Heiress Tracy Lord (Grace Kelly) is engaged to one man (John Lund), attracted to another (Frank Sinatra) and, just maybe, in love again with her ex-husband (Bing Crosby) in this efferevescent musical reinvention of Philip ... more »Barry's play The Philadelphia Story featuring an endlessly delightful Cole Porter score. Among High Society's high points: Sinatra and Celeste Holm ask Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Crosby and Kelly share True Love, Der Bingle and Ol' Blue Eyes swing-swing-swingle Well, Did You Evah? and Crosby and Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong jive with Now You Has Jazz. Yes, indeedy, we has!« less
"I've just finished watching "High Society" after having first seen "The Philadelphia Story" only a month ago. Both films are phenomenal, on their own and shouldn't be compared. They succeed wonderfully in very different ways. The cinematography of "High Society" is excellent and is one of the major factors of it's success. In many ways, it makes it a very, dare I say, 'modern' musical, not seeming at all fluffy or schmaltzy. The musical numbers are intimately filmed, and with Cole Porter's music and lyrics, it works amazingly well. Case in point..."Well Did You Evah". I believe this to be one of Sinatra's best roles, quite cool, charming, and thoroughly convincing. And then he sings...and all is well with the world. Bing is at his cool best and Grace Kelly is stunningly beautiful, even with her role's snobbery fully intact. It is a shame that Sinatra and Bing only had one other movie together "robin and the Seven Hoods" because their chemistry is unsurpassed. Add the jazz and personality of Satchmo, and what you have is one of the most enjoyable 107 minutes that you could spend in front of the tube. Highly recommended. Let's hope the DVD version is in the works!"
A wonderful sorce of entainment
Anthony Paul | 07/19/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"High Society, starring Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby is a delightful musical. It is a remake of the big hit THE PHILADELPHIA STORY which starred Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant and James Stewert. In High Society Bing Crosby plays C.K Dexter Haven the "x" of Tracy Lord (Grace Kelly) who turns up suddenly when he hears that Tracy is being remarried. Tracy of course is furious and does not want him there. To add to her problems two reporters,(one of which is played by Frank Sinatra) show up. Tracy refuses to admit that she's still in love with Dexter and refuses to call of the wedding. Louis Armstrong toots out some great tunes by Cole Porter and Grace Kelly does an excellent job, especially in her drunk scene. This movie is an absoulute must!"
Bubbly Musical Remake of Hepburn Classic!
Benjamin J Burgraff | Las Vegas | 12/07/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"'High Society', MGM's musical remake of Philip Barry's classic 'The Philadelphia Story', is a frothy, high-spirited joy! While it lacks the inestimable star power of Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart, in replacing the male leads with the greatest crooners of all time, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, and offering Hollywood's Princess, Grace Kelly, in her last film role, MGM was NOT dropping the marquee value by much! Add to the mix the legendary Louis Armstrong, and one of Cole Porter's last great film scores (including the lushly romantic 'True Love'), and you have all the ingredients for a delightful movie experience!Changing the film's locale from Philadelphia to Newport, the class distinction subplot of the story becomes, at best, a minor plot point, but it does provide the 'hook' of the Newport Jazz Festival to bring in Armstrong, and to add songwriting as a hobby of millionaire C.K. Dexter-Haven (Crosby). His ex, Tracy Samantha Lord (called 'Sam' in this version, so Cole Porter could recycle his tune 'Goodbye, Amanda', as 'Goodbye Samantha'), and played by the luminous Kelly, is remarrying, to boring, wooden George Kittredge (played woodenly by John Lund). An 'Enquirer'-type scandal sheet, 'The Spy', blackmails the family into allowing a writer and photographer (Sinatra and Celeste Holm) to cover the nuptials (in an improvement on the original story, where Cary Grant 'sells out' the Lords in an attempt to disrupt the wedding).From this point on, the film follows the original version fairly closely, adding songs to 'spice up' the proceedings. Sinatra and Holm take potshots at the idle rich with 'Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?'; Crosby tosses off a sweet ditty for Sam's little sister ('Little One'), and attempts, with Armstrong, to explain contemporary music ('Now You Has Jazz'); Sinatra, smitten with Kelly, expresses his feelings ('You're Sensational' and 'Can I Make Love To You?'); Crosby and Kelly, in a flashback, recall their honeymoon ('True Love', which became a hit single, earning both stars a gold record). The film highlight is, understandably, the fabulous and funny duet between Crosby and Sinatra, 'Well, Did You Evah?' (rich with sly comments on Crosby's famous fortune, and Sinatra's 'new' style of crooning). The number is nearly always featured in MGM musical retrospectives, and is a show-stopper!As all the pieces fall into place for a 'beautiful' wedding, (which concludes both versions of the story), Louis Armstrong provides a final coda that is both charming and a reminder that Hollywood just doesn't make 'em like this any more!'High Society' may not be in the stratosphere of 'The Philadephia Story', but it certainly has a well-deserved place in the cosmos of its own! This one's a keeper!"
Little known masterpiece
Gary F. Taylor | 05/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What do you say about a musical with Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong? Surely this film marks a high point in the genre. Cap it off with a little Grace Kelly and you have one of my top 3 movies of all time (others Vertigo and American Beauty).
While on the surface it might seem like a simple light musical comedy, there actually is a great deal of intelligence to it. Smart dialogue, quirky intentional slips out of character, and of course, a couple of phenominal songs.
I first saw this movie when I was an awkward girl of maybe 13, braces and all. It was the first time I ever saw Grace Kelly and I was entranced. I wanted to be her. And I have to confess, some 16 years later, I still kind of do. This movie is now a regular form of therapy. Any time I feel stressed or down, I watch it and take more away from it each time.
I count the days until this movie comes out on DVD. This film is why I still own a VCR, and frankly, I'd love to get rid of it."
Pleasant Musical Remake of The Philadelphia Story
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 10/26/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Tracy Lord is a society woman with an inflexible sense of propriety: not only has she divorced her socially liberal first husband C.K. Dexter-Haven, she has forced her mother to separate from her father over the latter's questionable behavior with a chorus girl. Now she plans to marry George Kittredge, a social climber with a sense of propriety as inflexible as her own--only to find her wedding suddenly beset by her first husband, two pesky reporters, the possibility of a paternal scandal, and a local jazz fest. If all this sounds a bit familiar, it should be no surprise. Originally written for the stage by Philip Barry under the title THE PHILADELPHIA STORY, it proved a smash hit during the 1940s on both stage and screen, and this remake follows the original very closely, only fiddling with the story and characters to the extent of introducing and rationalizing Cole Porter's musical elements.The original non-musical film cast included Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and James Stewart--a hard act to follow, to say the least. But while they don't best that teaming, stars Grace Kelly (Tracy), Bing Crosby (C.K. Dexter-Haven), and Frank Sinatra (Mike Connor, one of the reporters) carry off the roles with considerable charm. But the real strength of this film is the guest appearance of Louis Armstrong and the Cole Porter score. Only Porter would be brazen enough to write lyrics that rhyme Circe with Mercy, and while this is one of his lesser efforts it is still pretty impressive stuff, including such memorable tunes as "True Love," the satirical "Well, Did You Ever?," and such throw-away charmers as "Little One." As for Louis Armstrong, his star quality is powerful enough to put even Sinatra in the shade.The failure of the film is the fact that every one in the cast seems to play a bit too casually, and although they are all clearly having a good time they never really achieve the sparkle a truly great musical comedy requires. Even so, musical fans--particularly those of Cole Porter, Armstrong, Crosby, and Sinatra--will find it quite enjoyable, and Grace Kelly fans will find the actress as lovely as ever. Recommended."