"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Saturday, July 07, 2007

SNMR 3.16: "The Philadelphia Story"

The first feature in this month's SNMR tribute to James Stewart is "The Philadelphia Story" (1940, NR, 112 minutes, B&W), starring James Stewart, Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Ruth Hussey and John Howard. The film was directed by George Cukor. Jimmy Stewart won his only Best Actor Oscar for his performance in this film.

I had never heard of or seen this film before I checked it out of the library the other day. How could I resist, with such a powerful trio of leading actors? Truth is I couldn't, and neither should you.

From the DVD's dust case:
Sophisticated romantic comedy achieved it's pinnacle in this timeless classic voted one of the top 100 American Films of All Time by the American Film Institute. Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Best Actor Academy Award Winner James Stewart star in the masterful comedy (directed by George Cukor) about a fault finding, bride-to-be socialite who gets her comeuppance. (Writer Donald Ogden Stewart won the film's second Oscar for his adaptation of Philip Barry's play.

From Martin and Porter's DVD & Video Guide 2007, p. 871:
This is one of the best comedies to come out of Hollywood. From the first scene where Tracy Lord (Hepburn) deposits her ex-husband's (Grant) golf clubs in a heap at her front door and in return, Grant deposits Hepburn in a heap right next to the clubs, the 1940's version of The Taming of the Shrew proceeds at a blistering pace. Grand entertainment.

Maybe the word comedy had a different meaning in 1940, when this film was released. Sure it's romantic and has its humorous moments, but it is far from what we moderns would consider a comedy. The script is good with some witty dialogue and the acting is supreme all the way down to the surprise ending (at least I wasn't expecting it!) Cukor does an excellent job directing such luminous stars and the story moves along crisply in their capable hands. As far as this being the best comedy to come out of Hollywood? Not a chance. Still, this is a very good and highly entertaining piece of cinematic history that I recommend. You'll either need to go to a rather large specialty video store, either on-line or otherwise or the library to find this movie, but it is well worth the effort. I'll give this film four out of five stars.



At 10 July, 2007 08:44, Blogger green said...

What, don't any of you like old movies???


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