Bringing Up Baby

Katharine Hepburn on the set of Bringing Up Baby

Katharine Hepburn as Susan Vance on the set of Bringing Up Baby (1938), her most beloved film of the 30s, and her only film directed by Howard Hawks.

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Bringing Up Baby


Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant on the huge dinosaur set for Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Bringing Up Baby


Cary and Katherine in a publicity still for the 1955 rerelease of Bringing Up Baby (1938).  The film was a flop on its first release, although it was well received in big cities.  It also got a bad review in the New York Times, as being a boring cliché of stale situations.

Bringing Up Baby

Is this Oxley speaking? Or is it His Girl Friday?

Cary Grant as David Huxley in Bringing Up Baby (1938).  Cary’s inspiration for the character was bespectacled silent comedian Harold Lloyd.  This was the first of five movies Cary made with Howard Hawks.  After Baby, Howard made Only Angels Have Wings and His Girl Friday, both with Cary.  Then in 1948 they made I Was a Male War Bride, and finally Monkey Business in 1952.  All are comedies except Only Angels Have Wings.

Bringing Up Baby

behind the scenes of Bringing Up Baby (1938) with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn.

Bringing Up Baby

Bringing Up Baby is Howard Hawks’ 22nd film.

Bringing Up Baby premiered Feb 16, 1938 in San Francisco.

Bringing Up Baby

Cary Grant goes gay all of a sudden while George gives his nightgown a tug in Bringing Up Baby (1938).  Katharine Hepburn and May Robson as her Aunt Elizabeth seem to have the upper hand.

Bringing Up Baby


Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby

David and Susan meet on a golf course in Bringing Up Baby (1938) as she plays his ball instead of her own.

Bringing Up Baby

Cary Grant is visibly worried about his close proximity to Tessa the Leopard as Baby in Bringing Up Baby (1938).  He was much more comfortable with Esther the Chimp in Howard Hawks’ Monkey Business (1952).  Katherine was fearless with the leopard, visibly petting her in one scene.

Bringing Up Baby


Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn with George the Dog in Bringing Up Baby (1938).  George was played by Skippy the Dog, who was also Asta in The Thin Man series, Mr Smith in The Awful Truth and Mr Atlas in Topper Takes a Trip.  He had a total of 17 credits from 1932 to 1945.

Only Angels Have Wings

Howard Hawks had difficulty with Jean Arthur filming Only Angels Have Wings (1939).  Hawks wanted her to be a typical Hawksian woman, but Jean always refused, telling him “I can’t do that kind of stuff.”  Later on, after seeing Lauren Bacall’s film debut in To Have and Have Not,  she regretted her rigid outlook and told Hawks if they ever worked together again, she would try anything he asked, but Hawks had long since moved on.

Only Angels Have Wings

Rita Hayworth is reunited with Cary Grant as her current boyfriend Richard Barthelmess is concerned in Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

Only Angels Have Wings

Cary Grant as Geoff Carter in Only Angels Have Wings (1939).  It was the second of three movies in a row Howard Hawks made starring Cary, but it was the first and only drama, greatly expanding Cary’s on screen persona best exploited by Alfred Hitchcock in Suspicion, Notorious and North by Northwest.  For Hawks, Cary would make two more comedies, I Was a Male War Bride and Monkey Business.

Only Angels Have Wings

Jean Arthur at the piano in a typical Howard Hawks musical interlude from the drama in Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

Only Angels Have Wings


Cary Grant helps Thomas Mitchell with a smoke in Only Angels Have Wings (1939), symbolizing their closeness as friends and work partners.