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      Monkey Business

      Released Aug 29, 1952 1h 37m Comedy List
      79% Tomatometer 28 Reviews 68% Audience Score 5,000+ Ratings Chemist Dr. Barnaby Fulton (Cary Grant) is developing a pill that will defy the aging process for the pharmaceutical company run by Oliver Oxley (Charles Coburn). When a loose chimpanzee mixes chemicals together that produce this effect, Fulton tries some on himself. This prompts him to act like a teenager, making passes at Oxley's buxom secretary, Lois (Marilyn Monroe). Soon everyone, including Fulton's wife, Edwina (Ginger Rogers), is feeling the effects of the formula, with hilarious results. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (28) Critics Reviews
      Richard Brody New Yorker A summit of comic invention. Jun 12, 2017 Full Review Variety Staff Variety Attempt to draw out a thin, familiar slapstick idea isn't carried off. Feb 3, 2009 Full Review Dave Kehr Chicago Reader Monkey Business ranks with the best works of the American cinema. Feb 3, 2009 Full Review Yasser Medina Cinefilia Hawks builds it with an irregular rhythm that loses its comic effect with each boring gag about the elixir of eternal youth. [Full review in Spanish] Rated: 5/10 Sep 22, 2022 Full Review Mark R. Leeper Mark Leeper's Reviews A somewhat half-hearted film at that, neither good science fiction nor good comedy. Rated: 6/10 Sep 11, 2022 Full Review André Bazin L'Obs (France) In my view, the moral satire of Monkey Business remains at the stage of intention, and the writers ceased to develop their idea with any seriousness beyond the two-thirds point in the picture. Dec 8, 2021 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (323) audience reviews
      Alan W At the NFT's Ginger Rogers season, we get a rare chance to see Howard Hawks' lesser known farcical comedy in which a heavily bespectacled Cary Grant plays Dr. Barnaby Fulton, a corporate chemist working on a formula for a youth elixir while Rogers' Edwina is his devoted and often put-upon wife who has to deal with his numerous but lovable foibles. When a lab monkey is let loose and accidentally comes up with something that not so much reverse the sign of aging, though it certainly restores Barnaby's 20/20 eyesight temporarily, but mostly allows the person who has ingested the concoction to behave like a child, (broad) comedy ensues. While this is all just an excuse to watch grown-up stars like Grant and Rogers act like unruly children and often times the film feels like an overstretched sketch in search of an ending, there's fun to be had here, and there are more than a few chuckles in young I.A.L Diamond's screenplay (polished later by Ben Hecht and Charles Lederer), although there are equally moments of predictability and convoluted set-ups you can spot a mile away. Grant is a pro at this kind of role but at least there's chemistry with Rogers who seems contractually obligated to show off, though slightly crow-barred in and only briefly, her dancing skills. Charles Coburn as the boss is always fun to watch and a young Marilyn Monroe demonstrates her not often acknowledged comedic skills and timing as his dumb blonde secretary. Though in this instance it leads to at least two gloriously quotable gags that actually make her typecasting justifiable. There's nothing profound or ground-breaking here, and this is undeniably lesser, frothier Hawks in action, but it's half decent old-fashioned entertainment, perfect say, for an Easter Monday afternoon. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 04/16/23 Full Review david f Actually a pretty funny satire on scientists and their quest for the fountain of youth. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review james g Marilyn Monroe stands by a pool in a steamy hot poured-into one piece bathing suit as Cary Grant prepares to dive into the pool from a high board. He's a bit nerdy and embarrassed: will everyone laugh at his attempt? Well, no, not a single person is looking his way. And the laughs continue as long as Grant and Monroe 'play' around. Sex jokes abound. It's been a long time since I laughed out loud at movie scenes. (Perhaps as a long ago as "Bridesmaids"?) Ginger Rogers and Charles Coburn are fine but they sorta wilt. The storyline knows it doesn't much work and the movie pretty much wraps everything up as fast as possible. But watch this one for Monroe: she is brilliant. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Liam D It's a good old time This comedy is a quick and short film Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/03/21 Full Review Audience Member Love Marilyn and Cary but not in this. In fact, it's painful to watch except Marilyn is so gorgeous. The only reason to watch this dud is to see her. The script and acting are lousy. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/20/23 Full Review Audience Member Monkey business Cary Grant & Marilyn Monroe I like how the film credits start with Cary Grant walking out the door and narrator saying not yet. I think the chimpanzee in this film was pretty talented in the way it could mix bottles in this film in long cuts. I thought the opening credits was pretty good but was slow passed up until we get introduced to the chimpanzee in this film. Once that happened the film felt like it found it’s passing in the film. One thing that stood out to me in this film was Cary Grant’s glasses. I liked how they could make characters appear older or younger just by hairstyles or clothing. That was one aspect where this film excelled at was portraying characters differently that way. Even adding the thick glasses vs no glasses could easily portray age which was so odd that just glasses could do that for a character. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 11/28/20 Full Review Read all reviews
      Monkey Business

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Chemist Dr. Barnaby Fulton (Cary Grant) is developing a pill that will defy the aging process for the pharmaceutical company run by Oliver Oxley (Charles Coburn). When a loose chimpanzee mixes chemicals together that produce this effect, Fulton tries some on himself. This prompts him to act like a teenager, making passes at Oxley's buxom secretary, Lois (Marilyn Monroe). Soon everyone, including Fulton's wife, Edwina (Ginger Rogers), is feeling the effects of the formula, with hilarious results.
      Director
      Howard Hawks
      Producer
      Sol C. Siegel
      Screenwriter
      Ben Hecht, Charles Lederer, I.A.L. Diamond, Howard Hawks
      Production Co
      Twentieth Century Fox
      Genre
      Comedy
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Aug 29, 1952, Limited
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Mar 1, 2013
      Runtime
      1h 37m
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