husband C.K. Dexter Haven (Cary Grant).

At first, Tracy isn’t happy at all to see Dexter, but when she gets word about the reporters, she lets them crash for the sake of her family name. She ends up taking a liking to Mike, while Dexter is falling for her again.

I’ve seen comedies with two guys and one girl, but barely ones with three guys and one girl. That’s what “The Philadelphia Story” has: a rich girl, with her ex, her fiancée, and a reporter taking a charm with her. It’s never mean and it never condescends.

I just love seeing Katharine Hepburn and James Stewart together or separate in this movie. “Really, I do, really.” Cary Grant and John Howard are both excellent love competitors. Ruth Hussey adds a nice touch as the photographer. And even Virginia Weidler is charming as Hepburn’s teenage sister Dinah.

The movie is sweet, patient, charming, and funny, at times. And when a problem happens in the love story, it offers no cliches at all. Why can’t we get movies like this anymore?


Playing at Select Theaters Today at 2pm and 7pm

Categories: comedy, Romance

Leave a Reply