A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Even the most uptight people -- in this case, a single-minded scientist who appears to have no room in his life for emotion or pleasure -- can learn to live with spontaneity, passion, and joy.
Positive Role Models
Katherine Hepburn's feisty, bright independence in this film celebrates women on equal footing with their male counterparts. Though she's a non-working "society girl" and occasionally plays helpless, she's actually strong-willed, competent, and tenacious. As is common in many farcical movies of the era, law enforcement officers are depicted as dense, gullible, and inept.
Violence & Scariness
In this “screwball comedy” all action sequences are cartoonish and played for comic effect. A dog and a leopard scuffle on the grass with some growling and incidental biting. Two characters fall and slide down a short precipice. Lots of pratfalls –- slipping, falling, minor car accidents with dented bumpers and fenders, clothing gets torn, chickens escape and run rampant, a young woman hangs from a platform, and a museum dinosaur exhibit crashes to the ground. There’s a case of mistaken identity when a wild leopard is thought to be tame. The leopard bares his fangs, roars. Some non-threatening gun play as the characters try to catch the wild leopard.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Flirting, some embracing, a few instances of gentle sexual innuendo. When the male lead is forced to wear a woman’s frilly robe, he ironically asks someone who is gawking at him: “You think I just went gay all of a sudden?”
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A family gardener drinks from a flask each time he appears; his constant tippling is played for humor. Moderate alcohol consumption during dinner and at some social events.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that while there are a lot of physical misadventures in Bringing Up Baby there no injuries in this madcap comedy. And except for a few shots of a roaring, teeth-baring leopard nothing is frightening or threatening in a real way. Characters are clumsy -- fall, bump into walls, drive incompetently, and more. "Baby," a tame leopard, is confused with a wild leopard which results in some chasing, erratic gun play, and more pratfalls. A character drinks to excess, also as a source of humor. There's one throwaway reference to going "gay." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is generally considered to be the ultimate example of the screwball comedy, which reached its apex in the 1930s, and director Howard Hawks proves his mastery of the genre. He pulls off an outlandish plot at breakneck speed with fabulous witty repartee and romantic tension between the perfectly cast leads, Grant and Hepburn (who are divine here). Bringing Up Baby may inspire them to take a look at dinosaur skeletons in a museum, though there is no such thing as an "intercostal clavicle."
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.