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Howard Hawks: The Measure of Man

Tuesday, February 14, 2012
7:00 p.m. Bringing Up Baby
Howard Hawks (U.S., 1938)

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Student Pick!


“What does it matter, it’s only a game,” says uncontrollable heiress Katharine Hepburn to perturbed paleontologist Cary Grant as she proceeds to wreck his car, his career, and his impending marriage in this swiftest and screwiest of screwball comedies. A wonderfully graceless Grant endures a series of Hawksian humiliations and reversals as he is tossed into a tumult of rich eccentrics, lookalike leopards, and loons of the avian and human variety—all thanks to Hepburn, as dotty as a leopard and just as dangerous, despite the supposedly civilizing effects of wealth and culture. “Our relationship has been a series of misadventures,” Grant laments; “everything’s going to be all right,” Hepburn repeats en route to a happy ending that is the biggest disaster of all.

—Juliet Clark

• Written by Dudley Nichols, Hagar Wilde, from a story by Wilde. Photographed by Russell Metty. With Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Charlie Ruggles, Walter Catlett. (102 mins, B&W, 35mm, From 20th Century Fox)