Monkey Business

Recently Restored
Directed by Howard Hawks.
With Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, Charles Coburn.
US, 1952, DCP, black & white, 97 min.
DCP source: 20th Century Fox

Hawks’ final collaboration with Cary Grant sets a tall task for the star. As Dr. Barnaby Fulton, a chemist who drinks an experimental fountain of youth potion and regresses through various stages of his development, Grant must play multiple parts in one: a stuffy, unhappily-married adult; a manic, horny young man; and an inexhaustible, euphoric child. Naturally, Grant is up to the challenge, resulting in one of the actor’s greatest comic performances, a psychologically convincing progression through his gifts of verbal repartee and physical horseplay alike. But Barnaby isn’t the only one who drinks the potion. Monkey Business’ ingeniously silly structure plays like a tweak on the slasher movie, with various members of the cast imbibing the mysterious substance until eventually everyone is reduced to juvenile behavior—all because a monkey goes haywire in the lab. Among the overdose recipients is Barnaby’s discontented wife Edwina (Ginger Rogers), for whom both an inner brattiness and a girlish spunk re-emerge from under her surface docility to match Barnaby’s increasingly wild energy. As a result, this seemingly anarchic farce turns into a poignant reflection on the importance of maintaining youthful passion in romance.

Part of program

Read more

The Complete Howard Hawks

Current and upcoming programs

Read more


Read more

Early Kiarostami

Read more

Learning to Be Human. The Open-Ended Educational Film