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His Girl Friday (1940)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  18 January 1940 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 38,014 users  
Reviews: 232 user | 82 critic

A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying.

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(screen play), (from the play "The Front Page"), 3 more credits »
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Title: His Girl Friday (1940)

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Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Cary Grant, Ann Sheridan, Marion Marshall
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Sheriff Hartwell
Porter Hall ...
Murphy
Ernest Truex ...
...
Clarence Kolb ...
Mayor
...
Frank Jenks ...
Wilson
...
Sanders
Abner Biberman ...
Louie
Frank Orth ...
Duffy
...
Helen Mack ...
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Storyline

Having been away for four months, Hildy Johnson walks into the offices of the New York City based The Morning Post, where she is a star reporter, to tell her boss, editor Walter Burns, that she is quitting. The reason for her absence was among other things to get a Reno divorce, from, of all people, Walter, who admits he was a bad husband. Hildy divorced Walter largely because she wanted more of a home life, whereas Walter saw her more as a driven hard-boiled reporter than subservient homemaker. Hildy has also come to tell Walter that she is taking the afternoon train to Albany, where she will be getting married tomorrow to staid straight-laced insurance agent, Bruce Baldwin, with whose mother they will live, at least for the first year. Walter doesn't want to lose Hildy, either as a reporter or a wife, and if he does, doesn't believe Bruce is worthy of her. Walter does whatever he can at least to delay Hildy and Bruce's trip, long enough to persuade Hildy to stay for good. His plan ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

She learned about men from him! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

18 January 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rosalind Russell was insecure during the first days of filming, knowing that she had been far down on the list of choices for the female lead. Making matters worse was the fact that Howard Hawks just watched her initial scenes with Cary Grant without making any comment. Finally, she expressed her frustration to Grant, who counselled, "If he didn't like it, he'd tell you." When she asked Hawks how he felt about her work, he said, "You just keep pushin' him around the way you're doing." That was enough to put her at ease. See more »

Goofs

When Walter goes to take Hildy and Bruce to lunch, his hat jumps from his right hand to his left hand between shots. See more »

Quotes

[Joe brings a reprieve for Earl Williams from the governor]
Fred, the Mayor: Who else was there when he gave you this?
Joe Pettibone: Nobody. He was out fishing.
Fred, the Mayor: [to Sheriff Hartwell] Get the Governor on the phone.
Joe Pettibone: No, he's not there. He's out duck shooting.
Fred, the Mayor: The blasted nimrod... fishing, duck shooting! A guy who's done nothing for the last forty years but play pinochle gets elected governor and right away he thinks he's a Tarzan!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown over a newspaper background. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Flaming Moe (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Extra Extra
10 April 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

"His Gal Friday" is Howard Hawks' tribute to the brilliant play in which this film is based. Charles McGraw and Ben Hecht, two of the best writers of the era, paid tribute to the journalists that wrote for the American newspapers of the thirties. This movie has some of the fastest dialogs in memory.

The incredible combination of Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, and Ralph Bellamy in the main roles is what made this movie a favorite. Mr. Grant as Walter Burns, the unscrupulous newspaper editor, is the perfect foil for Rosalind Russell's, Hildy Johnson, a role that is played by a male in the original play and in the other film versions.

The best moment of the film is the moment when Cary Grant speaking so fast, that some what he says goes over the viewer's heads, refers as to Ralph Bellamy by name as not having a chance and cites in the same breadth his real name Archibald Leach.

It's hard to imagine anyone but Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell playing Walter and Hildy. Ralph Bellamy is perfect as Hildy's fiancé, Bruce Baldwin. Gene Lockhart is perfect as the sheriff Pinky Hartwell. The ensemble of actors that play the reporters following the possible execution of Earl Williams, are perfect.

An excellent comedy thanks to the genius of Howard Hawks.


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