A chemist finds his personal and professional life turned upside down when one of his chimpanzees finds the fountain of youth.


Howard Hawks


Ben Hecht (screenplay), Charles Lederer (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Cary Grant ... Dr. Barnaby Fulton
Ginger Rogers ... Mrs. Edwina Fulton
Charles Coburn ... Mr. Oliver Oxley
Marilyn Monroe ... Miss Lois Laurel
Hugh Marlowe ... Hank Entwhistle
Henri Letondal ... Dr. Jerome Kitzel
Robert Cornthwaite ... Dr. Zoldeck
Larry Keating ... G.J. Culverly
Douglas Spencer ... Dr. Brunner
Esther Dale ... Mrs. Rhinelander
George Winslow ... Little Indian


Barnaby Fulton is a research chemist working on a fountain of youth pill for a chemical company. While trying a sample dose on himself, he accidentally gets a dose of a mixture added to the water cooler and believes his potion is what is working. The mixture temporarily causes him to feel and act like a teenager, including correcting his vision. When his wife gets a dose that is even larger, she regresses even further into her childhood. When an old boyfriend meets her in this state, he believes that her never wanting to see him again means a divorce and a chance for him. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's Some Fun!


Comedy | Sci-Fi


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The exterior shots of the Oxly Chemical Co. office building where Barnaby works was actually the Executive Building on the 20th Century Fox studio lot. It is now known as the Old Executive Building. See more »


When Edwina throws Barnaby out of the hotel room, he then tries to get back in, pushing on the door. The wall surrounding the door moves. See more »


[first lines]
Howard Hawks, Man in Opening: Not yet, Cary.
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Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, an offscreen voice twice says, "Not yet, Cary" when Barnaby (Cary Grant) opens his front door to come outside. Each time, he closes the door again so the credits can continue. See more »


Referenced in Marilyn Monroe: Beyond the Legend (1986) See more »


The Whiffenpoof Song
Music by Tod B. Galloway
Lyrics by George S. Pomeroy and Meade Minnigerode
Sung by Cary Grant
Also sung by Ginger Rogers
Also sung by Ginger Rogers, Charles Coburn and the Executive Board
See more »

User Reviews

Youth formula is put into water cooler with comic results.
30 June 2000 | by wharper-2See all my reviews

_Monkey Business_ works if, and only if, you can buy the premise that a lab monkey, working behind the scientist's back, can produce an elixer that makes people young again and dump it into the lab's water cooler to watch the results. I find suspending disbelief here no problem, and the result is a wonderfully silly movie. Cary Grant is spot on as the absent-minded scientist, Barnaby Fulton. (The opening credit scene, which seques seamlessly from Cary being referred to as "Mr. Grant" by the off-camera director to Cary being Barnaby Fulton, is a classic in itself.) Ginger Rogers (Mrs. Fulton), is hardly credible as a scientist's wife, but she is brilliant whenever Mrs. Fulton is under the influence of the elixer. Monroe is effortless as the dumb blonde secretary wanting to have "fun" with the youthful version of Barnaby Fulton. Charles Coburn is perfect as the frumpy boss, Mr. Oxley. The comedy is in the situations and dialog that develop as the elixer is repeatedly unwittingly imbibed by Grant and Rogers, and then by others. I would rather not spell these out, but they are fully within the screwball comedy genre that goes back to the 1930's.

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Release Date:

5 September 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Howard Hawks' Monkey Business See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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