A young man falls in love with a girl from a rich family. His unorthodox plan to go on holiday for the early years of his life is met with skepticism by everyone except for his fiancée's eccentric sister and long suffering brother.
Mild mannered zoology professor Dr. David Huxley is excited by the news that an intercostal clavicle bone has been found to complete his brontosaurus skeleton, a project four years in the construction. He is equally excited about his imminent marriage to his assistant, the officious Alice Swallow, who is interested in him more for his work than for him as a person. David needs the $1 million endowment of wealthy dowager Mrs. Carleton Random to complete the project. Her lawyer, Alexander Peabody, will make the decision on her behalf, so David needs to get in his favor. However, whenever David tries to make a good impression on Peabody, the same young woman always seems to do something to make him look bad. She is the flighty heiress Susan Vance. The more David wants Susan to go away, the more Susan seems not to want or be able to. But David eventually learns that Alexander Peabody is her good friend, who she calls Boopy, and Susan's Aunt Elizabeth, with whom David has also made a bad ... Written by
David's response to Aunt Elizabeth asking him why he is wearing a woman's dressing gown ("Because I just went gay all of a sudden!") is considered by many film historians to be the first use of the word "gay" in its roughly modern sense (as opposed to its archaic meaning of "happy, carefree") in an American studio film. Among homosexuals, the word first came into its current use during the 1920s or possibly even earlier, though it was not widely known by heterosexuals as a slang term for homosexuals until the late 1960s. The line was not in the original shooting script for the film; it was an ad lib from Cary Grant himself. The censors were likely unfamiliar with the term and assumed it to mean "gaga" or "senile" in the context. See more »
There is no glass in the windshield of David's car. When David and Susan are arguing over the ownership of the car and she drives off, to catch his balance David grabs the frame of the windshield putting his fingers through where the glass should be. See more »
Maybe the prototypical example of the breed, in fact. Zoologist Grant (we'd call him a paleontologist nowadays) goes to a golf course to try to wrangle money out of a potential donor: along the way he meets up with Katherine Hepburn, and they have all sorts of wacky misadventures.
Grant's great, though it's not a typical role for him -- he's uptight, buttoned down, smothered. He's clearly the superego character, straitlaced and repressed and anti-life (it's no accident he works with bones). Hepburn was never lovelier than she was here -- she's the id character, all action and movement. There's a dedicated minority of people who hate this movie, mostly I think because they see the things Hepburn's character does as cruel. That's the point. Hepburn's not supposed to be nice -- she's id. We laugh partly because Grant needs to be loosened up, but partly because some of Hepburn's actions are shocking. Ideally, we should be in the same position as Grant in the movie: half-attracted, half-afraid.
Great "rat-a-tat" dialog in the classic Hollywood tradition. I can't think of many screenwriters today who could deliver such dialog. Highly recommended, one of the great Hollywood comedies.
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