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The time has come, the director said, to think of better movies and things. So he did. He combined an excellent, even superb, story with a top notch cast and set out to produce a masterpiece which was billed as "The Philadelphia Story." He had seen Katherine Hepburn in the stage production of the play and decided, correctly too, that she was the ultimate as far as the part of Tracy Lord was concerned. Next he hied himself over to the masculine department of the studio, picking out Gary Grant and Jimmy Stewart for the supporting male roles. Thus far this aspiring director has done a good job.
There was a problem however, that could not be solved by merely buying a good script and casting good actors. Behind this amusing play there appeared a subtle theme which had all the characteristics of intelligence--a thing that seldom happens in Hollywood. It wasn't one of those stories where boy gets girl, then gets it in the neck and lives ever after. "Philadelphia Story" was written by a man who was extremely conscious of the differences in human nature and the part that environment plays in making it different. The author may have exaggerated a bit the space between the wealthy and the other classes and the insurmountability of the social barriers; but he had to, in order to make his point evident. This director of ours knew that he faced a problem, realising that each one of his actors had to portray his role so that the public could get the significance of the theme and the subtletics involved. Judging from the results, the director was as intelligent as the author; for, "Philadelphia Story" is easily one of the top shows of '41.
Aside from the intellectual angle the humor of the movie is gorgeous. Hepburn and Stewart have a scene which takes in swimming, champagning and a wee bit of love that ends with the audience laughing so hard that the last few lines are missed. Go see it fellows and take anybody.
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