A young man in love with a girl from a rich family finds his unorthodox plan to go on holiday for the early years of his life met with skepticism by everyone except for his fiancée's eccentric sister and long-suffering brother.
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
Charles Lederer wrote three drafts of the screenplay. Major changes from first draft to shooting script included making Hildy less submissive and transforming her fiance from a bully into a comic patsy. The earlier drafts also opened with a scene in divorce court that indicated Walter and Hildy had been married and divorced three times. All three drafts ended differently. In the first, Burns fakes an accident, which prompts Hildy to declare her love. The second ends as the stage original had, with Burns letting Hildy leave, then having her arrested. Only the shooting script ends with his letting her go with his blessing, which convinces her to stay. Not filmed, however, was that version's wedding scene. See more »
When Hildy lights her cigarette in the restaurant, she takes it out of her mouth and waves out the match. There is a an instant cut to over her shoulder and the cigarette is in her mouth again. See more »
Apparently Howard Hawks must've assumed that Cary Grant could carry off even the most abrasive of lead roles. Sure, Grant specialized in snappy banter with a caustic touch, but it was usually balanced with self-deprication and an unrealistic modesty. Unfortunately, none of that humanity is present here, just endless, overlapping sniping, arguing and scheming, at ninety miles a minute. How anyone can muster any sympathy for Grant's character is beyond me.
The crossfire dialogue is occasionally relieved by stretches of tedium. Rosalind Russell is charming and bright, and Ralph Bellamy does the best he can with what he's given. While there may be occasional touches of wit and good characterizations from the actors, His Girl Friday is one of the most irritating of Howard Hawks' films.
11 of 20 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this