Monkey Business [1952]

Cary Grant plays an absent-minded scientist working on a youth serum with little success. One afternoon, one of his test monkeys gets loose and works up a formula of its own, which then gets dropped into their water cooler. Shortly, Grant is tooling around in a sports car with his boss's voluptuous secretary (Marilyn Monroe). When his wife (Ginger Rogers) investigates, she too gets a dose and drags Grant off for a second honeymoon of all-night dancing. Meanwhile, Grant's elderly boss (Charles Coburn) is eager to get his hands on the formula--only Grant's formula isn't having the proper effect. Monkey Business is probably most familiar to Marilyn Monroe cultists, but it's Grant and Rogers who have the central roles and make the most of them. Rogers's adolescent emotional meltdown at a hotel and Grant leading a gaggle of boys on a scalping raid are only two of the movie's many richly funny set pieces, all directed by the nimble hand of Howard Hawks (His Girl Friday, Bringing Up Baby, Ball of Fire, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes). One of the last of the classic screwball comedies. --Bret Fetzer

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