The Philadelphia Story Movie Poster Image

The Philadelphia Story

Screwball romance is lots of fun for older kids.
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Classic
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 112 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Tracy is told she's unfeminine for having high moral standards--women are expected to tolerate alcoholism and adultery.


Some fistfights, played for laughs.

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Tracy gets very drunk, kisses another man the night before her wedding, and goes for a midnight swim with him.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a very funny comedy of manners, beautifully performed and directed. However, it's a bit risque and the class politics may be lost on younger kids. They may also be confused by the outdated gender roles. Parents should know that alcoholism, divorce, adultery, and lechery are made light of.

What's the story?

A classic screwball comedy, THE PHILADELPHIA STORY follows the love life of spitfire socialite Tracy Lord (Katharine Hepburn), who divorces her husband C.K. (Cary Grant) and, a few years later, is getting ready to marry tightly wound -- and moneyed -- George Kittridge. A crisis is averted when a tabloid story about Tracy's womanizing father is stopped, but this means that reporter Mike Connor (Jimmy Stewart) gets access to Tracy's wedding nuptials. Soon, a confused Tracy finds herself torn between George, the irresistibly attractive Mike, and devilishly handsome C.K., who still holds a torch for his former wife.

Is it any good?


The dialogue is sly and witty (although pretty adult), the story tightly wound and beautifully spun, and there are plenty of funny pratfalls. While Hepburn is unquestionably the star of this screwball romance, Cary Grant is irrepressibly charming, and Jimmy Stewart steals the show when he turns into an amorous drunk (he won a Best Actor Oscar for this role).

There's also a serious side to this movie. As Tracy prepares herself for her second marriage, she is sternly lectured by her ex and her dad, and told that a woman should be unconditionally forgiving, understanding, and loving in the face of her husband's alcoholism and her father's sexual indiscretions. Overall, this is a smart and ambitious comedy, one that states that there's more to a wedding than the materialistic aspects, and more to life than good manners and fine appearances. The love story is complex and delightful, and plenty of silly sub-plots keep things moving.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how gender roles have evolved since the movie was made.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 8, 2000
DVD/Streaming release date:June 8, 2000
Cast:Cary Grant, James Stewart, Katharine Hepburn
Director:George Cukor
Run time:112 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

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Teen, 15 years old Written bymongofa May 27, 2010

Great Cukor film for everybody

Star- studded cast, light-hearted. Young kids might find it boring, though.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Adult Written byGen2916 April 9, 2008

Great actors combine to create this wonderful film

When you mix Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and James Stewart you get this wonderful romantic comedy! Although it does show quite a bit of drinking, overall this movie is brilliant!
Kid, 10 years old June 29, 2009
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking