Combustible Celluloid
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With: Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Coburn
Written by: Ben Hecht, Charles Lederer, I.A.L. Diamond, based on a story by Harry Segall
Directed by: Howard Hawks
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 97
Date: 09/02/1952

Monkey Business (1952)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Youth Fairy

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Perhaps the greatest Hollywood director who ever lived, Howard Hawks knew instinctively how to use certain actors. A year before he made his masterpiece Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, he made this superb comedy starring Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers with Marilyn Monroe in a scene-stealing supporting role that helped establish her screen persona for all time. Grant plays an absent-minded professor who stumbles upon a youth formula that restores vitality but causes you to act silly; both Grant and Rogers get a chance to go crazy. Monroe plays a sexy secretary who goes for a ride in Grant's snazzy new convertible and acts as the object of his desire for an afternoon. Filmmaker Jacques Rivette wrote a great essay about this film, discussing all its underlying Freudian implications, but it's also just great fun. Hawks' voice can be heard during the opening credits saying, "not yet Cary."

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