The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Director: George Cukor
Screenwriter: Donald Ogden Stewart
Stars: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, Ruth Hussey
During the time of the Production Code, a lot of films were forbidden from covering certain topics like sex without marriage and "first night" scenes. Not to mention that films had to tiptoe around depicting seduction. The Philadelphia Story, about a well-to-do woman caught in a love triangle, expertly played it coy; it danced around the issue of extramarital affairs by having the characters divorce, fall in love again, and remarry—all while keeping the screwball comedy ripe with pratfalls and smart dialogue.
Rightfully so, this old Hollywood rom-com served as Katharine Hepburn's silver-screen comeback, ending her "box office poison" reputation, and also featured two of the greatest romantic leads of all time, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart. —TA