Friday, June 30, 2006

The Philadelphia Story

"No mean Machiavelli is smiling, cynical Sidney Kidd. The world is his oyster, with an R in every month."
- C.K. Dexter Haven, The Philadelphia Story

What does it mean? I have no idea, but I like it! Like poetry.
And I love the film. It is that rare work which just has that je ne sais quoi which makes is a masterpiece. (More about it later, I am still watching it.)

1 comment:

Steve Cadwell said...

I heard The Philadelphia Story today on Radio Classics, on Sirius Satellite Radio. Cary Grant's character uttered that memorable line, "The world is his oyster, with an R in every month." He was speaking to Jimmy Stewart's rather drunken character, a writer, who wondered aloud if he wrote that line. Grant replied, "No, I did."

The world is his oyster seems to me to be a way of saying that "he" can do pretty much what he wants. He can hold the world in his hand, as with an oyster, and have his way with it. Since oysters are at their plumpest and best tasting from September to April -- months with an R in them -- having an R in every month would mean that "he" could do what he wants whenever he wants, i.e., in all 12 months and not just upon occasion. His good fortune would be unlimited.

It is a poetic line, and I am surprised I never heard of it before today. By the way, the play was done on radio in 1942, the premier CBS performance of a regular series to promote the buying of U.S. war bonds. The other legend in the cast was Katherine Hepburn. The radio play ran about an hour, more than twice the standard 20 to 25 minute radio program of the day.