Released Date: December 26, 1940
Director: George Cukor
Actors: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, and Virginia Weidler
The Philadelphia Story went from stage play, to movie and then onto a radio program known as the Lux Theaters. Katharine Hepburn played the same roll as Tracy Lord in all three adaptations. She ended up owning the rights to the story bought by the famous airplane pilot Howard Hughes, which Miss Hepburn admitted to sleeping with the pilot to get the rights. Miss Hepburn got to pick the actors in the movie version and at first wanted Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy. Both men were busy and could not take the parts. The second choice group took the roles which were Cary Grant and James Stewart. James Stewart ended up winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar award that year. His father owned a shop in Indiana, PA which was located on Philadelphia Street. The Oscar had misspelled Philadelphia with another a instead of e.
This movie is based on a wealthy woman named Tracy Lord. She is married, at first to Cary Grant's character, one C.K. Dexter Haven. They divorced and Tracy ends up engaged to another man. Upset and wanting his woman back, Mr. Haven ends up going to the wedding to hopefully win her heart back. Macaulay Conner, played by James Stewart is a writer for a magazine and thinks at one point, that he has fallen in love with Tracy Lord. Macaulay Conner was hired to make Tracy Lord angry. A comedy and Romance, this movie takes you through ups and downs, hits and swimming, marriage and divorce, and so many laugh out loud moments that will keep you entertained.
Tracy Lord is a swimmer in the movie and at one point she takes a dive in her family owned pool. Usually back in those days, and even today, actors will use a double to do most athletic move but Katharine Hepburn was a very active woman and did her own dive in this movie. She was mostly known for her golf skills and was actually told that she could have gone pro. Although she does not golf in this movie, it is a very neat piece of information and one that makes her a very cool actress. This movie was made to save Katharine Hepburn's career and also James Stewart's as well. Cary Grant, however, was doing fine in his career and did not need saving. But the movies made a huge splash and ended up making this a movie that most fans of any of those actors say is their favorite.