Starring: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Charles Ruggles
Director: Howard Hawks
Running Time: 102 mins
Bringing Up Baby is an American film about a successful paleontologist who, while on the verge of being married and receiving a one million dollar donation to his museum, meets a bizarre and irritating woman who, with her pet leopard, turns his world upside down.
This film is insane. It’s a total farce with one of the most ridiculous and idiotic stories I’ve ever seen, filled with laughs from start to finish, fun and frustrating characters, and a leopard. Yes, a leopard.
However, that insanity is what makes it probably the funniest film I’ve seen from the first half of the 20th Century. There’s no dull social and/or topical joking, it’s a display of slapstick and idiocy that can never become outdated, and it’s that that was particularly impressive to see.
And I have to say that the first half an hour of this film was the funniest opening to a comedy I’ve ever seen. Honestly, I couldn’t stop laughing, and was at points crying my eyes out with laughter, just because of the incessant appearance of some hugely stupid actions from all of the characters, quickly developing running gags and a fantastic pace that brings you along on a hilarious adventure in New England.
Also, the leopard. I still remain completely dumbfounded as to why there’s a leopard called ‘Baby’ in this film, and although he is a good plot tool towards the end of the film, for the first part, he’s such a random character in the middle of this story that it shows you perfectly how ridiculous and farcical this film really is.
Now, I will admit, after the raucous hilarity of the opening stages of this film, it does die down a little bit once the main plot takes hold. The pace slows somewhat, and there are a few less jokes at points, to make room for a plot that’s relatively fun, but a little annoying.
But that’s not to say that the second half of the film isn’t enjoyable, it’s still a complete farce, and although it may not be as outright funny as the beginning, there’s no escaping the fact that it remains a constantly entertaining story.
The two main characters were also a great part of this film. Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant click within seconds, and their chemistry is brilliantly hilarious, while their characters’ relationship is also hugely funny, with Cary Grant growing increasingly tired and frustrated at the growingly frustrating but lovely Katharine Hepburn.
Overall, this gets an 8.4, because it’s definitely one of the funniest films I’ve ever seen, filled with laughs all the way through, total randomness and two great main characters.