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Bringing Up Baby: BFI Film Classic Bringing Up Baby: BFI Film Classic

Howard Hawks's screwball comedy casts Cary Grant as a repressed palaeosaurologist who becomes entangled with a wilful heiress.

Howard Hawks's screwball comedy casts Cary Grant as a repressed palaeosaurologist who becomes entangled with a wilful heiress.

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Bringing Up Baby, directed by Howard Hawks in 1938, is one of the greatest screwball comedies and a treasure from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Cary Grant plays a naive and repressed palaeosaurologist who becomes entangled with (and ensnared by) a wilful heiress (Katharine Hepburn). Chaos ensues as romance blossoms and not one but two leopards are set loose in verdant Connecticut. All of Hawks's skills are to the fore: there is a wonderful ensemble cast, the characteristically refined but unselfconscious visual style, an endless succession of pratfalls, innuendo and jokes (written by Dudley Nichols and Hagar Wilde) and, underneath the chaos and good cheer, a serious dream of escaping life's hardships by dint of nothing more or less than nerve and luck.

As well as being a thoroughly American fiction of the 1930s, Bringing Up Baby is in its way a classical comic narrative, exploring conflicts between civilisation and nature, rationality and insanity or eccentricity, middle-class inhibitions and aristocratic blitheness. It is the epitome of film comedy, an anthology of comic types and devices, and one of the most seductively funny films ever made.

Bringing Up Baby, directed by Howard Hawks in 1938, is one of the greatest screwball comedies and a treasure from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Cary Grant plays a naive and repressed palaeosaurologist who becomes entangled with (and ensnared by) a wilful heiress (Katharine Hepburn). Chaos ensues as romance blossoms and not one but two leopards are set loose in verdant Connecticut. All of Hawks's skills are to the fore: there is a wonderful ensemble cast, the characteristically refined but unselfconscious visual style, an endless succession of pratfalls, innuendo and jokes (written by Dudley Nichols and Hagar Wilde) and, underneath the chaos and good cheer, a serious dream of escaping life's hardships by dint of nothing more or less than nerve and luck.

As well as being a thoroughly American fiction of the 1930s, Bringing Up Baby is in its way a classical comic narrative, exploring conflicts between civilisation and nature, rationality and insanity or eccentricity, middle-class inhibitions and aristocratic blitheness. It is the epitome of film comedy, an anthology of comic types and devices, and one of the most seductively funny films ever made.

Additional Info

Additional Info

SKU 9781844570706
Author(s) Peter Swaab
Publisher(s) Palgrave Macmillan , BFI Publishing
Format Paperback
Original publication date 19/11/2010
Number of pages 96

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