Bringing Up Baby
is a screwball comedy about a paleontologist, David Huxley (Cary Grant
), involved with a scatterbrained woman, Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn
), and a tame leopard named Baby (Nissa the Leopard
). Baby, in Susan's temporary care, is a gift from Susan's brother to their aunt Elizabeth (May Robson
), who David hopes will make a large donation to his museum. David is about to marry Alice (Virginia Walker
David is piecing together a brontosaurus skeleton that is missing one bone (the fictitious intercostal clavicle), which Susan's dog, George (Asta
from The Thin Man
) steals and buries. David and Susan try to recover the bone and Baby, who got away. Meanwhile, a psychiatrist (Fritz Feld
) believes that both of them are off their nut and have them put in jail. Susan escapes. While she's gone, George leads Baby to the jail. A few minutes later Susan comes back with a leopard at the end of a rope, not realizing that it is not Baby, but a dangerous circus animal (also played by Nissa the Leopard
). George corrals the wild leopard in one of the jail cells and saves the day.
Several weeks later, Susan finds David (who has been jilted by Alice because of her) working on his brontosaurus reconstruction at the museum. After giving him the missing bone (which she found by trailing George), she tells him she has persuaded her aunt to make the large donation. Against his advice, Susan climbs a tall ladder next to the dinosaur to be closer to him. When the ladder starts swaying dangerously, she climbs onto the skeleton. Before it collapses, David grabs her hand. Surveying the wreckage of his work, David gives up and admits that he cannot live without her.