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Monday, September 20, 2010

Tired Old Queen at the Movies: The Philadelphia Story

Steve Hayes showcases Kate Hepburn in her defining performance (1940):
Good Lord! Tracy Lord's getting married again! And look who's here to bust up the wedding!

Katharine Hepburn finds herself up to her long neck in man trouble when former Husband Cary Grant hires reporters Jimmy Stewart and Ruth Hussey to cover her society wedding for Spy magazine in George Cukor's hilarious The Philadelphia Story.

This was the great part of Hepburn's career and the role that saved it. Having been labeled "box office poison," she retaliated with the help of her then-boyfriend, Howard Hughes, by buying the screen rights to Phillip Barry's hit Broadway comedy, which she'd starred in, and selling herself and the property to MGM, making a killing. She also had casting approval, and when Gable and Tracy weren't available, chose Grant and Stewart, who subsequently picked up his only Oscar as Best Actor for his efforts. It's smooth, fast-paced, witty, and handled by a group of seasoned pros with all the MGM glamor the studio could muster. The Philadelphia Story proves unequivocally that indeed, they don't make 'em like that anymore!


dave said...

One of my favorites and Steve Hayes is always great.

Russ Manley said...

Yeah Steve is awesome, he should have his own TV show. Or at least a segment on TCM.

But is America ready for that much fabulousness, even in 2010? *sigh*

dave said...

you're probably right - too fabulous for many...
BTW I knew the woman Philip Barry based Tracey Lord on - quite a character.

Russ Manley said...

Fascinating, I bet that was a trip.

dave said...

she was a real trip

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