Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Salon: Watching Philadelphia Story

High Society (1956) has always been one of my favorite movies, and one of my favorite musicals. High Society stars Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Grace Kelly. (Also features Louis Armstrong!) It adds a jazz element to the story not found in the original. Philadelphia Story (1940) is a movie I've only seen twice. It stars Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, and Cary Grant. Philadelphia Story has greater complexity perhaps in the plotting. The plot was simplified and/or clarified for the retelling in High Society. Some of the best lines in High Society are straight from Philadelphia Story. It was interesting to watch Philadelphia Story since I am so familiar with High Society. What I noticed most are the differences--in dialogue, in scenes, in story and plot--between the two. For example, in Philadelphia Story Macaulay ("Mike") Connor is actually a writer with a published book, though not a writer-who-can-support-himself. One of the conflicts between Tracy and Mike is that she offers to help him out financially enabling him to quit his reporting job. But he finds her offer condescending, he doesn't want to live off someone else. Another difference is Dexter's "drinking problem" which doesn't quite carry over in High Society. Because viewers know that one of the reasons she split with her first husband was her disapproval of his drinking habits, of how he acted when drunk, that makes her fall from grace--getting drunk and flirting around--all the more telling. George also has more lines, I believe, in this one. In High Society he was a pathetic character from start to finish. I did enjoy Philadelphia Story. How could I not enjoy it? It has CARY GRANT!!! And Grant and Hepburn made some WONDERFUL films together--I've enjoyed so many of them! I'm not sure I love it more than High Society though. It is a good movie, a good romantic comedy. And it would be easy to recommend!

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

2 comments:

Kailana 6:37 PM  

I really like Katherine Hepburn. I need to watch more older movies. It has been a while!

Melissa (Avid Reader) 11:33 AM  

I love Philadelphia Story. It's one of those movies I can watch over and over again.

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