I just posted my review of the movie I blogged about a few weeks ago: The Philadelphia Story. Not only does it take place back near where I grew up, but it’s a fantastic movie. Read the review to see why:
It’s been a while since I posted a movie review on my site, and as I just saw this movie for the second time the other day (after giving it to my wife as a birthday present), I thought I’d take the time to tell you why this is a movie you owe it to yourself to watch. It stars Katherine Hepburn, Carey Grant and Jimmy Stewart, and it was directed by George Cukor, based on a play by Philip Bary.
The story takes place in–you guessed it–Philadelphia. Not the city, really. More of a rich country estate near by. Tracy Lord (Hepburn) and C.K. Dexter Haven (Grant) were married but divorced some years ago. Now Tracy’s about to marry again, this time to George Kittredge, an up and coming politician. Haven pops up at the Lord estate the day before the wedding, accompanied by two “friends” (Spy magazine reporters hoping to get a scoop on the wedding), Mike Connor (Stewart) and Liz Imbrie.
I think what I like most about the movie is the dialogue and the way the characters interact. Anyone looking for an excellent example of a character-driven plot need look no further. Hepburn and Grant are spot on as a feuding divorced couple, and their interactions are fantastic, and Stewart is tremendous (and hilarious as a drunk). Better still, the plot never forces its characters to do things they wouldn’t naturally do. Everything–including the finale–fits and makes sense, something Hollywood isn’t always able to do. The film was nominated for six Oscars in 1941 (including best actress, supporting actress, director and picture) and won two (including a best actor statue for Stewart).
Too often these days, people are willing to overlook a movie just because it’s old. I have friends who see the latest pop culture efforts, but they’re missing out on so many movies that have proven their lasting worth. Sure, this is in black and white. So what? The characters and plot and dialogue are better than most of the films that come out today. It’s funny and intriguing and appealing to men and women alike. Or it should be, at least. I challenge you to watch this and then not like it.
As an interesting note, the play this movie was based on (by the same name) was also made into a fairly well-known musical: High Society, with Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly and music by Cole Porter. I hadn’t known this until I wrote this review, so I have yet to see this version, but you can bet I’ll be watching it when I get my hands on a copy.
Four stars (out of four)
In other news, I just wanted to post about blogs in general. I know that there are a lot of people who post their entire lives online, and frankly . . . I’m not sure how good a thing that is. There is such a thing as privacy, and while I suppose I can see the voyeuristic appeal of peering into someone else’s life, I also think such a thing can be overdone. Here at my blog, there are some things you’re never going to see. For example, if I ever disagree with my wife or family, I’m not going to tell you about it. My blog isn’t going to be the staging ground to publicly criticize people (or at least not intentionally or directly). I believe privacy is a wonderful thing, and I value my own.
Now, my own struggles with writing and school and work–that’s all fair game. I’ll try not to hold back on issues that I could theoretically see other people being interested in in general. But anything that I wouldn’t tell someone in person if I didn’t know them well, then that’s the sort of thing I might hold back. I realize this might be a touchy subject for some–and please don’t think that this post was made because of anything you posted on your own blog. It’s more a reaction to blogs in general, now that I’ve been reading them for a month or so.
And I think that’s all I have to say about that for now.