IMDb > The Philadelphia Story (1940)
The Philadelphia Story
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The Philadelphia Story (1940) More at IMDbPro »

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The Philadelphia Story -- 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.

Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   43,982 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Donald Ogden Stewart (screen play)
Philip Barry (based on the play by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Philadelphia Story on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
26 December 1940 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Uncle Leo's bedtime story for you older tots! The things they do among the playful rich - Oh, boy! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(128 articles)
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User Reviews:
Peerless cast, witty script gives this classic comedy of manners ageless appeal. See more (176 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Cary Grant ... C.K. Dexter Haven

Katharine Hepburn ... Tracy Lord

James Stewart ... Macaulay Connor

Ruth Hussey ... Elizabeth Imbrie

John Howard ... George Kittredge

Roland Young ... Uncle Willie

John Halliday ... Seth Lord

Mary Nash ... Margaret Lord

Virginia Weidler ... Dinah Lord

Henry Daniell ... Sidney Kidd
Lionel Pape ... Edward
Rex Evans ... Thomas
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
King Baggot ... Extra as Wedding Guest (uncredited)
Hillary Brooke ... Main Line Society Woman (uncredited)
Veda Buckland ... Elsie (uncredited)

Lita Chevret ... Manicurist (uncredited)
Russ Clark ... John - Chauffeur (uncredited)
David Clyde ... Mac (uncredited)
Robert De Bruce ... Dr. Parsons (uncredited)
Dorothy Fay ... Main Line Society Woman (uncredited)
Claude King ... Uncle Willie's Butler (uncredited)
Eric Mayne ... Extra as Wedding Guest (uncredited)
Florine McKinney ... Main Line Society Woman (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Bartender (uncredited)
Hilda Plowright ... Librarian (uncredited)
Mildred Shay ... Main Line Society Woman (uncredited)
Joseph Sweeney ... Butler (uncredited)
Helene Whitney ... Main Line Society Woman (uncredited)

Directed by
George Cukor 
 
Writing credits
Donald Ogden Stewart (screen play)

Philip Barry (based on the play by)

Waldo Salt  contributing writer (uncredited)

Produced by
Joseph L. Mankiewicz .... producer
 
Original Music by
Franz Waxman (musical score)
 
Cinematography by
Joseph Ruttenberg (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Frank Sullivan (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
 
Set Decoration by
Edwin B. Willis (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Adrian (gowns by)
 
Makeup Department
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair stylist
Jack Dawn .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Keith Weeks .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Edward Woehler .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Wade B. Rubottom .... associate art director
 
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
Tom Gunn .... re-recording mixer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Leo Arnaud .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leonid Raab .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
112 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Australia:G (TV rating) | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:S (1986) | Finland:K-16 (1942) | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1947) | Portugal:M/12 | South Korea:12 (DVD rating) (2005) | Sweden:15 | Sweden:Btl (re-rating) (1966) | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (re-rating) (1998) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:TV-G (TV rating) | USA:Approved (certificate #6594) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The original play featured a character named Sandy, who is Tracy's brother and the reason for Mike and Liz to come to the wedding. This character was deleted for the movie in order to beef up the character of Mike. There are several references in the film to a brother of Tracy's, but his name is Junius.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: 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:I don't think you're being fair to me, Mr. Kidd.
Sidney Kidd:No?
Macaulay Connor:No. You're treating me like you treat all your other writers.
See more »
Soundtrack:
Bridal ChorusSee more »

FAQ

What song was playing during the ball? It sounds like a Cole Porter tune.
Is this movie based on a novel?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
See more »
38 out of 47 people found the following review useful.
Peerless cast, witty script gives this classic comedy of manners ageless appeal., 9 May 2001
Author: gary brumburgh (gbrumburgh@aol.com) from Los Angeles, California

They say "the idle rich is the devil's playground." Well, never has the playground been more playful or fun than in "The Philadelphia Story." It's so gratifying to know that vintage movies like "The Philadelphia Story" will outlive us all. Playwright Phillip Barry certainly had an ear for sophisticated chatter and, along with "Bringing Up Baby" and "Holiday," he singlehandedly defined the term "screwball comedy" in the late 30s. And so it is fortunate for all of us that the screen adaptations of each of these classic Broadway plays are classics in their own right.

Katharine Hepburn, who starred with Cary Grant in all three of the aforementioned films, plays society prig Tracy Lord, a spoiled, temperamental rich girl who owns a will of iron and a heart to match. What she wants more than life itself is to experience true love like a down-to-earth REAL person, but is she capable of it? A stormy first marriage to C.K. Dexter Haven (Grant) has not taken the wind out of her sails, so she decides to make a go of it again. Announcing her forthcoming marriage to wealthy George Kittredge, a rather staid, uptight sort, it comes off more like a match made in gold than in heaven. However, the stubborn Tracy is convinced she is in love this time.

Around to disrupt the wedding plans is Tracy's former husband, who still has feelings for her and her family, her estranged scandal-ridden father, her young, precocious sister, and a posterior-pinching uncle. Also hovering around the Lord estate is tabloid reporter Liz Imbrie and her photographer Mike Connor, assigned to cover the impending nuptials and, of course, scout out any juicy gossip.

With a deft ensemble and crisp, intuitive direction (George Cukor), the dialogue blisters with furious fun (courtesy of Oscar-winning scripter Donald Ogden Stewart), with every character having his or her chance to bask in the limelight. Hepburn, who was considered "box-office poison" at the time, revitalized her Hollywood career with "The Philadelphia Story," smartly buying the film rights to ensure her starring role. Dripping with frilly-edged sarcasm, she makes full use of her clipped Bryn Mawr speech tones. But her ultimate triumph is that her 'ice queen' demeanor never alienates the viewer. We still root for Tracy to come down to earth, rejoin the human race and live out that fairy tale ending. Cary Grant is as smooth as silk pajamas as Tracy's first husband, raring and ready to pull her off that mighty pedestal she's placed herself so high on. Synonymous with elegance and style, I doubt there is another actor who can handle martini-dry banter the way he does. He is flawless -- in a class by himself.

The real revelation, however, is Jimmy Stewart as the smitten photographer who is only too willing to keep Tracy perched on that pedestal. Stewart, who won the Oscar, breaks from his usual "aw shucks" mode to show a surprising comic range. His midnight poolside soliloquy with Kate is wondrous and lingers long after the closing credits. Completing the romantic quadrangle is the wonderful Ruth Hussey, who inherits the wisecracking Eve Arden role, the good-natured trooper who always seems to come in second man-wise. Hussey takes the ball and runs with it, giving the ripest performance of the bunch.

Additional praise must be given to Mary Nash, as Tracy's flowery, meticulous mother; young tomboy Virginia Weidler, an adroit little scenestealer, for keeping up with the big folks and offering a wickedly smart-assed rendition of "Lydia, the Tattooed Lady"; John Howard for his dour, stuffy groom-to-be and good sportsmanship as the butt of many a joke; John Halliday, who manages a couple of razor-sharp scenes as Hepburn's reproaching father, and Roland Young, who played Cosmo Topper in the delightful "Topper" film series, for adding his typical brand of bemused merriment as lecherous Uncle Willy.

From the opening classic bit with Hepburn and Grant squaring off to the church altar denouement, "The Philadelphia Story" provides a wealth of entertainment. It's a rare, rich package even the Lord family can't buy!

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
I wanted Tracy to go with Mike.. Stacey618
Best part of the movie, IMO: Dinah jjjunob
The Pool franbee57
Did anyone else think that Jimmy Stewart was really beautiful here? rosecp01
Liz is my idol pinkmuramui
People who have watched this movie... Mikaela90
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