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An idea for a research paper on Philadelphia Story is to present a discussion of the first scene of George Cukor's movie.As the reader will see in in a paper on the first scene in Philadelphia Story, this scene contains a great deal of information and, when viewed in the context of the film taken as a whole, foreshadows some of the major themes with which the film deals. Specifically, the scene gives us a sense that Dexter and Tracy are from the highest social class. It also gives us the sense that theirs is a love/hate relationship.
The scene begins with a shot of their house that is described as follows:
- This is a country-estate type home, set on several acres.
- The house in Philadelphia Story is obviously meant to convey to us an image of wealth and conservatism.
- It is large house and well maintained, but the architecture is not at all flashy.
A good research paper on the film will point out that there are many aspects to Philadelphia Story that are subtle and very well produced.
This dissolves into a picture that shows Dexter coming out of the house. He seems somewhat hurried and is carrying two suitcases. The camera pans to the left as we walks down three steps to his car. He glances over his shoulder and the camera returns to the door, out of which Tracy appears carrying a rack of pipes in her right hand and a golf bag with clubs in the other. She wears a haughty, angry expression on her face. The camera pans to the left as she walks towards Dexter. She stops when she reaches the steps he has gone down. She throws the pipes on the ground, extracts a putter from the golf bag and throws the bag on the ground. At that point the camera switches to Dexter who looks irritated and apprehensive. Then the camera switches back to Tracy who, wearing what might be called an angry smirk, breaks the shaft of the putter over her knee, turns around, and walks towards the door. Dexter follows her and, at the door, taps her shoulder, the camera panning to the right to follow both of them. She turns around. He makes as if to strike her with his left fist, restrains himself, and makes her fall down by pushing her face with the flat of his right hand. He turns around and starts walking back towards the car. The camera then switches to Tracy who is seen sitting on the floor of the house's entryway. This is an example of what the essay can discuss in relation to the opening scene in Philadelphia Story.