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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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This is a terrific, old fashioned, madcap, screwball comedy. Deftly directed by Howard Hawkes, the pace is frenetic from the get-go and never lets up. Starring Cary Grant, as a straight-laced paleontologist, and Katherine Hepburn, as an impulsive and beautiful heiress, this film is simply about as good as comedy gets.
The plot itself is simple. David Huxley (Cary Grant), a noted paleontologist, is trying to get a philanthropical grant of money for his museum from a wealthy donor. In his quest for this charitable gift, he runs into Susan (Katherine Hepburn), who, unbeknownst to him, is the niece and prospective heiress to his potential philanthropist's fortune. Once David meets up with this madcap heiress, his life will never be the same.
The film is noted for its highly improbable situations, its rat-a-tat-tat, staccato delivery of lines, its frenetic pacing, and impeccable comedic timing. Toss in a missing dinosaur bone, a little dog with a fondness for such, a domesticated leopard (if there is such a thing), a not so tame leopard, a great cast and script, and voila, one ends up with a great film!
Cary Grant is marvelous as David Huxley, the straight-laced, befuddled man of science who is drawn into improbable situations by Susan. Katherine Hepburn is sensational as Susan, the airhead heiress whose hair-brained ideas just lead to trouble. Of course, Susan falls for David, and the games begin. In addition to Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, the film has notable performances by Charles Ruggles, as big game hunter Major Applegate, Barry Fitzgerald as the hapless hired hand, Mr. Gogarty, and Walter Catlett, as Slocum, the criminally stupid town constable.
It is with good reason that this film made the Entertainment Weekly list of the 100 best comedies ever made. It is an assessment with which I heartily concur. This is a superlative, vintage film that is well worth having in one's personal collection. Bravo!
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on 11 June 2006
I'm a big Cary Grant/Katherine Hepburn fan so I'm liable to be bias. But what can I say? This film NEVER fails to make me laugh, no matter how many times I see it! This is comedy in it's truest form. The jokes are reeled off at an intense speed and you have to learn to go with the style of speech and comedy quickly or else you miss an equally funny joke whilst you're pondering over the previous one!! According to on-line sources, Katherine Hepburn had never filmed a comedy like this before and had to have tution in comic timing and such. You wouldn't guess it was the first film of such kind that she'd made for the humour and timing is perfect and she plays funny little Susan with an amazing ability. Cary Grant is highly amusing as the object of her affections. I cannot recommend this film highly enough!! 11/10!!
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on 19 January 2005
Whenever you hear the expression "screwball comedy", Bringing Up Baby immediately springs to mind, being in my view the finest of the genre. The Cary Grant/Howard Hawks collaboration was never better, nor indeed that of Grant and Katherine Hepburn, a big claim considering The Philadelphia Story.
Grant plays the bespectacled curator of a Natural History museum who is having the most important day of his life. Not only is he getting married the next day, but also is expecting the final bone in the museum's centrepiece Diplodocus exhibit AND has to entertain a rich benefactor who is about to donate a fortune to the museum. Enter a desperate series of unfortunate incidents, particularly the arrival of Hepburn and her pet leopard, and his day is in tatters.
The movie offers unlikely but often commented-on titbits of film history. Firstly it contains a scene which utilises (what-was-then) quite innovative special effects - namely a series of shots filmed separately and then composited together to give the appearance of Hepburn and Grant coming face-to-face with a leopard in the same frame. It also marks the only out-and-out comedy role Hepburn ever did and the very last role she was able to perform for RKO pictures - this latter the result of the infamous career hammering engineered by tycoon William Randolf Hearst, an influential enemy of Hepburn's.
Grant is absolutely brilliant as the reluctant stooge to Hepburn's advances, but she gets to provide all the fireworks. Her energetic, relentless, though earnest romantic pursuit of Grant would quite frankly be regarded as stalking in the real world but here heightens the hilarious comedy of errors as Grant's plight becomes more and more complicated.
Such a great, and indeed widely celebrated, film you would think deserves a decent DVD package, but unfortunately the UK only get a vanilla release while the US get a two-disc special edition including commentary from Peter Bogdanovich, documentaries on Grant and Hawks, some Howard Hawks shorts and so forth. Still, the movie alone is well worth the asking price...
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VINE VOICEon 9 October 2007
Bringing up baby is as described frantic, fast and noisy. You do not have time to get your breath. All the actors are at their best. There is a story line and a consistency that keeps this movie from being a bunch of one liners.

David Huxley (Cary Grant) is a paleontologist who has an important find. He crosses paths with Susan Vance (Katherine Hepburn) who is not all there but very witty. Susan has a secret "Baby", her pet leopard.

One of the themes is mistaking Baby for another more dangerous leopard that escaped from captivity. Many movies did this with black bags. However bags don't bite. And again every time Carry Grant gets mixed up with Katharine something inevitably goes wrong and this snowballs as the movie progresses. The movie moves fast enough that you may want to watch it again.
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on 26 April 2007
This is my favourite film of all time. Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn gel in such a superb way that from beginning to end the film is a delight and very funny. When it comes to screwball comedies then this is the one that all others should be measured against. Grants playing of the hapless Professor in pursuit of a grant for his museum is masterful. Hepburn matches him step for step as the rich heiress who falls for him and will do almost anything to keep him near her. The scene in the hotel when Hepburn looses the bottom of her dress and Grant walks step for step behind her to cover the embarrassment is priceless. The film is a joy and always cheers me up when I watch it. Everyone who likes comedy should buy a copy of this and encourage everyone they know to watch it. I can give it no higher praise.
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on 5 May 2013
I can imagine that 'Bringing Up Baby' would not be for everyone. Its very fast paced, Katherine Hepburn hardly stops talking after her entrance at the golf club, there's a fair bit of slapstick and I don't believe there is a serious moment in the whole picture. To be honest, 'screwball' comedy isn't usually for me BUT I found that I loved this movie and that is almost entirely down to Hepburn who is simply a delight from start to finish. I'm amazed that this was supposedly her first attempt at comedy (and, in fact, I was sure that her 'Stage Door' which is also largely a comedy, came before this) because to me she seems to be a complete natural. Her portrayal of flaky Susan Vance is adorable is well as very funny, the lines delivered so naturally they seem like ad-libs. Hepburn's voice is very distinctive and I would say that if you don't like it then you won't like the movie. A friend of mine was appalled at the prospect of two hours listening to 'that drawl non-stop'.

Initially I was less impressed with Cary Grant as the repressed zoologist. The performance seemed too forced and deliberate but he got better and came as close as possible to playing the 'straight man' opposite Hepburn. The rest of the cast prove to as ridiculous as the two leads, including Virginia Walker as Grant's chilly love interest. Charles Ruggles is the twitchy big game hunter and May Robson as the wealthy aunt of Hepburn and would-be patron of Grant. It is she who owns one of the two main animal stars of the film, the terrier George who at one point gets into a rather scary looking fight with the tame leopard Baby.

I enjoyed this film a lot although I must admit that it is possibly half an hour too long and the final scenes set in the jail are almost too ridiculous (the only character I didn't like was the police chief) but even this scene is saved by Hepburn's turn as a gangster's moll! Overall - highly recommended.
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on 11 January 2006
Still makes me laugh out loud no matter that I've probably seen it about 10 times. Face-paced, great script and full of charm.
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on 28 February 2009
This is probably the most perfect screwball comedy ever made. It is brilliantly funny, and moves through the gags with smooth, polished energy. Cary Grant's comic timing is impeccable and in his early movies he actually acts a part that isn't just a reflection of his own persona. Katherine Hepburn is both beautiful, ditzy and hilarious in her portrayal of the essential screwball heroine- the madcap heiress. This film is wonderful.
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VINE VOICEon 7 July 2013
This is without doubt one of the best comedies ever made.

The scene where Grant and Hepburn are singing 'I can't give you anything but love, Baby' to a leopard, is priceless and unforgettable.

The 'intercostal clavicle' is an ingenious fictitious bone created by the scriptwriters as the thread that runs through the film.

You won't find much better than this!
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on 20 November 2012
I laugh all the way through this film. It gets sillier and sillier and will have you creased up. I absolutely love black n white films and this is one of the funniest films I have ever seen.

The acting is amazing, as you would expect, my only slight problem is that it does go on a very long time so is hard to keep my husband's attention.

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