‘The Philadelphia Story’: You Won’t Believe These Behind-The-Scenes Facts About the 1940 Movie

by Jeremy Spirogis
The Philadelphia Story

The Philadelphia Story, the Academy-Award profitable romantic comedy launched in 1940, stars well-known basic movie actors Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and James Stewart. Below you’ll discover just a few of our favourite behind-the-scenes factoids about The Philadelphia Story and its star-studded forged.

The forged of ‘The Philadelphia Story’ have been complete professionals

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Cary Grant, James Stewart, John Howard, and Katharine Hepburn in portrait for the 1940 film The Philadelphia Story | Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images

Director George Cukor shot his black-and-white film in simply eight weeks. Also, based on IMDb, the filming of The Philadelphia Story didn’t require any retakes. We suppose that’s what occurs while you forged actors with the sort of expertise as Hepburn, Stewart, and Grant.

The Criterion Collection movie has just a few hiccups (pun meant)

In the scene the place Stewart and Hepburn’s characters, Macaulay and Tracy, get drunk collectively, Macauly hiccups. Stewart, in actual fact, improvised these hiccups within the second. (A strong appearing selection, as hiccups are a typical symptom of drunkenness). In the shot, when you look intently you possibly can see Grant trying away and stifling a smile, apparently about to interrupt. However, Grant stored his cool, and nonetheless, the Philadelphia Story scene solely took one take.

Also whereas Macaulay is drunk, he sings the Wizard of Oz tune “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” However, he sings the lyrics incorrectly; he says “someday” rather than “somewhere.” While it’s listed on IMDb as a goof, it very effectively may have been an appearing selection–particularly contemplating Stewart’s character was fairly liquored up when he was belting out the music.

‘The Philadelphia Story’ film relies on a play that starred Katharine Hepburn on Broadway

Hepburn, who stars within the film, additionally performed the lead within the Broadway play on which screenwriter Donald Ogden Stewart primarily based the movie script. The well-known actress really owned the movie rights to The Philadelphia Story. Her friend, the billionaire Howard Hughes, gave Hepburn the rights as a gift.

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Actress Katharine Hepburn on the set of her Broadway play The Philadelphia Story | Alfred Eisenstaedt/The LIFE Picture Collection through Getty Images

The film was a take a look at of 1940 Hollywood requirements and censors

Remember early within the movie, when Tracy (a.okay.a. Hepburn) is rocking a modern white trouser go well with? Hepburn’s unimaginable #OOTD nearly didn’t make it to display. Louis Mayer, an MGM govt, objected to the go well with. And actually, how dare girls put on pants? Luckily, somebody persuaded Mayer to let the scene (and the superb romper-before-rompers-were-a-thing) keep.

However, even the actors themselves bought chilly toes concerning the censors. Stewart has stated a number of the traces of dialogue made him uncomfortable to ship. The It’s a Wonderful Life star felt particularly hesitant concerning the scene by which he and Hepburn turn into their swimsuits–although he’s solely ever seen in a dressing robe (the swimming costume presumably beneath).

Stewart predicted that had he dropped the gown and confirmed off his swimming costume in The Philadelphia Story, it may have ended his profession.

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A scene from the movie The Philadelphia Story | Hulton Archive/Getty Images

What the ‘The Philadelphia Story’ forged members bought paid

When provided a task within the film, Grant was instructed he may select between the 2 male lead components, and he selected the much less showy position. Still, provided that Grant was a Hollywood star by this level, he demanded his title get prime billing. He additionally negotiated a $137,000 wage, which on the time, was huge. (Adjusting for inflation, that will be a couple of $2.5 million payout today.) However, the actor wasn’t being grasping. Grant ended up donating the entire chunk of change to the British War Relief Fund.

Hepburn, on her half, negotiated for 45% of the earnings rather than a conventional wage. Given that, in 1941, The Philadelphia Story was the fifth hottest movie on the field workplace, it appears this labored out effectively for the actress.

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Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant in The Philadelphia Story | Clarence Sinclair Bull/John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images

Katharine Hepburn was thought of ‘box office poison’ in 1940 – however hey, she does her personal stunts!

However, the studio executives weren’t satisfied this movie can be a success. An enormous motive the MGM chiefs agreed to Grant’s demand for prime billing and a excessive wage? Hepburn, who owned the rights to the movie and was starring in a success Broadway run of the play, was dubbed to be “box office poison” after she appeared in some flops.

But we are able to’t finish on that observe! Especially since Hepburn’s appearing and comedic timing in The Philadelphia Story are issues of perfection. So, our final enjoyable reality: do not forget that pretty dive Tracy does into the pool? No stunt doubles wanted; Hepburn nailed it herself.

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