The Philadelphia Story (USA, 1940)

The-Philadelphia-Story-(1940)Directed by: George Cukor. Due to the Film Studies book I was reading, I got it in my head that I needed to check out three particular Classic Hollywood movies, the first of which was It Happened One Night, which I actually quite enjoyed. This one I’m not so sure about. It’s great seeing Hepburn, Grant and Stewart do their thing, but this story…I don’t know. It’s a semi-whacky semi-romantic story about an upper-class lady who’s marrying a big industrialist and her scheming rascal of an ex-husband plants a couple of reporters to gatecrash the wedding; the lady falls for the man reporter, realizes she’s totally not into the industrialist, but then (for some reason I still didn’t get because it was rushed through about 3 lines of dialogue in about 30 seconds of screentime at the very end) she realizes that instead of marrying the reporter she’s just fallen in love with, she’s actually in love with her ex-husband (out of fucking nowhere), and everyone, the jilted reporter included, joins in the fuzzy feels as they get re-married. The end. Am I missing something? And maybe I really am missing something because this movie struck me as being a fucking mess. That “resolution” seems to me like something that just isn’t justified by how little screentime is given to the relationship between Hepburn and Grant, which is completely overshadowed by how much screentime is given Hepburn and Stewart. And the character of the lady photographer who’s secretly in love with James Stewart, but which they don’t really do anything with, seems to me like a throwaway character. It’s things like that which lead to me believe that this movie was a rush-job whose plot really didn’t hold water, but it was the old Studio days, they had three big stars, they were trying not to think about going to war, and they sneezed this movie out, and to everyone’s surprise, it became a pretty big hit. Without knowing literally anything about the production history of this movie, I’m going to submit that as my theory. Next!

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2 responses to “The Philadelphia Story (USA, 1940)

  1. Pingback: Meet Me in St. Louis (USA, 1944) | Offhand Reviews·

  2. Pingback: List of Judgements, Anno Domini 2015 | Offhand Reviews·

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