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Friday, January 20, 2012

Classic Hollywood Review: High Society & Philadelphia Story

High Society is a 1956 flick that remakes The Philadelphia Story(1940). Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart are replaced by Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. Grace Kelly slides into Katherine Hepburn's role as the spoiled socialite preparing for her wedding. I LOVE the original. But one thing High Society has that the original doesn't is Bing and Frank singing and dancing. That's something extra that's pretty special, too. Add in Louis Armstrong and his trumpet and gravelly voice, ad you have some great music.

But the movie still lacks something that the original has...well, it lacks Kate, Jimmy and Cary. And while I adore Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly just isn't Kate Hepburn (IMHO). The original also won two Oscars, so I guess the Academy agrees with me.

The basic storyline is identical. Rich, spoiled heiress is preparing to marry her second husband in a matter of days. Reporters and first husband show up making a mess of her ordered life. In the process she comes to realize she wants more from her life than the cold, above-it-all persona she's crafted for herself. 

High Society is still worth watching...just watch it first and then pull out The Philadelphia Story.

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