The Philadelphia Story is one of Cukor’s most beloved films, a shining relic from a moment in studio moviemaking when minds could freely meet and talents combine across disciplines—at least occasionally. Everyone’s just on, from screenwriter Donald Ogden Stewart to the unbeatable cast (centered on warring trio Katharine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart, and Cary Grant) to Cukor himself, who proves to be every bit as fine of a visual stylist as some of his showier peers. Compared to its fellow comedies of remarriage, The Philadelphia Story Bringing Up Baby or the romantic ecstasies of It Happened One Night. Instead, it’s a worldly, pragmatic reflection on the complex affinities people have for one another, remarkable today for its sexual frankness, its nuanced attention to character motivation, and its balance of empathy and cruelty. Of all the Hollywood classics, few have aged so little, or so well.

  • Directed By George Cukor
  • 1940
  • USA
  • 35mm
  • 112 minutes