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What Was The Last Movie You Watched?

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by Amy Jeanne, Aug 5, 2007.

  1. "Bringing Up Baby"

    I don't really enjoy slapstick, screw-ball, physical or Catskill type of humor. On the right day, at the right moment and with the best of the best of it, I'll enjoy it a bit - like a good Abbott and Costello routine - but in general, it just doesn't work for me.

    But for some reason, I always enjoy "Bringing Up Baby," even if I cringe a bit at some of the too-slapstickey, too-screwball aspects - the personalities of Grant and Hepburn carry this one along for me with enough wit and personality that I just enjoy the ride.

    And knowing that people were truly struggling in the Depression, I am amazed at how many movies like this one that show wealthy people - people with nice homes, cars, clothes, people who go out to fancy restaurants, belong to country clubs, take exotic vacations - were made. Despite the social unrest and active firebrand populace movements, clearly a lot of people wanted this type of movie or Hollywood (always looking to make a buck) wouldn't have made them. I guess "escapism" trumped "populace anger" at the box office.

    Question: In the movie's scene where Grant is wearing a woman's nightgown and he is asked why, he responds with an exaggerated feminine gesture and voice "I just went gay" (or something close to that). I know "gay" meant "happy" or "cheery" at one point, but that definition didn't fit the scene, but our modern definition of "gay" would. However, it seems very out-of-place for that kind of disparaging humor (or any direct reference to homosexuality) in a movie from the code-enforced era. Does anyone remember this scene and have any thoughts about its meaning?
  2. That scene is pointed to constantly as one of the first uses of "gay" in its current meaning. That is, he's saying exactly what it sounds like - and it's a surprise to hear it in 1938.

    Personally, I do not like this film AT ALL. Sure, I love Grant and Hepburn... but in Holiday, not Bringing Up Baby. I find this one to be overwrought and strident from beginning to end, and it just exhausts me. It's just too much, way too broad and overdone.

    I know it's considered one of the all-time great screwball comedies, a high point of Howard Hawks output as well as Grant and Hepburn. Okay, sure, but it has just never worked for me.
  3. You are a fount of information. I'm amazed he was able to say it and get it by the code. Also, a bit of personal irony for Grant as he's always been viewed as having had his male dalliances - at least when young.

    I'm a big fan of "Holiday," a much better movie IMHO. I'm surprised I like "Bringing Up Baby," as it is the type of movie I usually don't, but for some reason, on the right day, I enjoy it.

    For my money, Grant's best one of his "battle of he sexes" movies in the '30s is "In Name Only" with Carol Lombard and Kay Francis. This is not a light movie at all, but starts on a light note that becomes serious and engaging fast.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
  4. I lost track of when I first heard about this (probably in Vito Russo's book?), but even the film's Wiki page includes this section:

    Unscripted ad-lib by Grant[edit]
    It is debated by some whether Bringing Up Baby is the first fictional work (apart from pornography) to use the word "gay" in a homosexual context.[15][16] In one scene, Cary Grant's character is wearing a woman's marabou-trimmed négligée; when asked why, he replies exasperatedly "Because I just went gay all of a sudden!" (leaping into the air at the word "gay"). As the term "gay" did not become familiar to the general public until the Stonewall riots in 1969,[17] it is debated whether the word was used here in its original sense (meaning "happy"[18]) or is an intentional, joking reference to homosexuality.[18]

    In the film, the line was an ad-lib by Grant and not in any version of the original script.[19] According to Vito Russo in The Celluloid Closet (1981, revised 1987), the script originally had Grant's character say "I...I suppose you think it's odd, my wearing this. I realize it looks odd...I don't usually...I mean, I don't own one of these". Russo suggests that this indicates that people in Hollywood (at least in Grant's circles) were familiar with the slang connotations of the word; however, neither Grant nor anyone involved in the film suggested this.[17]
    Fading Fast likes this.
  5. Benzadmiral

    Benzadmiral Call Me a Cab

    The film (like a lot of Howard Hawks's films) has a machine-gun, carry-everything-before-it pace. If there's a scene you don't like, just hang on a moment, there may be one you will like coming up. The nebbishness of Grant's character (did I read here that Christopher Reeve modeled his Clark Kent on this performance?); its contrast with Hepburn's breeziness up to and including her "gun-moll confession" in the last reel; Charlie Ruggles as the hapless safari veteran . . . there's a lot to like and admire even if you're not a super-fan of the film as a whole.
  6. He and Randolph Scott lived together in luxury in the mid-1930s in an arrangement that seems awfully suspect in modern retrospect -- and maybe not even all that modern. In 1936, Grant and Scott appeared together as guests on the "Amos 'n' Andy" radio program, in a sequence in which Amos and Andy from some quirk of circumstance found themselves at the Grant-Scott residence. The scene was played very casually, with the two actors depicted as relaxing together at poolside, admiring each other's diving form, and although no recording exists to document how they played the lines given them, the script itself is practically screaming its subtext.
  7. I acknowledge that it's a classic, but I simply don't enjoy watching it. There are plenty of Hawks films, and screwball comedies, I love. But not this one.

    And I never liked Christopher Reeve's cartoonish, too-broad Clark Kent (give me the more mature George Reeves version, someone that Metropolis criminals already feared just for being a crusading reporter), so I'm happy to blame Bringing Up Baby if it was his inspiration.
  8. That's a neat little tidbit that probably flew by all but the most attuned at the time.

    Somewhere I've seen, unless my memory is now just making things up, what almost look like publicity pictures of Grant's and Scott's living arrangement - their house, them in bathings suits, them lounging, making cocktails, etc., that - at least to a modern eye - looks very "coupley."
  9. DavidJones

    DavidJones One of the Regulars

    El Dorado, with John Wayne.
    AmateisGal and Touchofevil like this.
  10. "Bringing Up Baby".

    You might say this is "screwball"
    But I mostly watch the scenes
    when the Ford woodie or woody
    (station-wagon) comes on.
    Once it gets feathered I usually

    With "Holiday"...

    Kate & Cary dancing to a tune from a music box prior to the
    New Year.
    For me it captures perfectly that moment of discovering emotions that are felt for someone but are not voiced for various reasons.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
  11. The Wrecking Crew, a fascinating documentary about a varying group of Los Angeles studio musicians who played on a simply unbelievable number of hit records and TV soundtracks in the sixties. They coalesced as the backing group in Phil Spector's Wall of Sound records(!), and went on to play on huge hits by the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Sonny & Cher, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, The Association, Simon & Garfunkel, The Fifth Dimension, The Byrds, Nancy Sinatra, the Righteous Brothers, The Monkees, Glen Campbell, the Mommas and the Papas, and MANY more.

    These guys played together constantly, so they functioned like a well-oiled machine, and they were expert sight-readers and arrangers, and could produce great results far faster than musicians who weren't studio regulars - which reduced studio time rentals to cost-conscious producers, and kept them in high demand. They were essentially unknown to the public because none of the groups/artists wanted it known that THEY weren't playing on their own songs, or that such a small group of musicians were responsible for so many hits. A couple of members went on to notable careers as topliners: Glen Campbell and Leon Russell.

    The standout in the interviews is the incredible Carol Kaye - the sole female member of the team, and a bass and guitar wizard of astounding versatility. She comes across as a fascinating character, and her list of credits is jaw dropping!


    Anyway, I highly recommend this film for anybody interested in sixties music.
    Zombie_61 and Redshoes51 like this.
  12. For women's sixties hairstyles:

    "Doctor Zhivago".
  13. Saw it and can only echo your comments. A really well-done and enjoyable one.
  14. Woodie - absolutely outstanding

    Kate and Cary dancing to a tune... - absolutely outstanding
  15. Sixties hair notwithstanding, Julie Christie's finest movie.

    And one other thing, it is the only example I know of a man having an affair and women (three in my life) having told me they still think Zhivago was a good guy / they understood what he did owing to the circumstances. Very, very, very hard to find another example of women excusing a man for cheating.
  16. A pity-party of one with Cary & Kate!
    Stayed home with a cold... unable to have a grand time
    for the New Year! :(

    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
    Fading Fast likes this.
  17. basbol13

    basbol13 One of the Regulars

    Watched the Duelists again....still my favorite.

  18. The Maltese Falcon on TCM with a cup of coffee; perfect for a rainy Saturday morning. :D
    Stormy and Zombie_61 like this.
  19. Touchofevil likes this.

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