All About Monkey Business

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Monkey Business, first titled Darling, I Am Growing Younger, was the last collaboration between director Howard Hawks and Cary Grant. Interestingly, the screwball comedy had a nod to their first film together because Hawks envisioned Grant’s professor character as the continuation of his paleontologist character in Bringing Up Baby (read about that here).

1. Hawks wanted a different lead.

Director Howard Hawks originally wanted Ava Gardner for the lead. In his mind, the movie’s theme – you’re only old when you forget you’re young – applied, and he hoped a younger actress would appear next to Cary Grant. However, the studio decided on Ginger Rogers.

2. Rogers made a big change to the script.

Originally, Cary Grant was to be the only adult who regressed into childish behavior. However, Ginger wanted in on the joke, and the script was changed to have regress too.

3. The Censors wanted changes.

The Breen Office, who enforced the Motion Picture Production Code, took issue with an earlier draft of the script which focused on the youth serum (then called “Cupidone”). They objected to the drugs affect on Ginger Rogers’ character (as it made her want a second honeymoon) and Charles Coburn’s character (as it made him chase after his secretary). As a result, the film toned down the sexual theme.