Bringing Up Baby
This chapter takes a closer look at 1938's Bringing Up Baby in order to study the role of the female as pathfinder within adventurous screen comedies—the evolutionary trailblazer who is always seeing things that never were and wanting things that are not yet. It looks at the film's fast-talking dame, Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn), and the object of her sexual choice, Dr. David Huxley (Cary Grant), and explores the zoomorphic humor that explores human behavior—especially human sexual behavior—as the developed instance of the rampant instincts enlivening the entire animal world. Within the film is represented an entire menagerie of human and animal types, comparing human to animal life. This comedy of a post-Darwinian and post-Freudian age provides an explanation closer to home regarding the sexual difference between men and women—compared, for example, to the popular proposition that men are from Mars and women are from Venus.
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