C.K. Dexter Haven
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Biography for
C.K. Dexter Haven (Character)
from The Philadelphia Story (1940)

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C.K. Dexter Haven can refer to one of two characters of classic Hollywood films: Cary Grant's Philadelphia society man in 1940's The Philadelphia Story, or Bing Crosby's scheming Jazz musician in 1956's High Society. Both stories are based on the comedic plot line that Mr. C.K. Dexter Haven was the first husband of a wealthy society woman, a romance that quickly blossoms and fizzles, but he interjects himself back into her life on the eve of her second marriage, as part of a scheme from a photo journal/gossip magazine, similar to LIFE.

The Philadelphia Story is more widely recognized due to the perfect mix of the quick talking all-star ensemble of Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, and James Stewart in a fast-paced and groundbreaking comedy. While High Society has an equally all-star cast, including Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Grace Kelly (and her enormous engagement ring from Prince Rainier of Monaco), the movie plays slowly and is easily overshadowed by the prior film.

Grant's high-paced quips and loving aggression counteract the fast-talking aristocratic Hepburn's Tracy as she glosses through battling the magazine reporters as they try to dig for the inside track of high society scandal. Crosby's casual cool Dexter Haven gives an interesting counter balance to Grace Kelly's more bratty, flighty Tracy Lord. However, Crosby's musical skills and blue-tinged reminiscence overshadow the comedy and outright romanticism that Grant's Haven depends on to re-woo Miss Lord. Both films' C.K. Dexter Haven are perfectly cast for their particular film.

Page last updated by ssmith_fp, 3 years ago
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