Bringing Up Baby (1938)

I’m not entirely sure how this film works. It’s absolutely ludicrous, but you still manage to have a good time watching it.

Bringing Up Baby is one of those films from the real Age of the Movie Star, a screwball romp between Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. And it’s fun, no question. Grant plays a biologist put in charge of getting funding, and Hepburn manages to get in his way at every turn. “Baby” is a pet leopard put in her care, in case you were wondering.

Director Howard Hawks puts these characters in just about every imaginable situation, from chasing a dog with an ancient bone to getting the pet leopard mixed up with an escaped circus animal. Lines are written less as normal dialogue than witty (and naughty) banter, and thankfully Grant and Hepburn have a sizzling chemistry that makes it all fun to watch.

The only problem is there isn’t much of a plot. I mean, there is, but you get the feeling it’s more tailored to the jokes than anything. When there’s not much of a story, a film can drag, and I did find myself disinterested in parts. But hey, this is just how a lot of these movies were.

Bringing Up Baby is a delightful something of a film. It’s not great, not to me, but you’re really not going to find many movies like it these days. And it has Cary Grant bickering with Katherine Hepburn, so what else do you need?

3 Green

Bringing Up Baby is available on DVD and digital.

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