#116 Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Next on our list is the mother of all screwball comedies and the second film to star Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. Howard Hawks’s Bringing Up Baby is when a nerdy paleontologist keeps clashing with a hair-brained heiress who wants him to help her bring her leopard, Baby, to her aunt’s farm in Connecticut.

So we meet David Huxley, a paleontologist who really wants to get a million dollar donation and get the last piece to complete his Brontosaurus skeleton. He accidentally meets Susan Vance, a zany, looney heiress who is immediately in love with David but he, on the other hand, is too turned off by her troublesome ways. Since she mistakes him for a zoologist and does not want him married to his fiancé,  she tricks David into helping her bring her aunt’s leopard back to Connecticut. A lot of mishaps occur such as mistaking her leopard for one not so tame, David ruining Susan’s dress to exposure her bare bottom, ending up in jail, etc. It’s like these two should not be together but are somehow still connected to each other and just can’t help themselves. 

This was my favorite scene in the movie! Thank you Cary Grant for having the guts to say this line out loud. Many actors should have learned from him that if you want something risqué to appear in a film past the censorship boards, improvise the hell out of it! I also give Cary Grant credit for being able to deal with a leopard that he was afraid of. That would probably terrify me if I was afraid of being eaten every time I was on set! I can’t believe this is Katherine Hepburn’s first comedy. She played the role like a pro! This film is the perfect example of a screwball comedy in that you see two characters who are totally wrong for each other and how it’s clearly one-sided but their chemistry makes us forget all of that. I especially love the big stunt during the ending but I will not spoil it. This movie will give you a lot of laughs, I guarantee. 

Watch Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn in the classic screwball comedy and please comment what you think:

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