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George Cukor Classics Starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn Lead REEL 13 May Lineup


Director George Cukor's romantic comedies The Philadelphia Story and Holiday, both based on hit Broadway plays by Philip Barry,open the May lineup on Reel 13. A Hollywood legend in his own right, Cukor had the distinction of overseeing more Best Actor-winning performances than any other director.

Despite her early Hollywood success, by 1938, Katharine Hepburn was battling her reputation as "Box Office Poison," after a series of badly received films. Holiday, though a critical success, opened with lackluster box office results. Two years later, Hepburn reteamed with its author, Philip Barry, on Broadway for The Philadelphia Story, later purchasing the movie rights herself, with help from Howard Hughes. The Philadelphia Story was a box office success, with critical acclaim to match, affirming Hepburn's star status.

Recognized as the third greatest male screen legend of the Golden Age of Hollywood by the American Film Institute, James Stewart dominates the classic lineup. Besides appearing alongside Hepburn and Grant in The Philadelphia Story, he stars in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and The Shop Around the Corner. The latter - based on a 1936 Hungarian play by Miklos Laszlo -- was remade as a musical with Judy Garland and Van Johnson, "In the Good Old Summertime" in 1949, and later served as the basis for the 1963 Broadway musical, "She Loves Me," currently enjoying a hit revival by the Roundabout Theatre Company.
Among his many honors, five-time Academy Award nominee and Academy Lifetime Achievement recipient Stewart, received the 1941 Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Macaulay Connor in The Philadelphia Story.

Roadie, Arcadia, How to Follow Strangers and Little Sparrows are the month's independent offerings.

Every Saturday night beginning at 9 p.m., viewers can catch a Hollywood Classic followed by an Indie, presented by Columbia University professor Richard Peña or journalist, historian and film critic Neal Gabler. The evening concludes with a Short film selected by viewers who vote for their favorite of three shorts at

"The Philadelphia Story" (1940)Dir: George Cukor
A snooty socialite fights with her ex-husband and flirts with a reporter. With Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, James Stewart and Ruth Hussey.

"Roadie" (2011) Dir: Michael Cuesta
After 20 years with the Blue Oyster Cult, Jimmy Testagros returns home only to fall for an old friend. With Ron Eldard, Bobby Cannavale and Jill Hennessy.

"Holiday" (1938)Dir: George Cukor
A tomboy New York socialite (Katharine Hepburn) flirts with her stuffy sister's down-to-earth fiancé (Cary Grant). With Doris Nolan, Henry Kolker, Edward Everett Horton and Lew Ayres.

"Arcadia" (2012)Dir: Olivia Silver
Greta's dad is moving THE FAMILY cross-country in a dented station wagon, promising a California paradise. All that's missing is Mom. With John Hawkes, Ryan Simpkins, Ty Simpkins and Kendall Toole.

"Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939) Dir: Frank Capra
A country bumpkin (James Stewart) faces ridicule and corruption when he takes his idealistic views to the nation's capital. With Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold and Thomas Mitchell.

"How to Follow Strangers" (2013) Dir: Chioke Nassor
A young man disappears, wondering if anyone will notice. With Eunice Anderson, Kevin Barnett and Hannah Bos.

"The Shop Around the Corner" (1940) Dir: Ernst Lubitsch
The more Budapest co-workers fight, the more they fall in love as secret pen pals. With Margaret Sullivan, James Stewart, Frank Morgan and Joseph Schildkraut.

"Little Sparrows" (2010) Dir: Yu-Hsiu Camille Chen
Celebrating life and the unconditional love of a mother. With Nicola Bartlett, James Hagan and Nina Deasley.

WNET is the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21, New York's public television stations. For more than 50 years, THIRTEEN has been a partner with the tri-state community, using its rich resources to inform and inspire the passionate people of New York and the world to better understand and address the issues that challenge our diverse communities.
Reel 13 is funded by the Sy Syms Foundation and MoMA.
David Horn is executive producer. Bob Morris is senior producer. Bill O'Donnell and Maria Stoian are producers.
Visit Reel 13 Online at for additional information.

Image courtesy of THIRTEEN

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From This Author Caryn Robbins