901 The Philadelphia Story

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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domino harvey
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

901 The Philadelphia Story

#1 Post by domino harvey » Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:34 pm

The Philadelphia Story

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With this furiously witty comedy of manners, Katharine Hepburn revitalized her career and cemented her status as the era's most iconic leading lady—thanks in great part to her own shrewd orchestrations. While starring in the Philip Barry stage play The Philadelphia Story, Hepburn snapped up the screen rights, handpicking her friend George Cukor to direct. The intoxicating screenplay by Donald Ogden Stewart pits the formidable Philadelphia socialite Tracy Lord (Hepburn, at her most luminous) against various romantic foils, chief among them her charismatic ex-husband (Cary Grant), who disrupts her imminent marriage by paying her family estate a visit, accompanied by a tabloid reporter on assignment to cover the wedding of the year (James Stewart, in his only Academy Award–winning performance). A fast-talking screwball comedy as well as a tale of regrets and reconciliation, this convergence of golden-age talent is one of the greatest American films of all time.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• Audio commentary from 2005 featuring film scholar Jeanine Basinger
• New introduction to actor Katharine Hepburn's role in the development of the film by documentarians David Heeley and Joan Kramer
In Search of Tracy Lord, a new documentary about the origin of the character and her social milieu
• 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

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Werewolf by Night
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Re: 901 The Philadelphia Story

#2 Post by Werewolf by Night » Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:06 pm

Looks like a nice release, but don't get rid of your Warner Bros. 2-disc DVD edition. The documentaries Katharine Hepburn: All About Me - A Self-Portrait and The Men Who Made the Movies: George Cukor are both great and not carried over (neither are they available on any other DVD or BD release).

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Ribs
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:14 pm

Re: 901 The Philadelphia Story

#3 Post by Ribs » Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:20 pm

TCM does show the Hepburn doc like five times a year, cos I invariably watch the whole thing to completion when I see it's on.

(I'm a bit surprised it's not here, considering the Hepburn doc about Tracy made it on to Woman of the Year; maybe it'll be on Bringing Up Baby?)

felipe
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 11:06 pm

Re: 901 The Philadelphia Story

#4 Post by felipe » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:34 am

I love the film and was anxious for this release, but hate to say that it seems that Criterion's features are way inferior to Warner's 2-disc edition...

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Werewolf by Night
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Re: 901 The Philadelphia Story

#5 Post by Werewolf by Night » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:48 pm

But those Dick Cavett interviews are great, and the discussion of Hepburn's role in getting this film made when she was persona non grata in Hollywood sounds interesting.

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domino harvey
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Re: 901 The Philadelphia Story

#6 Post by domino harvey » Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:30 pm

RE: Dropped features, Criterion only includes one of the radio adaptations on the Warners set as well

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movielocke
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:44 am

901 The Philadelphia Story

#7 Post by movielocke » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:45 pm

My wife and I watched this last year and I was struck throughout at just how poor the two disc DVD felt relevant to contemporary expectations. And I remember being amazed at that DVD when it first came out relative to my VHS recording off TCM in SLP and the tcm print probably being from a shitty 16mm tv print.

But regarding the film we had quite the amazing conversation about all the myriad ways it deals with sex, marriage, women as property, and so on.

In particular, we talked about the way jimmy Stewart, even if he is good in bed, is rejected because he believes sex makes her his possession, while Cary grant ultimately succeeds because he's rejected that former attitude and accepts an independent Katherine Hepburn. And that the film was so good about making Stewart appealing and then deciding he wasn't appealing and that was remarkable and really satisfying succinct way of exploring a casual sex relationship compactly.

So I'm excited this is getting another release, the script is incredibly rich in how it deals with sexual politics, social roles and the central spoiler that a woman learning she can enjoy sex can be a liberating experience and that she can even be so liberated as to affirmatively choose marriage rather than being forced into it or forced to reject it on principle.

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dwk
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:10 pm

Re: 901 The Philadelphia Story

#8 Post by dwk » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:21 pm


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Minkin
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: 901 The Philadelphia Story

#9 Post by Minkin » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:37 am

The Atanasov Story

Was this the vault fire that destroyed this film's negative?

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Roger Ryan
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:04 pm
Location: A Midland town spread and darkened into a city

Re: 901 The Philadelphia Story

#10 Post by Roger Ryan » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:50 am

Minkin wrote: ...Was this the vault fire that destroyed this film's negative?
It seems more likely that this fire at the George Eastman House the same year was the culprit since 327 original camera negatives for MGM features, shorts and cartoons were lost.

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