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 -- An unscrupulous newspaper editor (Cary Grant) uses every dirty trick in the book to stop his ace reporter/ex-wife (Rosalind Russell) from remarrying and moving to Albany. Directed by Howard Hawks.
His Girl Friday -- Trailer for this classic black and white comedy


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8.0/10   41,537 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Charles Lederer (screen play)
Ben Hecht (from the play "The Front Page") ...
View company contact information for His Girl Friday on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 January 1940 (USA) See more »
She learned about men from him! See more »
A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
That Unseen Power That Protects The Morning Post See more (276 total) »


  (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 McLure ... Newsman (uncredited)
James Millican ... Tim (uncredited)

Gene Morgan ... Gene (uncredited)
Delmar Watson ... Skinny (uncredited)

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")

Ben Hecht  screenplay (uncredited)
Morrie Ryskind  additional dialogue (uncredited)

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

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday" - UK (complete title), USA (complete title)
See more »
92 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Australia:G (TV rating) | Australia:A (original rating) | Brazil:Livre | Finland:S (1991) | Finland:K-16 (1941) | France:Tous publics | 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:0 (original rating)

Did You Know?

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.See more »
Continuity: Hildy's hand is on/off her chin between shots at lunch.See more »
Walter Burns:You've got an old fashioned idea divorce is something that lasts forever, 'til death do us part.' Why divorce doesn't mean anything nowadays, Hildy, just a few words mumbled over you by a judge.See more »
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29 out of 41 people found the following review useful.
That Unseen Power That Protects The Morning Post, 14 February 2007
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Whoever had the bright idea to turn the Ben Hecht-Charles MacArthur play, The Front Page into a boy and girl comedy ought to get a Nobel Prize for comedy if such an award had been available at the time.

Of course it helps when one of your two main characters has an ambiguous first name like Hildy. Short for Hildreth when Pat O'Brien plays it, Rosalind Russell is all female in this one. Russell bites off a huge chunk of Katherine Hepburn career woman territory here and she digests it well.

She's the best reporter on the staff of the Morning Post and her editor Cary Grant doesn't want to lose her no way. At one time he even married her, but that didn't take. They're divorced now and Russell is fed up and decides she wants a home and children and security and Ralph Bellamy is going to give her all of that. Plus a home with his mother Alma Kruger for a year in Albany.

As her friendly rival reporter Regis Toomey says, there ain't no way that Russell could ever leave the newspaper game. She proves it when she goes to work on that one last assignment to cover an execution at the state penitentiary.

Even though Howard Hawks did add a romance into The Front Page he did not sacrifice one iota of the biting satire from Hecht and MacArthur. If you watch the either The Front Page or His Girl Friday or even the remake from the eighties Broadcast News you will swear the world is made up of boobs and nitwits and the only smart people around are journalists. Too often however that's proved to be the case.

Poor meek John Qualen who was listening to some radicals speaking and got caught up in the moment and accidentally shot a black police officer. Back then ethnic politics were played to the hilt and a law and order mayor, Clarence Kolb, wants to see Qualen executed. His brother-in-law, sheriff Gene Lockhart means to see the sentence is done.

Cary Grant's paper is against capital punishment at least for this poor schnook. Of course when Qualen escapes all kinds of complication arise and Russell's on the job to report them.

As he was in The Awful Truth, Ralph Bellamy is there to be the slightly befuddled doofus who loses the girl to fast talking Cary. Bellamy's performance is a brilliant piece of work itself. He's so funny because he plays the part absolutely straight and the humor falls around him.

Howard Hawks assembles a really grand cast of memorable character actors. My favorite however, brief though his scenes are is Billy Gilbert who is a messenger from the governor who is delivering a sentence commutation. The poor man gets waylaid and involved in all kinds of intrigue that is all going on over his head. You have to see him to believe how funny he is and he does it without a sneeze.

His Girl Friday successfully combines screwball romantic comedy with biting satire and no seams show it all in the stitching. It's a blueprint on how to do successful cinema comedy.

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