0124: Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Bringing Up Baby.jpg

Rating: 7/10

Sorry, I’ve been away from my blog a lot lately, mostly because I’ve been working pretty steadily on first the 6th draft and now the 7th draft of my book, Jack and David: Chapter 2. Anyway, I’ll try to juggle doing both and I can at least watch one movie a day as I continue working. So:

This movie is a movie about a befuddled scientist, played by Cary Grant, who is about to marry a fellow scientist but he’s so absent-minded it’s like he hardly notices this and seems more passionate about the upcoming acquisition of a dinosaur bone for his museum than his own marriage. Then things go for a loop as he gets involved with a rich, eccentric heiress, Katherine Hepburn, who also owns a leopard named Baby. Yes, a living leopard is in this movie.

What I like about this movie, is that all the setup for it is in the first 2 minutes of screentime, then it goes straight to the main gist of the film. This movie knows it only needs a bit before it gets to the good stuff. Also the comedy, though some of it is a bit “old-timey” and feels dated, much of it is actually very funny and I found myself laughing many times throughout the film.

I love Katherine Hepburn in this movie. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her in a part that just seemed so much fun to play. Her role as an eccentric millionaire in this film shows us a side of herself I haven’t seen in her other movies, not that I’ve actually seen that many, but I’ve seen a bit more thanks to this list, now that I think about it. Anyway, she’s great here, and I love that much of her schemes go to the point of ridiculousness but Cary Grant counters that by being a character so absent-minded he’d believe anything she’d tell him. So good acting, that’s what I’m saying, as without these two specific characters much of it would be too ridiculous to be believed.

There’s something that happens, however, about halfway through the film. The plot slows down and gets a little off pace. I’m not sure entirely what the issue is, but it feels like short sequences were added for padding. Maybe it was just a style of the time?

Though with the first half of the film being so fast paced and getting straight into the action, it makes this sudden slower pace feels really out of place. Also a few scenes here are unnecessary, making it feel like the whole sequence has been lengthened, which is weird being that it’s not overly short, and could have done well with some trimming in the editing room.

Why you should watch it before you die: It’s a fun and funny movie, though maybe parts are a little ridiculous, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a story quite like it, or at least not one that involves a leopard.

SCORING:

+6: A fine, though somewhat dated, comedy

+1: Great acting from Grant and Hepburn

+1: Good and original story

-1: 2nd half of film is poorly edited in some parts

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