The Philadelphia Story

Starring Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn and James Stewart
Screenplay by Donald Ogden Stewart based on the play by Philip Barry
Directed by George Cukor
Running time 112 minutes
USA 1940

  Our last film North By Northwest starred Cary Grant in perhaps his last great film role. The Philadelphia Story sees him in one of his best-known - playing C K Dexter Haven - former husband to socialite Tracy Lord, who on the eve of her wedding to a new husband finds himself once again embroiled with his ex.

  Tracy is played by Katherine Hepburn, simultaneously enchanting and infuriating, with the love triangle completed by James Stewart as Mike Connor, a wise-cracking reporter assigned to cover the wedding. Based on a Broadway play, The Philadelphia Story is one of the most polished and sparkling romantic comedies ever to come out of Hollywood. Hepburn had played Tracy on the stage and is mesmerising in this screen adaptation - wreaking havoc among the men around her before she finally decides which one she will choose…

  The story was remade in 1956 as the musical High Society - with Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra playing the leads. The Philadelphia Story is definitely the superior film with a sharper, defter script and more edge and character in the playing.

Mike: You're lit from within, Tracy. You've got fires banked down in you, hearth-fires and holocausts.Tracy: I don't seem to you made of bronze?
Mike: No, you're made out of flesh and blood. That's the blank, unholy surprise of it. You're the golden girl, Tracy. Full of life and warmth and delight. What goes on? You've got tears in your eyes.
Tracy: Shut up, shut up. Oh, Mike. Keep talking, keep talking. Talk, will you?