Howard Hawk’s “Bringing Up Baby” (1938) at Film Forum through Thursday (Jun 23)

by on June 20, 2011Posted in: Essay

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Friday Editor’s Pick: Bringing Up Baby (1938)

by on June 17, 2011Posted in: Editor's Pick

Playing thru Thurs, June 23 at 1:00, 3:15*, 5:30, 7:45**, 10:00 at Film Forum [Program & Tix]

** Introduction by Cary Grant’s daughter Jennifer on Fri, June 17 7:45 show

* Q&A with Jennifer Grant following the Sun, June 19 3:15 show (no 5:30 screening)


Today, Film Forum begins a one-week run of Bringing up Baby, Howard Hawks’ 1938 screwball classic. [There’s some disagreement within Alt Screen over whether Baby is the greatest screwball comedy of all time, or second to Leo McCarey’s The Awful Truth (1937).] Dismissed on its first release, Baby has since gained quite a strong reputation. Some evidence below:


Andrew Sarris in You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet:

Bringing up Baby (1938) is undeniably the screwiest of the screwball comedies. Even Hawks has never equaled the rocketing pace of this demented farce in which Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn made Barrymore and Lombard in Twentieth Century seem as feverish as Victoria and Albert. This film passes beyond the customary lunacy of the period into a bestial Walpurgisnacht during which man, doc, and leopard pursue each other over the Connecticut countryside until the behavior patterns of men and animals become indistinguishable…. The regression of man to a lower order will henceforth be one of the dominant motifs of Hawksian comedy.


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