The Philadelphia Story

The Philadelphia Story is a 1940 American romantic comedy film directed by George Cukor, starring Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, and Ruth Hussey. Based on the 1939 Broadway play of the same name by Philip Barry, the film is about a socialite whose wedding plans are complicated by the simultaneous arrival of her ex-husband and a tabloid magazine journalist. The socialite character of the play—performed by Hepburn in the film—was inspired by Helen Hope Montgomery Scott (1904–1995), a Philadelphia socialite known for her hijinks, who married a friend of playwright Barry.


Tracy Lord is the elder daughter of a wealthy Philadelphia Main Line socialite family. She was married to C.K. Dexter Haven, a yacht designer and member of her social set, but divorced him two years prior, because, according to her father, he does not measure up to the standards she sets for all her friends and family: He drank too much for her taste, and, according to him, as she became critical of him, he drank more. Their only interaction while married, the film's opening scene, is her breaking his golf clubs and him pushing her to the ground. Now, she is about to marry nouveau riche "man of the people" George Kittredge.