As a result of as imply as “The Philadelphia Story” and its male leads are to Tracy Lord, it is simply as obvious that Hepburn, Grant, and Stewart bought on fairly properly filming their shenanigans. Hepburn and Grant had already labored collectively on a handful of flicks by the point “The Philadelphia Story” went into manufacturing, together with Howard Hawks’ now-classic screwball comedy “Bringing Up Child.” And the duo’s fondness for each other shines by way of on display, even when the characters’ interactions are something however nice.
That goes double for Grant and Stewart. Within the scene the place a tipsy Mike tries to get Dexter to confess he is nonetheless in love with Tracy, Grant, clearly stunned, has to look away to stifle a smile the primary time Stewart hiccups. This bit wasn’t pre-planned: Stewart improvised Mike’s drunken hiccups for added realism — and, in fact, comedic impact. It labored, which is why this particular take made it into the film’s remaining reduce regardless of Grant’s seen battle to keep away from breaking character.
What’s extra, Stewart’s flip because the cynical, boozing Mike was a notable change of tempo for the actor, on the time finest recognized for his good-natured and healthful characters in films like “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Stewart would go on to shed his “aw, shucks” persona in such movies as “Vertigo,” however his hijinks in “The Philadelphia Story” have been an early showcase of his true vary and flexibility.