Freeview film of the day: The Philadelphia Story

Dreams are made of this – Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and James Stewart wisecracking like crazy in this timeless 1940 comedy


The Philadelphia Story  ★★★★★


2.20-4.10pm BBC2

If forced to choose, I’d plump for the all-talking, no-dancing comedy The Philadelphia Story over its Technicolor musical remake High Society. Katharine Hepburn had a hit with the play on Broadway and, with old pal George Cukor as director and a hand-picked cast, the screen version was a success. Hepburn plays the society heiress who is engaged to John Howard’s executive dullard; Cary Grant is her ex-husband who turns up with information about an imminent press scandal; and an Oscar-winning James Stewart is a reporter from a rival publication who finds his class-war cynicism melting away as he falls for Hepburn. There’s more to it than that – Stewart’s fabulous drunk act, for one, and lines like: “You’re far and away your favourite person in the world” – but I advise you to just sit back and enjoy.


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