Bringing Up Baby (1938)

HOWARD HAWKS

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBBB.  USA, 1938.  RKO Radio Pictures.  Screenplay by , , based on the story by Hagar Wilde.  Cinematography by .  Produced by Howard Hawks.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Prototypical screwball comedy has been attempted many times since and was never quite replicated. Cary Grant is a bumbling scientist whose life work is the reconstruction of dinosaurs through the discovery of their fossilized bones. Katharine Hepburn is a klutzy heiress who manages to get in everyone’s way no matter where she goes. When these two team up it’s a miracle the whole eastern seaboard doesn’t collapse under the weight of their folly! Crackling direction by Howard Hawks plus a great screenplay are partly responsible, but the charm of the film is pretty much in the hands of its stars, who work wondrously well together (they also co-starred in Holiday that same year). Interestingly enough, the film was a huge bomb upon its first release, ignored by both audiences and critics alike, but is today hailed a masterpiece and a classic.

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