May 23, 2009

High Society (1956)

High Society is a 1956 remake of the better known 1940 classic The Philadelphia Story. For those who are not familiar with the storyline, the drama revolves around the imminent wedding of a wealthy socialite to what would be her second husband. To complicate matters, her first husband (now her ex) lives practically next-door and is trying to win her heart back. Oh, and to add to the chaos, a tabloid magazine has blackmailed the family into letting them send two journalists to cover the wedding (since it's the social event of the year) in exchange for not printing pictures of the girl's playboy father's most recent scandalous pursuits.

Instead of Philadelphia, it's set in Newport, RI. Instead of Katherine Hepburn, you get Grace Kelly. Instead of Cary Grant, you get Bing Crosby. And instead of Jimmy Stewart, you're stuck with Frank Sinatra. But despite the impressive cast, I still felt that it fell short of the spiritedness and charm of the original film.

The only thing that I can firmly say was better was the production design. Of course, this one is in brilliant technicolor (which is always nice!) and all sets and costumes are much more elaborate and stylish.

Here's a peek inside their Newport mansions:


I really love the settee with the scrolled arms in the image below (right side):

And the walls of this room look like they were handpainted. Also, notice the chair in the foreground to the right. I remember seeing these vintage types of chairs featured on a couple of design blogs, such as here and the lovely Courtney actually also mentioned High Society in her post here.

MOVING ON TO THE CLOTHES! I love how Grace Kelly's character effortlessly interchanges between very ordinary, casual blouse/pants ensembles and very beautiful, elegant dresses. Even when she's in full head-to-toe khaki, she still manages to look very chic and pulled-together. Is that part of the innate "high society" charm?







I absolutely love her gold mandarin-inspired dressing robe!






Grace Kelly behind the wheel of a convertible. Reminds me of a more famous scene where she's driving with Cary Grant in How to Catch a Thief. I am in love with her hooded cape, which if you'll look closely has a very bold and interesting interior lining! The exterior is off-white but the interior of the hood is orange and the rest of it is in a rainbow stripe! (the image of her in the library shows this, although not very well since it was less than a flash when she took it off).




Here are a couple of images of the two journalists hired to get the scoop on the wedding events:


Grace Kelly's character's mother in a very elaborate lacey pink dress! Not exactly sure if it's appropriate for someone of her age but it does look smashing on her:

THE MENSWEAR, featuring well-done pin-striped suit jackets, casual blazers, a sleek double-breasted suit, and a cut-away tux:




Now for some miscellaneous items...

Vintage leather suitcases and vanity case and hat box:

Louis Armstrong and his band were featured in this film and here they are, being received by the butler. I really love the vintage leather instrument cases and check out the plaid cover for the huge bass!

A very befitting vintage Mercedes convertible:

And finally, a model of the much larger sailboat by the same name:


Oh, Grace Kelly is such an icon!!! My husband loves all her movies!
How did you get such clear movie photos on your blog? Amazing!

Yes, she was incredibly beautiful! I really liked her in Rear Window and To Catch a Thief too.

These are all screencaps that I manually saved from my DVDs when I was watching them.

It was so lovely to see such wonderful images from a timelessly elegant film. Grace Kelly was beautiful with quite stunningly slim silhouettes in such wonderful gowns. A joy!

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