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Sunday, November 29, 2015

"High Society" (1956)

On first blush this was a terrible idea. To turn "The Philadelphia Story", one of the most deliciously urbane romantic comedies of all time, into a musical. Hmmm. But then they got one of the century's premier tunesmiths (Cole Porter), no slouch he in the wit department, and, not one, but two of the greatest voices in American popular song (Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra). And if that wasn't enough, they tossed in the 50's most elegant beauty (Grace Kelly) and the man who practically invented the art form known as jazz (Lous Armstrong). Okay, 'uncle'. It all works.  Now, this story of a privileged heiress on the eve of her  Newport wedding to a upper crust stiff and the complications that ensue when she has second thoughts about the altar has lost a lot of it's acerbic bite in the translation. But what went in are some glorious songs sung right by Ol' Blue Eyes, der Bingle , and company that are like manna from movie heaven. The "Now You Has Jazz" number with Crosby and Satchmo is, well, almost too good for words. Just. See. It.

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