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The Philadelphia Story (1940)

8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 44,705 users  
Reviews: 176 user | 89 critic

When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself.

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(screen play), (based on the play by), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Philadelphia Story (1940)

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Storyline

Philadelphia socialites Tracy Lord and C.K. Dexter Haven married impulsively, with their marriage and subsequent divorce being equally passionate. They broke up when Dexter's drinking became excessive, it a mechanism to cope with Tracy's unforgiving manner to the imperfect, imperfections which Dexter admits he readily has. Two years after their break-up, Tracy is about to remarry, the ceremony to take place at the Lord mansion. Tracy's bridegroom is nouveau riche businessman and aspiring politician George Kittredge, who is otherwise a rather ordinary man and who idolizes Tracy. The day before the wedding, three unexpected guests show up at the Lord mansion: Macaulay Connor (Mike to his friends), Elizabeth Imbrie - the two who are friends of Tracy's absent brother, Junior - and Dexter himself. Dexter, an employee of the tabloid Spy magazine, made a deal with its publisher and editor Sidney Kidd to get a story on Tracy's wedding - the wedding of the year - in return for Kidd not ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Uncle Leo's bedtime story for you older tots! The things they do among the playful rich - Oh, boy! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

26 December 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Nacht vor der Hochzeit  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Before shooting the scene where Connor passionately recites his poetry to Tracy, James Stewart was extremely nervous and certain he would perform badly. Coincidently, Noel Coward was visiting the set on that day and, having been asked to say something to encourage Stewart by George Cukor, Coward off-handedly said something to Stewart like, "Did I mention I think you're a fantastic actor." Stewart shortly thereafter performed the scene without a hitch and went on to win the Oscar for Best Actor. See more »

Goofs

When George pays his first call upon the Lord home, he bounds down the "stone" steps, landing very heavily on the bottom one, which makes a hollow wooden noise. See more »

Quotes

C. K. Dexter Haven: You'll never be a first class human being or a first class woman until you've learned to have some regard for human frailty.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth 2 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Lydia, the Tattooed Lady
(1939) (uncredited)
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Music by Harold Arlen
Performed by Virginia Weidler (vocal and piano)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The most sophisticated comedy ever!
2 November 1999 | by (Sydney) – See all my reviews

Firstly, let me say, that I love Kate Hepburn. She's my favourite actress, and in my opinion, she can do no wrong. For this reason, I'd probably give a good rating to every movie she made.

But 'The Philadelphia Story' really does deserve wonderful praise. It's by far the most sophisticated, and in my opinion, the greatest comedy ever made, one of Kate's greatest roles. She's absolutely hilarious as Tracy Lord, bringing perfection to the role she created on the stage a year before the film, mocking, insulting and making fun out of Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant.

Her drunken scene with Stewart is pure magic and her mockery of him ('dear professor') is wonderful.

Grant and Stewart are fabulous, Stewart as the rough and tumble reporter infatuated with Tracy and Grant as the neglected ex- husband.

Ruth Hussey and Virginia Weidler are fantastic in supporting roles, and really add to the hilarity of the whole picture.

A funny, bouyant ride through the 1940's- I completely recommend it!


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