Archive for November 21st, 2008


by Allan Fish

This one is for the folks at the Katharine Hepburn Theatre and dcd…

(USA 1940 112m) DVD1/2

She was yar all right

p  Joseph L.Mankiewicz  d  George Cukor  w  Donald Ogden Stewart (and Waldo Salt)  play  Philip Barry  ph  Joseph Ruttenberg  ed  Frank Sullivan  m  Franz Waxman  art  Cedric Gibbons, Wade B.Rubottom

Katharine Hepburn (Tracy Samantha Lord), Cary Grant (C.K.Dexter Haven), James Stewart (Macaulay Connor), Ruth Hussey (Liz Imbrie), Mary Nash (Margaret Lord), John Halliday (Seth Lord), Virginia Weidler (Dinah Lord), Roland Young (Uncle Willie), Henry Daniell (Sidney Kidd), John Howard (George Kittredge), Rex Evans, Lionel Pape, Russ Clark, Hilda Plowright, Lila Chevret, Hillary Brooke,

Of all the films to suffer the ignominy of a musical remake, surely there can be no better film made into a worse musical remake than this.  Let us first get one thing perfectly clear; High Society has no redeeming virtues (with the exception of its end credits).  It is a truly awful film whose rating as a classic by many reviewers can only be described as collective madness.  Bing and Frank in the same film does not a classic make, Cole Porter’s songs are ordinary by his standards and the whole affair should be forgotten.  The original, however, is something else entirely.  If Trouble in Paradise was the pinnacle of pre-code sophistication, The Philadelphia Story personified post-code sophistication. (more…)

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by Sam Juliano

Tracy Letts’s Tony Award winning play August: Osage County is one of a line of plays about dysfunctional families who fight their demons, which translates to drugs, booze, adultery, guilt and severe depression.  Eugene O Neil’s Long Day’s Journey into Night comes to mind first, but Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman and Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? also deal with these issues most compellingly.  The production, directed by Anna D. Shapiro, is presented in nearly three-and-a-half hours, which is daunting for any show, much less this heady stuff, but it’s carried by some raw and funny dialogue, some corrosive characterizations and some bare-boned emotional battles among family members.     

The play brings together three generations of the Weston family, who are gathered in Oklahoma.  The pathologies present in the characters are exposed, and it becomes abundantly clear that these afflictions are what both brought the these people together and drove them apart.      (more…)

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