Directed by George Cukor
There’s a line towards the end of “The Philadelphia Story” that rang particularly true to me and my viewing of the film. In fact, it’s the very last line, “I feel as though I’ve lived through all this before in another life.” The reason this line made me shake my head and laugh to myself is simple, I did live through this movie before, and it certainly feels like it was another life time ago.
Ten minutes into “The Philadelphia Story” a terrible thought hit me. “I’ve seen this movie before… but I don’t remember doing so.” I seemed to recollect more and more of my past experience with the film with every plot twist and new character that showed up. But I kept telling myself, “I have never seen a movie with both Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant before. I’d remember if I had.” After all, it was only last week upon my realization that these two men did a film together that I decided I should watch it. Of course, I’d known that they did this film, I’m pretty sure I’d even had conversations about it with someone in “another life”. And I slowly (and by slowly I mean not until after I had finished the film and looked it up on imdb) realized that the film I was thinking of was the musical remake starring Frank Sinatra called “High Society”. And then it all came crashing back. Take that for what you will.
Anyway, watching “The Philadelphia Story” was an experience for me. I’m not going to say it was a particularly nice one (through no real fault of the film’s) but it’ll at least stick out in my memory now. It’s rather unlikely that I’ll forget it again. As far as the merits of the film go, it’s a completely charming and serviceable distraction for two hours. Though to be completely honest, with a cast that included the two aforementioned stars, as well as Katherine Hepburn, I expected a tad bit more, (especially from Grant) but the end of the film still made me smile. If you like “classic Hollywood” you’d do well by checking it out.