The Philadelphia Story Criticism

Philip Barry
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The Philadelphia Story was well received when the play first premiered on Broadway at the Shubert Theater on March 28, 1939. The New York Times praised the playwright and the Theater Guild company for their "top form" and called the play a "gay and sagacious comedy." That review was typical of the critical response.

The play has remained popular for several decades. It was made into a successful movie in 1940, which starred Katherine Hepburn. However, in the 1960s and 1970s, American critics were more interested in social protest drama and tended to overlook Barry's writing as light entertainment. When they did turn to Barry with a serious eye, they explored several elements of his work.

Francis Wyndham, writing in the Times Literary Supplement, focused on the father-daughter relationship that figures as a background theme in some of Barry' s plays. His somewhat unusual argument hinted at "incestuous undertones" in Barry's...

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This section contains 771 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Philadelphia Story Study Guide
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The Philadelphia Story from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.