The Philadelphia Story (play)
|The Philadelphia Story|
Cover of an edition of the text
|Written by||Philip Barry|
|Date premiered||28 March 1939|
|Place premiered||Shubert Theatre, New York City|
|Subject||Love, marriage, divorce|
|Setting||The suburbs of Philadelphia in the 1930s|
The Philadelphia Story is a 1939 American comic play by Philip Barry. It tells the story of a socialite whose wedding plans are complicated by the simultaneous arrival of her ex-husband and an attractive journalist.
Barry wrote The Philadelphia Story specifically for Katharine Hepburn, who ended up not only starring in but also financially backing the play, foregoing a salary in return for a percentage of the play's profits. Co-starring with Hepburn on Broadway were Joseph Cotten as "C.K. Dexter Haven", Van Heflin as "Macauley Connor", with Shirley Booth as "Liz Imbrie".
The play was a great success on Broadway, and was Hepburn's first great triumph after a number of commercial failures (including the classic Bringing Up Baby) had led the Independent Theatre Owners of America to publicly deem her and a handful of other actresses "box office poison."
Hoping to create a film vehicle for herself which would erase the label of "box office poison", Hepburn accepted the film rights to the play from Howard Hughes, who had purchased them as a gift for her. She then convinced MGM's Louis B. Mayer to buy them from her for only $250,000 in return for Hepburn having veto over producer, director, screenwriter and cast. In 1940 it was adapted to film, in a production directed by George Cukor and starring Cary Grant, Hepburn, and James Stewart. In 1956 it was adapted to a musical film version, High Society with Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Louis Armstrong.
- Irvine, Ian "The Real Philadelphia Story" at ReelClassics.com
- Melear, Mary Anne "The Philadelphia Story" (TCM article)
- The Philadelphia Story (play) at the Internet Broadway Database
- TCM Notes
- All Movie Overview