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Bringing Up Baby

1938 film starring Katharine Hepburn & Cary Grant; directed by Howard Hawks; featuring Charlie Ruggles, Barry Fitzgerald, May Robson, & Walter Catlett

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Classic Comedy....

  • Sep 9, 2000
  • by

Pros: Laughing is Doctor Recommended

Cons: You must be joking!

Paleontologist Dr. David Huxley is tremendously excited to be able to finish up a four year long project. Finally! The intercostal clavicle bone he has been hoping for has come to light, and his brontosaurus skeleton will finally stand complete! Unfortunately for mild-mannered Huxley this is when the outrageous Susan Vance enters his life. In the wake of confused chaos that seems to hover about Susan like an uncertain halo, her dog manages to make off with the prized bone which gives Susan just enough claim on Huxley to pull him into her world of pet leopards named Baby, escaped circus animals, million dollar endowments, midnight serenades and mistaken identities. With Susan's help, Huxley's loses his job, his frigid fiancee, his clinging sanity, his respectable place in society, and his patience along with his clothes and all-important brontosaurus bone!

"Now, it isn't that I don't like you, Susan! Because, after all, in moments of quiet I'm strangely drawn to you, but- well, there haven't been any quiet moments. "

This 1938 classic screwball comedy is still an amazingly entertaining film. Classics, even mere comedies, endure for a reason... they were crafted with skill. Although I have also seen good remakes of several classics, it is hard to modernize some of these mad-cap comedies. Alot of the social niceties and relevant topics of the time simply don't exist anymore. are not understood, or sometimes even recognized, by today's audiences. These little cracks can quickly become yawning rifts when dealing with something as subjective as comedy. Radioland Murders is an excellent example of a more modern film that captures the essence of these madcap comedies of bygone days.

When my kids were younger, I could rarely get them to watch any film that was done in black and white. They seemed to think it was beneath them, or so hopelessly outdated that it would surely be a waste of time. Bringing Up Baby was a rare exception for my kids, then aged 7-11. This comedy is such a delightful romp, the lines drawn fairly clear and simple enough that the majority of its humor still shines through. It actually kept all three of them curious and entertained right to the end! Excellent set ups, comedic timing, and deadpan deliveries through out help to make this a classic comedy.

Neither stolid David nor the scatter-brained heiress, Susan, let up til Baby is back in his barn and the last bone is in place. Cary Grant was a much beloved actor and set the mark for leading men of his era. Despite his popularity as a love interest, his sense of comedy and tragedy is unparelled. If you like this one, I highly recommend viewing both Arsenic and Old Lace and Penny Serenade. Katharine Hepburn was a brilliant actress who also challenged women, on screen and off, to be strong, independent, free-thinkers who aren't afraid to take action or voice opinion. While eccentric Susan isn't Hepburn's "best" role, it is an amazingly funny and entertaining one! I don't think Baby went on to do any other films.


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October 07, 2010
Wow. You are brutal when it comes to rating movies! =)
October 07, 2010
Soon as I saw this comment, I knew something was up. I've been called a lot of things, but seldom brutal... at least not as a movie reviewer lol This was one of the very first reviews I wrote more than ten years ago. I had hardly a clue what I was doing, and obviously never went back to update this one. Thankfully, I've given this poor ol' review a much needed face lift today :o) Actually, very little of that original little blurb remains! Hope you enjoy the rewrite more than the original. :o)
October 07, 2010
Much better. Especially with the 5 instead of the 3 that you gave it before. =) I was thinking, what does a movie have to do to get a 5 outta you? =)
October 07, 2010
I'm guessing that since this was one of the first reviews I wrote anywhere, the poor rating that originally appeared was probably due to not rating it properly at Epinions. It probably hasn't helped that I've fiddled with the rating setting here without knowing what I'm doing lol I keep having this image of someone flicking the switch on a lightswitch that seems disconnected from everything, while the neighbor struggles with a garage door that opens and shuts on its own for no apparent reason.
October 07, 2010
For some weird reason my garage door opener also occasionally opens my neighbor's!
October 07, 2010
LOL A friend of mine has a myster switch in her house, and I can never resist flicking it at least once.... just to see if the neighbors start complaining. :o)
October 08, 2010
A mystery switch? That's hilarious.
More Bringing Up Baby reviews
Quick Tip by . August 12, 2010
This movie is a hoot!!! Both Grant and Hepburn have great comic timing. Neither are bad on the eyes either!
review by . May 10, 2009
I absolutely adore this film.  Katharine Hepburn, one of the greatest dramatic actresses of all time, is simply charming in this screwball comedy.  Cary Grant, who was sadly underrated throughout his career, is hilarious as the straight man.  No one does straight funnier than he does.      The only drawback is Hepburn's voice.  She's constantly talking very fast throughout the movie &, while it doesn't bother me, I've heard some people say that it …
About the reviewer
Quinn Blackburn ()
Ranked #125
Hello, my name is Quinn. :o) I also answer to Mom, YaYa, and occasionally Entwife. I enjoy Beauty wherever I find it... Nature, Music, Art in all its forms... I believe these to be true and sacred things … more
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About this movie


David Huxley (Cary Grant) is a straightlaced paleontologist who wants nothing more than to complete his assembly of a  brontosaurus skeleton & to marry his assistant, Miss Swallow.  David's wishes are on the verge of coming true when he meets the madcap heiress, Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn).  What ensues is a hilarious adventure.  In the spirit of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, David & Susan tramp across the countryside searching for leopards, a dog, & a dinosaur bone. 


A wonderfully goofy movie directed by Howard Hawks and starring Cary Grant as an absent-minded paleontologist (David Huxley) trying to complete a Brontosaurus skeleton (he needs an “intercostal clavicle” – whatever that is!) and the beautiful young Katherine Hepburn as a loony heiress (Susan Vance) with a pet leopard named “Baby.” Their zany escapades involve Susan’s dog “George” who steals the dinosaur bone and a confusion of identify between “Baby” and another not-so-tame leopard that’s escaped from a local circus. At the end of the movie, Susan arrives at the museum with the “intercostal clavicle” that “George” has returned as well as a promise of a million dollars for the museum. Huxley and Vance confess their love to each atop a ladder which falls and collapses the Brontosaurus
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Director: Howard Hawks
Genre: Classics
Release Date: February 18, 1938
MPAA Rating: Unrated
DVD Release Date: March 1, 2005
Runtime: 102 Minutes
Studio: TurnerEntertainment Co. & Warner Brothers Enterta
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"Classic Comedy...."
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