The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Critic Consensus: Offering a wonderfully witty script, spotless direction from George Cukor, and typically excellent lead performances, The Philadelphia Story is an unqualified classic.
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as Tracy Lord
as C.K. Dexter Haven
as Macauley Connor
as Uncle Willie
as Sidney Kidd
as Willie's Butler
as Dr. Parsons
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Critic Reviews for The Philadelphia Story
The film is a Hepburn triumph, and moviegoers who resent the theatre's habit of requisitioning their stars may feel that Miss Hepburn's time on the stage has not been spent in vain and that she simply prepared herself for this achievement.
In short, The Philadelphia Story lifts the daily drudge into a charming never-never land, with complete footnotes excusing its existence. And besides, it's a good, entertaining show.
Every time Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart connect in a scene, we hear the happy ding! of quality champagne crystal.
The smarties are going to relish Philadelphia Story a lot more than the two-bit trade...
George Cukor gives it the royal treatment with a splendid supporting cast...
Audience Reviews for The Philadelphia Story
A witty romantic comedy with a refined, intelligent dialogue and sharp performances, especially Hepburn and Stewart, although I feel reluctant to accept the sexist way that it correlates a woman's strong character with her being a prig, as if humbling and taming were the same.
It's Katharine Hepburn's picture, but with as fetching a lineup of the talent as is to be found, she's got to fight every clever line of dialog all of the way to hold her lead. Pushing hard is little Virginia Weidler, the kid sister, who has as twinkly any eye with a fast quip as a blinker light. Ruth Hassey is another from whom director George Cukor has milked maximum results to get a neat blend of sympathy-winning softness under a python-tongued smartaleckness. As for Cary Grant, James Stewart and Roland Young, there's little to be said that their reputation hasn't established. John Howard, John Halliday and Mary Nash, in lesser roles, more than adequately fill in what Philip Barry must have dreamt of when he wrote the 1939 play. The perfect conception of all flighty but characterful Main Line socialite gals rolled into one, Hepburn has just the right amount of beauty, just the right amount of disarray in wearing clothes, just the right amount of culture in her voice - it's no one but Hepburn. When the acid tongues are turned on at beginning and end of the film, it's a laugh-provoker from way down. When the discussion gets deep and serious, however, on the extent of Hepburn's stone-like character, the verbiage is necessarily highly abstract and the film slows to a toddle.
James Stuwart and Katharine Hepburn were magnifient to see on screen, their performance and the great screenplay made the whole movie, while Cary Grant and Ruth Hussey were amazing, too.
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