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His Girl Friday/Cary Grant On Film (1940)

Cast: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy, more...
Director: Howard Hawks
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Studio: Delta
Genre: Classics, Comedies, Classic Comedy, Romantic Comedy, Classic Comedy, Screwball
Running Time: 92 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish, Japanese
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Recently Rented By moviereviews4fun

The second screen version of the Ben Hecht/Charles MacArthur play The Front Page, His Girl Friday changed hard-driving newspaper reporter Hildy Johnson from a man to a woman, transforming the story into a scintillating battle of the sexes. Rosalind Russell plays Hildy, about to foresake journalism for marriage to cloddish Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy). Cary Grant plays Walter Burns, Hildy's editor and ex-husband, who feigns happiness about her impending marriage as a ploy to win her back. The ace up Walter's sleeve is a late-breaking news story concerning the impending execution of anarchist Earl Williams (John Qualen), a blatant example of political chicanery that Hildy can't pass up. The story gets hotter when Williams escapes and is hidden from the cops by Hildy and Walter--right in the prison pressroom. His Girl Friday may well be the fastest comedy of the 1930s, with kaleidoscope action, instantaneous plot twists, and overlapping dialogue. And if you listen closely, you'll hear a couple of "in" jokes, one concerning Cary Grant's real name (Archie Leach), and another poking fun at Ralph Bellamy's patented "poor sap" screen image. Subsequent versions of The Front Page included Billy Wilder's 1974 adaptation, which restored Hildy Johnson's manhood in the form of Jack Lemmon, and 1988's Switching Channels, which cast Burt Reynolds in the Walter Burns role and Kathleen Turner as the Hildy Johnson counterpart. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Hilarious cure for attention deficit by hneline1 March 11, 2002 - 9:24 AM PST
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
"His Girl Friday" is a great film in the genre of the "fast talking dame"... and they ALL talk fast in this film. You have to pay close attention to follow the jokes and plot. Once you do, this film rewards you with laugh-out-loud moments and intelligent repartees, and when the fun fast ride is over, you're left with deeper questions about our culture (for example, Rosalind Russell the reporter is investigating a white man who shot a black policeman, and the corrupt mayor wants to hang him instead of declaring him insane because the mayor thinks that anything less than death would make him lose the black vote during the next election... makes you think, doesn't it?). This is a smart, hilarious, verbal, not senselessly violent film in which you will find something new every time you watch it. On the other hand, "Cary Grant on Film" was nothing exciting -- it's just pictures and snippets of film to trace Cary Grant's career, but it doesn't have any interviews or insights into Cary's personality, motivation, or life.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 8.31)
36 Votes
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National Film Registry (1993)
"In 1988, the Library of Congress established the National Film Preservation Board, to preserve film deemed 'culturally, historically, or esthetically important.'" List #5
Classic screwball comedies

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