493. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

8.4 Hilarious and interesting
  • Acting 8.6
  • Directing 8.3
  • Story 8.4
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, Cary Grant

Director: George Cukor

Running Time: 112 mins

The Philadelphia Story is an American film about two journalists who accompany a woman’s ex-husband to do a piece on her and her aristocratic family before her wedding. However, the woman unexpectedly begins to learn more about herself as she gets to know the journalists more, resulting in a chaotic turn of events.

This was really funny. Normally, I find it a little bit of a struggle to watch a much older comedy film, because the nature of the comedy is likely to be pretty dated, but here, I was laughing out loud at a load of the jokes, so it really was very entertaining to watch.

Not only is this a great comedy, but it encompasses three different genres into its story. There’s the farcical situation as the woman, Tracy, tries to hide her ridiculous affair with the journalist, Connor, there’s some good drama, with tensions between almost every character high throughout, making for more conflict, and there’s a good, partially unexpected twist at the end.

Also, the film has a much deeper aspect in which it is a fascinating social commentary. It talks about the ridiculously extravagant lifestyle of New England socialites, and how they feel superior to everyone else, however it only takes the right person to show them that they are just normal people like everyone else.

Just to put into perspective how funny this is, you could say it’s a mush of various stories from the present and the past. Basically, it encompasses elements which you see in farces such as The Importance Of Being Earnest and Wedding Crashers, while the drama and themes are similar to those in Blue Jasmine.

The all-star cast of this film, i.e. Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart and Cary Grant, really added to all aspects of its brilliance.

Katharine Hepburn was fantastic to watch. She was not only hilarious, becoming involved in this ridiculous affair on the day of her wedding, but she played Tracy Lord, the queen of aristocratic, passive-aggressive and manipulative female characters, brilliantly, and to see her discover her real importance, i.e. not being worshipped by every single person.

James Stewart, also hilarious, was the perfect guy to play the character of MacAulay Connor. He’s charming, and although he’s stealing the woman of two people’s dreams, there’s no way to not support him all the way, making him the centre of the drama at points.

Overall, I’ll give this an 8.4, because it was absolutely hilarious, dramatic, intriguing to watch and look into, and that’s what makes it such a classic.


About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com