The Philadelphia Story is George Cukor’s sophisticated screwball gem, adapted from Philip Barry’s play set in Philadelphia’s tony Main Line suburbs, Katharine Hepburn re-creates her stage role as society girl Tracy Lord, whose upcoming second marriage is imperiled by the attentions of her playboy ex-husband, Dexter (Cary Grant). He hopes to win Tracy back by sabotaging the wedding with the help of a tabloid reporter (James Stewart), but Dex doesn’t count on how attractive she begins to find the charming stranger.
Due to the film’s unrivaled at the time star power and a script packed with warmth and wit, The Philadelphia Story was a smash hit for MGM in 1940, earning a total gross of $3,000,000. Time has been kind to the feature, so much so that it is earning a place of prestige among titles released by the Criterion Collection. On November 7th, Criterion will release a new Blu-ray edition of the film that will include the following special features:
• New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• Audio commentary from 2005 featuring film scholar Jeanine Basinger
• In Search of Tracy Lord, a new documentary about the origin of the character and her social milieu
• New piece about actor Katharine Hepburn’s role in the development of the film
• Two full episodes of The Dick Cavett Show from 1973, featuring rare interviews with Hepburn, plus an excerpt of a 1978 interview from that show with director George Cukor
• Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of the film from 1943, featuring an introduction by filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille
• Restoration demonstration
• PLUS: An essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme
This restoration will having the film looking and sounding better than ever, thrusting a timeless classic into the 21st century with all of its humor and unforgettable performances. This November, be sure to check this release out. It’s a Story worth being told again and again!