Friday, September 21, 2012

The Philadelphia Story

As a fiercely independent socialite (Katharine Hepburn) welcomes guests for her second marriage at her family estate, a tabloid rag sends an undercover reporter (James Stewart) and her rascally first husband (Cary Grant), who still carries a flame for his ex, to cover the affair. "The Philadelphia Story" is a delightful comedy of manners, adapted from Philip Barry's stage play by Donald Ogden Stewart, directed by legendary master George Culkor, and featuring sharp performances from three of Hollywood's best, with Jimmy Stewart winning the sole Oscar of his career, which was something of a make-up award for being passed over for his prior, remarkable year ("Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", "Destry Rides Again"). The film is light, witty, and constantly entertaining, although it is not quite the monumental classic which its reputation has afforded it over the years. Still, it is great fun to see Hepburn, Grant, and Stewart, again three inimitable legends, interact on the screen.