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Bringing Up Baby
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Bringing Up Baby

4.8 27
Director: Howard Hawks

Cast: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Charlie Ruggles


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Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant star in this inspired comedy about a madcap heiress with a pet leopard who meets an absent-minded paleontologist and unwittingly makes a fiasco of both their lives. David Huxley (Grant) is the stuffy paleontologist who needs to finish an exhibit on dinosaurs and thus land a $1 million grant for his museum. At a golf outing with his


Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant star in this inspired comedy about a madcap heiress with a pet leopard who meets an absent-minded paleontologist and unwittingly makes a fiasco of both their lives. David Huxley (Grant) is the stuffy paleontologist who needs to finish an exhibit on dinosaurs and thus land a $1 million grant for his museum. At a golf outing with his potential benefactors, Huxley is spotted by Susan Vance (Hepburn) who decides that she must have the reserved scientist at all costs. She uses her pet leopard, Baby, to trick him into driving to her Connecticut home, where a dog wanders into Huxley's room and steals the vital last bone that he needs to complete his project. The real trouble begins when another leopard escapes from the local zoo and Baby is mistaken for it, leading Huxley and Susan into a series of harebrained and increasingly more insane schemes to save the cat from the authorities. Inevitably, the two end up in the local jail, where things get even more out of hand: Susan pretends to be the gun moll to David's diabolical, supposedly wanted criminal. Naturally, the mismatched pair falls in love through all the lunacy. Director Howard Hawks delivers a funny, fast-paced, and offbeat story, enlivened by animated performances from the two leads, in what has become a definitive screwball comedy.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
In one of the great ironies that pepper motion picture history, Bringing Up Baby flopped when theatrically released in 1938, confirming Katharine Hepburn’s newly minted status as “box-office poison.” Today it’s considered the definitive screwball comedy, and Hepburn’s performance is thought to be among her very best. She plays a madcap heiress -- there wasn’t any other kind in ‘30s comedies -- who falls for bespectacled, absent-minded zoologist Cary Grant, a straitlaced scientist hoping to make history with his painstaking reconstruction of a dinosaur skeleton. When one of the bones is misplaced, he searches desperately for it and runs afoul of Hepburn. Howard Hawks (Twentieth Century) directs from a sidesplitting Dudley Nichols-Hagar Wilde script, eschewing fancy camera tricks or editorial effects to give his actors the broadest possible latitude. By this time, Grant had already established himself as a master of light comedy, and he played his role to a tee. But Katharine the Great was known as a dramatic actress, and her turn as the garrulous glamour girl was more of a stretch. If the movie seems a little timeworn, that’s only because it’s been ripped off so many times by less talented filmmakers. (Peter Bogdanovich did it as What’s Up, Doc?) It actually holds up quite well, having more charm and verve than most of the dreck marketed as comedy these days.
All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Bringing Up Baby is the quintessential screwball comedy, and one of the crowning comic achievements in the careers of director Howard Hawks and stars Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. It may also be one of the defining examples of comedy feature film at its purest and most basic. At the time of its release, it seemed to close out the screwball genre: the portrayals in film inflated and punctured an array of movie (and social) stereotypes in as fine a style had ever been accomplished. The screwball comedy originated in the depths of the Great Depression as a reaction to the despair of everyday life, as well as to the publicized antics of wealthy fops and heiresses who seemed oblivious to the fact that people were literally starving to death. The idle rich were the genre's essential ingredient, from satirical pre-screwball efforts such as Zoltan Korda's Cash (an especially offbeat example since it was made in England) to pioneering Hollywood screwball comedies like Gregory La Cava's My Man Godfrey. As time passed, however, other targets became acceptable, including intellectual "eggheads" and eccentric members of officialdom. Bringing Up Baby skewers all of them and more -- including over-zealous psychiatrists and blustery, pretentious upper-class stuffed shirts -- hitting the bullseye with each one. Apart from its acting, pacing, and verbal acrobatics (an essential element of any Howard Hawks talking picture), Bringing Up Baby is a masterful achievement precisely because it distills its diverse ingredients down to the characters. The plot, such as it is, deals with mistakes and mistaken identities (right down to heiress Hepburn's pet leopard) but is really about nothing -- absolutely nothing, to paraphrase a standard articulated by Jerry Seinfeld in the 1990s. Even the one main element of the "story" -- the search for a missing dinosaur bone belonging to the museum where Cary Grant's character works -- is such an obvious, ridiculous comic device, a comedic equivalent to Hitchcock's "MacGuffin" concept. The screwball comedy was never quite the same, nor was any filmmaker or cast able to build a film on such slight material so successfully ever again. Indeed, most attempts that followed -- and there were ever fewer as the 1930s gave way to the 1940s -- seemed increasingly more pallid, awkward, and unimpressive.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Turner Home Ent
Region Code:

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Katharine Hepburn Susan Vance
Cary Grant David Huxley
Charlie Ruggles Maj. Horace Applegate
Barry Fitzgerald Mr. Gogarty
May Robson Aunt Elizabeth
Ward Bond Motorcycle Cop
Walter Catlett Constable Slocum
Fritz Feld Dr. Lehman
Leona Roberts Hannah Gogarty
George S. Irving Alexander Peabody
Tala Birell Mrs. Lehman
D'Arcy Corrigan Professor La Touche
Jonathan Hale Actor
John Kelly Elmer
Frank Marlowe Joe
Jeanne Martel Cigarette Girl
Nissa Baby the Leopard
Buster Slaven Caddy
Vernon Walker Alice Swallow
Buck Mack Zoo Officials
Ruth Alder Dancer
Judith Ford Actor
Asta the Dog George the Dog
William Benedict Caddy
Billy Bevan Bartender
Stanley Blystone Doorman
Jack Carson Roustabout
Edward Gargan Zoo Official
Geraldine Hall Maid
George Humbert Louis, Headwaiter
Richard Lane Circus Manager
Pat O'Malley Deputy
Frank M. Thomas Circus Barker
Pat West Mac

Technical Credits
Howard Hawks Director,Producer
John L. Cass Sound/Sound Designer
Linwood G. Dunn Special Effects
Perry Ferguson Art Director
Howard Greer Costumes/Costume Designer
George Hively Editor
Russell Metty Cinematographer
Dudley Nichols Screenwriter
Van Nest Polglase Art Director
Cliff Reid Associate Producer
Darrell Silvera Set Decoration/Design
Vernon Walker Special Effects
Roy Webb Score Composer
Hagar Wilde Screenwriter


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Bringing Up Baby 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this film as part of a class assignment in college and, 17 years later, I still consider it to be the funniest comedy every made.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just saw this movie yesterday on TCM and I was cracking up at so many different parts--I absolutely loved the scene with the dress...hilarious! Very funny screwball comedy. Hard to believe it was a flop when it first came out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am so glad to see this is coming out on dvd soon. I love this movie - it is one of my all time favorites. My family and I watch this at least a half dozen times a year on a video we taped off of tv, so it's getting rather warn. Cary Grant and Kathryn Hepburn are marvelous, as usual, and are surrounded by a fantastic supporting cast who play their zany characters brilliantly. A must see - over and over. They just don't make them like this anymore.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My all-time favorite...am thrilled it is out on DVD....but am trying to discern if it's available on widescreen. Anyone know?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This particular DVD is good because of the Director's cut. My wife and I've watched this movie many times and laugh each time as hard as the last. This time, we watched the movie and the director's cut back to back. Very interesting to listen to one directors' comments about another director's work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is definitely one of my favorite movies of all time. Katharine Hepburn is absolutely hilarious. I'd recommend it to anyone.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie rivals Philadephia Story in its wonderful combination of Grant and Hepburn. You can get the DVD version from south america, for some reason Turner released it foreign but not here. They do this a lot, if it wasn't a big hit in 1938 apparently it won't be today. They have very little data on people that buy older movies I think and that's the real reason. Anyway the one from South America is NTSC and ALL regions on the code so plays fine in the USA. Try e bay or foreign movies on the net.. cost about 18 bucks plus 4 for shipping, but it blows away the VHS version.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Cary Grant and Katherine Heburn are brilliant in this great comedy from the classic days of cinema. A true treasure that everyone should see....hopefully on DVD soon.
Guest More than 1 year ago
great movie!! i loved it ever since i 1st saw it as a kid. highly recommend to everyone, all ages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i loved this movie ever since i was a kid.i can't give you anything but love baby, every time i hear that song, i have a chuckle & think of this movie. if you saw it,you know why. WHEN IS IT COMING OUT ON DVD??? SOON I HOPE!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is so awesome! I watched part of it during a class I took last year and I instantly had to watch the rest. I don't think anyone could reccommend a better film!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is by far the best movie I've ever seen. Hepburn and Grant are only topped by Hepburn and Tracey.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I didn't think I would like this movie, after all it was in black and white. My wife insisted that we buy it. I have never laughed so hard in my life.