The Philadelphia Story – Secrets of the X Files – tape 1248

This tape opens with the end of an episode of Film 96, then a trailer for The Big Trip which looks like the worst thing ever.

Then, The Philadelphia Story, a lovely film with James Stewart, Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. It doesn’t start off promisingly, as a grumpy Cary Grant storms out of his house. Hepburn snaps one of his golf clubs, and he almost hits her, thinks better of it, then pushes her to the floor by the face. It seems a little shocking now.

Two years later, and Hepburn (playing Tracy Lord) is getting remarried to a new man. Her younger sister is still fond of Grant, Hepburn’s ex. She doesn’t think much of her new man, who’s a bit square.

We’re then introduced to James Stewart and Ruth Hussey, as a reporter and photographer, ordered to do a society piece on the wedding for Spy magazine. Hepburn is notoriously private, so their introduction to the family comes from none other than Cary Grant, the ex husband, determined to play havoc with the wedding plans. But he persuades Hepburn by telling her that if she doesn’t let them do the wedding story, the publisher is set to print a scandal story about her father.

The various characters find out about each other. But the night before the wedding, everyone drinks just a bit too much, and Stewart and Hepburn end up going for a midnight swim. In the morning, assumptions are made, and Hepburn’s fiancée gets huffy at what he assumed happened, although as Stewart says, “You were the worse for drink, and there’s rules about that.”

But it all ends happily for Grant and Hepburn who decide to make a second go of it.

This is a great film, full of interesting characters with points of view, and with such appealing leads, it can’t really go wrong.

It was remade later as a musical, High Society, starring Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, and it worked just as well in that form.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 13th January 1996 – 12:20

After this, there’s a recording of Secrets of the X Files, a puff-piece documentary about the SF show. Chris Carter still looks like a surfer dude.

Chris Carter

Gillian Anderson says she’s actually a believer.

Gillian Anderson

I think this was probably made after the first season. It’s a fairly dull round-up of the characters and stories in the show.

After this, recording stops, and underneath, there’s John Wayne and Lee Marvin in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. The tape runs out during this recording.

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