Friday, September 8, 2017

MOVIE SCIENTIST BLOGATHON: Monkey Business (1952)


Christina Wehner and Ruth of Silver Screenings are hosting, for the second time mind you, the Movie Scientist Blogathon. The good, the mad and the lonely lab rats can be found online from September 8 - 10. My guy, Barnaby Fulton, is one of the good ones. Day 1 recap  Day 2 recap  Day 3 recap



Barnaby and Edwina Fulton
Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers

Edwina (to Barnaby): "You're not often the absent-minded professor, but, darling, when you are, you're a real zombie."

Barnaby Fulton (Cary Grant) is the chief chemist at the Oxley Chemical Company. Barnaby has been working on a rejuvination formula and it is preying on his mind when he should be thinking about his wife Edwina (Ginger Rogers) and the party they are dressed to attend.



Miss Laurel, Barnaby, Mr. Oxley
Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant, Charles Coburn

The lab team has been testing their recent formula on chimpanzees and tests show that only 23% of the formula is being assimilated. Mr. Oxley (Charles Coburn), who owns the company, is 70 and more than a little anxious that they come up with what he terms a "youth" formula. Perhaps his secretary, the luscious Miss Laurel (Marilyn Monroe) has something to do with his overly anxious attitude.



When the white coats are away, the simians will play.

Barnaby is assisted in the lab by Dr. Kitzel (Henri Letondal), Dr. Brunner (Douglas Spencer), and Dr. Zoldeck (Robert Cornthwaite). These eminent brains are assisted in turn by Esther! Esther is the youngest of the chimps and she plays a bit of "monkey see, monkey do" by getting out of her cage and pouring this into that and that into this. Perhaps dissatisfied with her work, Esther disposes of her formula in the water cooler. 

Barnaby Fulton, in that way of brainy types, decides to test the most recent formula on himself. It leaves a bitter after-taste that Barnaby decides to chase with water. Funny thing, the water also has a bitter aftertaste. It's incredible! Barnaby can see without his glasses. Barnaby has astounding reservoirs of energy. Barnaby feels young again!

Barnaby doesn't strictly follow protocol by chronicling his reactions to the formula. He wants to have fun! Barnaby goes joy riding with Miss Luscious, I mean Miss Laurel. He gets a younger haircut, buys a snazzy car, goes roller skating and swimming until the formula starts to wear off. A then exhausted and sore Barnaby smashes the car into the factory's fence and takes a well-deserved nap.

Mr. Oxley is over-the-moon in his excitement about the formula. Edwina is less than thrilled with Barnaby's antics of the day. Instead of allowing Barnaby to take more of the formula, Edwina takes the larger dose chosen for the next experiment. Nothing happens until, of course, she chases the bitter aftertaste with water from the cooler.



The blackboard says it all.

Edwina is once again the fun loving, empty-headed girl of her youth. Her love and affection for Barnaby is as strong as ever, and she wants to drive to the coastal hotel of their honeymoon. She wants to dance the night away. Once there, however, she is overcome by sudden shyness and blazing anger at anything her beloved says that strikes her as untoward. Edwina has phoned her old boyfriend Hank Entwistle (Hugh Marlowe) and her mother (Esther Dale), who always disliked Barnaby, to announce their break-up. Barnaby and Edwina both have a lot of embarrassing incidents to explain. Is the formula really worth all of this nonsense?

Again under the influence of what they understand to be the formula, Edwina and Barnaby commit further silliness. Edwina believes a neighbour's baby is a reverted Barnaby (don't ask!). Meanwhile, Barnaby plays a game of "let's scalp Hank Entwisle" with the neighbourhood kids.



I don't believe all labs look like this one.

It is obvious that the chief chemist at the Oxley Chemical Company is not going to be of any help to the corporate world. His assistants finally figure out the mystery of Esther and the water cooler. What was left of the miracle concoction is inadvertently destroyed, and things go back to normal. Poor Mr. Oxley!

Dr. Fulton has come to some conclusions concerning his current line of research:

"I'm beginning to wonder if being young is all it's cracked up to be. We dream of youth. We remember it as a time of nightingales and valentines. But what are the facts? Maladjustment, near idiocy, and a series of low comedy disasters. That's what youth is."

Barnaby's newest formula:  "You're old only when you forget you are young."

No word on Esther's theories after these hectic days in the lab.

The very funny script for Monkey Business is by Ben Hecht (The Front Page), Charles Lederer (I Was a Male War Bride) and I.A.L. Diamond (Some Like It Hot).

Monkey Business is the last of 5 films Hawks and Grant made together beginning with 1938s Bringing Up Baby where Grant also played a bespectacled absent-minded professor involved in romantic entanglements.

Ginger Rogers as Edwina was nominated for the Golden Globe in the category of Best Actress - Comedy or Musical, along with Katharine Hepburn for Pat and Mike and the winner, Susan Hayward in With a Song in My Heart.


Movie trivia

Douglas Spencer and Robert Cornthwaite, who play two of the scientists, appeared in the previous year's Howard Hawks film The Thing from Another World as Scotty, the newspaper reporter and Dr. Carrington, the obsessive head of the expedition.

Harry Carey Jr. plays a newspaper reporter and his mother, Olive Carey, is the Fulton's next door neighbour who leaves her infant son to the tender mercies of the Fultons while she runs errands.






34 comments:

  1. In the long and distinguished history of primate performances in film, I'd have to say Esther's ranks up there with the greats: TARZAN THE APE MAN, EVERY WHICH WAY BUT LOOSE,and DUNSTON CHECKS IN.

    Odd how so many actors we think of as high-quality thespians (even Marilyn, to an extent) are in this movie with monkeys, acting silly, directed by a legend like Hawks. If this had been made today, it would be considered kiddie fare, and it certainly wouldn't attract actors the caliber of Grant or Rogers unless it was animated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Esther's has long been an underrated talent. I suspect some (however distant) relation to Josephine, the Capuchin who acted with LLoyd and Keaton.

      I would say the world is not a better place if the quality folk decline to get silly. This is the stuff I call art.

      Delete
  2. This is just a really funny/really silly movie with a great cast, particularly Monroe whose razor-sharp comic timing is as good as Grant's (and that's saying something).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. High praise for Marilyn indeed, and she deserves it. Released the same year as her disturbing performance in Don't Bother to Knock, her versatility was certainly showing.

      Delete
  3. I can't believe I haven't seen this yet! I've seen clips, but not the entire film, which definitely needs to be remedied. Especially with cast like that.

    Your comment about the world being less well off when quality folk refuse to get silly is very wise. It seems like part of the comedy and appeal of Cary Grant was his willingness - handsome and suave as he was - to be silly and not take himself too seriously.

    Thanks so much for joining the blogathon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure to take part in this blogathon again.

      You are so right about Cary. His willingness to tap into his goofy side may be the greatest part of his appeal. You'll have to check this movie out soon.

      Delete
  4. I've never seen a Marilyn Monroe film. This seems like a good one to start with! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be an excellent introduction. Marilyn had strong dramatic chops, but she was also a polished comedienne and this supporting role at the beginning of her career highlights her strength in that area.

      Delete
  5. Everyone is a delight in this film, which doesn't take itself too seriously. My fave performer, though, is the one kid with the gravelly voice. (It's been a while since I've seen this and I forget why he and Grant are in the scene together.)

    This is an excellent choice for the blogathon. Thanks so much for reminding me to see this gem again. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Little George Winslow! A delight indeed. Every adult who worked with him must have realized the kid was stealing every scene. A really fun part of the movie.

      Delete
  6. I love the way the gracious, mature Ginger turns into a firecracker of a tomboy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is one of my favourite of Ginger's performances. She really could do it all, and do it better than many.

      Delete
  7. I was going to make a rather unfunny remark about Grant and the monkey being on the screen at the same time, but I held myself back...:-) Must admit Ginger Rogers sure looks a heck of a lot cuter than I remember, but its been a while since I watched one of her movies. Good review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. H'm. We appreciate your self-control.

      I guess the cycle of movie actresses has come around to Ginger Rogers. There's plenty to choose from, and who knows what new fave you'll find.

      Delete
  8. I love Coburn here. He is every bit as funny as Grant and Rogers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Truly. Coburn was an expert at comedy. I seem to recall reading somewhere that Cary Grant said Coburn got a great kick out of chasing Marilyn with the water gun. Guys!

      Delete
  9. Thanks for the wonderful look at this very enjoyable (and enjoyably silly) film. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure, and thank you very much for reading. It means a lot.

      Delete
  10. When I was a wee lad, I thought this was a very funny film. I still find it amusing; it certainly looks like everyone involved with it was having a good time, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is one of those movies where it looks like a good time was had by all, isn't it? I think Hawks and Grant must have been very simpatico in the all-important funny bone connection.

      Delete
  11. First, I loved the new look of your blog.
    Second, I love this movie. My favorite part is when Barnaby plays with the kids and wants to get Hank's scalp - it's hilarious!
    You did great once again with your writing.
    Thanks for the kind comment!
    Kisses!
    Le

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for two very charming compliments.

      First, I felt it was time for a change and, second, Cary Grant acting like a kid is one of my favourite things as well.

      Delete
  12. I love your new look! I also enjoyed you reminding me how funny this film is and how important it is that I rewatch it immediately. Right from the opening credits you know you're in for a good time. Plus, who would ever want to resist that cast?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Truly irresistible cast, and that opening. What cheeky fellows were Hawks and Grant!

      Thanks. I rather like my new digs. Think I'll keep them.

      Delete
  13. Ooh, this sounds fun! It's always interesting to see Ginger Rogers in straight comic or dramatic roles--she seemed to like mixing things up. Can't blame her, because musicals were strenuous. Another one for the list. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ginger could do it all! Sometimes I forget that, but Monkey Business is a great reminder of her comedy chops, and Grant a charming co-star.

      Delete
  14. Shopping for Google Reviews could be a highly effective approach to promote your web site or weblog. You may assume that having the voice of your organization heard on Google is an effective approach to construct up your model, however sadly, that goodwill is not going to come low-cost. On common, the worth of a Google search vary from $35 - $70, whereas the worth varies significantly for various corporations. It's subsequently vital to know simply what you possibly can anticipate if you Buy Google Reviews Canada, find out how to use them in your marketing campaign, and the place to purchase them from, to be sure you get the most effective worth for cash.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Nice post brother, I have been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before. There is certainly a lot to know about this issue.I love all of the points you’ve made. I am sure this post has touched all the internet viewers.
    lịch bay từ mỹ về việt nam hôm nay

    gia ve may bay vietjet tu han quoc ve viet nam

    mua vé máy bay giá rẻ tu Nhat Ban ve Viet Nam

    vé máy bay giá rẻ từ singapore về hà nội

    Săn vé máy bay 0 đồng tu Dai Loan ve Viet Nam

    lịch bay từ canada về việt nam

    ReplyDelete
  16. This article discusses who is to blame for the large amount of home improvement complaints received year after year by local consumer agencies. This article offers a unique solution to avoid having you home improvement project experience become something you would like to forget. black and white art for bedroom

    ReplyDelete
  17. There comes a time when a family house may need a major make over. An increase in your income or a promotion may also prompt you to upgrade your home so that it fits your new economic status. Or maybe you just want a little luxury in your home so that a relaxing time is just that; for relaxing. Regardless of the reasons why you may want a little more luxury in your home, the luxury home improvement tips will give you the ideas on where to start. roofing Denver co

    ReplyDelete
  18. Many people do not realize just how much technology that they use each and every day. We are a world that is literally run off of the technology that we have created over the past 100 years. As the years have gone by, technology that progressed and we have been able to live our lives a whole lot easier. Here are a few ways that you can take a look at technology and truly see how it can improve your life. car reg check

    ReplyDelete
  19. Whether you're a busy full-time mom in need of regular cleaning help or you're planning a big event at your home, a cleaning service can get your space clean and organized. Bring someone in for weekly cleaning sessions or a one-time job, depending on your needs. office cleaning companies Perth

    ReplyDelete
  20. After being in relationship with Wilson for seven years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that don’t believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I meant a spell caster called Dr Zuma zuk and I email him, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his email: spiritualherbalisthealing@gmail.com or WhatsApp him +15068001647 blog: spiritualherbal.blogspot.com you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or anything. CONTACT HIM NOW FOR SOLUTION TO ALL YOUR PROBLEMS

    ReplyDelete
  21. It's easy to think of Social Media as just another Internet fad that has no connection to business. So simply by joining the likes of Facebook and Twitter you find people that you know and invite them to "follow" you or "like" you with absolutely no thought about whether you can use it for business or not. Well I'm here to tell you that you can, and with this article I will share with you some insights and techniques on How to Develop Your Winning Social Media Plan in 7 Simple Steps. Instagram like kaufen

    ReplyDelete

CAFTAN WOMAN'S CHOICE: ONE FOR AUGUST ON TCM

Ambitious and passionate about her work, Bette Davis early on proved her talent and worth to Warner Brothers Studio with whom she had si...