Howard Hawks’ legendary 1938 film, “Bringing up Baby” is one of my many favorite classic movies, and has been cherished by fans of classic comedy.
When the Cary Grant-Katherine Hepburn comedy was released in 1938, the film was not successful with theatergoers.
Originally panned by audiences during its general release
After Hawks’ film was released by RKO Radio Pictures on Feb. 16, 1938, it turned out to be one of the biggest box-office flops at the time, grossing $715,000. According to Frank Miller of Turner Classic Movies, this was due to the production of “Bringing up Baby” going over budget.
1955: “Bringing Up Baby” rediscovered (via television)
17 years after its release, “Bringing up Baby” would have a second life, thanks to television broadcasts. After the studio was sold to the General Tire & Rubber Company in 1955, the company planned to showcase vintage RKO films on the company’s TV stations (in a separate transaction, General Tire sold the syndication rights of the vintage RKO features to the C&C Television Corporation in 1955, for syndication on TV stations not owned by the tire company).
Since then, audiences rediscovered Howard Hawks’ comedy. Through countless television showings over the years (along with revival screenings), the film has become one of the essential cinema classics.
“Bringing Up Baby” was added to the National Film Registry in 1990, and ranked at 97 on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 greatest movies.
My first exposure to “Bringing Up Baby”
My first exposure to Howard Hawks’ “Bringing up Baby” was at an early age, by watching it with my family on AMC, when the channel was known as “American Movie Classics.”
Why you should watch “Bringing Up Baby” (if you haven’t seen it):
“Bringing up Baby” is one of the greatest screwball comedies of all-time. Featuring an all-star cast (Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Barry Fitzgerald, May Robson and Charlie Ruggles), you will not be disappointed by Howard Hawks’ zany comedy masterpiece. Highly recommended!
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