7.0/10
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147 user 44 critic

High Society (1956)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 17 July 1956 (USA)
A spoiled heiress must choose between three suitors: her jazz musician ex-husband, a stuffy businessman, and an undercover tabloid reporter.

Director:

Charles Walters

Writers:

John Patrick (screenplay), Philip Barry (play)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Two sailors, one naive, the other experienced in the ways of the world, on liberty in Los Angeles, is the setting for this movie musical.

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Stars: Frank Sinatra, Kathryn Grayson, Gene Kelly
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bing Crosby ... C. K. Dexter-Haven
Grace Kelly ... Tracy Lord
Frank Sinatra ... Mike Connor
Celeste Holm ... Liz Imbrie
John Lund ... George Kittredge
Louis Calhern ... Uncle Willie
Sidney Blackmer ... Seth Lord
Louis Armstrong ... Louis Armstrong
Margalo Gillmore ... Mrs. Seth Lord
Lydia Reed ... Caroline Lord
Gordon Richards Gordon Richards ... Dexter-Haven's Butler
Richard Garrick ... Lords' Butler
Louis Armstrong and His Band Louis Armstrong and His Band ... Themselves
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Storyline

C.K. Dexter-Haven, a successful popular jazz musician, lives in a mansion near his ex-wife's Tracy Lord's family estate. She is on the verge of marrying a man blander and safer than Dex, who tries to win Tracy's heart again. Mike Connor, an undercover tabloid reporter, also falls for Tracy while covering the nuptials for Spy magazine. Tracy must choose between the three men as she discovers that "safe" can mean "deadly dull" when it comes to husbands and life. Written by James Meek <james@oz.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A New High In The Movie Sky. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 July 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alta Sociedade See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,700,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$13,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Perspecta Stereo (as Perspecta Sound®) (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A different lion was used for the opening MGM Logal See more »

Goofs

Boom barely drops into the top of the frame for a split second, but the shadow clearly travels across the wall when George takes Tracy into the conservatory to lie down after she drunkenly sings that she's "Sensational". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Louis Armstrong: [after singing the opening song with his band] End of song, beginning of story.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits Louis Armstrong and His Band are eighth-billed, but in the end credits cast list it is Louis Armstrong listed individually who is eighth-billed. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Patty Duke Show: Hi, Society (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

True Love
(uncredited)
Written by Cole Porter
Sung by Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Even without Philadelphia Story to put it to shame, this is too much artifice, not enough wit
15 December 2015 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

High Society (1956)

You can see this movie as one of the last of the great silver screen musicals —and running out of originality and verve. Or you can enjoy Cole Porter brought down to a middle class sensibility (never mind the wealth of the characters here). Or you can just marvel at some great footage of Louis Armstrong, and at the inclusion a black jazz band as a centerpiece in a big budget movie.

So there are reasons to give this movie a try, even though it is fairly slow going, and a pale shadow of the original, the truly great 1940 "Philadelphia Story." Grace Kelly plays the leading woman about to be married, and she lacks the cool stony quality that Hitchcock wisely taps and instead tries to be a lively, witty, physically lithe leading lady. Just like Katherine Hepburn? Yes, except she's no Katherine Hepburn, and it all feels a bit striving.

Likewise for Bing Crosby, who plays a laid back guy who happens to have a jazz band (and who does a good swinging song with Louis and crew alongside). He isn't quite screen magic—that is, he's no Cary Grant. Frank Sinatra is fine, but he has a smaller role. Alas.

And so it goes. Brightly lit, with big flashy Technicolor set design, the mood throughout is upbeat and fun and funny. And so it's not a bad thing to view.

But if you take at all seriously the contention of one man interceding on the groom for his ex-bride, whatever the Hays Code strategy, it just lacks edge and conviction. Cole Porter doesn't let us down, so there's always that!


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