Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Swell-egant, Elegant Film

The rich are generally different. But in matters of the heart, they're just as scatterbrained as the rest of us.

Heiress Tracy Lord (Grace Kelly) is engaged to one man (John Lundt), attracted to another (Frank Sinatra) and, just maybe, in love again with her ex-husband (Bing Crosby) in this effervescent musical reinvention of Philip 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!

Title: High Society
Release: July 17, 1956
Genre: Musical
MPAA Rating: PG
Writer: Philip Barry (play) & John Patrick
Director: Charles Walters
Music By: Cole Porter
Produced By: Sol C. Siegel
Distributed By: MGM
Run Time: 111 minutes

Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, and Grace Kelly star in the 1956 MGM musical High Society that is slightly based on the Philip Barry play The Philadelphia Story (which was also made into a film in 1941). Cole Porter wrote the romantic, cheeky, fun, jazzy musical score that was nominated for two Academy Awards, one for the score itself and the other for the hit love song True Love sung by Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly.

This film is truly one of my favorite musicals now. I could listen to Crosby and Sinatra croon all day and it certainly doesn’t hurt that the film itself is enjoyable. It was the very last film that Grace Kelly ever did before she retired from acting to be Princess of Monaco and she went out with her guns blazing. The two male leads compliment each other well and usually that pushes the female lead out of the spotlight but Kelly certainly holds her own without even breaking a sweat (although I have a feeling that Katharine Hepburn was better in the original 1941 movie role).

Every time I watch a musical I seem to have at least one or two favorite songs that stick in my head for weeks afterwards but in the case of High Society, I’ve had practically the entire soundtrack on repeat forever! I do have two that I really like above all the others though and they are the duet between Sinatra and Crosby Did You Evah? and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire which is another duet but it’s between Sinatra and Celeste Holm. Of course there are tons more that are almost just as good but those are the two I seem to keep going back to.

Since this is such a popular movie all of the movie sites I go to have information on it:,, and Wikipedia has two articles (one for the movie the other for the soundtrack).


High Society Calypso:

Did You Evah?


  1. I've never even heard of this one, Jen. How awful is that? You've definitely got me curious now though. Thanks for letting me know about this little gem.

  2. I'll have to tell my wife about this. We adore the movie Philadelphia Story. It's tough to top Katherine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant, but we also love Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby.

  3. I do enjoy when you post about an old movie! My favorite channel is TCM ! (Turner Classic Movies) Makes me wonder how a Cable channel can be a "secret"..but it must be or I"m sure even young movie buffs would find that the old movies are great!

  4. I love old movies though are just beginning to discover more and more. I really like the suspense and mysteries and have been a fan of Hitchcock since I was a kid and watched his old television series on Nick and Nite. If you have any suggestions of something for me to look for, please let me know.

  5. great review, Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly were so classy.

  6. Ye, Gods! Sinatra and Bing singing in a movie together? I must see this...

  7. How can you not love Bing and Frank? They are the best. You certainly cannot go wrong with their films and they are a delight!



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