8.0/10
45,935
246 user 107 critic

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Family, Romance | 18 February 1938 (USA)
While trying to secure a $1 million donation for his museum, a befuddled paleontologist is pursued by a flighty and often irritating heiress and her pet leopard, Baby.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
2 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Major Applegate (as Charlie Ruggles)
...
Slocum
...
Mr. Gogarty
...
Aunt Elizabeth
...
Dr. Lehman
Leona Roberts ...
Mrs. Gogarty
...
Mr. Peabody
...
Mrs. Lehman
Virginia Walker ...
Alice Swallow
John Kelly ...
Elmer
Edit

Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

leopard | museum | bone | love | lawyer | See All (76) »

Taglines:

And so begins the hilarious adventure of Professor David Huxley and Miss Susan Vance, a flutter-brained vixen with love in her heart! [Theatrical trailer.]

Genres:

Comedy | Family | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 February 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Leoparden küßt man nicht  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,073,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Cary Grant had a non-exclusive, four-picture deal with RKO for $50,000 per film, and his manager used his casting in the film to renegotiate his contract, earning him $75,000 plus the bonuses Katharine Hepburn was receiving. Grant was initially concerned about being able to play an intellectual character and took two weeks to accept the role, despite the new contract. See more »

Goofs

The Brontosaurus/Apatosaurus skeleton has numerous errors, including the head of a different dinosaur, Camarasaurus. This was not known until certain discoveries were made at least 30 years after the film came out. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Prof. LaTouche: Good morning, Miss Swallow.
Alice Swallow: Shh.
Prof. LaTouche: Why what's the matter ?
Alice Swallow: Doctor Huxley is thinking.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Family Ties: Bringing Up Baby (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

I Can't Give You Anything but Love
(1928) (uncredited)
Words by Dorothy Fields
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Played as background music very often throughout the film
Sung a cappella by Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Magnificent, joyous japery.
31 January 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"Bringing Up Baby" is a film I unconditionally love; it is so utterly sublime a comedy that I was truly sighing, awed, 'it can't get better than this...' at many points. Yet it regularly does; Hawks keeps the momentum going majestically; it is one incredibly surreal, bizarre tangent going off unexpectedly into another, at every juncture. He photographs and presents his actors in the most charming and amusing possible ways, and the film is certainly a more leisurely, perfectly pitched film than "His Girl Friday", which I nonetheless admire. There is a beauty in the photography and simple choice of perspectives and angles that matches the

There is not one actress in the annals of film who I adore more than Katharine Hepburn; she is a compelling performer, of great charm, intelligence and wit; of very real, idiosyncratic looks that to this eye are beautiful, vivacious, impish. In "Bringing Up Baby" her Susan Vance is a very interesting diversion from her more usual type of character - the slightly superior, in-control ice maiden, as shown in say "The Philadelphia Story". She is phenomenal in that film, yet here beguiling in a completely different fashion, playing a slightly scatterbrained, sprightly, charmingly delinquent woman, who seems to have no control over anything; least of all her feelings for Grant. Her giddy, breathless exuberance and anarchic helplessness are really endearing; it's a wonderful film that stretches out the credulity of Grant's wonderfully straight-laced character's resistance to Miss Vance. The ending is a gorgeous, satisfying pay-off, as he finally gives way, as would we all! It's a charming, suitable ending that rectifies the slight fall-off of the preceding jail section of the film. That is very amusing, but in a more predictable, slightly laboured way. In stark contrast to the first 70-80 minutes of the film, which amounts to about the finest sustained American comedy I have seen of that length - "Way Out West" and "Duck Soup" being shorter in total.

Cary Grant, truly an institution of a comedic player, is very different to his more remembered persona of later years. It's remarkable to see this absurd little man, bespectacled, unworldly and cutting an orthodox figure played so perfectly by the suave Grant. This is gleefully played on with the sublime scene where Hepburn and Grant are trying to catch the leopard - Kate butterfly net in hand! She accidentally happens to break his glasses and is even more taken with him without them... The tension between how we usually remember Grant and the character he is playing here does add an extra layer of amusement to the film. Need I really add that the rest of the film's company are note perfect? Charles Ruggles, Barry Fitzgerald and many more really give the perfectly matched stars a fine backdrop.

I shan't spoil too much of this heady, sublimely silly film... just go and watch it and see Howard Hawks, a master craftsman, at his best - there are no pretensions but making a quite wonderful character comedy - and Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant on insurmountable form. With these delightful stars and anarchic, scintillating comic material, what we have on our hands is an unutterably fine film, one of my very favourites of all time. Where else are you going to get such plot threads running simultaneously as: a hunt for a rare archeological find buried by a dog, an absurd upper-middle-class family dinner and an escaped leopard?

Rating:- *****/*****


62 of 79 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Am I the only one? vivacious_dan
Outdated humor!!! Der_Blaue_Reiter
All the best lines in this film catcreswell
This movie was sooo annoying! DukeBryant
Why was the film not well-received? kahjraj
Once Again, the Usage of the Word 'Gay' acrylica
Discuss Bringing Up Baby (1938) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?