7.9/10
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206 user 124 critic

The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Romance | 17 January 1941 (USA)
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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.

Director:

George Cukor

Writers:

Donald Ogden Stewart (screen play), Philip Barry (based on the play by)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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 Rex Evans ... Thomas
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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, Junius- 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:

The 3-Star Laugh Hit! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

17 January 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Philadelphia Story See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$258,994, 18 February 2018

Gross USA:

$404,524

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$411,442
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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, Noël 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 Tracey decides to marry Dexter, he needs a best man and choose Mike. Tracey declares that she needs a maid of honor and chooses Liz. But Tracey was already supposed to marry George so she would have already had a maid of honor. There was no reason for her "suddenly" to need a maid of honor for her last-minute marriage to Dexter. See more »

Quotes

Sidney Kidd: I understand we understand each other.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in This Is Us: A Philadelphia Story (2018) 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

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User Reviews

The most sophisticated comedy ever!
2 November 1999 | by Jo-77See 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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