Bringing Up Baby

Bringing Up Baby (1938) movie poster

(1938) director Howard Hawks
viewed: 05/29/11

My latest “with the kids” experiment was introducing them to the classic Hollywood screwball comedy.  And to Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, and Howard Hawks.  I don’t know if this was the ideal film from this period to start with, but I’d long been wanting to re-visit it myself and thought we’d go for it.

While neither of them laughed out loud much or at all, they both said that they liked the film.  Though they kept thinking that someone was going to get eaten by “Baby”.  Maybe that is just from seeing more black-and-white horror films than comedies.  Who knows?

Bringing Up Baby has been the template for wacky romance comedies since it came out in 1938.  Grant plays a scientist who is building the first complete “Brontosaurus” (which even in my youth was still a dinosaur, though now is not).  He is about to marry a chilly gal who wants him to land some big funds for their museum and his work.  Then into his life walks Hepburn, a flighty, goofy, silly, lovely woman who takes an immediate shine to him, and quickly destroys all of his best chances at making a good impression on his would-be philanthropist.  And into her life drops “Baby”. the tamed leopard.

What can I say, it’s a classic.  Great stuff from Grant and Hepburn (it may be her most appealing role).  Hawks is indeed part of the American auteur group, and this is one of his best comedies.

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