Monday, 18 February 2013

Bringing Up Baby

BRINGING UP BABY (Black and white, 1938)

Howard Hawks
Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Charles Ruggles, Walter Catlett, Barry Fitzgerald, May Robson, Fritz Feld, George Irving and Virginia Walker
4 and up
David Huxley (Grant) is a zoologist who has been working on a dinosaur skeleton with his fiancĂ©e, Alice Swallow (Walker) at a museum. He needs one last bone, the intercostal clavicle to complete the skeleton.  He goes to Mr Peabody (Irving) at a golf course. Peabody is the lawyer of Mrs Charlton Elizabeth Ransom (Robson) who has a million dollars that David wants for his museum. There, he meets the reckless and dizzy Susan Vance (Hepburn), who owns a leopard called Baby. Susan falls in love with David.  
From left: David Huxley (Grant) and Susan Vance (Hepburn) in a comical moment in the movie, with Mrs Elizabeth Charlton Ransom (Robson) looking on.

Why it’s good:
Because it is the perfect screwball introduction. I screened it just last night with several scenes where you cannot stop laughing no matter how hard you try.
It is the perfect screwball comedy to those old to the genre, too, and preferably the best. Baby the leopard of the title is quite an exotic pet from Susan’s brother Mark, and quite well tamed.
There is a second reason for its friendliness to kids. It is anarchy of exotic paradise of dogs and two leopards. The romance in it is one dimensional – boy meets girl who falls for him. 

It was a scandalous flop during its time and Hawks was cancelled off for his next RKO production.
Parent’s guide:
Not much, really. The leopard might be a little scary.
If you like this…:
"Sylvia Scarlett" (1935), "Holiday" (1938) and "The Philadelphia Story" (1940).         

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