"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Movie Review: Monkey Business (1952)

Hello everyone!

I can't believe that we are almost done with 2019. It seems like it was just starting! This will be my last movie review in this year, and it is fitting because the film that I am reviewing is one of the first that was new to me that I saw in 2019!

My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless I give you warning.

Monkey Business (1952):
"We dream of youth."
A professor, Barnaby Fulton, thinks that he has almost figured out the secret to an elixir of youth. What really happens is that a chimpanzee, Esther, figures it out first and dumps the solution into a water cooler. When Barnaby drinks the water, he starts acting like a 20-year-old! Later, his wife ends up drinking it and now has the mindset of a prank-pulling teenage girl! The company that Barnaby works for wants to know how to make it, but can't figure out how to make them tell. Will they ever turn back to their original ages?
"Grown-up men playing with monkeys."
Genre: Screwball Comedy.
Length: approx. 97 minutes.
"The history of discovery is the history of people breaking rules."
Costumes: 6, there are a few times when people aren't wearing shirts, and other times when the costumes are low and really tight.
Script: 10, no bad words! I thought that this line was a very funny play on words and is something I would get mixed up:
"Mr. Oxley has been complaining about my punctuation so I arrived promptly at 9."
Directed by: Howard Hawks.
Written by: Ben Hecht, Charles Lederer, I.A.L. Diamond, & Harry Segall.
Cary Grant as Dr. Barnaby Fulton.
Ginger Rogers as Mrs. Edwina Fulton.
Charles Coburn as Mr. Oliver Oxley.
Marilyn Monroe as Miss Lois Laurel.
Hugh Marlowe as Hank Entwhistle.
Henri Letondal as Dr. Jerome Kitzel.
Robert Cornthwaite as Dr. Zoldeck.
Larry Keating as G.J. Culverly.
Douglas Spencer as Dr. Brunner.
Esther Dale as Mrs. Rhinelander.
George Winslow as Little Indian.
Cinematography: 8, seeing black and white movies is always fun for me.
Cinematography by: Milton R. Krasner.
Music: 7, I don't remember anything about it.
Music by: Leigh Harline.
Quotes: 9. "You're only old when you forget that you're young."
Content: 8, there is some drinking, and some suggestive things, enough to make me a little uncomfortable a few times.
'"Imagine people never aging."
"Sounds frightening."'
Originality: 8, this is a fun idea, it had the ridiculous factor needed for a screwball, that's for sure.
Good For: Cary Grant fans, fans of screwball comedies.
Age Range: This would be good for all ages, and I think that little kids might even get more of a kick out of it than I did.
Overall Score: 7.
Bonus thoughts:
I know a lot of people who love screwball comedies, and I know a lot of people who can't stand them. For this one I didn't love it as much as I do others (such as another by this same director, Bringing Up Baby [1938]), but there were times that I laughed out loud and Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers were swell together!

If this was one of the first movies I saw in 2019, then why am I writing a review of it now? Well, Crystal of In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood and Michaela of Love Letters to Old Hollywood are hosting The Second Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Blogathon!
When this was hosted the first time, I wrote a (very late) review of the movie Let's Dance (1950) which just starred Fred, so for this time I thought I would focus on a movie featuring Ginger!

For the blogathon:
"I love you, you potato head."
I don't think I had ever seen a movie with Ginger Rogers where she didn't dance! I know that there are a lot out there, but this was my first. I thought that she did such a good job in this! As I already said above, she and Cary Grant worked so well together. When she has a younger mindset she has such a good whining voice that it was very believable. And, in her 'usual' state of mind, she was so sweet and caring and always helping Barnaby when he forgot things.

Thank you to both Crystal and Michaela for hosting this, and thanks to all of you for reading! I hope that you all enjoyed my last review of this year, and this decade!



  1. I love this movie! It's one of the few screwball comedies I willingly rewatch. Soooooo funny.

    1. I want to rewatch now, too! I was dying of laughter with the boys playing Indians scene!

  2. I really need to rewatch this! I love how it opens with Cary interrupting the credits. And Ginger always did a swell job acting younger than she was, like in Kitty Foyle and The Major and the Minor.

    Thanks for contributing to our blogathon!

    1. Oh yes, that was a hilarious opening! Thinking about it, I don't think that I've seen her in more than five things, I'd better fix that!

      And thank you for hosting!


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