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The Philadelphia Story (1940)
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Directed by: George Cukor

Starring: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, James Stewart, Ruth Hussey

The Philadelphia Story

The Philadelphia Story DVD - Just The Good Stuff The Philadelphia Story ranked # 51 on the American Film Institute's Top 100 American Films list.

The Philadelphia Story is a 1940 romantic screwball comedy starring Jimmy Stewart, Katharine Hepburn, and Cary Grant. Based on a Broadway play of the same name by Philip Barry, the film is about a bride-to-be whose plans are complicated by the simultaneous arrival of her ex-husband and a handsome journalist.

Howard Hughes bought the rights to the film as a gift to Hepburn. When Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer decided to make a movie out of it, she came with it. Hepburn initially wanted Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy for the male leads but they were not available.

It is one of the best examples of the comedy of remarriage, a genre popular in the 1930's and 1940's, in which a couple divorced, flirted with outsiders and then remarried - a useful ploy at a time when extra-marital affairs were banned.

The film won Academy Awards for James Stewart (Best Actor), and screenwriter Donald Ogden Stewart (Best Adapted Screenplay). It also received Academy Award nominations for George Cukor (Best Director) Katharine Hepburn (Best Actress), Ruth Hussey (Best Supporting Actress), and Best Picture (Joseph L. Mankiewicz - producer). Most Oscar watchers consider Stewart's Oscar the quintessential "Should Have Won Last Year" award; after "robbing" him for his performance in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, the Academy gave him the Oscar at the earliest opportunity.

The film was deemed "culturally significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

Top 100 Greatest Films - AFI 100 - DVDs

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