Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Bringing Up Baby (1938)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

In Howard Hawks' classic and definitive screwball comedy:

  • the comedic antics and "misadventures" between shy paleontologist David Huxley (Cary Grant) and scatter-brained, fast-talking eccentric heiress Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn)
  • the sequence of David's opening golf game with Mr. Peabody continuously interrupted by her playing his golf ball and driving away in his battered car
  • Susan's olive game that she learned from a bartender -- she held an olive on the flat part of her hand, tapped her hand, and then caught the airborne olive in her mouth; walking by, the unsuspecting David slipped and took a pratfall on the olive she just dropped on the floor
  • the scene of David's torn tuxedo and her ripped evening dress including their rapid exit from a supper club as he walked in unison close behind her, covered her posterior and saved her reputation
  • David's confessional scene to Susan: "I'm strangely drawn toward you..." after which he sprawled face-first onto the ground
  • the sequence of their drive to her Aunt Elizabeth's (May Robson) farm in Westlake, Connecticut, with her 3 year-old pet leopard (named Baby) in the back seat - and along the way after Susan rear-ended a truck carrying a load of chickens, Baby got away and attacked the fluttering poultry (off-screen); covered with chicken feathers, David fumed - annoyed that he had to pay for Baby's expensive meal - "an assortment of ducks and chickens, not to mention a couple of swans" that cost him $150
  • the funny scene of David purchasing 30 lbs. of raw sirloin steak (in once piece) at a market from a bewildered butcher for the hungry animal
  • the famous sequence of fluffy negligee-wearing David's exclamation in front of Aunt Elizabeth as he jumped into the air: "Because I just went gay all of a sudden"
  • the long chase in the woods after escaped Baby: Susan carried a butterfly net while David was prepared with a rope and croquet mallet; they found Baby sitting on a neighbor's roof - to calm the tame leopard and attract him down off the roof, they serenaded Baby with his favorite and fondest song, "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby"
  • the major incarceration scene in adjacent jail cells in the Westlake City Jail where Susan pretended to be a gangster moll (a member of the 'leopard gang,' infamous for robberies and other criminal activities)
  • the frightening presence of another, wild, angry, and spitting wild leopard (not Baby but a murderous escaped animal from the circus) that Susan dragged into the jailhouse at the end of a rope; stepping in front of her with a chair, David heroically defended her from the vicious leopard and chased it into an empty jail cell
  • the finale - the return of the missing dog-buried bone and the swaying, crumbling destruction of the reconstructed brontosaurus skeleton as Susan and David dangled from it - she apologized: ("Oh David, look what I've done. Oh, I'm so sorry. Oh, oh, David, can you ever forgive me? You can and you still love me...You do, oh David"), and he replied during their final kiss and embrace: ("Oh, dear. Oh, my. Hmmm")

David Covering Up Susan's Ripped Dress

'Baby' (Susan's Pet Leopard) in Back Seat

David: "I just went gay all of a sudden"

Serenading 'Baby' With "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby"

The Westlake City Jail

Collapse of Brontosaurus Skeleton


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z