Leo McCarey’s classic “comedy of remarriage” (as per Stanley Cavell) is “Bringing Up Baby‘s chief rival for the title of ‘greatest screwball comedy’ … [though] McCarey’s film is characteristically more benign and leisurely, less hectic and abrasive than Hawks’ masterpiece” (Robin Wood). Cary Grant and Irene Dunne are young marrieds Jerry and Lucy, whose mutual deceptions lead to an acrimonious divorce — particularly over the question of who gets to keep their beloved terrier Mr. Smith (played by the great canine star Skippy, already famous as Asta from the Thin Man movies). A series of attempted and aborted reconciliations, disastrous engagements to new beaus, masquerades and public embarrassments culminates in a memorable night in a log cabin, where “madcap hilarity gives way to a subtle, sexy affirmation of married bliss” (Elbert Ventura). “Grant and Dunne [are] the greatest of all screwball couples, [and they] became comic divinities thanks to the magic in McCarey’s madness” (Molly Haskell).
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