01 July 2010
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
My she was yar!
So basically: Katharine Hepburn is stunning in her performance of Philadelphia socialite Tracy S Lord. Two years divorced from her alcoholic husband, C.K. Dexter Haven (played brilliantly by Cary Grant), she is getting remarried to man from a lower social standing then herself, but with a gaining reputation and fame. Dexter enters the picture a day before the wedding with a columnist and photographer from the local tabloid magazine to stir things up for Red - as he likes to call her. With the added stress, Tracy must prepare for her wedding and deal with her cheating father, a more-than-necessarily truthful ex-husband, and a new found fondness for champagne. The men in her life help her to realize her faults as a "goddess" type woman, something she struggles to overcome with the help of a struggling writer and columnist Macaulay Conner - Jimmy Stewart's only Oscar winning character. Every one of the characters grows into a version better than themselves as the day (and night!) progresses to the wedding.
Oh! I love this picture. Another brilliant movie for Cary Grant. Also, my first one with him and with the extra bonus of Jimmy Stewart - who I had never heard of before watching this (I've since corrected myself). And with Katharine Hepburn playing the lead female, who wouldn't want to watch this? Can I also mention the outrageously hilarious character of Dinah who takes a backseat to the development of the characters but always jumps in for a little comedy? This film was adapted from a stage play, which is pretty noticeable from the way the characters interact with each other and the way they come in and out of scenes very rapidly. It makes the movie flow very nicely and adds an air of hecticness to it. Some might think that Tracy should have ended up with Macaulay, but I don't think so. Of course, their chemistry was undeniable, but they both ended up with the right people for them; the people that they could continue to grow with. Besides, their love was only an illusion caused by the champagne, and they quickly realized that once the night was over with.
This movie deserves to be on the list, and if anything, it deserves to be higher. It was at one point, but alas, the list must continue to grow with the times. The reason it deserves a higher place is the excellent casting and the way the characters interact with each other using such brilliant dialogue. It's really what the story is about.
Ziggi seal of approval!