‘Monkey Business’ for Marilyn and Cary

Writing for the BFI blog, Samuel Wigley names Monkey Business – the Howard Hawks farce in which Marilyn plays the hapless Miss Laurel – among co-star Cary Grant’s ten best movies. (Wigley gets one thing wrong, though – Lois is the only main character who doesn’t take the serum, and is thus the ‘straight woman’ of the story.)

“No apologies for listing all five of the Grant-Hawks collaborations in a Grant top 10. Their last together, 1952’s Monkey Business is the silliest of the lot and features Grant as Dr Barnaby Fulton, an absent-minded professor whose newly invented elixir of youth ends up being mixed inside the water cooler by a lab chimpanzee. One-by-one Fulton, his wife (Ginger Rogers) and his secretary (Marilyn Monroe) are reverted to the state of immature, prank-pulling children. Echoes of Bringing Up Baby abound in the showdown between fusty expertise and unfettered animal instinct, and if Rogers is little match for Hepburn, Monroe positively sparkles in this early role.”

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