This sophisticated gem of a farce from Howard Hawks was a notorious, and surprising, box-office disaster. Yet it remains one of the most breathlessly entertaining films of all time.
Cary Grant plays a palaeontologist whose ordered life starts to unravel around him when he unwittingly catches the eye of free-spirited socialite Katharine Hepburn. The situation is further complicated by the arrival of a leopard, a psychiatrist, a big-game hunter, a brontosaurus bone (the “intercostal clavicle”), another leopard, and a troublesome terrier.
The message amidst the chaos seems to be saying that a man must relinquish his hold on everything he has to get what he really desires. Indeed, Grant loses his golf ball, his car, his clothes, his dignity, his bone, his mind, and ultimately his freedom, before he is united with the only woman who can make him truly happy.