Monkey Business (1952)
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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. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Monkey Business
Attempt to draw out a thin, familiar slapstick idea isn't carried off.
As soon as this gag is established and provokes the obvious guffaws, the subsequent changes rung upon it become just a little dull.
he timing of the gags can put most Hollywood comedies, never mind TV sitcoms, to shame.
Mildly amusing screwball comedy about the effects of a youth formula on a married couple, in the vein of (but not as witty or funny) Hawks' 1938 Bringing Up Baby, which also starred Cary Grant.
The rather strained, juvenile high jinks do have their funny lines and situations, plus Monroe as an incompetent stenographer.
A goofy premise and slight script are transformed into something very funny by director Howard Hawks and a cast of screen legends.
...eventually becomes just as silly and over-the-top as one might've anticipated.
Cute comedy with a nice early appearance by Marilyn Monroe.
Screwball monkeying around with Grant and Rogers.
Perhaps the greatest Hollywood director who ever lived, Howard Hawks knew instinctively how to use certain actors.
O ponto alto é ver Grant se comportar como uma criança travessa - especialmente na cena em que ele entra em conflito com a também rejuvenescida Ginger Rogers.
Pretty funny star vehicle from Howard Hawks.
Combines a few lovable Hollywood icons, an admittedly goofball plot, some sweet-natured romance, and brilliant rapid-fire exchanges of breathless comedic dialogue.
'Monkey Business' has its moments, but they may prove too few for the patience of many viewers.
Audience Reviews for Monkey Business
If you like screwball comedies, this is for you! You can't beat Cary Grant's bemused expression when one of his leading ladies--Ginger Rogers and Marilyn Monroe--say something, well, screwy. And he certainly has a way with chimpanzees!More
This, another in a long line of Howard Hawks comedies, centers around the absurd in every aspect, the wit and candor of other comedies of the era complacent to take a backseat to physical comedy and the antics of two youthful adults. The two main stars of the film are Ginger Rogers and Cary Grant. Rogers, famous for the song and dance at MGM, does show off her pipes and happy feet but in a minimal sense. This film better showcases her acting abilities. Grant has already been placed in roles where he's either confused, or nerdy, or subject to public embarrassment. This film has them all in heaping amounts. The science behind the plot on the other hand is troubling. This formula is supposed to make you youthful and invigorated, but instead of changing you to look young, you act young. Now, there are a hundred ways in modern society that you can feel young without going to these lengths, so much of the plot just doesn't translate for modern audiences. This is a steep hill to climb, but it's when Grant and Rogers take said formula together that the film really works. They are both infantile, and their give and take as small children is actually really hilarious. Rogers truly does some of her best work in this film, without playing second fiddle to a certain unnamed dance partner. Also on the billing is legendary starlet Marilyn Monroe, who is far less than trivial to the film, and shows off an early rendition of her later persona as a bubble head with hidden dwellings of intelligence and wit. It's cute and quirky, with many monkeys to spare.More
This is a goofy comedy starring Grant and Rogers, but Monroe plays a small part as Grant's secretary or something. The story isn't very unique, but it's funny and the movie is enjoyable.More
Haha! Loved it! Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers are just masters of physical comedy. It's one thing to act young, it's another thing to have your expressions look young. Hilarious!
Not the best screwball comedy I've ever seen, but certainly had it's funny parts! Strange they feature this as a Marilyn Monroe film when she certainly wasn't the best part of it, sorry Marilyn.
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