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#97 - Bringing Up Baby

Next entry is this classic Cary Grant/Katharine Hepburn film from 1939, a screwball comedy about a paleontologist who gets mixed up with a flighty, beautiful girl with a pet leopard. Naturally, hilarious hijinx ensue.

Boy, I wasn't sold on this one right away. Davin pumped it up as one of his favorites, and I was expecting classic performances from the two leads. But instead I found Grant being nerdy and stiff and Hepburn being idiotic and inconsiderate. As it turns out, that's just the characters, and it's the characters that make this film great. The way Grant and Hepburn play off of one another for the entire movie is sometimes just too much to watch -- she's so nutty and won't leave him alone for a second, and he's just trying to get some money and a dinosaur bone for his museum... I think Grant's character reminded me of me, which may explain why the film was so painful at first.

But I grew into it. Once I realized that the breakneck pace and hijinx weren't going to quit, I settled in to just enjoy the ride. Once I got past the at-first-jarring characters, I could listen to the dialogue, which is snappy and inspired. And Grant's character became okay after an extended argument he had with an older woman while he was wearing a negligee, which ended in him jumping up in the air and yelling "Because I just went gay all of a sudden!" Hee hee. And the film is obviously very well done and meticulously directed. What fun.

The film is so fast and silly and brusque, and I wasn't expecting that. But if/when I see it again, I'll know what's coming, and I'm sure I'll enjoy it more.

Comments (1)


I saw this a year or so ago, and had the same initial reaction that you did. I didn't even have clear well defined expectations (which might have made it worse), and i was initially very disappointed. but then, like you, i sat back to enjoy the ride and think by the end i may have liked the film. let's watch it again together some time!


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