Tuesday, June 8, 2010

'S in the box?

I'm in the process of transcribing all of my notes onto blogger so that I can finally start this month's themed list. But for now, continuing in my list of 100 movies...

#29 Bringing Up Baby (1938)

This is one of those movies I watch and remember how funny it is. So many great lines, so many memorable moments! The basic plot is as follows: David Huxley (Cary Grant) is work hard to complete the brontosaurus skeleton for his museum. On the afternoon before his wedding, he goes to talk to Mr. Peabody, a lawyer whose client is planning to give away $1 million. While trying to convince Mr. Peabody during a game of golf that the museum deserves this generous donation, David meets madcap heiress, Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn). Susan takes a liking to David and tricks him into helping her transport a leopard, Baby, to her farm in Connecticut on the day of his wedding. Misadventures and misunderstandings (along with a great deal of hilarity) ensue.

This movie is filled with fantastic dialogue and scenes. This is one of my favorites of Hepburn's performances - she's so crazy but likeable. Cary Grant is absolutely adorable as the strait-laced Dr. Huxley. This is the film with Cary Grant's famous "I just went gay all of a sudden" line, which has always been a curiosity to me (the line, that is, not the placement of it).

I found an interesting bit of trivia on IMDb about that line. I'll quote it because I don't think I would be able to paraphrase it properly: "David's response to Aunt Elizabeth asking him why he is wearing a woman's dressing gown ('Because I just went gay all of a sudden!') is considered by many film historians to be the first use of the word 'gay' in its roughly modern sense (as opposed to its archaic meaning of "happy, carefree") in an American studio film. Among homosexuals, the word first came into its current use during the 1920s or possibly even earlier, though it was not widely known by heterosexuals as a slang term for homosexuals until the late 1960s. The line was not in the original shooting script for the film; it was an ad lib from Cary Grant himself." Interesting, huh? I found that little tidbit while looking up trivia for the movie. I also found out that Cary Grant was not fond of the leopard, although Katharine Hepburn was (which, ironically, is how it works in the movie too) and that Katharine Hepburn needed coaching in her comedic timing, which is interesting.

Anyway, the film contains many more memorable lines than just the one discussed above. Here are some of my favorites:

"But isn't it chilly without a gun, Elizabeth?" - Major Horace Applegate

"Well, it isn't that I don't like you, Susan. After all, in moments of quiet I'm strangely drawn to you but, well, there haven't been any quiet moments." - David

Susan: Well you can't do the trick without dropping some of the olives, it takes practice.
David: What, to sit on my hat?
Susan: No, to drop an olive.

Elizabeth: Who are you?
David: I don't know. I'm not quite myself today.

And, finally, I'm linking to a movie clip (our introduction to Baby) for your enjoyment.


  1. I always forget how clever this movie really is until I watch it. Im really due to watch it again since it has been a long time since I last saw it. Great post

  2. Haha I love this film! I haven't seen it in awhile but I definitely have to get it out and watch it again! Wow that's fascinating trivia! I've always wondered about that line and how it got past the censors and how controversial it might have been. There are so many fabulous lines in the film too!


To reduce comment spammers, I've had to start moderating the comments. Thank you for understanding! I can't wait to approve your comment and engage in classic movie discussion!