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 They seemed to think it was beneath them, or so hopelessly outdated that it would surely be a waste of time.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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