High Society is one of those classic 50s films that everyone is supposed to love. It has everything – Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, songs, dancing, music, colour, costumes, wisecracks… except I didn’t like it. I hated the music, I think Frank Sinatra is ugly, Grace Kelly was cold and prissy, Bing had the usual Hollywood syndrome of being much too old for his leading lady, and I just didn’t find it funny.
The earlier version of The Philadelphia Story with Katherine Hepburn is a vastly superior film in every way – Katherine is hilarious and sassy, Cary Grant is dashing, James Stewart is hunky, and there are no corny songs interrupting the storyline.
What High Society does have is some beautiful costumes in full, glorious technicolour. And even though I didn’t like Grace Kelly as Tracy Lord, she does make the perfect clothes horse. I have decided that if I could choose any dress from this film it would be the stunning lace wiggle dress with ruching over the bust that Celeste Holm wears to the ball.