Blu-ray, DVD Release: The Philadelphia Story

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Nov. 7, 2017
Price: DVD $19.59, Blu-ray $25.99
Studio: Criterion

With the furiously witty comedy of manners The Philadelphia Story (1940), Katharine Hepburn (Woman of the Year) 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 original Philip Barry stage play, Hepburn snapped up the screen rights, handpicking her friend George Cukor (A Star is Born) to direct.

The intoxicating screenplay by Donald Ogden Stewart pits the formidable Philadelphia socialite Tracy Lord (Hepburn) against various romantic foils, chief among them her charismatic ex-husband (Cary Grant, His Girl Friday), 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 (an Academy Award-winning James Stewart (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington) of  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.

Criterion’s new editions of the classic American film contain the following 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
* An essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme

Buy or Rent The Philadelphia Story

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.