7.9/10
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382 user 115 critic

His Girl Friday (1940)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 18 January 1940 (USA)
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A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying.

Director:

Howard Hawks

Writers:

Charles Lederer (screen play), Ben Hecht (from the play "The Front Page") | 1 more credit »
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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
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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:

She learned about men from him! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

18 January 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$296,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The famous in-joke about Ralph Bellamy's character ("He looks like that fellow in the movies.. you know, Ralph Bellamy!") was almost left on the cutting room floor: Harry Cohn, the studio head, saw the dailies and responded in fury at the impertinence, but he let Howard Hawks leave it in, and it has always been one of the biggest laughs in the film. See more »

Goofs

When Walter & Hildy are handcuffed together & the Mayor walks in, Hildy's right arm is by her side in the long shot but in the closeup her hands are together. See more »

Quotes

Hildy Johnson: A big fat lummox like you hiring an airplane to write: "Hildy, don't be hasty. Remember my dimple. Walter." Delayed our divorce 20 minutes while the judge went out and watched it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Edited into This Is It (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Overrated
30 April 2004 | by mmfredetteSee all my reviews

I am mystified by the 8.2 rating this movie has here at imdb. Perhaps only its fans have voted.

The machine-gun dialogue would be fun for stretches, but when it spews non-stop for an hour, it becomes VERY annoying. And that leaves another half hour to go.

Hildy's "dream" of giving up being a top reporter/writer to become a housewife to a dullard is STUPID. And completely unbelievable as presented here.

Cary Grant's character is AWFUL, and when Hildy makes her inevitable (in a romantic comedy) end choice, it makes NO SENSE WHATSOEVER. Nothing is shown to indicate even the tiniest reason for her to change her mind about a finalized DIVORCE. Cary Grant is completely and criminally unsympathetic, and that is bad news for the lead in a romantic comedy.

Tone problems. It's a comedy with dramatic moments that aren't the least bit funny. The suicide attempt. The gallows shots. Every word that comes out of the killer's mouth. And his dialogue is perhaps the worst I've ever heard for a "disturbed" killer in a movie.


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