Dr. Barnaby Fulton (Cary Grant) is experimenting to find a rejuvenation tonic for a drug company and one of his laboratory chimpanzees escapes and mixes a far more effective serum. The chimp’s concoction finds its way into a bottle of drinking water, with chaotic results. Both Barnaby and his wife, Edwina (Ginger Rogers), wash down the tonic with some of the tainted drinking water, without realizing that it is the latter that is causing their subsequent juvenile behavior.
Monkey Business was originally titled “Darling, I Am Growing Younger”.
When Monkey Business was released in 1952, Marilyn was rapidly becoming a nationally famous celebrity and the press began to follow her every move.
When Marilyn Monroe posed with Cary Grant and baseball legend Joe DiMaggio on the set of Monkey Business, the photo was reproduced in papers around the country with Grant cropped out, prompting the first rumors of the fairy tale romance between the beauty and the baseball hero.
The off-screen voice during the opening credits is director Howard Hawks.
The address that Edwina gives when she calls the police was Ginger Rogers' real-life address: 1605 Gilcrest.
Parents need to know that this is not to be confused with another comedy from Hollywood's black-and-white era, the 1951 Monkey Business with Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, and Marilyn Monroe. That's funny too (and has a real monkey!), but TV-schedule guides sometimes get the two confused, and -- for kids especially -- Marilyn is no substitute for Groucho. Like most Marx Bros. outings, this is all about the silliness and mature content is at a minimum: At one point Groucho tries to cultivate an affair with a married woman, and there's a slapsticky fistfight at the movie's climax. Some of the jokes deal with topics and people -- especially French crooner Maurice Chevalier -- better known in the 1930s than now. Reviewed by: Common Sense Media.
I can only say that this film whizzes joyfully along with touches of pure genius: at once sublimely innocent and entirely worldly. Reviewed by: The Guardian.
Monkey Business is deliriously silly, even more so than Hawks's and Grant's Bringing Up Baby, but in many ways the story (by four credited writers, with Hawks involved as well) is actually pretty tight, in that once you accept the premise that a concoction mixed by a chimp can revert otherwise stiff people to their more freewheeling youth, everything else follows pretty logically from that; it's just a matter of arranging things so that the characters stumble into gags rather than tragedy. Reviewed by: Jay Seaver of EFilm Critic.