With its fast paced dialogue, its slapstick humor, and a plot revolving around an impending marriage; The Philadelphia Story is a classic “screwball comedy.” Katharine Hepburn plays Tracy Lord, a wealthy socialite who is to be married to a man from the “lower class,” George Kittredge (John Howard). Macaulay Connor (Jimmy Stewart), an aspiring writer and reluctant reporter for Spy Magazine, is assigned to cover the story of Tracy’s wedding. With the help of Tracy’s ex-husband, C.K Dexter Haven (Carey Grant), Macaulay and his photographer/ girlfriend Elizabeth Imbrie (Ruth Hussey) are introduced as friends of Tracy’s brother, and they are invited to stay at the Lord household for the wedding. Hilarity ensues as the characters discover that nobody is really who they appear to be and they soon learn the lesson that they cannot judge each other based on class membership (or any other preconceived notions). The characters learn the value of seeing each other simply as human beings.
The movie is a “must-see” especially because of the witty dialogue and the chemistry between the actors. Grant and Hepburn engage in such fast paced arguments and the clever insults fly effortlessly; the onscreen chemistry between the two is pretty remarkable. Hepburn and Stewart have many humorous and tender moments together as well, including a great scene which takes place in a library (library fans will be amused). Also, look out for Ruth Hussey’s character Liz, she has some of the best one-liners in the movie. Overall, The Philadelphia Story is a wonderful classic film; definitely not to be missed.
- Kayla Whitehead, Technical Services Assistant/Serials Specialist