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Monkey Business

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Overview

Howard Hawks hoped to capture the screwball comic fervor of his 1938 film Bringing Up Baby with his 1952 comedy Monkey Business. As in the earlier film, Cary Grant stars as an absent-minded professor involved in a research project. This time he's a chemist seeking a "fountain of youth" formula that will revitalize middle-agers both mentally and physically. Though Grant's own laboratory experiments yield little fruit, a lab monkey, let loose from its cage, mixes a few random chemicals and comes up with just the ...
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Overview

Howard Hawks hoped to capture the screwball comic fervor of his 1938 film Bringing Up Baby with his 1952 comedy Monkey Business. As in the earlier film, Cary Grant stars as an absent-minded professor involved in a research project. This time he's a chemist seeking a "fountain of youth" formula that will revitalize middle-agers both mentally and physically. Though Grant's own laboratory experiments yield little fruit, a lab monkey, let loose from its cage, mixes a few random chemicals and comes up with just the formula Grant is looking for. This mixture is inadvertently dumped in the lab's water supply; the fun begins when staid, uptight Grant drinks some of the "bitter" water, then begins cutting up like a teenager. A harmless afternoon on the town with luscious secretary Marilyn Monroe rouses the ire of Grant's wife Ginger Rogers, but her behavior is even more infantile when she falls under the spell of the youth formula. Everyone remembers the best line in Monkey Business: foxy-grandpa research supervisor Charles Coburn hands the curvacious Monroe a letter and says "Get someone to type this." Even better is his next line: after Monroe sashays out of the room, Coburn turns to Grant and, with eyes atwinkle, murmurs "Anyone can type." Likewise amusing is Monkey Business's pre-credits gag, wherein Cary Grant opens a door and is about to step forward when director Hawks, off-camera, admonishes "Not yet, Cary." Among the co-conspirators on Monkey Business's carefree script are Ben Hecht, Charles Lederer and I.A.L. Diamond, with an original story by Harry Segall Here Comes Mr. Jordan as their source.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Not one of director Howard Hawks' top-ranked efforts, Monkey Business is still a very entertaining, if immensely silly piece of fluff. While the director's efforts may remind some of fellow director Frank Tashlin in its zaniness and non-stop inanity, it's still very much a Hawks film; the care he takes in setting up punchlines, the attention to precise timing, the seemingly carefree flow, the improbability that seems somehow grounded in a strange kind of reality prove this. While the script at times seems beneath the talents of its three esteemed creators, pulling off a story this silly requires the kind of enormous skill they bring to the project. Of even more benefit is the cast, headed by the irreplaceable Cary Grant, who holds the film together with his on-the-mark performance. Grant makes it all seem effortless, and if he finds the proceedings somewhat ridiculous, he never lets on to the audience. He is well matched by Ginger Rogers, who makes Edwina's transformation believable and delightful, and by the always reliable Charles Coburn. Marilyn Monroe has little to do in a small role, but she commands attention nonetheless; director Hawks would find considerably more for her to do the next year in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/14/2002
  • UPC: 024543035121
  • Original Release: 1952
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20th Century Fox
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White / Mono / Stereo
  • Sound: stereo, monaural
  • Language: English, Fran├žais
  • Time: 1:37:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cary Grant Prof. Barnaby Fulton
Ginger Rogers Edwina Fulton
Charles Coburn Oliver Oxly
Marilyn Monroe Lois Laurel
Hugh Marlowe Hank Entwhistle
Robert Cornthwaite Dr. Zoldeck
Larry Keating O.J. Gulverly
Henri Letondal Dr. Siegfried Kitzel
Douglas Spencer Dr. Brunner
Esther Dale Mrs. Rhinelander
George Winslow Voice Only
Emmett Lynn Jimmy
Jerry Sheldon Detective
Joseph Mell Barber
George Eldredge Auto Salesman
Kathleen Freeman Mrs. Brannigan
Mary Field Clerk
Olan Soule Hotel Clerk
Gil Stratton Yale Man
Harry Carey Jr. Detective, Reporter
Faire Binney Dowager
Bill McLean Bellboy
Howard Hawks Voice Only
Brad Mora
Paul Maxey Dignitary
Mack Williams Dignitary
Forbes Murray Bit Man
Harry Carter Bit Scientist
Harry Seymour Clothing Store Salesman
Harry Bartell Scientist
Jerry Paris Scientist
Roger Moore Bit Man
Ruth Warren Laundress
Isabel Withers Laundress
Olive Carey Laundress
Dabbs Greer Cab Driver
Ray Montgomery Policeman
Melinda Plowman Bit Girl
Rudy Lee Bit Boy
Mickey Little Bit Boy
Louis Lettieri Bit Boy
Robert Nichols Garage Man
Charles "Heinie" Conklin Painter
John R. McKee Photographer
Russ Clark Policeman
Technical Credits
Howard Hawks Director
Ben Hecht Screenwriter
I.A.L. Diamond Screenwriter
W.D. Flick Sound/Sound Designer
Leigh Harline Score Composer
Paul Helmick Asst. Director
Roger Heman Sound/Sound Designer
Ray Kellogg Special Effects
Milton Krasner Cinematographer
Charles Lederer Screenwriter
Thomas K. Little Set Decoration/Design
William B. Murphy Editor
Lionel Newman Musical Direction/Supervision
Ben Nye Sr. Makeup
George Patrick Art Director
Walter Scott Set Decoration/Design
Harry Segall Original Story
Sol C. Siegel Producer
William Travilla Costumes/Costume Designer
Lyle Wheeler Art Director
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Monkey Business a fun flick

    This is a very cute movie. Carey Grant and Ginger Rogers are great together. I don't know why Marilyn Monroe's picture is the one on the DVD cover instead of Carey and Ginger's though. Carey plays a sort of an absent minded professor who invents a potion that makes a person feel and act younger. When he drinks it he no longer needs his glasses, buys a sporty suit and a sports car and spends the day driving around with Marilyn (who plays a secretary). One of my favorite lines was when Carey climbs in the sports car and Marilyn says, "Is your motor running?" and he replies, "Yes, is yours??"

    The plot gets crazier and crazier as the potion wears off for Carey but then Ginger accidentally drinks it. Instead of a mature married lady she reverts back to when she was first married, dragging Carey dancing and generally wearing him out with her newfound youthful exuberance. Eventually she has a crying jag and locks poor Carey out of their hotel room in his P.J.'s without his glasses.

    I highly recommend this movie if you like old b/w comedies.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    This film was awful, waste of good talent

    I thought this movie was so ridiculous. I was disappointed, it was not as funny as i thought it would be. I do not reccommend this movie at all!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews