Sunday, March 16, 2008

High Society (1956) - Movie 《上流社会》

A hip, witty musical version of Philip Barry's The Philadelphia Story:

"Tracy Lord (Grace Kelly
格蕾丝·凯莉) is a rich Rhode Island socialite whose romance with neighbor and jazz musician C.K. Dexter Haven (Bing Crosby 宾.克罗斯拜) has broken up. Now she is engaged to be married to the stuffy but appropriate George Kittredge. But when a dashing journalist (Frank Sinatra) arrives to cover the society wedding, Tracy's initial desire to make life difficult for this interloper is complicated by her attraction for him. And things are made all the more complicated by Dexter Haven's refusal to give up on Tracy."

Jazz, haute couture, Newport and legendary Grace Kelly are many highlights of this great musical. I enjoyed the movie enormously. I know little about jazz. I have to say my enthusiasm to exploring jazz music was immediately kindled by the croon of Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong also his band throughout the movie. A jazzed-up version of the wedding processional at the end of the movie was a blast!

The movie was taken in scenic, elitist Newport, Rhode Island (罗德岛), which happens to be only 2 hours drive from where I live now. It is one of my favorite short excursions on east coast. The cliff walk and jazz festival are great weekend getaways. Among a lot of grand and beautiful things, I especially like the hydrangeas surrounding the walks and gardens during summer.

Tracy Lord is a snobbish, spoiled ice queen and perfectionist portrayed by GK. GK looked stunning and aloof in this character. This is also GK’s last film role. She was engaged to Prince Rainier of Monaco at the time. Actually, the enormous engagement diamond ring displayed in the film was her own, given to her by her Prince fiancé.

Now I invite you to enjoy every piece of delicacy of this musical:

Impeccable wardrobe

GK, as a fashion icon, elegant and inspiring, is goddess of fashion brand Hermès (爱马仕):
  • It was reported she used an Hermès scarf as a sling when she broke her arm.
  • The Kelly bag by Hermès, was renamed for Grace Kelly after she was photographed carrying one while stepping off a plane.
  • The classic head-cover of a silk scarf crossed under the chin and knotted at the side or nape of the neck is universally known as the "Grace Kelly".

GK pulled off this look fabulously. The whole outfit in camel revealed her understated elegance. The brown leather belt adds a bit equestrian look. The high light of the red scarf and shoes (Hermès?) are just right. In real life, GK’s style was a reflection of her own personality - genuinely lovely inside and out

The baby blue dress: the color combination blue and white,stripe and little bow ties add a preppy look to this extravagant haute couture dress.

Tracy unwraps Dexter's (ex-husband) wedding gift, the model of their honeymoon yacht, and fondly remembers the first few romantic weeks of her and Dexter's marriage
. This white swimsuit is a fashion master piece.

George (soon-to-be husband) interrupts her reverie to promise unfailing adoration of his "goddess." Upset that she might be seen as distant, Tracy demands that she be treated as a real woman
. George couldn't understand her feelings whatsoever.

A drunken Tracy takes Mike on a drive to tell him that his presumptions about the Newport upper class are unfair. The silk lining in colored stripes gives this otherwise plain white coat a delicious taste. And the yellow silk shirt dress is just right for pretty and lady-like Grace Kelly

Surprisingly enough, GK was spotted on a yellow brocade cheongsam旗袍 inspired robe here! Quite a few western movies stars tried on mandarin style dresses, I have to say Grace Kelly was one of the best to dress to the spirit.

The gray-over-rose chiffon gown appliquéd with rhinestones and pink and white embroidered flowers by Helen Rose Tracy wore at her bachelorette party. She once wore this dress on a visit to the White House with President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy.

The most glamorous and stylish wedding dress. Unexpected, tasteful and just gorgeous! "Watch out that first step, it is going to be a little bumpy!". The father said.

The crystals GK wore in this movie was Swarovski.


High Society Calypso (Louis Armstrong)

Little One (Bing Crosby) - Crosby tosses off a sweet ditty for Tracy's s premature kid sister

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (Frank Sinatra & Celeste Holm) - Sinatra and Holm take potshots at extravagant life style of the idle riches

True Love (Bing Crosby & Grace Kelly) – Kelly, in a flashback, recalls their honeymoon

You're Sensational
(Frank Sinatra) - Sinatra, smitten with Kelly, expresses his feelings

Samantha(Bing Crosby) – Crosby’s love song for Kelly

Now You Has Jazz (Bing Crosby & Louis Armstrong) – Crosby attempts, with Armstrong, to explain contemporary music

Well, Did You Evah? (Frank Sinatra & Bing Crosby) - The film's highlight of the fabulous and funny duet between Crosby and Sinatra, rich with sly comments on Crosby's famous fortune, and Sinatra's 'new' style of crooning

Mind If I Make Love to You (Frank Sinatra) – Sinatra’s love song for Kelly

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