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   43,928 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:
Great dialogue, great performances and a real fun, urgent pace to the material make this a delightfully fun film 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)
 
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:
"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on July 20, 1942 with Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, Ruth Hussey and Virginia Weidler reprising their film roles.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:
Sidney Kidd:Anyway, presented for the first time, quote: A wedding day inside mainline society.
Macaulay Connor:Or what the kitchen maid saw through the keyhole. Unquote.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Making of 'My Fair Lady' (1995) (V)See more »
Soundtrack:
Bridal ChorusSee more »

FAQ

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?
Is this movie based on a novel?
See more »
26 out of 33 people found the following review useful.
Great dialogue, great performances and a real fun, urgent pace to the material make this a delightfully fun film, 27 December 2005
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

It is the wedding of the year with socialite Tracy Lord due to marry George Kittredge behind closed doors, with no press allowed. However the editor of Spy Magazine is set to run an exposé of Tracy's philandering father and a New York dancer and strikes a deal with her ex husband CK Dexter Haven if he can get a couple of journalists into the wedding and the reception. Keen to get back at Tracy, Dexter agrees to help and escorts writer Mike Conner and photographer Liz Imbrie into the Lord home in the days before the wedding. With tensions high between Dexter and Tracy, everyone playing games and relationships equally confused and confusing anything could happen and surprises are in store.

Shot in about 8 weeks with a low number of takes and some impressive adlibbed and one-shot scenes this is a movie worth seeing even before you look at the cast list and the professional reviews. The plot is partly a comedy, partly a character drama and partly a romance (albeit a rather tidy one) and each aspect pretty much works in tandem with the others. The comic tension between the characters is really well written and, although it is a cliché, it does fizz and spark across the screen and is regularly hilarious and consistently a delight to the ears. With such superficial energy it would be easy to ignore the fact that it is interesting below this; specifically I liked the character of Tracy and the way that parts of the film show her character being stripped back as she in particular learns something about how she comes across, softening her character a little bit in later scenes. However to suggest that this has great depths is to give it more praise than it deserves, because it doesn't run deep and it isn't a great drama. Likewise the romance isn't a main part of it but it does still work because it is all delivered at such a fresh and funny pace that it draws you in, even to the point where I gratefully accepted the film's conclusion with a smile rather than a sneer.

The cast are a delight, but then that pretty much goes without saying, and they work with the dialogue like a surgeon uses a scalpel. In fact that is a good example because the dialogue is normally almost as sharp as said instrument. Grant may have got top billing and the big money (which he then donated away) but it is very much a shared effort between the three stars, with Grant in fact having the least showy character. If anything the film belongs to Hepburn who is a delight whether spitting back at her father with tears in her eyes or a barbed comment sliding in like a greased knife. Stewart is just as good and is reaction shots show a real comic timing, but he also gives good dialogue and he is fun. Like Stewart, Grant has a great chemistry with Hepburn, which means that he can deliver convincing tension and trade insults without undermining the ending which otherwise would have maybe been an ask too far. Hussey is good and it is easy to forget that she must have felt a bit out of her depth but it never shows in her performance. Support is roundly strong from Young, Nash, Halliday and even Weildler.

Overall this is a delightful film that is such fun and has such a good pace and spark that it is easy to buy into the weaker elements of the narrative and not only forgive them but get into them. The dialogue is sparky and funny while the delivery of same is just what the material deserved. The cast have chemistry and help inject urgency to the story that keeps it all moving forward. A wonderfully delightful film that is fun to watch and surprisingly engaging.

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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
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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