Bringing Up Baby (1938) was

Length: 1Hr 42

Rating: U

About: Harried paleontologist David Huxley (Cary Grant) has to make a good impression on society matron Mrs. Random (May Robson), who is considering donating one million dollars to his museum. On the day before his wedding, Huxley meets Mrs. Random’s high-spirited young niece, Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn), a madcap adventuress who immediately falls for the straitlaced scientist. The ever-growing chaos — including a missing dinosaur bone and a pet leopard — threatens to swallow him whole.

The Good

Cary Grant is utterly charming. He’s the perfect blend of the frustration seen in John Cleese and the stuffy Britishness of younger Hugh Grant.

It’s a brilliant watch to spot themes and scenes have become legacy over the years. Most significant being the feline and The Hangover and the car journey . You’d think that having seeing what are now tropes, would make this film stagnant, but it’s truly the opposite.

The plot is the right side of crazy. It’s also timeless comedy and quite a decent, believable romance. I love Katherine Hepburn’s eccentricity. It brings such joy and warmth that I’m not certain a contemporary actress could get across.

The Bad

David’s fiancée, Alice, was too much of a stereotype or even a panto villain. She’s so transparent, that it gives away the plot too easily. Yes, on the one had it does ensure don’t care that David wants Susan almost as soon as they meet. However, in the process they’ve made Alice an unlikeable character and not simply someone who doesn’t fit with David.

The Ugly

For a comedy, it feels a little on the long side. A bit of an edit would bring it down to a lean 90 minutes and make for a slightly better film.

Final Thoughts

It’s a story based upon work by a female novelist who was even brought on board for scriptwriting duties. The lead female, while eccentric, is independent and head strong. The comedy is still funny and inoffensive. The only thing wrong is that I’ve never seen it before.


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