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79 Bringing Up Baby 
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Post Re: 79 Bringing Up Baby
Bringing up Baby (1938)*

Dr. Huxley (Cary Grant) meets Susan (Katherine Hepburn) the eve of three big events: He's getting married, the missing-piece of a four-year project has been unearthed, and he's receiving a million dollar grant. The marriage smacks of lovelessness, the piece is in-the-mail, and the grant hinges on a meeting. Susan unintentionally ensures this meeting goes badly. She soon has sights on him, and he's not getting away. Enter a pet leopard named "Baby". Just when it can't go worse for Huxley, it does. Grant plays straight-man to Hepburn's brilliant comedy. If you never understood fuss over Katherine Hepburn's talents, you will after this.


Awf Hand gives four out of four stars and adds: This is comedy without profanity, insults or raunch, and remains hilarious after more than 70 years. Kind of like Don Rickles -well, except for the profanity, insults and raunch part...

*Yahoo’s 100 movies to see before you die.


Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:48 pm
Post Re: 79 Bringing Up Baby
Awf Hand wrote:
Bringing up Baby (1938)*

Dr. Huxley (Cary Grant) meets Susan (Katherine Hepburn) the eve of three big events: He's getting married, the missing-piece of a four-year project has been unearthed, and he's receiving a million dollar grant. The marriage smacks of lovelessness, the piece is in-the-mail, and the grant hinges on a meeting. Susan unintentionally ensures this meeting goes badly. She soon has sights on him, and he's not getting away. Enter a pet leopard named "Baby". Just when it can't go worse for Huxley, it does. Grant plays straight-man to Hepburn's brilliant comedy. If you never understood fuss over Katherine Hepburn's talents, you will after this.


Awf Hand gives four out of four stars and adds: This is comedy without profanity, insults or raunch, and remains hilarious after more than 70 years. Kind of like Don Rickles -well, except for the profanity, insults and raunch part...

*Yahoo’s 100 movies to see before you die.


Yay, lovely film and one that so many might try before inserting the latest junk romantic comedy offering into their DVD player.
Rob


Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:51 pm
Post Re: 79 Bringing Up Baby
Playing on TCM 6/18 @ 8pm EST


Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:05 pm
Post Re: 79 Bringing Up Baby
Hepburn does comedy?

I watched this film only a month after Bridesmaids was released. A feat that many modern reviewers seemed to cite as a big coming out party for comedy administered by those with two X chromosomes. Of course, women have been funny in the movies before now. Screwball comedies of the thirties often featured female leads who matched their male counterparts step for step in both physical comedy and biting wit.

Whether or not something is considered funny is extremely subjective. I thought Hepburn was great playing against type in Bringing up Baby. While the movie is not “laugh out loud” funny, I had a smile on my face throughout most of the running time (although the film does overstay its welcome a little). Hepburn and Cary Grant mesh together terrifically as a team. Half of the comedy comes purely from Grant’s reactions to the various predicaments. He’s the straight man forced to deal with Hepburn’s borderline psychotic behavior. We feel every bit of his frustration as he is put through hell over a two day period.

The plot is nothing much to write home about. It exists as only a vehicle to move Grant and Hepburn from one set of shenanigans to another and occasionally introduces a new secondary character or two. It’s basically one absurd situation stacked upon another, stacked upon another. In this way, it reminded me a little of another Grant starrer from this time Arsenic and Old Lace. One thing that bothered me a little was the handling of David’s engagement to Miss Swallow. They don’t get much time together on screen and have zero chemistry when they do. It’s not even believable that the two would be engaged. Their engagement is broken by a single throw away line at the end of the script. I wondered if it turned any heads in the 30’s when marriage/engagements were considered more socially sacred. It probably wouldn’t be a big deal today.

The comedic merits of this film seem to polarize most viewers, but for me it is right up my alley. I’m sure a lot of modern viewers would consider this brand of comedy as too tame. With most of today’s comedies mired in raunchiness and vulgarity, this movie actually comes off as a breath of fresh air. I liked Hepburn too in her next film, The Philadelphia Story. My Man Godfrey and The Thin Man are also among my favorites from this era. 8/10


Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:41 am
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Post Re: 79 Bringing Up Baby
Bringing Up Baby

There have been a few other screwball comedies in the top 100, but I think this is probably the strongest. As a genre, these films don't fit very well into the high-art pantheon of "cinema"; but that doesn't mean they aren't worthwhile. Bringing Up Baby serves as the breakout comedy role for Katharine Hepburn. Aside from that, I think this film is the perfect argument for why screwball comedies deserve attention.

Cary Grant plays it straight; he's just a guy doing his job, for the most part. He just tries to maintain the status quo. And like all screwball comedies, he gets thrown into quirky shenanigans, in this case caused by a girl. His reactions to these situations and final confession of love are a metaphor for cinema lovers. At the beginning, David (Grant) is content with his engagement to his boring fiancee. Their relationship is founded on little more than professional admiration. In this metaphor, his fiancee represents the traditional notion of "cinema". For the first half of the movie, David is annoyed with Susan (Hepburn), who represents screwball comedies. He eventually expresses his annoyance, but he sticks with it. Finally, he admits his love for Susan and how much he enjoyed their time together. Bringing Up Baby is about learning to enjoy films for what they are. They don't all have to be boring or challenging.

But that's just my theory.

3/4


Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:58 pm
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