Bringing Up Babyby Howard Hawks
Bringing Up Baby (1938) is the essence of thirties screwball comedy. It is also quintessential Howard Hawks, treating many of the director's favorite themes, particularly the loving war between the sexes. Bringing Up Baby features Katharine Hepburn as a flaky heiress and Cary Grant as an absentminded paleontologist, roles in which they come into their own as stars and deliver particularly fine comic performances. Pauline Kael has called the film the "American movies' closest equivalent to Restoration comedy." The comparison is based on the quick repartee and witty dialogue, a hallmark of Hawks's work and well conveyed here by Gerald Mast's transcription from the screen.
No restoration comedy, however, revolves around such unlikely elements as this one: a slapstick plot, replete with car crashes and pratfalls, centered on the theft of a dinosaur bone (the invented "intercostal clavicle") by a dog and a mixup of two leopards. Criticized by some reviewers when it was released for its dependence on a preposterous plot employing comic cliches and stereotypes, few recognized it as a potential classic. The surprise is that the screenplay, which has never before been published, reads so well.
- Turner Home Entertainment
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 7.50(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.70(d)
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