Sunday, September 13, 2009
THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940)
Tracy Lord is engaged to George. Her ex-husband C. K. Dexter Haven shows back up for the wedding. Macauly Conner, the reporter covering the story, of course falls for Tracy, much to the chagrin of Elizabeth Imbrie, also working on the story. Of course, Tracy is probably still in love with with C. K. Dexter Haven. (Anyone doing a Cary Grant impersonation should do it saying “My name is C. K. Dexter Haven!” slowly emphasizing each syllable)
The Philadelphia Story is an enjoyable enough farce, but for me it not as much fun as some other of the great screwball comedies (My Man Godfrey comes to mind).
There are some memorable moments, I loved Jimmy Stewart’s drunk scene, for example. And the star power of the three leads of Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Stewart is a force. What’s the modern day equivalent? Julia Roberts…George Clooney…Brad Pitt maybe…Oh, no! That’s Ocean’s Eleven!”
Danny Peary’s book Alternate Oscars takes away Stewart’s Oscar for this film and gives it to Henry Fonda in The Grapes of Wrath. He gives Stewart the prize for It’s a Wonderful Life. If only life worked like this! As long as we're doing Oscar do-overs, let's give Jimmy one for Harvey too.