Saturday, March 19, 2011

His Girl Friday (1940)

His Girl Friday is a creative version of the play "The Front Page" that was made into movies in 1931 and 1974, as well as several times for television. In the play and other version, Hildy is a man, quitting the newspaper business to get married, while Walter is his boss trying to trick him into staying with the newspaper. In this Howard Hawks version, Hildy is a woman and Walter's ex-wife, and he tries to break up her pending marriage.

Cary Grant is Walter, Rosalind Russell is Hildy, and Ralph Bellamy plays Hildy's bland, insurance selling fiancee. It starts with Hildy visiting Walter to convince him to stop contacting her. When he learns of the marriage, he concocts a plan to keep her around. He coerces her to cover the story of the execution of a convicted murderer. Craziness ensues.

Quick talking and sharp dialog, His Girl Friday is a pleasure to watch. I haven't seen the other versions, but they are on my list now. A lot of the dialog overlapped, Robert Altman style. This was very unorthodox back in the day. I liked it and may watch again sometime. Unfortunately, I don't have much to say about it. Funny, well acted, well made, and had great pacing. It also was chuck full of inside jokes. AMRU 3.5.

"Listen, the last man that said that to me was Archie Leach just a week before he cut his throat."

"He looks like that fellow in the movies, Ralph Bellamy"
By the way, Hildy/Roselind looked nothing like the picture in the poster.

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