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The Philadelphia Story (2000)

Cary Grant , Katharine Hepburn , George Cukor  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (445 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, Ruth Hussey, John Howard (i)
  • Directors: George Cukor
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 9, 2010
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (445 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0045HCJQW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,571 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Philadelphia Story" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, James Stewart, Ruth Hussey. Hepburn revisits her famous stage role as a socialite whose impending marriage is threatened by a reporter and her ex-husband. 1940/b&w/112 min/NR/fullscreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
145 of 153 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great comedies of all time March 28, 2003
Format:DVD
In 1940, Katherine Hepburn's movie career was in desperate condition. Her 1938 film BRINGING UP BABY, although recognized as a Howard Hawks's masterpiece today, was at the time a box office failure. The failure signaled the temporary end of demand for her talents in Hollywood, although she had HOLIDAY in the can (and costarring, like both BRINGING UP BABY and THE PHILADELPHIA STORY, Cary Grant). So, she went back to the stage, in a play written specifically for her, and the subsequent hit was an unexpected and triumphant return to the screen for Hepburn. Her career never looked back again, especially when two years later she teamed with Spencer Tracy for the first time. Ironically, she originally requested that Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy play the Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart roles.
THE PHILADELPHIA STORY is such an extraordinarily well-done film that one can watch it repeatedly, reveling each time in new and hidden details. It strikes the perfect balance of being spectacularly well-acted, hysterically funny, and delightfully silly while maintaining an elegant veneer. The cast is nearly overwhelming in its quality, with Hepburn and Grant turning in especially fine performances. Jimmy Stewart is also superb, though he won an Oscar for this year that he probably didn't deserve. The Academy in 1940 may have been giving him the award as an apology for not having won the year before for MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON. Unfortunately, this meant that Jimmy Stewart's best friend Henry Fonda failed to win for one of the finest performances in the history of American cinema, as Tom Joad in THE GRAPES OF WRATH. Still, although the Oscar clearly should have gone to Fonda, Stewart manages a great turn.
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68 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My, she was yar... November 12, 2003
Format:DVD
They make few movies of the level of quality as "The Philadelphia Story." This movie is just full of life, good and bad. Cary Grant, James Stewart and Katharine Hepburn are a trifecta of astounding talent, and they blend together with ease and style. Like real people, everyone has their faults and their strengths. Everyone is right and wrong at the same time, in their own way.
The dialog is so amazing, you want to quote it at every opportunity, although your life probably doesn't provide the opportunity to drop these kinds of quotes. The "High Society" at play, and the lowbrow crashers making their nickels and dimes all the while allowing their pretensions to art...this is great drama.
The DVD is not particularly exciting, and is a surprising let down for such an amazing film, however a film this great doesn't need extras. The main course is filling enough.
Definitely something you will watch over and over again. One of the best.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is why I watch the classics. May 3, 2001
Format:DVD
Hollywood has a long history of taking Broadway theatricals and turning them into successful films. In 1940, this process produced "The Philadelphia Story" which had been very popular while on the stage with Katherine Hepburn. As it happened, Katherine was given a lot of control over the film. She chose all the leads and virtually had the film adaptation custom crafted for her. The end result was a fabulous cast, great performances and one of the funniest scripts ever produced. One final bit of trivia, the studio claimed to have shot the entire film without the need for any second takes.
For the most part, this is an interesting film because it has interesting characters. And like any good cuisine, the ingredients are added with impeccable timing and in such a way as to produce a very spicy result. Instead of identifying with one central character, we are forced to wear the shoes of at least three. James Stewart plays, Macaulay Connor, a dissatisfied reporter working for a society rag. He represents the white-collar class. Hepburn and Cary Grant each represent the upper class. Hepburn is Tracy Samantha Lord, a wealthy heiress who is planning to wed for the second time, after rejecting her first husband on the grounds of what seems to be alcoholism. Grant plays that ex-husband, C. K. Dexter Haven, a now reformed drinker who is still in love with Tracy but is forced to make her life more difficult on the day before her upcoming nuptials.
There is a strong social commentary within the film. Tracy's betrothed, George Kittredge, is a working class lad who has worked his way to success. He is possibly the only unlikable character in the movie; as his ambitions are a little too obvious, his mind a little to shallow and his love a little too conditional.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Oh, C. K. Dexter Haaaa-ven!" August 14, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It's hard to overpraise THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940), the film version of a successful Broadway play by "society" playwright Phillip Barry. Everything about this movie is top-notch: the suavely witty jazz score, the book, the lavish interiors of Philadelphia "Main Line" mansions (truly the MGM "high gloss" touch at its finest), and especially the winning performances by Katharine Hepburn as slightly spoiled socialite Tracy Lord, Cary Grant as her ex, C.K. Dexter Haven, and especially Jimmy Stewart as Macauley ("Mike") O'Connor, yellow journalist for the tittle-tattle SPY magazine assigned to get the goods on the Philadelphia rich. And he does get the goods--and they almost get him, in a film that manages to be verbally witty, supremely funny situationally, yet upfront about American class divides in the prewar era. In fact, Jimmy Stewart's role was Oscar-winning, as the Academy was impressed by the depth and nuance he gave to his chip-on-the-shoulder journalist, following the idealistic title role of MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON the year before.

In classic screwball fashion, Tracy Lord (Hepburn) is scheduled to marry a self-made man who worships his maker, until neighbor and ex C.K. Dexter Haven (Grant) and interloping journalist Macauley ("Mike") Connor (Stewart) try to save her from her insane idealism by romancing her themselves! In a classic drunk scene, not politically correct today but funny nonetheless, Stewart serenades (perhaps "bellows" would be a better word) to the tune of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" the nearly comatose Tracy Lord after a night--and most of predawn morning--of champagne overconsumption. Then he goes looking for his presumed rival, the rich boy next door, "C.K. Dexter Haaaven!
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