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Bringing Up Baby (1938) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • 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 impression without her knowing who he is, is Mrs. Carleton Random. However getting in Aunt Elizabeth and Boopy's good graces is not as easy as Susan smoothing the waters with them. Throw into the mix a tame pet leopard named Baby that Susan's brother Mark inexplicably sends her from Brazil, Aunt Elizabeth's big game hunting friend Major Horace Applegate, Aunt Elizabeth's pet terrier George who has a penchant for burying bones and other things, and a traveling circus passing through town and David may never be able to finish his project or make it to his wedding. But David may come to the realization that there is something more important in his life.

    - Written by Huggo
  • In this screwball comedy, heiress Susan is determined to catch a stuffy paleontologist and uses her pet leopard, Baby, to help get his attention. The elements of this farce include a yappy terrier who steals and buries an irreplaceable fossilized bone, a pompous big game hunter, a rich old aunt, a jealous fiancée, and a case of mistaken identity involving a second, and vicious, leopard.

    - Written by Fiona Kelleghan <fkelleghan@aol.com>
  • When Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn), a scatterbrained young woman, takes a shine to Dr. David Huxley (Cary Grant), a sober palaeontologist, mayhem ensues. Dr. Huxley, engaged to be married and intensely interested in the arrival of the brontosaurus bone required to complete his project at the museum, is inextricably bound up with Susan's escapades when she finds herself responsible for Baby, a tame leopard shipped to her New York apartment and intended for Susan's aunt in Connecticut. The plot thickens when George the Terrier steals the priceless bone and buries it, Baby escapes, and an untamed leopard escapes from a circus convoy (resulting in a twist on the mistaken identity ploy). Will Susan's love for David be reciprocated? Will David get his bone back? Will Baby be brought up - or brought down?

    - Written by OneSuch

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