IMDb > His Girl Friday (1940)
His Girl Friday
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His Girl Friday (1940) More at IMDbPro »

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His Girl Friday -- Trailer for this classic black and white comedy

Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   35,339 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Charles Lederer (screen play)
Ben Hecht (from the play "The Front Page") ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for His Girl Friday on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 January 1940 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
She learned about men from him! See more »
Plot:
A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
1 win See more »
NewsDesk:
(163 articles)
User Reviews:
Her Guy Walter See more (211 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Cary Grant ... Walter Burns

Rosalind Russell ... Hildy Johnson

Ralph Bellamy ... Bruce Baldwin

Gene Lockhart ... Sheriff Hartwell
Porter Hall ... Murphy
Ernest Truex ... Bensinger

Cliff Edwards ... Endicott
Clarence Kolb ... Mayor

Roscoe Karns ... McCue
Frank Jenks ... Wilson

Regis Toomey ... Sanders
Abner Biberman ... Louie
Frank Orth ... Duffy

John Qualen ... Earl Williams
Helen Mack ... Mollie Malloy
Alma Kruger ... Mrs. Baldwin

Billy Gilbert ... Joe Pettibone
Pat West ... Warden Cooley

Edwin Maxwell ... Dr. Egelhoffer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Irving Bacon ... Gus (uncredited)
Wade Boteler ... Mike (uncredited)
Harry C. Bradley ... Insurance Doctor (uncredited)
Wheaton Chambers ... Elevator Passenger (uncredited)
Edmund Cobb ... Cop (uncredited)

Ann Doran ... Newspaper Office Worker (uncredited)
Ralph Dunn ... Plainclothesman (uncredited)
Earl Dwire ... Pete Davis (uncredited)

Pat Flaherty ... Frank - Policeman (uncredited)
Jack Gardner ... Elevator Passenger (uncredited)
Eddie Hart ... Carl - Plainclothesman (uncredited)
Marion Martin ... Evangeline (uncredited)

Frank McClure ... Newsman (uncredited)
James Millican ... Tim (uncredited)
Gene Morgan ... Gene (uncredited)
Delmar Watson ... Skinny (uncredited)
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Directed by
Howard Hawks 
 
Writing credits
Charles Lederer (screen play)

Ben Hecht (from the play "The Front Page") and
Charles MacArthur (from the play "The Front Page")

Produced by
Howard Hawks .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Sidney Cutner (uncredited)
Felix Mills (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Joseph Walker (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Gene Havlick (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Lionel Banks 
 
Costume Design by
Robert Kalloch (gowns) (as Kalloch)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Cliff P. Broughton .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Lodge Cunningham .... sound (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Cliff Shirpser .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Morris Stoloff .... musical director (as M.W. Stoloff)
Ben Oakland .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Jed Harris  (as produced by)
Chet La Roche .... script doctor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday" - UK (complete title), USA (complete title)
See more »
Runtime:
92 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Australia:G (TV rating) | Brazil:Livre | Finland:S (1991) | Finland:K-16 (1941) | France:U | Germany:12 (DVD rating) | Netherlands:6 (2002) | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1946) | Portugal:M/6 | South Korea:15 | Spain:T | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (video rating: re-edited version) (2007) | UK:U (video rating: DVD audio commentary) (2002) | UK:U (1996) | UK:U (video rating) (1994) (1996) (1998) (2002) (2003) (2004) (2005) | USA:Approved (PCA #5823) | USA:TV-G (TV rating) | West Germany:o.Al. (original rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Joan Crawford was considered for the role of Hildy Johnson.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Bruce Baldwin comes to the press room late in the movie, an electric fan and small shelf on the wall to the left of the door both completely disappear. Both have been there in all previous scenes and both reappear after this scene.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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "Smallville: Fade (#5.20)" (2006)See more »

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Can I watch this film online?
Is this available on DVD?
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36 out of 44 people found the following review useful.
Her Guy Walter, 8 March 2006
Author: theowinthrop from United States

Charles McArthur and Ben Hecht met when both were reporters in Chicago during the 1920s. They created two of the funniest farces in American drama, TWENTIETH CENTURY (about theater people) and THE FRONT PAGE. The latter was based on their experiences as news reporters in those crazy days in Chicago, where the newspapers concentrated on sensationalism and the politics was thoroughly corrupt. The resulting play is hysterically funny and yet remains timely. For all the exaggeration of how Walter Burns and Hildy Johnson manipulate police, politicians, reporters, and civilians to get their scoop, the story remains relevant for several reasons. The political balance in a big Mayoralty election is precarious due to the Earl Williams case. Williams has shot a policeman who is African-American, a big local voting block, and they want him punished. The corrupt Mayor and his idiot jail warden are willing to execute him for the votes needed to stay in office, but the Governor (who is from the rival party) believes the killer is insane (or at least mentally deficient). So already (as you see) race, politics, and the validity of the death penalty get pulled in. Soon we also see examples of nepotism and corruption in the police, and City Hall, cynical politics based on a man's life, and questions about privacy and a free press. For a play from 1931 this one still has relevance.

There had been an earlier version of the play in the 1930s called THE FRONT PAGE, starring Adolphe Menjou as the conniving and devious Walter Burns, and Pat O'Brien as ace reporter Hildy Johnson. It is a good version, and both stars do well with their parts (and both have the verbal speed necessary for the dialog to flow over the ears of the audience). But when the film was remade in 1940, Howard Hawks decided to redraw Hildy Johnson into a female reporter (and previous wife) of Burns. His casting of Cary Grant was radically different too. Burns is a nasty, conniving s.o.b. who would kill for a good story. Menjou was somewhat dapper (he was usually dapper) in the role, but the hardness under the presentable shell was there. And by changing Hildy from a guy to a gal, and Walter's former wife, you had to make Walter look more interesting. So Walter is turned into Cary Grant. There was a search for Hildy, involving Jean Arthur and Irene Dunne as possibilities. Neither ended up playing him. Instead it went to Rosalind Russell.

It has to be admitted Russell had the vocal abilities to push the dialog at the proper clip. Possibly Jean Arthur could have done that just as well, but Arthur did not have the apparent physical strength behind the stylishness that Russell showed. She really does balance well (in this film) with Grant, given their characters.

Motivation changes a little. This Walter Burns still wants to get his scoops, but there are moments of fragility when he realizes he may forever lose Hildy to her fiancé Bruce (the ever helpless Ralph Bellamy). And they oddly work (Hawks manages to keep them under control). Also, as the story is now twelve years older than the original play, certain changes occur in Walter's political views. He does dislike the gang (led by Clarence Kolb and Gene Lockhart) running the city, and points out to Hildy that they have a chance to help give the city the sort of government New York City has under La Guardia. This does not end his joy at scooping the opposition, but it does suggest that Burns has more depth.

It is now generally believed that this is the best of the film versions of THE FRONT PAGE, and one of the funniest films ever made. The entire cast shines (look at the scene where Helen Mack confronts the reporters who have made her look like a tramp, and have told lies about John Qualen (Williams) - she is in a state when Russell takes her out of the press room, and the reporters are thoroughly ashamed of herself - and Russell comes back looking at Regis Toomey, Porter Hall, and the others, and says "Gentlemen of the Press!" with heavy cynical irony). And also note Billy Gilbert's immortal Joe Pettibone, the most hopeless monument of total befuddlement in movies. It is one of the few film comedies of that period that retains it's laughs one viewing following another.

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I didn't get it. RygarMorte
Cute movie -- but way overrated + revealing of secret American psychosis aton_ra_1999
More of a satire than a screwball romantic comedy jtf1986
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