Wednesday, December 28, 2016


The richest character ever played by the greatest movie actor of all time ~ in The Philadelphia Story (1940), C.K. Dexter-Haven embodies everything: weakness, sympathy, anger, tension, joy, sorrow, addiction, fear, freedom, elegance, bravery, secrets and remarkable openness. Above all, naturalness. He has been destroyed by the woman he loves, to the point of collapse and alchohol sickness. In a movie of astonishing self-aborption, Dexter-Haven absorbs all. He is always listening and watching, off the edge of the frame, humanizing all around him with his generous-hearted presence. He is never not sorrowful in the picture, while bringing the only joy into this otherwise arch and joyless romp. Everything is elevated by his broken ardor. His physical grace and attraction are immense, yet he uses his powers to put others at ease, to relinquish control. His love comes at us slowly, like a slow dark wave. Yet always isolated, in perfect isolated darkness, outside the world.

Here are Dex's 46 minutes, with all the rest of The Philadelphia Story cut out.