Classic Movie Discussion Group
Public is invited to a free viewing and discussion of the movie “The Philadelphia Story” (1940, 112 min.)”The viewing will be held at the Covenant Community Center, 322 W. Pecan in Sherman, on Wednesday February 14, 2018 at 6 pm.
Not since “Little Women” has Katharine Hepburn appeared on the screen to such advantage as in “The Philadelphia Story.” That there’s perhaps still a trace of Louisa M. Alcott’s Jo perceptible in Philip Barry’s heiress as we see her now hasn’t hurt the part or made it seem unlikely in the least, far separate as Miss Alcott’s world and Mr. Barry’s may be. To all her dash and style and looks, Miss Hepburn adds Jo’s gentleness on occasion, which helps enormously to enhance the general charm of the picture, softens the tone of the difficult relationship of the father and daughter, and, I think, contributes a grace, a polite and pleasant flavor, to the crisis at the swimming pool, which might, without it, have been maudlin. The film is a Hepburn triumph, and moviegoers who resent the theatre’s habit of requisitioning their stars may feel that Miss Hepburn’s time on the stage has not been spent in vain and that she simply prepared herself for this achievement during the long run of the play.
The play has been adroitly adjusted for the screen by Donald Ogden Stewart. He’s done a very good job. There have been neat little touches inserted, such as a librarian scene, with Quaker thees and thous, which identify the setting for us and make it clear that this is not, say, “The Des Moines Story” or a story of other cities where there are also appallingly rich people. This business of being very rich—always a torturous thing, according to Mr. Barry —isn’t too much hammered upon, and Mr. Stewart allows us to think that the rich may sometimes forget their burden. The mother and father (Mary Nash and John Halliday) manage to be quite human throughout, and, of course, that delightful creation from the play, that brat of a child sister (Virginia Weidler), is given full scope, to the relish of all. The two reporters (Ruth Hussey and James Stewart) are allowed some protective humor of their own in the wretched predicament they are forced to face, and manage to handle themselves pretty well, all things considered. John Howard has the thankless rôle of the bridegroom who is destined to disaster, and Cary Grant, as the ex-husband and eventually successful suitor—which may sound perplexing to people who don’t know the story, or their Philadelphia—swings nonchalantly enough over the hurdles of the plot and is, I should say, as courageous as any hapless Widener. ♦
The free viewing will be held at the Covenant Community Center, 322 W. Pecan in Sherman, on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 6 pm, with Walter Brice & Jerry Lincecum as organizers. To receive an email notice a couple of days before the showing send email to email@example.com type ”send movie notice” with name, phone and email.
Popcorn and lemonade furnished. Bring your soda and chair pillow and invite a friend.
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