Wild Young Minds: High Society

Sunday, January 6, 2013

High Society

Put four extremely famous actors/musicians in one film and you've got yourself a classic. That's exactly what the producers of musical comedy 'High Society' must've thought when making up their minds about this film in 1956. They chose for the graceful (no name would fit her better) Grace Kelly, powerful voiced Frank Sinatra, adorable Bing Crosby and hilarious Louis Armstrong. The four of them, plus a few other great actors, make an enchanting team who can make this average story a festivity to watch.

'High Society' is about wealthy socialite Tracy Samantha Lord (Grace Kelly), who is about to marry George Kittredge, a loyal guy who worked his way to the top. She still lives with her mother and perky little sister, and next to her lives her ex-husband Dexter Haven (Bing Crosby). On the day before the wedding, Dexter decides to throw a music festival (with Louis Armstrong as the charming leader of the band) just to annoy Tracy. But he actually is still in love with Tracy.

This isn't the only thing threatening their wedding. Tracy's father, the mightly Mr. Lord has cheated her mother some time before, and the gossip magazine 'Spy Information' is desperate to gather information about Mr. Lord. That's why, by means of clever blackmail, Tracy has to agree to welcome two reports of the magazine in her house the days before and during the wedding. These reporters, journalist Mike (Frank Sinatra) and photographer Liz Imbrie (Celeste Holm) are pulled along the world of High Society, the rich but damned and a game of cheating. Eventually, every guy falls for the cold but beautiful Tracy (that is: journalist Mike, ex-husband Dexter and husband-to-be George) and a dramatic confluence follows.

 'High Society' is a sort of musical (like you can call the movie Grease a musical) and has a few contagious songs, like 'Who wants to be a millionaire?' and 'Now You Has Jazz'. Another striking thing is that the characters drink extremely much in the story. Perhaps inspired by Frank Sinatra's quote: ''I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day''. In the film the main characters become very, very drunk the evening before the wedding, but the next morning they happily start drinking again.


The thing that striked me most in 'High Society' was Grace Kelly's way of acting. It is exactly like Audrey Hepburn's! I had never seen Grace Kelly before in a movie, but she has the same energetic, almost childish, but elegant way of acting. I had to get used to it in the beginning, because I constantly had the feeling Grace Kelly was imitating Audrey Hepburn. But this film was produced in 1956, a few years before Audrey Hepburn became really famous.

All in all, 'High Society' isn't a very qualitive movie, since the story is poor and sometimes it's all a bit too musical-like if you ask me, but it's definitely an agreeable way to spend your friday evening. Not just because of the actors, but also because of the beautiful colours they used back then in movies and all the drama that happens in High Society.  

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