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Monkey Business (1952)

aka Monkey Business

Directed By: 
Details: 97 mins · English


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Small Dr. Barnaby Fulton
Small Mrs. Edwina Fulton
Small Mr. Oliver Oxley
Small Miss Lois Laurel
Small Hank Entwhistle
No_movie_poster Dr. Jerome Kitzel
No_movie_poster Dr. Zoldeck
No_movie_poster G.J. Culverly
No_movie_poster Mrs. Brannigan, Neighbor (uncredited)
No_movie_poster Dr. Brunner
No_movie_poster Mrs. Rhinelander
No_movie_poster Little Indian


No_movie_poster Ben Hecht Screenplay
No_movie_poster Charles Lederer Screenplay
Small Howard Hawks Director
No_movie_poster Sol C. Siegel Production


Dr. Barnaby Fulton (Cary Grant), a very absent-minded research chemist working on a fountain of youth pill for the Oxly chemical company, is trying to develop an elixir of youth, urged on by his commercially-minded boss Oliver Oxly (Charles Coburn). One of Dr. Fulton's chimpanzees, Esther, gets loose in the laboratory and, having watched Dr Fulton do something similar, mixes a beaker of chemicals, but then pours the mix into the water cooler — chemicals that just happen to have the rejuvenating effect for which Fulton is searching.

Unaware of the monkey's antics, Fulton tests his latest experimental concoction (x58 with a proposed release name of "B4") on himself, and washes it down with water from the cooler. He soon begins to act just like a 20-year-old, and spends the day out on the town with his boss's secretary Lois Laurel (Marilyn Monroe). When Fulton's wife Edwina (Ginger Rogers) learns that the elixir "works," she drinks some, again washing it down with water, and turns into a prank-pulling schoolgirl.

Things get out of hand when her newly quick temper induces Edwina to make an impetuous phone call to her old flame, the family lawyer, Hank Entwhistle (Hugh Marlowe) and her mother, who, knowing nothing of the elixir, believes that Edwina is truly unhappy in her marriage and wants a divorce.

Barnaby takes more elixir and befriending a group of kids playing at indians capture and "scalp" Hank (giving him a Mohican haircut). Meanwhile Edwina lies down to sleep off the formula. On waking a naked baby is next to her plus Barnaby's clothes are nearby so she presumes he has taken too much formula and regressed to a baby. She takes the child to Oxly to resolve the problem.

Meanwhile, more and more scientists (and Mr Oxly) at the laboratory are drinking the water and reverting to a second childhood, with predictably hilarious results. The formula is lost with the last of the water poured away.

The parting adage is "you're old only when you forget you're young".

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1952-09-02 : United States of America

DVD : 2002-05-14