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George Cukor’s 1940 film ‘The Philadelphia Story’ delights audiences, even today

It’s refreshing, and somewhat surprising, to see that George Cukor’s 1940 “The Philadelphia Story” remains as clever as ever. The film’s protagonist is the snobbish socialite Tracy Lord (Katharine Hepburn), who is about to marry a coal-mining executive. Her plans for the wedding are derailed, however, when some uninvited guests appear shortly before the ceremony.…

‘They Live By Night’ uncovers a soft side to a classic criminal couple

“Romantic” is an appropriate epithet for director Nicholas Ray. Best known for “Rebel Without a Cause,” Ray’s works often highlight the struggles of lovers trapped in cruel, cynical milieus. Indeed, his first film, “They Live by Night” (1948), focuses on two young protagonists, the powerful passion they share for each other and the obstacles to…