Recalling how N.Y. Times critic Frank Nugent panned Bringing Up Baby when it opened in March 1938, successor A.O. Scott acknowledges that Howard Hawks‘ film is “completely preposterous” on several levels. He also suggests that Nugent may have “missed the point. Story points don’t have to be new. They rarely are. It’s the execution that has to be fresh.

“Today, 72 years later, contrasted with the current crop of comedies, Bringing Up Baby is full of surprises. Who knows? Maybe in 2082 a movie like The Bounty Hunter will look like a great American classic. But I’d wait at least until then to find out. In the meantime there’s Bringing Up Baby, which never gets old.”

Here‘s Scott’s appreciation of The Friends of Eddie Coyle. Being an old-time Coyle fan myself, I tried to locate the embed code right after it ran but the N.Y. Times tech guys — the bane of my existence in a couple of respects — apparently hadn’t posted it.