Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Now Playing: Bringing Up Baby

My Fair Lady and I checked this classic out on Saturday night and talk about a throw-back. All my life I've grown up hearing how this was the funniest movie ever made and since I'd only seen bits and pieces of it I figured it was high time I sat down and watched it.

Considered me stunned. I sat through most of it simple agog at how fast Katherine "The Great" Hepburn would spit out dialogue. Think of a verbal version of the Saving Private Ryan opening and you're not far off. Pages and pages and pages of dialogue whip past you so fast it become whiplash inducing. As if that's not enough imagery for you then know that all this is coming from a very striking woman from the Northeast. Hepburn was radiant in this film and director Howard Hawkes knew exactly how best to light her angular features for maximum effect.

The story features Cary Grant as Dr. David Huxley, an easily befuddled paleontologist who is engaged to be married in 24 hours and on the same day that he receives the final bone for his museum's full-size dinosaur. He runs into heiress Susan Vance (Hepburn) on the golf course and his life goes downhill immediately as she proceeds to ruin it. Whether or not any of it is planned is subject to debate.

My Fair Lady never watched classic films before I came into her life so I take ever chance I get to show her these. It's fun for me because she can't always get into them so she catches minor details in the background that I miss. For example, during the police station sequence late in the film there is a map of the US on the wall. My Fair Lady pointed out that neither Alaska or Hawaii were on it. It's the small things like this that I enjoy because these films feel like a snapshot of how things were 70 years ago. If you're a fan of cinema at all then this one is required viewing if for no other reason than the three-part harmony of David, Susan, and George.

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