DIRECTOR Howard Hawks
Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, Charles Coburn, Marilyn Monroe, Hugh Marlowe, Henri Letondal, Robert Cornthwaite, Larry Keating, Douglas Spencer, Esther Dale, George Winslow
If you like good solid wacky comedy, this is a strong bet. An utterly silly movie, it makes me smile just thinking about it--I've seen it probably a dozen times. Cary Grant really was in a class by himself, managing to do virtually every genre, even though he seems to have been typecast by movie history--here he plays a hopelessly stuffy absent minded professor, after drinking a youth serum of improbable origin, he immediately becomes a teen ager from the early fifties. Changing on a dime, the transformation is hilarious. Ginger Rogers, always really engaging, isn't give a lot to do as an adult, but she excels when regressing into a juvenile. One thing--for anyone who really likes Marilyn Monroe (and who doesn't), this is a must see. Not because it's her best part, or because she has a lot of screen time, it isn't and she doesn't. But since she made this movie really before she became famous, it's instructive: the part is just another ditzy bombshell secretary, but something about her just jumps off the screen. This seems to me to be a great example of how there's an ineffable unexplainable quality of "screen presence". She manages to hold her own with Cary Grant, not an easy task for anyone, let alone some yet to be discovered starlet. Now that we're in a gross out downward spiral for comedies, this might be the best tonic--a movie that's very silly, and very funny.