His Girl Friday1940
His Girl Friday (1940)
Critic Consensus: Anchored by stellar performances from Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, His Girl Friday is possibly the definitive screwball romantic comedy.
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as Walter Burns
as Hildy Johnson
as Sheriff Hartwell
as Mollie Malloy
as Bruce Baldwin
as Roy Bensinger
as Diamond Louie
as Earl Williams
as Mrs. Baldwin
as Joe Pettibone
as Warden Cooley
as Dr. Egelhoffer
as Mr. Davis
as Jail Guard
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Critic Reviews for His Girl Friday
Cary Grant here reaches his zenith in the mental agility of crazy comedy.
Roughest spots in the original versions have been sandpapered or excised, the pressroom's whiskey cynicism toned down to half of one per cent, but the comedy still has enough Hecht-MacArthur kick to make later interpolations smell synthetic.
One is tempted to throw away any semblance of persuasion and simply demand that you go see this movie.
The movie bears reviewing because there's always something new in the confetti of one-liners, while its depiction of the Fourth Estate remains relevant.
Cary Grant's performance is truly virtuoso -- stunning technique applied to the most challenging material.
Audience Reviews for His Girl Friday
Rosalind Russell thinks she wants out of the reporting racket, wants a "normal" life, but her ex-husband (Cary Grant as the editor of a big city newspaper) has other ideas. Beautifully brilliant and warmly charming, this one earns its bragging rights as one of the classics as a comic look at the shady game of public manipulation.
I guess the term "screwball" couldn't be more well illustrated than by this laugh-out-loud comedy whose characters shoot their overlapping lines in an insanely frenetic rhythm, with Grant and Russell simply hilarious and displaying an enormous chemistry together.
Was told it's a classic...and, yeah, I guess I can see why. However, I do think this one is quite overrated. Or maybe I'm just not a massive fan of screwball comedies? Who knows? I did like this though, but I don't think it's a full on masterpiece or anything. Directed by the diverse Howard Hawks, this is a rapid-fire comedy about a feisty newspaper reporter who wants to leave her job to get married. Her boss, and ex-lover however, wants her back, and, to do so, he baits her with a news story she just can't resist. And plot wise, that's pretty much it. In the original play, the lady was a man, so, by changing the gender, the film adds elements of sexual tension, gender politics, and that kind of subtext, which, yeah, I'll give it a lot of credit for that, especially since this film is 73 years old. I think that's the key thing here. This was a seminal film, but it's not quite as groundbreaking as it once was. It doesn't have the edge it used to, but I can still admire it for it being so potent at one time. What really holds up though is the rapid fire dialogue. Now I really know where the Coens got their inspiration for fast talking characters, and where Altman was perhaps inspired in the overlapping dialogue department. And The Social Network. That one had some lightning quick lines, but this one might be the king of all that. And it is really good writing, too. This is a pretty witty and funny film, but modern audiences unfortunately may not get super into it if they're used to blue humor. It's quite clean here, though there is that undercurrent of sexual tension and subtlety. The broad basic plot is kinda ho hum (I thought), but still enjoyable, if only for the sharp characters, and the even sharper performances. Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell are great here, and they seem to have a blast going toe to toe with one another. Besides the snappy dialogue, the film is also known for it's editing, and yeah, it's some pretty snazzy, influential stuff. The film is well shot, and put together in an even better fashion. So, bottom line: it's a classic, sure, but an overrated one. I dug it, but can say that I would have loved this even more if I was a bigger fan of this kind of thing, and especially had I seen this maybe a few years ago.
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