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His Girl Friday (1940)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 18 January 1940 (USA)
2:49 | Trailer

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



(screen play), (from the play "The Front Page") | 1 more credit »
1 win. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sheriff Hartwell
Clarence Kolb ...


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


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


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

18 January 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


With all of the improvisation during shooting, cameraman Joseph Walker had a hard time keeping up. He had a particular problem shooting Rosalind Russell in a flattering manner, since he never knew exactly where she was going to be. The actress had sagging jowls that required careful lighting. Finally, he got her makeup man to paint a dark shadow along her jaw line, which camouflaged the problem effectively. See more »


During the lunch scene, at one point there is a fly very clearly walking all over the front of Cary Grant's suit. See more »


Hildy Johnson: Walter!
Walter Burns: What?
Hildy Johnson: The mayor's first wife, what was her name?
Walter Burns: You mean the one with the wart on her?
Hildy Johnson: Right.
Walter Burns: Fanny!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Featured in The Holiday (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A real screamer (knowing journalists from firsthand experience)!
27 December 2002 | by (Cedarville, Illinois USA) – See all my reviews

This has to be one of the most wickedly funny films there is, and I think it's much better than the earlier version with Adolphe Menjou and Pat O'Brien (even though that was funny too). The fact that the boss and employee were ex-husband and wife battling it out made it funnier than simply an employer trying to keep a friend and employee.

Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant really clicked in this, and it's a shame they never worked together again. And as one who worked in journalism for 20 plus years, (the legitimate version I hope), there really are characters out there carrying tape recorders and microphones who'd do anything for a story. I laughed so hard because I could remember certain "gentlemen and gentlewomen" in the business slitting each other's throats (figuratively speaking) to get the story first, whether accurate or not.

The dialogue was crisp and the movie is very fast paced, and all the supporting actors shone and added to the overall success of the film. And as always, you've got to love the happy ending! Give it giga-stars!

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