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
Throughout filming, RKO executives complained that the film was destined for commercial failure. They asked Howard Hawks to insert more romance and less slapstick and told him to take away Cary Grant's glasses, but he ignored them. See more »
Glass wall in the bathroom to fence Baby in. See more »
An absurdly overrated movie that flopped on it's 1938 release
A poor script quickly establishes the main characters as unsympathetic, and "Baby" just never works with any normal audience. People who have been brainwashed to believe it is a great film are simply afraid not to like it. Cary Grant and Kate Hepburn both do their best under the adverse circumstances, and the slapstick with the leopard towards the end of the film is genuinely funny. This is one of a series of films that contributed to Kate Hepburn's reputation as "box office poison". After boy friend Howard Hughes bought her the rights to Phillip Barry's play, she then rescued her career with her big hit "The Philadelphia Story" (1940).
During the 1950s Cahiers du Cinema hailed director Howard Hawks as an "auteur", and resurrected all of his lesser films as would be masterpieces. This film was the main beneficiary, changing from a 1938 box office flop to a supposedly classic comedy. It is perhaps the most striking example in film history of critics parroting received opinion to turn a flop into a masterpiece. In my opinion the 1938 audience got it right. There were many great screwball comedies made during the 1930s, such as "It Happened One Night", "My Man Godfrey", and "The Awful Truth". Unfortunately, "Bringing Up Baby" was not one of them.
45 of 79 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this