His Girl Friday / The Front Page
The Criterion Collection 849
Available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date January 10, 2017 / 39.96
His Girl Friday:
1940 / B&W /1:37 flat Academy / 92 min.
Starring Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy, Gene Lockhart, Porter Hall, Ernest Truex, Cliff Edwards, Clarence Kolb, Roscoe Karns, Frank Jenks, Regis Toomey, Abner Biberman, Frank Orth, John Qualen, Helen Mack, Alma Kruger, Billy Gilbert, Marion Martin.
Cinematography Joseph Walker
Film Editor Gene Havelick
Original Music Sidney Cutner, Felix Mills
Written by Charles Lederer from the play The Front Page by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur
Produced and Directed by Howard Hawks
The Front Page:
Utterly relaxed in his lumpen condition, character actor Allen Jenkins craves no self-improvement—external circumstances are a perennial cause of concern, but within his skin, everything is pronounced satisfactory. He and the world have agreed to disagree. Imagine a sad and slapdash identikit collaged from discards veering toward Neanderthal.
Overall effect: the big toe.
Jenkins excels as stooges and losers when Hollywood is choked with them. His powerhouse harnessed to stock screen personas, as if to fulfill a collective need of the 1930s, every mother’s son compressed into one hyphenate—the titan-shlump. An American type, ideal for our man Jenkins, who could explode into three dimensions and collapse again; it would serve him well throughout a fairly long career, even as his habitual boozing persisted.
As a hit-man
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