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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Cinema Spotlight-Bringing Up Baby

Today marks the 109th birthday of  a women who epitomized style, class and elegance-Katherine Hepburn.

Hepburn's career spanned decades and she played spirited strong willed women in 43 films as well as on stage and on the television, but by far my favorite of her films is the 1938 screwball classic Bringing Up Baby.

In the film Hepburn plays Susan a free spirited, scatterbrained, accident prone heiress with an  unbelievable wardrobe.  Susan runs into egg head paleontologist David, on a golf course, 

I love the big round buttons with black trim, black trimmed colar and loose sleeves on Hepburn's simple and elegant golfing frock.

and winds up interuppting his game, stealing his car, and thrawting his attempt to get a million dollars for his museum.

The two meet later that same evening at dinner.   In a scene where Susan wears the most amazing gold lame robe dress, and a matching veil hat.   

In my opinion this is one of most beautiful dresses in cinema history, and perfectly suited for Hepburn lanky physique, which is why its so sad when it gets ripped

even if it furthers the screwball plot.    

Susan winds up being the niece of the women who may donate a million dollars to David's museum, she also receives a leopard from her brother Mark, who is on safari.  Susan convinces David, on the eve of his wedding, to Connecticut where they plan to find a zoo to take the leopard and to ask Susan's Aunt to donate to the museum.   Hijinks ensue and there is fabulous clothing through out.

Like this simple striped day dress with a high neck and rectangular buttons worn with strappy shoes

Or this marvelous peaked cap:

Kathrine Hepburn was known for wearing pants and one of my favorite costumes in the film is the simple tunic and wide legged pants she pairs with loafers and a coolie hat while helping David locate the priceless dinosaur bone that George the dog has buried.  

George is pretty darn cute.  He's played by the same Wire Fox Terrier who played Asta in the Thin Man films, and he steals every scene he's in.

Another stand out outfit is this ruffled dress with black bow:

Bringing Up Baby is also one of those 1930s films with amazing lounge wear (as I mentioned in this post). 

The full sleeves and sheer dotted fabric on this robe are beyond words.   Cary Grant's character David even gets to wear a feathered robe in this famous scene 

I also adore Aunt Elizabeth's outfit here.  The lined cape, tweedy fabric, and frog closure buttons are so sporty and chic.  It's nice to see a stylish lady of more advanced years in a 1930s film.  

Today Bringing Up Baby is one of the most well known films of 1930s as is number 88 on the American Film Institutes List of Greatest  America Films of All Time , but when it premiered in 1938 it wasn't particularly successful and contributed to Hepburn's reputation as "box office poison."

Bringing Up Baby remains a favorite film at our house (Fry in particular seemed to enjoy recent screening)

 and it is also very special to us for another important reason

John and I named our first pet, our little cat Baby, after the film.  We got her a few months before we where married and 15 years later she is still with us and as sweet as ever.

If you haven't seen Bringing Up Baby you owe it to yourself to check it  out.


  1. I love that film, it's such fun. Our old cat used to follow my husband around the house, and he'd yell, "Susan, I've got the leopard."

  2. I've not seen this since I was little, it was the film which brought Cary Grant to my attention xx

  3. The film sounds interesting. Wow, they had leopard in it...!
    Your Baby is adorable :-)

  4. Hard to believe she was ever considered bad box office. What a classy lady.

  5. Lovely post on a great film, which I should definitely watch again. xxx

  6. Such a wonderful film...and one of my favorites!

  7. Though the clothes were gorgeous....couldn't get passed Cary Grant!

  8. Aww, your Baby is adorable. Bringing Up Baby is one of my favorites. I feel like I laugh constantly during it! I love that you went through and gave us a closer look at some of the outfits. The gold lamé is to die for.

  9. Those are indeed some amazing fashions! I have not seen the movie but I love your synopsis.

  10. Ahhh what a wonderful post :) This too is one of my all time favorite movies. Glamourous, funny...glamorous. Man oh Man the clothes...drool :)

    Liz :)

  11. So many gorgeous outfits! And wow 43 films! I had no idea! Love the pic of Baby too! So precious! <3

  12. Agreed! This movie is a true knockout on the fashion front and in a way, perhaps all the more so, because we didn't always see KH in such glam attire.

    Thank you for the wonderful post!

    ♥ Jessica


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