YMMV / The Philadelphia Story

  • And You Thought It Would Fail: The film was released at a time when Katharine Hepburn was considered "box office poison". The film became a resounding success and subsequently restored Hepburn's reputation.
  • Consolation Award: Although the film is often seen as one of the greatest comedies of the 1940s, with the acting of all three leads earning consistent praise over the years, it's generally held that the Best Actor prize that James Stewart won was partly a make-up for losing the prize for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington the year before. Stewart himself thought as much, saying that the prize he won should've gone to Henry Fonda for The Grapes of Wrath.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Mike's Anguished Declaration of Love to Tracy, in which she says she's lit from within by "hearth fires and holocausts." The word "holocaust" has become a much more loaded term since 1940.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Who'd have thought the rejection of a marriage proposal could prove to be the sweetest moment in a movie.
    Tracy: No, Mike. Thanks, but... Mm-mm, no.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Sidney Kidd
  • One True Threesome: If you happen to be watching for the first time (or the first time in a while) after having spent any time at all in fandom, it's hard not to wish the answer to "Mike or Dex?" were "Yes."
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Tracy's father tells her the reason he's cheating on her mother with a younger woman is because she (Tracy) is too much of a wilful, frigid bitch. And at the end of the movie, Tracy thanks him for saying it.
    • Not to mention that nobody brings up Seth's bullshit argument that cheating has nothing to do with the other spouse when everyone thinks Tracy's cheated on George.
      • Though that might have something to do with the fact that, besides Tracy, no one involved in the earlier conversation is present at the later one! Moreover, the movie seems to be inviting us to parallel the two scenes, and to see both Tracy and her father's indiscretions as the simple product of human weakness.
      • Still, one has a hard time imagining Seth being as calm about it if Mother Lord had cheated on him.
    • Tracy is painted as being selfish and cold for not wanting her own father at her wedding. The father who, once again, cheated on her mother and got involved in a scandal with a chorus girl.
    • No one seems particularly bothered by the implication that Dex (while drunk) probably smacked Tracy around a bit while they were married, including Tracy herself.
      • Especially when the movie opens with Dexter shoving Tracy down onto the floor.
      • The fact that no one's bothered by it suggests it probably didn't happen. We only know of one act of violence on Dexter's part, and it's unlikely Tracy would have stood for much more.
      • She's also implied to give as good as she supposedly got.