Bringing up Baby Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
They say opposites attract. Of course the sedate and scholarly Dr. David Huxley (Cary Grant) would disagree. However, the bouncy, bubble-headed Susan Vance (Katherine Hepburn) would be the first to concur - and that’s reason enough for her otherwise inexplicable interest in Dr. Huxley. He, meanwhile (as if to prove her point), would do anything to avoid her company.
The dedicated dinosaur expert initially meets the flighty heiress on the golf course. He is there to schmooze with the attorney of a wealthy widow considering granting a million dollars to the museum where he works. She is there to pass the empty hours of her want-for-nothing life. His earnest-though-awkward pitch to Alexander Peabody (George Irvine) is interrupted when she mistakenly plays his ball instead of hers. The confusion she creates manages to rob him of the opportunity to plead his worthy cause.
The problem with Susan is she cannot listen. She can talk all right… and talk and talk and talk. But she never hears anyone else. Maybe because she won’t let them get a word in edgewise. Maybe because she’s sure she’s right. Whatever the reason, conversations with her are exasperating.
On the other hand, good-mannered David suffers from habitually following orders - especially from his intended, Miss Alice Sparrow (Virginia Walker). So when his world collides with Susan’s, he obediently begins to do whatever hair-brained thing she suggests, too polite to interrupt her endless conversation and too well trained to assert his own opinion.
Unfortunately, their first encounter is not their last—partly because of fate, and partly because Susan decides to stick to the handsome zoologist like a magnet. Her unwelcome attention creates no end of trouble including fender benders, stolen cars, torn clothing (revealing a woman’s underwear), property damages, accusations of insanity and criminal behavior, as well as unanswerable questions from David’s fiance. And just when he thinks things can’t get worse, he is proved wrong by a dog named George and a semi-domesticated leopard called Baby.
Amid the madcap antics, car crashes and gunshots fired at wild animals (nothing gets hit), parents should be aware of a few mild content issues. Derogatory depictions of law enforcement officers, a main character that smokes, lying to avoid consequences, social drinking and drunkenness, are some of the behaviors played for laughs. The movie also contains a head and shoulders shot of a man in the shower, resulting in some innuendo when his clothes are stolen and he is forced to dress in a woman’s negligee.
Bringing Up Baby is an implausible story (why is there a pet leopard in this script in the first place?) and an even more improvable romance (how could anyone fall in love with someone whose presence feels like electric shock therapy?). Yet somehow Grant and Hepburn’s rapid-fire repartee makes each scene so deliciously delirious, so franticly fast-paced, and so comically correct, you forget such insignificant faults.
No bones about it, if you’re drawn to humor of the screwball variety, this 1938 classic is your baby.Starring Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant. Running time: 102 minutes. Theatrical release February 18, 1938. Updated April 4, 2009
Bringing up Baby Parents' Guide
Dr. Huxley gets dragged from one bad situation to another as he follows Susan Vance. Why do you think he couldn’t just say “No?” Did he stand up for himself any better with his fianc0xE9e? How do you deal with the peer pressure you have to face?
What is Susan’s first response to most of the problems she encounters? Does this approach really help the situation? How easy would it be to live with someone who frequently resorts to “little white lies?”