Bringing Up Baby (1938)
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Directed by: Howard Hawks
Starring: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Charlie Ruggles
Bringing Up Baby ranked # 97 on the American Film Institute's Top 100 American Films list.
Bringing Up Baby is a 1938 screwball comedy which tells the story of a scientist who winds up in various predicaments with a woman who has a unique sense of logic and a leopard named Baby.
It stars Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Charles Ruggles, Barry Fitzgerald, Walter Catlett, and May Robson.
The film was adapted by Dudley Nichols and Hagar Wilde from a story by Hagar Wilde. It was directed by Howard Hawks. It was originally considered a box office failure, which caused Hawks to be fired from his next RKO film, and forced Hepburn to have to buy out her contract. As time went by the film gained more and more attention and is now considered a classic, and continues to generate revenue for Hepburn's estate.
Bringing up Baby is consistently on the Internet Movie Database's list of top 250 films, was number ninety-seven on American Film Institute's 100 Years, Movies, number fourteen on its 100 Years, 100 Laughs, and number fifty-one on its 100 Years, 100 Passions, and has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.
Entertainment Weekly also voted the film number twenty-four on its list of the Greatest Films. In 2000, readers of Total Film magazine voted it the forty-seventh greatest comedy film of all time.
Arguably, this was the first film to use the word "gay" in a homosexual context. Robert Chapman's, The Dictionary of American Slang, reports that the adjective "gay" was used by homosexuals, among themselves, in this sense since at least 1920. Donald Webster Cory writes in The Homosexual in America (1951):
"Psychoanalysts have informed me that their homosexual patients were calling themselves gay in the nineteen-twenties, and certainly by the nineteen-thirties it was the most common word in use by homosexuals themselves."
The term "gay" did not become widely familiar to the general public, until the Stonewall riots in 1969.
Top 100 Greatest Films - AFI 100 - DVDs
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