Monkey Business

  • 1952
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy

Grant is a chemist engaged in research aimed at finding a way to stop the aging process. He uses several chimps in his experiments, and one of them escapes his cage and gets into the various chemicals being used by Grant. He mixes them in the manner he's seen humans do, then pours the goop into the water cooler (the regular glass bottle is not there), so...read more

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Grant is a chemist engaged in research aimed at finding a way to stop the aging process. He uses several chimps in his experiments, and one of them escapes his cage and gets into the various chemicals being used by Grant. He mixes them in the manner he's seen humans do, then pours the goop

into the water cooler (the regular glass bottle is not there), so when the janitor puts another bottle on the open cooler, the water mixes with the potion. Grant tries a bit of his own concoction the next day, just to see if it has any punch to it, then washes it down with some water from the

cooler. In minutes, he is filled with fire and vigor and thinks that it is his formula that has done it. He gets younger and younger in attitude and is soon behaving like a freshman in college. Coburn, who is Grant's boss, sends his secretary, Monroe, to find Grant. Grant takes the pneumatic

blonde, goes swimming, skating, and racing in a sports car, and Monroe just goes along with it. (Monroe is the cliched dumb blonde secretary in the movie, as witnessed by Coburn's famous line when he hands her a piece of paper and says: "Here, get someone to type this.") Grant's wife, Rogers, is

mature enough to look the other way at Grant's shenanigans, especially when the formula's effects are not long-lasting. Rogers goes to Grant's lab and takes some water from the same cooler and, in no time at all, she is soon like a moon-eyed teenager. She wants to drag Grant off to a second

honeymoon, but Grant, who is no longer under the influence of the drug, is cool to the idea. When the formula ceases to have an effect on Rogers, she returns to her mature senses. Later, Rogers and Grant make coffee by using the water from the lab's cooler and now the two of them are on the same

youthful wavelength. But the fact that this is their second dose of the stuff takes them back far beyond teenage years and into a time just past infancy. They begin acting like petulant and playful children, wreak havoc at an important meeting of their board of directors, and eventually make their

way home. Once there, they team up with the local kids and Grant does something he's always wanted to do: he ties up Rogers' former boy friend, Marlowe, and snips off his hair as the local kids laugh along. Rogers goes to bed, and wakes up in a normal state, but finds a baby in bed next to her and

panics. She thinks that Grant may have regressed all the way back. It's just a neighbor's child who has crawled into the room, but Rogers doesn't know that and races to Coburn. Grant, who had gone back to the lab and fallen asleep, wakes up and is also back to normal. Coburn and his board swallow

the water cooler's laced contents and begin to cavort like kids. Coburn chases Monroe, and seltzer is squirted around the room with abandon. In the end, Grant is happy that the formula is only temporary and that it was discovered by accident. Seeing adults behave like children has not been a

pretty sight. The point is made that maturity, rather than reckless youth, is the better state to live in.

The man who wrote the original story departed from his usual celestial bailiwick for this one. Harry Segall had done the stories for HERE COMES MR. JORDAN; ANGEL ON MY SHOULDER; and FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, among others. In small roles, note Roger Moore, TV director Jerry Paris, TV weatherman Gil

Stratton, and veteran character actor Dabbs Greer. MONKEY BUSINESS was a slight film, improved greatly by the actors involved. Even with such a venerable creative team, it barely manages to evoke memories of some earlier comedies of the same ilk.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Grant is a chemist engaged in research aimed at finding a way to stop the aging process. He uses several chimps in his experiments, and one of them escapes his cage and gets into the various chemicals being used by Grant. He mixes them in the manner he's s… (more)

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