Synopsis: De-Lovely is an original musical portrait of American composer Cole Porter, filled with his unforgettable songs. In the film, Porter is looking back on his life as if it was one of his spectacular stage shows, with the people and events of his life becoming the actors and action onstage. Through elaborate production numbers and popular hits like "Anything Goes," "It's De-Lovely," and "Night and Day," Porter's elegant, excessive past comes to light - including his deeply complicated relationship with his wife and muse, Linda Lee Porter.
Director(s): Irwin Winkler
Production: United Artists
  Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 2 wins & 11 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
125 min

Hello, Cole.

l let myself in.

We're not late, are we? l hate to be late.

No, we're fine.

That sounded lovely.

l hate funeral music.

Though, under the circumstances,

l suppose l should say my prayers.

Why start now?


lf l believed in God,

he would be a song-and-dance man.

He would have to carry a tune.

Preferably one of mine.

Do you think he would like this?

In the still of the night

As I gaze from my window

At the moon in its flight

My thoughts all stray to you

You wrote that about Linda, of course.

Did l?

Songs don't have to be about

someone, you know.

We should start.

l thought we had.

Cole, you have to play us into it.

lt's your life. Your music will be our guide.


In the still of the night

As I gaze from my window

Oh, my God, that's me! l'm so young.

You satisfied?

He's very good.

He's not much of a singer.

You never were.

In the still of the night

The words, l can't hear the words.

While the world is in slumber

What's the matter, can't he take direction?

Cole, talk to me,

l'll pass your thoughts along.

He can't hear you.

ln a musical,

everyone works for the composer.

Times have changed. May l borrow this?

Times have changed

Never open with a ballad.

This isn't one of

those avant-garde things, is it?

lt's got to be entertaining, it's a musical.

And a love story, of course.

A little unconventional, but honest.

You're playing with my life.

lt's my show.

Stead of landing on Plymouth Rock

Plymouth Rock

would land on them

In olden days

lt's your life, Cole.

Was looked on something shocking

Oh, my God.

lt's an opening number, of course.

lt's the Berlins.

lrving, Ellin.

lrving gave me my start.

This is my whole life.

There's Monty Woolley from Yale.

Look at Monty.

That costume is all wrong.

He never wore that.

That's all wrong. Change it.

And black's white today

And day's night today

L. B. Mayer and the gang from MGM.

The Hollywood years.

When folks who still can ride in jitneys

found out that Vanderbilts and Whitneys

lack baby clothes

Anything goes

Boris and Jack.

Bill Wrather.

Gerald, Sara, Honoria, where are the boys?


Anything goes

Hi, Mom.

And every night, the set that's smart

is intruding on nudist parties in studios

Anything goes


So though I'm not a great romancer

I know that you're bound to answer

when I propose

Anything goes

If saying your prayers you like,

if green pears you like

If old chairs you like, if backstairs you like,

If love affairs you like

Stop, this is wrong for Linda.

She should sing a different part, stop.

ls it me?

No, dear.

lt's backstairs and love affairs.

lt's too early for complications.

We're gonna get ready for Paris.

lf you're not in Paris, l'll see you later.

Come on, move along.

You're doing beautifully.

But then, you always do.

Remember, it's your story, too.

lt's a love story.

-That's why l'm frightened.

-Don't be.

Have you ever seen a musical

without a happy ending?

All right, then.

We've just heard Anything Goes...

as if it's Cole's declaration of independence.

lndependence from whom?

Never mind.

Don't argue with the director, love.

Leave that to me.

He's very strict.

She can't hear you.

l know.

You're seeing Cole for the first time.

You start to move towards him...

because there's a spirit in his eye.

Go ahead.

Move slowly.

You'll be fine.

Weren't we fools to lose each other?

Weren't we fools to say goodbye?

God, she was beautiful.

She could stop your heart.

No, start it.

You chose another

So did I

If we'd realized

our love was worth defending

Then the story's broken threads

we might be mending

They're so good, it's a shame

more people aren't paying attention.

Cole can take care of that.

Which one is Cole Porter?

The one who's standing, who's being

so serious about being playful...

that's my husband Gerald.

And the one who's playing at not being

serious at all, that's Cole Porter.

-Has somebody died?

-l think it was us, Cole.

-Linda Lee.

-Sara Murphy.

-We met at Lady Mendel's.

-Yes, indeed.

ls that Linda Lee Thomas with Sara?

-l really couldn't say.

-No, it is, and just as they described her:

The most beautiful divorce in Paris.

My God, she's ravishing.

ls this gonna be another Porter fascination?

An obsession without preliminaries?

Obsessions don't have preliminaries.

-Will you join me?

-l'm a married man.

No, come on grab a chair.

Let's really light a fire

under these deadbeats.

You begin.

I have heard, among this clan

You are called ''the forgotten man''

Well, did you ever?

What a swell party this is

Have you heard that Mimsie Starr

just got pinched in the Astor Bar?

Well, did you ever?

What a swell party this is

Take over.

-You're not gonna pinch her in the ass?

-l might.

Reggie's rather scatterbrained

He dove in when the pool was drained

Well, did you ever?

What a swell party this is

It's great, it's grand

It's wonderland

It's tops, it's first

It's DuPont, it's Hearst

What clothes, quel chic

What pearls, they're the peak

What glamor, what cheer

This will simply slay you, dear

Have you heard the coast of Maine

just got hit by a hurricane?

Well, did you ever?

What a swell party this is

Have you heard that poor dear Blanche

Got run down by an avalanche?

Well, did you ever?

What a swell party this is

What daiquiris

What sherry, please

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Jay Cocks

John C. "Jay" Cocks, Jr. (born January 12, 1944) is an American film critic and screenwriter. He is a graduate of Kenyon College. He was a critic for Time, Newsweek, and Rolling Stone, among other magazines, before shifting to screenplay writing.[1] He is married to actress Verna Bloom. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "De-Lovely" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 Jun 2024. <>.

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