The Philadelphia Story review

Not to be confused with The Philadelphia Experiment (a sailor from World War Two is catapulted forward in time to 1984), Cukor's 1940 offering remains one of the finest studio comedies ever made.

Tabloid journalists Macaulay Connor (Stewart) and Elizabeth Imbrie (Hussey) are detailed to cover the wedding of the year: the marriage of Tracy Lord (Hepburn) and George Kittredge (Howard). Posing as friends of the family, they fake their way into the Lord household with the help of Tracy's bitter ex, CK Dexter Haven (Grant). A romantic merry-go-round ensues: Imbrie loves Connor, but Connor fancies Lord, while Lord is engaged to Kittredge but still has feelings for Haven.

The Philadelphia Story was nominated for six Oscars (with Stewart walking off with the Best Actor gong), and it's not difficult to see why. It spins a witty, whirling tale of love and manners, dominated by Hepburn's powerful performance in a role she originally made her own on the stage in Philip Barry's play.

This is a true blast from the gilded past of Hollywood cinema. Cukor's direction flawlessly picks up on defining character traits, and all the intricate detail makes watching this movie feel like you're an invisible gatecrasher at the Lords' party.

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