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Bringing Up Baby

Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, 1938)

Director: Howard Hawks
Cast: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Charles Ruggles
Genre: Screwball Comedy

About: About a hair-brained paleontologist (Cary Grant) who's trying to get a $1 million donation from a rich family for his dinosaur museum. When he has a chance encounter with a flighty, yet strong willed and pushy young rich woman...she decides she wants to marry him. As she courts the reluctant scientist, the mismatched pair have to find her escaped pet leopard, Baby.

Review: This was my second viewing and I'm still not sure what to make of this film. I know it's considered one of the funniest of the classic era films and is highly rated. I liked it, but I didn't connect to it.

After the movie was over I watched the commentary track with Peter Bogdanovic, who said this film is very fast paced and you need to be up for watching it, with your full attention on the screen.

I do have a hunch about the film...I don't think the genius of the film is in the story line or the characters. They are just window dressing for the true star of the film, the writing. I think the star of the film is the quick wit that was written and the ad lib lines done by Hepburn and Grant...with Hawks adding a bit of his own naughtiness. It's almost like this is a cryptic film and the actors and writers are bypassing the story and speaking directly to the audience. It's like an inside joke at a big party and the fun is in deciphering the double entendres.