Every once in a while it’s nice to dig into the ol’ film archives and watch a classic movie that had previously fallen off of the radar. On the advice of my friend Laura, I screened Bringing Up Baby last evening. Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn … what’s not to like, right?
Bringing Up Baby is the story of a straight-laced paleontologist who is attempting to secure a $1 million dollar gift for his museum on the days leading up to his wedding. His attempts at gaining favor with the lawyer who will ultimately decide whether this grant is funded are repeatedly thwarted by a flighty heiress who consistently makes the paleontologist look bad (or at least ridiculous). And could you believe that it’s possible that these two polar opposites might actually have a chance at being a couple? Who saw that coming?! There are many pratfalls, a leopard who needs to be babysat, a stereotypically drunken Irishman, a dog burying a rare dinosaur bone, and a number of incidents involving wardrobe malfunctions.
Bringing Up Baby was made in 1938, and it holds up very well as a comedy. Sure, it’s a little predictable and the humor is tame by today’s standards, but it all still really works as a farce. Cary Grant is a very good straight-man, and Katharine Hepburn is genuinely something special as the heiress. if this were to be remade, Kristen Whig or Amy Poehler might be cast in her role … that’s the type of manic energy fused with classic good looks that she brings to the role.
Snack-Food Analogy Rating: Bringing Up Baby is Cracker Jack. Cracker Jack from back in the day before a scrap of paper constituted a prize. It’s a classic and very sweet, with just enough saltiness to keep it interesting.
Letter Grade: A-1 year ago • 0 notes