Kate is in fine form in this picture. Of course, she got everything she wanted: George Cukor for her director, Cary Grant for her leading man, James Stewart as the reporter she gets drunk with, and fine supporting performances from Ruth Hussey and Mary Nash. You can tell they’re all having the time of their lives.
Kate’s character has painted herself into a corner. She’s got such high standards, no mortal man can measure up. She’s about to marry a stuffed shirt who worships the ground she walks on—the polar opposite of her first husband (Grant). Rosalind Russell nearly made the same mistake in “The Front Page.” How any woman could divorce Grant is beyond me, but Kate’s character is awfully confused when the picture opens. She thinks she wants to be worshipped.
Fortunately for Kate, she’s got Stewart to remind her how to be human.
But life isn’t only champagne and kisses. The uptight fiancé cares only for appearances, and things look pretty bad. He’s ready to defend his bride’s honor, but Grant beats him to it. Maybe he’s a wee bit jealous, too.
Of course he wins Kate back. About time she came to her senses!
5 thoughts on “The Philadelphia Story”
This is a true classic and I am in total agreement with you…dump Cary? never!
Always happy to meet another fan of Cary Grant. What do you say, should I review him and Kate in “Bringing Up Baby?”
I see you’ve adopted my strategy of illustrating with clips from the movie, and you seem to be running into the same problem I have with The Maltese Falcon and one or two others–nothing available with embedding enabled. I suppose if needs must, I’ll do the same thing with Maltese and some of the others–post the clip I want with a pointer back to YouTube.
The surprise for me when I first saw The Philadelphia Story–and Grant’s true rival–was Jimmy Stewart, since I grew up watching him in ’50s roles where he’s grizzled and dressed in buckskin or sheepskin or suited up as a staid FBI man. He’s surprisingly romantic here and in some of his other thirties roles.
Yes, he was charming, wasn’t he? I think I’m going to have to do “Mr. Smith,” but not before “Bringing Up Baby.”
[…] which George Cukor also directed from a stage play. The romance is lovely, right up there with “The Philadelphia Story” (another Cukor gem). But the dialogue lends this film a darker […]
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