Monkey Business

Tagged: Film

Film (1952). Twentieth Century Fox. Directed by Howard Hawks. Written by Ben Hecht, I A L Diamond, Charles Lederer. Cast includes Charles Coburn, Cary Grant, Hugh Marlowe, Marilyn Monroe and Ginger Rogers. 97 minutes. Black and white.

Made only a year after The Thing (though his direction of the latter was uncredited), Hawks's second sf film is one of the classic screwball comedies. Grant plays a staid Scientist working on slowing the ageing process. One of his laboratory apes accidentally mixes the ingredients that bring a kind of Rejuvenation and dumps them in the water cooler. First the scientist, then his equally grave wife (Rogers) and then his employers mistakenly take the elixir, and all, sequentially, revert to manic adolescent behaviour. In a splendid bit part Marilyn Monroe plays the now predatory scientist's first quarry. Amid the well orchestrated farce, a serious enough point is made about hormonal experiments, as anarchy strikes deep into the heart of adulthood. [PN]

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