Rock-A-Bye Cary: 31 Days of Cary Grant, Day 21

Howard Hawks and Katharine Hepburn look over their scripts on the set of Bringing Up Baby (1938)—while Cary Grant takes a nap.

I’ve been trying to go in chronological order with these pictures, but I just discovered this one in an old movie magazine and it was too adorable not to share.

Howard Hawks, Cary Grant, and Katharine Hepburn on the set of "B

Image scanned from the May 1938 issue of Photoplay. You should know that I’m cheating a bit today because I didn’t personally scan this image—the fine team behind the Media History Digital Library did that for me! However, I did edit and enhance it.

Bringing Up Baby, 1938: 31 Days of Cary Grant, Day 11

Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby, 1938.

Although Howard Hawks deserves much of the credit for the screwball comedy’s bubbling atmosphere, Hepburn revealed that she and Grant invented many bits of business for the film and painstakingly rehearsed the zingy timing on their own.

As she remembered, “We wanted it to be as good as it possibly could be. Nothing was ever too much trouble. And we were both very early on the set. Howard Hawks was always late, so Cary and I worked out an awful lot of stuff together. We’d make up stuff to do on the screen—how to work out those laughs in Bringing Up Baby.”

Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Scanned from Hollywood Picks the Classics by Afton Fraser (Bullfinch Press, 2004).