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His Girl Friday (1940)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 18 January 1940 (USA)
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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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 »

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Details

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Release Date:

18 January 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Ralph Bellamy, the line, "He looks like that fellow in the movies, you know...Ralph Bellamy!" was ad-libbed by Cary Grant. See more »

Goofs

After Walter's checkup, he puts his tie back on. At first, the skinny (back) end of the tie is longer than the wide (front) end. In the next shot, the front is properly longer than the back. When he goes to put his coat on, the back is longer than the front again. See more »

Quotes

[describing Bruce]
Walter Burns: He looks like that fellow in the movies - Ralph Bellamy.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Gilmore Girls: The Fundamental Things Apply (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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