High Society is a terrific film. If you are the type of movie fan who doesn't comprehend the ENTERTAIN part of entertainment and is eager and willing to flaunt that ignorance in film reviews, you will hate it. But if you don't mind it when movies may not end up with deep psychological messages or everybody dead or doomed to a life of misery, you'll agree.
I'm the first to admit that this musical may not be DRAMATICALLY up to standard with The Philadelpia Story, but what musical could be, or should be, for that matter. The cast, however, is another thing entirely. As you probably know, the first cast was nearly incomparable. Suave and tremendously charming Cary Grant, the magnificent Katherine Hepburn, and, of course, Jimmy, who won an Oscar for his work and is never less than adorable.
NEARLY incomparable.But if anyone can do it, it's gotta be Bing,Satchmo,Gracie,and the Voice. I find it hard to believe anyone in the world could possibly contest that, but since there are such unlikely specimens out there, I'd better explain.
If there's a more magnificent marriage than that of Frank Sinatra and a Cole Porter masterpiece, I'd like to hear about it. But even perfection can be improved, when you add Bing Crosby, a witty little tune,and some hilarious ad libs, all courtesy of a few too many drinks.That makes up heaven, which can also go under the heading of '' Well, Did you Evah,'' without a doubt the best song ,and scene, in this film. But never fear, there are other gems as well.
Grace Kelly is terrific in High Society. The not quite yet Princess of Monaco is not only breathtakingly beautiful, but adorable as well. Her drunken warbling of ''You're Sensational,'' as her stiffly embarrassed fiancé drags her through a crowd of very proper guests is hilarious, and I can never keep from laughing during the scene when she meets Mike Connor and Liz Embrie, also known as Frank Sinatra and Celeste Holm.
Louis Armstrong doesn't have much to do in the picture, but what he does do is great. He introduces the film with a cute calypso number, sings a marvelous duet with Bing, and the way he say's,'' End of song, beginin' of the storyyy,'' is enough to make him unforgettable.
Bing, of course, can NEVER be anything but magnificent. He remains an American icon, and all his talent, charm, and timeless quality are well displayed.He makes his easy-going way through some magical songs,too, including, two marvelous duets with his singing co-stars, and, of course, that little #1 record he did with Grace.
Personally, I like Celeste Holm even more in High Society than I liked Ruth Hussey,who played the Liz Embrie role in Philadelphia Story.She's funny, charming,works well with Sinatra, sings a hilarious duet with The Voice, and has a beautiful smile. ( Not that the last thing mentioned matters, but it helps.)
And now-the best for last. I have been a Sinatra adorer for years, so I'm more than a little biased, but I absolutely love Mr.Sinatra in this movie. His singing is flawless and incomparable, ( especially in ''You're Sensational,'') his charm and charisma even more evident than the considerable amount displayed by Mr.Crosby, and he's pure style and ring-a-ding ding.( Those blue eyes ain't bad either!)
Oh, one complaint I've found about High Society is that it's outdated and it aged badly. I am 14 years old, so, if there WERE any reason to believe that, I'd be one of the first to know it. It is NOT outdated, has NOT aged badly, and it's one of the most entertaining and simply fun movies I've ever seen. And that is, as Satchmo says, the...'' End of storyyy!!''