That's Entertainment

High Society (1956)

Well, that’ll teach me to actually read the synopses before seeing the movie: I got about 5 minutes into High Society thinking, “Hmm, this is awfully similar to The Philadelphia Story before realizing that–well, yes, that’s because it IS The Philadelphia Story.

I tend to avoid synopses and trailers and so on before seeing movies if I can… I figure if I’ve already got enough to convince me to see the movie another way, I don’t need to do any further research. The last time this happened was with The Matchmaker, which had seemed awfully similar to Hello, Dolly–though really, in that case, it was the other way around since Matchmaker was out first.

The big That’s Entertainment number from High Society is “Well, Did You Evah,” a repurposed classic from Cole Porter wonderfully given life by Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. I love this, because they have a great chemistry, and in this version I’m kind of rooting for them equally–so I like seeing them paired together, however briefly. They’re both well-suited to the kind of sing-talk required for the song, as well as effortlessly exuding deadly amounts of charm and charisma.

Elizabeth Taylor, Father of the Bride
“I’m definitely still having my wedding today… now I just have to decide who the groom will be.”

One factor of vintage movies I’ve noticed that is really amusing to me is how many of them rely on the concept of Marriage to signify the character’s final decision on who he or she is going to end up with… but for drama’s sake, that often means they end up flipping the coin the night before the wedding. From a modern perspective, that seems to make marriage a very flip decision, which I’m sure is never the intention, but it’s still continually entertaining to me. If you can’t marry your first choice… well, just go ahead and find someone, anyone–the important thing is you’re married, not so much who it is. Anyway, just one of those cultural foibles that I’m sure we’re rife with today too, and I’ll look forward to discussing those 50 years from now.

Leave a Reply