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Bringing Up Baby (1938)

3 Ratings: 4.3
Classics and Comedy movie directed by Howard Hawks

"The love impulse in man," says a psychiatrist inBringing Up Baby, "frequently reveals itself in terms of conflict." That's for sure. For a primer on the rules and regulations of the classic screwball comedy, which throws love and conflict into close … see full wiki

Director: Howard Hawks
Genre: Classics, Comedy
1 review about Bringing Up Baby (1938)

So Many Fond Memories

  • Jan 17, 2004
Rating:
+5
I give full credit to a bachelor uncle, Harry Johnson, for the fact that I became a movie buff early in my childhood. Throughout the Great Depression, as he repeatedly explained, he escaped from all the financial hardships by attending the local movie theaters on the South Side of Chicago. One of his all-time favorites is this one. You can thus imagine how thrilled he was when I gave him a VCR one distant Christmas, accompanied by VHSs of this film and It's a Wonderful Life. At Christmas and on his birthday, I gave him VHS versions of other films (e.g. Going My Way, Bells of St. Mary, and The Virginian). Whenever I returned to visit him, we would head for his favorite restaurant in Oak Park (Otto's) for a steak dinner, then return to his apartment to watch a movie. More often than not, this was the one he selected. We would settle back with lavishly buttered popcorn and a cold beer and again become enchanted by Bringing Up Baby.

Directed by Howard Hawks and co-starring Cary Grant (David Huxley) and Katherine Hepburn (Susan Vance), this is the archetypical screwball comedy. While golfing, Susan falls in love with David, a paleontologist. "Baby" is her pet leopard. Any summary of the film's plot cannot begin to suggest what a delightful experience it is to observe her pursuit of him, complicated at one point by mistaken identity (stay with me on this) when Baby is mistaken for another leopard which has escaped from the local zoo. Meanwhile, David (stay with me now) pursues a missing dinosaur bone which he needs inorder to....

Hepburn and Grant are brilliant, as are several members of the supporting cast, notably Charlie Ruggles (Major Horace Applegate), Barry Fitzgerald (Mr. Gogarty), and May Robson (Aunt Elizabeth). So many memorable scenes. Somehow, Hawks and his cast establish and then sustain zaniness at a high level of sophistication. Can it really be 65 years since this film first appeared? How remarkable that it has lost none of its entertainment value since then. None. Today, how much I wish I could see it again with Uncle Harry. He died years ago but I still have all those fond memories. He and they live on in films such as this. While seeing it again recently, I returned in time to Oak Park, to Otto's, and then to sharing it in a small apartment with Uncle Harry.

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