Stopped by the thrift store the other day and bought a few albums, all movie scores. When I saw this one in the bin I nearly leapt across the room. I grabbed it, never putting it down, worried someone else would try to mooch my score. Of course, there wasn't a single person in the place who gave a pip or a squeak about Cole Porter. I left, anxiously awaiting the tunes coming from my turntable.

High Society album_ft_tatteredandlost

High Society allbum_bk_tatteredandlost
Click on either image to see it larger.

The movie High Society is a musical remake of The Philadelphia Story. It is not as wonderfully wicked as The Philadelphia Story, but the music and performances are grand.

High Society (1956) is a musical film made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in VistaVision and Technicolor with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. It was directed by Charles Walters and produced by Sol C. Siegel from a screenplay by John Patrick, based on the play The Philadelphia Story by Philip Barry. The cinematography was by Paul Vogel, the art direction by Cedric Gibbons and Hans Peters and the costume design by Helen Rose. It was the last film appearance of Grace Kelly, before she became Princess consort of Monaco.

The successful jazz musician C.K. Dexter Haven (Bing Crosby) is divorced from wealthy Newport, Rhode Island socialite Tracy Samantha Lord (Grace Kelly), but remains in love with her. She, however, is about to get married to a bland gentleman of good standing, George Kittredge (John Lund).

Spy Magazine, in possession of embarrassing information about Tracy's father, is permitted to send a reporter (Frank Sinatra) and a photographer (Celeste Holm) to cover the nuptials. Tracy begins an elaborate charade as a private means of revenge, pretending that her Uncle Willy (Louis Calhern) is her father (Sidney Blackmer) and vice versa.

The reporter, Mike Connor, falls in love with Tracy. She must choose between three very different men in a course of self-discovery.

Score and Songs
The score is interesting for a number of respects. It was Porter's first new film score for over ten years and introduced a couple of pop standards, including True Love and You're Sensational. Not only did Sinatra and Crosby collaborate for the first time, but behind the scenes two master orchestrators -- Conrad Salinger and Nelson Riddle -- melded their distinctive arrangements under the baton of Johnny Green. Armstrong and his band get a couple of standout moments and Kelly makes an impressive singing debut.

A long playing record of the soundtrack songs was released the same year and was a major success in both America and Great Britain. It has been said that one of the main reasons star Frank Sinatra was drawn to the film was a mock-tipsy duet with his boyhood idol Bing Crosby on Well, Did You Evah!, a song added at the last minute when it was noted that the two singers didn't have a duet to perform in the film. Culturally, the song Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? has gained new significance as the source of the title of the popular gameshow. I Love You, Samantha has also become a jazz favorite for improvisations. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)


  1. Cole Porter songs my ass...I just want the cover art!!!!

  2. This must have sold a million. I don't know how many times I've passed over this one in rummage sales or thrift stores racks. I amy even have a copy and don't know it, as it's one of those LPs I'd put on the "don't want, but I'll take the weight off your hands for free pile". That said, your analysis has picqued my interest and being almost 60 and STILL into collecting records and music files from every decade of recorded music, NOW you've done it. I'll have to search MY racks and see if I can find it and if not be on the lookout. Really, if I had a nickle for everytime I've passed this one up ...well, I sure hope there's a few VG+ copies lurking out there.

  3. I have to say my copy is not perfect, but even with the few pops and hisses and makes me smile.

    And yes, the cover is wonderful. I have it setting on a shelf so I can see it. I can't read the name of the illustrator.