Tuesday, July 26, 2011

His Girl Friday (1940) "She Learned About Men From Him!"

His Girl Friday (1940) Columbia Pictures
Directed By: Howard Hawkes
Starring: Rosalind Russell, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy & Gene Lockhart

  • The role of Hildy Johnson was originally offered to Jean Arthus who turned it down due to her experiences working with Howard Hawkes which left neither on frienly terms.
  • Based on the play "The Front Page"
  • The original production had the role of Hildy as a male character where the film decided to change which worked wonderfully!
  • The film is #19 on "American Film Institute's: 100 Years, 100 Laughs"

In this whitty film where dialogue is fast paced and comedy is nothing short of excellence we meet Walter Burns (Grant) who is a big shot editor for "The Morning Post" in NYC. Walter to his surprise and shock finds out that his ex-wife who also was a sharp reporter for the same newspaper is getting remarried and moving to upstate NY. Hildy Johnson (Russell) is giving everything up to become a stay at home mother and wife which is unlike the pesron that Walter truly knows.  The new man in Hildy's life is Bruce Baldwin (Bellamy) who deals with insurance and seems to be very opposite of everything she is about.

Walter with this new information about the nuptuals decides to be sneaky and push Hildy into taking part in one last story before she leaves and changes her life for good. The thought is with her feet back into her passion that she will not be able to leave nor get married. The story happens to be a very hot one which is covering the execution of a convicted murderer Earl Williams (John Qualen). This story then reteams them together. Walter is so fixated on keeping Hildy with him and to rekindle things that he is determined to remove Bruce from the picture by doing nasty things which are lies in order to get him arrested. This will allow the ex's to have more time with one another which does not really work well since they both know exactly how to set one another off.

The major part of the story that both Hildy and Walter did not plan on was that the convicted would escape prison and literally fall into each other's hands at the paper. The sheriff (Lockhart) is determined to find this run away convict which the reporters hide. Not known to anyone the sheriff and mayor of the city had a hidden agenda with this convict that for election purposes it was determined to do what it took to execute Earl. This even is the case when they obtain a reprieve from the governor and try to sweep that under the carpet, very ill things going on.

Walter and Hildy come to the rescue when finding out about Earl being not guilty and intervene. The crazy slap stick comedy and one liners come into action in this non stop masterpiece of a comedy!

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