“Bringing Up Baby” (1938) dir: Howard Hawks


Let me begin with the fact that this film is one of the funniest I have ever watched. I suppose of course it depends on one’s sense of humour and given that this comedy was released in 1938 makes my comment rather suspicious. However, its simple, even childish misunderstandings and silly gaffes with the priceless contribution of the two most talented performers, Katherine Hepburn as Susan Vance and Cary Grant as David Huxley make this film worth remembering.

David is a serene paleontologist soon to be married approaches Mr Peabody for a donation for the museum, while Susan is an interesting, overactive young lady tha is attracted to David but in her naivety trouble could be easily her second name.

The film provides unforgettable quotes that stick to you, so quick and bright. Katherine Hepburn, “for whom the script was written specifically and was tailored to her personality”, manages to create an adorable creature, so quick-spirited, funny, witty and at the same time so goofy and clumsy that creates all sorts of troubles for poor David.

Her games at the bar with an olive, leaves you tempted to try it yourself next time you will be out for a drink. The entire scene is a wonderful spectacle of ridicule. Their dialogues reminded me of a ping pong game, the velocity with which the words come out of Hepburn’s mouth is rare. What is more, the way Grant cries “ Just a minute Mr. Peabody”, along with his facial expressions towards the troubles Susan brings him are priceless. The scene where her dress gets torn makes me laugh every time, only by observing the details!!

David is a true gentleman that despite his efforts to avoid her, following  his initial impression of her and his survival instincts (apparently), is unable to end their encounters. His caring  nature leads him back to her apartment in order to save her from Baby, the leopard Susan’s brother sent her.

The strangest things happen to them that one day: committing theft, causing a car crash, losing a priceless, rare, dinosaur bone that would complete a four-year old work, digging holes in a vast garden, bizarre dinners with unconventional clothes, facing prison sentence, fighting a wild leopard, singing to a tamed leopard, burning clothes, falling into lakes, endlessly arguing, endlessly flirting, acting as a gang member and finally ruining public paleontological property!

Well it is needless to say that there is no deeper meaning deriving from the film, Susan is the troublesome young lady who from the moment she sheds eyes on her love interest messes his life, at times willingly but mostly not so. David on the other hand is un-experienced to the matters of the heart and of the world outside his museum (ready to marry a boring, austere woman) but nevertheless a true gentleman and an extremely patient man, that is finally rewarded having found the “right” woman for him. 


Author: CinémAmoureuse

I grew up in Athens and have adored cinema since I was a kid. My very first intense cinematic experience was the Titanic at the age of 5. I particularly love the B&W classic Hollywood era and enjoy expressing my amateur thoughts on all films that come my way.

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