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 -- Katharine Hepburn is the snooty daughter of a wealthy family and about to marry for the second time. In walks her cunning ex-husband Cary Grant with tabloid reporter James Stewart in tow.
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.


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8.1/10   47,617 votes »
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Donald Ogden Stewart (screen play)
Philip Barry (based on the play by)
View company contact information for The Philadelphia Story on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
26 December 1940 (USA) See more »
Uncle Leo's bedtime story for you older tots! The things they do among the playful rich - Oh, boy! See more »
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:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Plays your heart strings in a masterful glissando. See more (178 total) »


  (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)
Helene Reynolds ... Main Line Society Woman (uncredited)
Mildred Shay ... Main Line Society Woman (uncredited)
Joseph Sweeney ... Butler (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 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Set Decoration by
Edwin B. Willis (set decorations)
Costume Design by
Adrian (gowns)
Makeup Department
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair styles
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:
112 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
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) (2014) | UK:U (video rating) (1993) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Approved (MPPDA rating: certificate #6594) | USA:TV-G (TV rating) | USA:Passed (The National Board of Review) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Playwright Philip Barry based the character of Tracy on Helen Hope Montgomery Scott, a Main Line Philadelphia socialite famous for throwing lavish parties at her family's 800-acre estate in Radnor, PA. The studio reportedly intended to shoot the film at Ardrossan (the name of the family's estate), but decided against it after seeing the size and scale of the main house and the expansiveness of the estate. The producers reportedly thought that no one would believe that anyone could actually live like that, particularly in America in the 1940s.See more »
Boom mic visible: As Connor and Tracy exit the library, the boom mic is reflected on the windshield of Tracy's car.See more »
Tracy Lord:I never thought that alcohol would - Oh shut up.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Delphinsommer (2004) (TV)See more »
I've Got My Eyes on YouSee more »


Is 'The Philadelphia Story' based on a book?
What song was playing during the ball? It sounds like a Cole Porter tune.
Why is it called "The Philadelphia Story"? What is the reference to Philadelphia?
See more »
60 out of 76 people found the following review useful.
Plays your heart strings in a masterful glissando., 5 October 2003
Author: budmassey ( from Indianapolis, IN

That this brilliant story originated on stage is obvious. The stage requires personas of epic and electric beauty. Philadelphia Story boasts three of the brightest stars that ever burned to occupy these personas, which they do with miraculous luminance.

The play, of course, was written for Hepburn by Phillip Barry, and after over 400 performances on Broadway she cleverly bought the film rights right out from under the noses of Hollywood moguls who fancied themselves smarter than Dear Kate. This came at a time when Hepburn was tops on the list of stars who had been labeled box office poison by producers.

The dynamics between the stars are legendary. Finer actors never lived, and these are the performances of a lifetime for each of them. Stewart is funny, smoldering, passionate and moving and he has moments, many of them, of stunning brilliance in each of those emotions. Grant is his typical stilted and elegant self, funny, gracious, urbane and, yes, beautiful. And then there is Hepburn. She is breathtaking to look at, and she plays your heart strings in a masterful glissando plucking at every emotion as she moves effortlessly across her entire unmatched range.

The supporting cast is worthy of the surplus of talent that surrounds them, and offer a few unforgettable moments of their own. And the presence of George Cukor, the greatest director of women in history, and the best director of Hepburn as well, coaxes every brilliant word of the script to its full potential.

You must not miss this treasure simply because it is from another era. It depicts that era with insight and irreverence that expose it, and the rarified world of old Philadelphia Money (yes, with a capital "M") like few films of its time, or any time, could. Every time I watch this movie, and the frequency would embarrass me if I were honest about it, I love it more.

Watch it. Study it. Assimilate every second of it and your understanding and appreciation of cinema will be enriched for it. And you'll have a great time doing it!

Was the above review useful to you?
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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
The quality of romantic comedies in the TPS era and today SiestaFiestaLaLa
Age difference between Tracy and Dinah? prosperewebitor
People who have watched this movie... Mikaela90
Best part of the movie, IMO: Dinah jjjunob
I wanted Tracy to go with Mike.. Stacey618
Miss Pomeroy 1926? lemma123
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