Bringing Up Baby (1938) Review


David Huxley a palaeontologist was attempting to secure a $1 million donation for his museum, but standing in his way was annoying heiress Susan Vance and her pet, a leopard named Baby!


David was attempting to assemble the skelton of a Brontosaurus and had one bone missing, this was as he was attempting to get the donation to be able to complete it. For this he had to try and impress Elizabeth Random, as well as his impending marriage to Alice Swallow. He really was not prepared for Susan at all, she is all over the place and really does not care about anything at all. She manages to cause chaos for David so many times in such a short space of time.

Even more so when she thinks he is actually a zoologist and convinces him to take Baby the tame leopard to Connecticut. To ensure the leopard stays tame singing “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” helps, along with creating more comedic moments and the timing of this works so very well within the film. I hadn’t really read anything about the film before watching it so finding out the leopard was such a big part of it was rather amusing in itself.

The impending love between the pair was something that was pretty obvious from the start, but that does not take anything away from it. I actually prefer that about older films as they built up a relationship before anything else and that would be the falling in love. Not sex based of the passion and lust, this film also shows that the whole opposites attract could well be right as well. Something I have picked up on is how often people are engaged to someone that they really do not want to marry as well, then luckily meet someone they actually do want to be with. Interesting to think about that aspect and how marriage or the idea of marriage has changed over time.

Bringing Up Baby is a truly joyful film that is pretty adorable to watch from start to finish. With a nice story to go between the hilarious moments it really is one of those films that you could easily watch over and over again, never getting bored. Somehow this was the first time I have ever watched it, not really sure how that was possible considering my love for Cary Grant (which grows even stronger with each film I see him in).

This was the very first comedy film that Katharine Hepburn did, she required extra coaching and it must have helped with Cary Grant’s vaudevillian background. I mean it paid off considering this film was listed as the 14th funniest comedy in the AFI 100 Funniest Comedies list! Cary Grant is given the more straight role in terms of the comedy and must react to Hepburn and the moments she brings to the film. Both are fantastic together and everything fits together so nicely within the film, that I can fully understand why it is held in such high regard. The different styles of comedy are mixed together with impressive performances that make it just wonderful to watch.

3 thoughts on “Bringing Up Baby (1938) Review

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