Anyone who really knows me won’t be surprised by this choice. David Huxley is a paleontologist played by Cary Grant and Susan Vance is a very unique (read ditzy) woman played by Katherine Hepburn. The movie is Bringing Up Baby. This movie has to be one of the screwiest (is that even a word?) of the screwball comedies of the 1930s. It was a flop when it came out in 1938 and Katherine Hepburn had to buy out her contract with RKO and the director was fired from his next film with Cary, Gunga Din. That makes me sad because this movie is absolutely awesome- but the best revenge for them is that this is now a classic comedy. The chemistry between Cary and Kate is unreal. They play off each other to perfection. The quick repartee is like watching a ping pong match on fast forward. They both talk very fast and it’s amazing to listen to them.
One of my absolute favorite scenes in a movie full of favorite scenes is when they are in a night club and the back of her dress gets torn. He notices it and tries to protect her modesty with his body and his hat. It’s hilarious. Another great scene is when Susan hides David’s clothes and he puts on her robe (negligee) – her aunt comes on him in the robe and it’s just a wonderful scene.
Baby is a tame leopard that was sent to Susan by her brother to give to their aunt. Susan recruits (read forces) David to help her with Baby. When Baby gets loose, there just happens to be a wild leopard around which, of course, ramps up the comedy element. When David and Susan get arrested, her interaction with the police is just priceless.
This movie is wicked funny, the chemistry between the stars is palpable, and, one of my favorite movie dogs is in it. He plays George in this movie and Asta in the Thin Man movies- which brings up another favorite on-screen couple, Nick and Nora Charles as played by William Powell and Myrna Loy. But that’s a post for another day.
Who is your choice for favorite couple from a movie before 1950?