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The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  26 December 1940 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 46,524 users  
Reviews: 177 user | 93 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)

The Philadelphia Story (1940) on IMDb 8.1/10

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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

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

In Katharine Hepburn'S first scene in the film, she appears in a stylish trouser suit designed for her by Adrian. MGM chief Louis B. Mayer objected and had to be convinced to let the costume remain. 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

Macaulay Connor: [speaking of Tracy] What are her leading characteristics?
C. K. Dexter Haven: She has a horror of men who wear their hats in the house.
Elizabeth (Liz) Imbrie: Leading characteristics to be filled in later.
Macaulay Connor: I can fill them in right now: the rich, rapacious, American female. There's no other country where she exists.
Elizabeth (Liz) Imbrie: And would I change places with Tracy Samantha Lord for all her wealth and beauty? Oh boy just ask me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Double Indemnity (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

Over the Rainbow
(1939) (uncredited)
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Music by Harold Arlen
Sung a cappella by James Stewart
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Three legends in their prime
20 May 2001 | by (Atlanta, GA) – See all my reviews

This is a delightful romantic comedy about the life and loves of a high society girl. Tracy Lord (Katharine Hepburn) is about to be married to George Kittredge (John Howard), a self made man who elevated himself from the lower class. The wedding is supposed to be a private affair, but Tracy's ex-husband C.K. Dexter Haven (Cary Grant) blackmails her into letting two reporters, Macaulay Conner and Elizabeth Imbrie (James Stewart and Ruth Hussey) cover the event. What ensues is a screwball courtship for the heart of Tracy as everyone falls in love with her at once.

Director David Cukor (`Little Women', `My Fair Lady') provides a fast paced comedy with rapid-fire repartee and fosters a bubbly chemistry between the cast members, which brims with laughs. Cukor received one of his five Oscar nominations for this film and it was well deserved.

Katharine Hepburn is marvelous as the blueblood bride to be. She is a well-grounded girl who is not beyond putting on airs for show. She is simultaneously sassy and dreamy and her comic timing is superb earning her one of twelve nominations for best actress. Despite a star's billing, Cary Grant plays a supporting role as the sarcastic Dexter Haven. With his deadpan delivery, he provides the perfect foil to Hepburn and Stewart.

Even with the luminous cast, Jimmy Stewart steals the show with a comedic tour de force. His inebriated scene with Cary Grant is uproariously funny and his puppy dog wooing of Katherine Hepburn is enchanting. It is hard to believe that James Stewart only won one Oscar in his outstanding career. Though nominated five times, the only role for which he won the statue is this one, a performance that is unquestionably among his best.

This tremendous comedy brings together three screen legends at the peak of their careers. It was nominated for six Academy Awards winning two, and it was rated #51 on AFI's top 100 of the century. It is a timeless classic that is sure to please. I rated it a 10/10. See it and enjoy.


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People who have watched this movie... Mikaela90
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