No one is going to mistake Bing Crosby for Cary Grant. Not ever. Similarly, Jimmy Stewart and Frank Sinatra are not exactly twins either. But Katharine Hepburn and Grace Kelly, now there are some girls that are pretty darn similar. Don’t believe me? Well, I wouldn’t have thought so either until I saw High Society, the 1955 remake of The Philadelphia Story. Hepburn and Kelly both played the roll of Tracy Lord, the rich society divorcee getting married again amidst a family crisis with her philandering father. You wouldn’t think these two were alike but watching Grace Kelly play the roll years after Katharine Hepburn, I was struck with how similar they really were.
I was also struck with how absolutely gorgeous Grace Kelly was; a living Venus de Milo, with arms of course. Which is perfect for this role because she is accused of being too perfect, too much like a goddess and not enough like a human.
High Society is a musical, which isn’t surprising since Bing and Frank are on screen. Louis Armstrong makes an appearance, though the song with Bing trying to explain jazz to the Newport swells is fairly embarrassing. Frank is cute and I think I actually prefer him to Jimmy Stewart, believe it or not. But Bing is terrible in the Cary Grant roll. He’s too old, he’s too frumpy, he’s just impossible to believe as the love of Tracy’s life.
So, I guess I’m saying, watch High Society if you like musicals or The Philadelphia Story if you don’t – or better yet, watch them both to compare and contrast. Either way, some blossom-topped cupcakes would be snooty enough to enjoy while watching Grace/Katharine explain what “yar” means.
Blossom-topped cupcakes can be found at Epicurious.