Bringing Up Baby 1938

Bringing Up Baby

Critics Consensus

With Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant at their effervescent best, Bringing Up Baby is a seamlessly assembled comedy with enduring appeal.

93%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 46

89%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 39,131

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Movie Info

Harried paleontologist David Huxley (Cary Grant) has to make a good impression on society matron Mrs. Random (May Robson), who is considering donating one million dollars to his museum. On the day before his wedding, Huxley meets Mrs. Random's high-spirited young niece, Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn), a madcap adventuress who immediately falls for the straitlaced scientist. The ever-growing chaos -- including a missing dinosaur bone and a pet leopard -- threatens to swallow him whole.

Cast & Crew

Cary Grant
Dr. David Huxley
Charlie Ruggles
Major Horace Applegate
May Robson
Aunt Elizabeth Random
Walter Catlett
Constable Slocum
Fritz Feld
Dr. Fritz Lehman
Ward Bond
Motorcycle Cop at Jail (uncredited)
Hagar Wilde
Writer (Story)
Dudley Nichols
Writer (Screenplay)
Hagar Wilde
Writer (Screenplay)
Cliff Reid
Associate Producer
Roy Webb
Original Music
Jimmy McHugh
Non-Original Music
Max Steiner
Non-Original Music
Russell Metty
Cinematographer
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News & Interviews for Bringing Up Baby

Critic Reviews for Bringing Up Baby

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (43) | Rotten (3)

  • It seems that almost any star, including Irene Dunne, Carole Lombard and Myrna Loy, may attempt antic comedy and make a go of it, but that medium is not for Miss Hepburn in the theater where she is accepted as an important dramatic actress.

    April 20, 2019 | Full Review…
  • The enduring fascination of this 1938 screwball comedy is due to much more than its uproarious gags.

    September 23, 2013
  • A perfect example of why directors (and even us brilliant professional critics) can often be completely in the dark about what works.

    June 15, 2011 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • There is little rhyme or reason to most of the action, but it's all highly palatable.

    April 2, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Though it's almost impossible, try to sit back sometime and enjoy this 1938 Howard Hawks masterpiece not only for its gags, but for the grace of its construction, the assurance of its style, and the richness of its themes.

    June 26, 2007 | Full Review…
  • One of the finest screwball comedies ever.

    February 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Bringing Up Baby

  • Jan 19, 2018
    Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and a leopard, hey, what more could you want? 'Bringing Up Baby' is a frenzy of running around, unexpected pratfalls, and clever dialog. Don't take the movie too seriously, e.g. try to see the plot rationally, get angry at Hepburn's character for doing anything she pleases, etc - it's a screwball comedy. She is absolutely brilliant in this movie, blending slapstick, witty repartee, and even a little 'come hither' romance in a wild, frenetic script. She even does a mean gangster impression towards the end. I think the issue at the box office in 1938 (and subsequent label of her as 'box-office poison'...ha!) was that she didn't fit into accepted standards of "feminine" at the time, which is a shame, because she's got it all here. Grant is not so bad himself, with that suave accent in a nerdy role, finding himself helplessly drawn into Hepburn's crazy world. He's much better here than in 1944's "Arsenic and Old Lace", despite the obvious comparisons. I liked this film for both its big 'laugh out loud' moments (which still work after all these years), as well as the little things in the script and performances. Fun and entertaining, and the two stars really make this one worth seeing.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • May 03, 2014
    It is ironic that this enjoyable film flopped when it was still original and now is highly regarded as a masterpiece when it is obviously outdated and full of silly gags for today's standards - and despite her great chemistry with Grant, Hepburn is more irritating than funny.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 15, 2013
    "Bringing Up Baby" takes a good while to get started and some of its antics are too dated to merit any laughs, but once the ball gets rolling and the jokes start getting ridiculous, then it becomes a good bit of fun, especially the finale where everything comes together. Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn have great chemistry with one another.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Apr 10, 2013
    Cary Grant (in a pair of glasses) plays a milquetoast nerdy-nerd scientist who's been assembling pieces of a dinosaur skeleton for years. While schmoozing a rich lady's lawyer on the golf course, he runs into Katharine Hepburn, a scatter-brained (yet attractive) lunatic who brings trouble with her wherever she goes, especially to the scientist. For good measure, they throw a leopard named baby (whose favorite song is "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby") into the mix and you have what might be director Howard Hawks' screwiest screwball comedy, lighter-than-air and yet heartily amusing. If there can be any criticism (and really, it's hard to take too critical a glance at something so lightweight), it may be with Hepburn and her portrayal of Susan Vance. The character is willfully ignorant, is mainly used as a means of advancing the comedic situations. But in working so hard to achieve this ignorant arrogance, the film loses a little bit of it's momentum (and good will). It's only once the film really gets rolling that Hepburn's comedic inadequacies can be overlooked (in fact, the film is almost a tale of two performances from Hepburn, the overly affected and forced first half of the performance, and the more flowing feel the performance achieves by the end). It's an unusual film to say the least.
    Devon B Super Reviewer

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