Bringing Up Baby – I just went gay all of a sudden

grantrobsonhallHawks’ friend (and Hepburn’s sometime-boyfriend) Howard Hughes finally suggested Cary Grant for the role. Grant had just finished shooting his breakthrough romantic comedy The Awful Truth, and Hawks may have seen a rough cut of the unreleased film. Grant then had a non-exclusive, four-picture deal with RKO for $50,000 per film. Grant’s manager used his casting in the film to renegotiate Grant’s contract, earning him $75,000 plus the bonuses Hepburn was receiving. Grant was initially concerned about being able to play an intellectual character and took two weeks to accept the role, despite the new contract. Hawks built Grant’s confidence by promising to coach him throughout the film, instructing him to watch Harold Lloyd films for inspiration. Grant met with Howard Hughes throughout the film to discuss his character, which he said helped his performance…

In the film, the word “gay” was an ad-lib by Grant and not in any version of the original script. According to Vito Russo in The Celluloid Closet (1981, revised 1987), the script originally had Grant’s character say “I…I suppose you think it’s odd, my wearing this. I realize it looks odd…I don’t usually…I mean, I don’t own one of these”. Russo suggests that this indicates that people in Hollywood (at least in Grant’s circles) were familiar with the slang connotations of the word; however, neither Grant nor anyone involved in the film suggested this.

via Bringing Up Baby – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

13 comments

  1. George Kaplan

    Such a memorable scene! Hilarious. 🙂 Cary is Great, this is my favorite comedic performance of his (and of Katharine Hepburn’s too).

    • Whenever anyone says glorious I think, Billie Holiday and Too Marvelous for Words 😉

      You’re just too marvelous
      Too marvelous for words
      Like glorious, glamorous
      And that old standby amorous

      It’s all so wonderful
      I’ll never find the words
      That say enough, tell enough
      I mean they just aren’t swell enough

      You’re much too much, and just too very very
      To ever be, in the Webster’s Dictionary
      And so I’m borrowing a love song from the birds
      To tell you that you’re marvelous, too marvelous for words

  2. How exhausting, now I have to search for a place where I can comment here 😀 Just regarding the Peter Finch pic… if you have a chance get his first wife’s book. Her name is Tamara Tchinarova and she’s like 500 years old but still looks absolutely superb. Watches ballet videos all day and insists on speaking French.

      • It’s mostly about ballet, but she talks about Peter’s affair with Vivien Leigh and all sorts of other interesting things that relate to the (your?) ‘beguiling world’. She’s ill now, but I swear no one would believe it if they saw her. Still ultra-glamorous. Her house has lots of red, animal prints and Russian art. Tables of photographs which are really more or less the history of Hollywood and entertainment in the 20th century. You go the bathroom and think ‘oh, why was Elizabeth Taylor carrying your child in a church?’. Pure fabulousity.

  3. Pingback: Bringing Up Baby – Required Viewing | waldina

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