8.0/10
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261 user 89 critic

His Girl Friday (1940)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 18 January 1940 (USA)
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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") | 1 more credit »
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
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Sheriff Hartwell
...
Murphy
Ernest Truex ...
...
Clarence Kolb ...
Mayor
...
...
Wilson
...
Sanders
...
Louie
Frank Orth ...
Duffy
...
...
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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:

The Year's Wildest, Wittiest Whirlwind of a Love Battle... Outrageously Racy... Sparkling... Gay! 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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Walter Burns yells at the escaped killer, Earl Williams, hiding in the roll-top desk, "Get back in there, you Mock Turtle!" Of course, this is the character Cary Grant played 7 years earlier in Alice in Wonderland (1933). See more »

Goofs

When Hildy is in Walter's office, a few lines before she throws her purse at him, his cigarette switches from his right hand to his left between shots. See more »

Quotes

Sheriff Hartwell: Aiding an escaped criminal and a little charge of kidnapping.
Fred, the Mayor: Well, looks like about ten years a piece for you two birds.
Walter Burns: Does it?
[unimpressed]
Hildy Johnson: If you think you've got The Morning Post licked it's time for you to get out of town.
Fred, the Mayor: Whistling in the dark. Well that isn't going to help you this time. You're through.
Walter Burns: Listen the last man that said that to me was Archie Leach just a week before he cut his throat.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Twilight Zone: Rod Serling's Lost Classics (1994) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Slapstick comedy that moves faster than the speed of laughter...
21 April 2000 | by (Seattle, Washington) – See all my reviews

This screen adaptation of the Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur play "The Front Page" was adapted for the talents of Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell -- there is no such character as Hildy Johnson (Russell) in that play.

Director Howard Hawks wanted to show the whirlwind pace of the newsroom in the criminal courts system so he had his actors overlap their lines -- so much so that at times it seems as though everyone is talking at once; it even gets difficult to understand all that is going on.

He also had the cast move FAST so the film looks totally frenetic from scene to scene with no respite -- either from the laughs or from the action.

There are two really good "inside" jokes in the script: The first is where Walter Burns (Grant) is describing Hildy's fiancee and says that "he looks like that guy in the movies -- Bellamy," Well, it WAS Ralph Bellamy playing that part!

The other is when Burns says something about someone he once knew named "Archie Leach" which just happens to be Cary Grant's real name.

This is one of the true gems of Hollywood's most prolific era. It has incredible pacing, acting, photography and an authentic gritty feeling that would be associated with hard-boiled, "anything for a story" newspaper people.

It has long been one of my favorite films and deserves to be watched over and over again -- just for all the dialogue and great acting that may have gone by so fast you missed it the first time.


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