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
[June 2008] Ranked #5 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Romantic Comedy". See more »
When Tracy exits the car with Dinah and soaks a handkerchief with alcohol; you can see a ranch hand in the background putting a pitchfork down after sweeping the horse stable. But on the next immediate cut when Tracy starts to wave the handkerchief at Uncle Willie; the stable hand is now no longer there. See more »
What do you want?
You're wonderful. There's a magnificence in you, Tracy.
Now I'm getting self-conscious. It's funny. I - Mike? Let's...
I don't know - go up, I guess, it's late.
A magnificence that comes out of your eyes, in your voice, in the way you stand there, in the way you walk. You're lit from within, Tracy. You've got fires banked down in you, hearth-fires and holocausts.
I don't seem to you made of bronze?
No, you're made out of flesh and blood. That's the blank, unholy surprise ...
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Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »
I've Got My Eyes on You
Written by Cole Porter
Played at the party the night before the wedding See more »
Brilliant (if, yes, imperfect) comedy
"The Philadelphia Story" is often cited as the apex of Hollywood sophistication, and with good reason. The script (mostly Philip Barry's Broadway original, with some reshaping and a couple of extra scenes by Donald Ogden Stewart) is wonderfully fast and literate, and the three stars exemplify what what has largely been lost: amazingly attractive actors whose eyes shine with wit and whose voices are more than up to the challenge of speaking brilliant, challenging words. Everything about this film -- the acting, the direction, the costumes, the production design -- has an otherworldly, almost radioactive glow.
But -- and I'm afraid there is a 'but' -- something has always bothered me about this story. The basic premise is that Tracy Lord (Hepburn), débutante extraordinaire, possesses all things bright and beautiful but a warm and forgiving heart. This is demonstrated by her intolerance of her first husband, C.K. Dexter Haven (Grant), and even more by her inability to accept the transgressions of her 'womanizing' father. Will the goddess be brought down to earth, and how? If you've never seen the film, I don't want to give away the final resolution, but I suggest that you listen closely to the 'big' scene wherein Father upbraids Daughter, and try to imagine Bill Clinton having the same conversation with Chelsea. Fathers have a right to demand only so much of their children.
Otherwise, 'Philadelphia Story' is a great film, and if you've never seen it, don't bother apologizing. Just get thee to a video store.
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