His Girl Friday [Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray] [2 Discs] [1940]

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Overview

Ratings & Reviews

Overall Customer Rating:
Rating 5 out of 5 stars.
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Special Features

  • Archival Interviews with His Girl Friday Director Howard Hawks
  • Featurettes from 1999 and 2006 about Hawks, actor Rosalind Russell, and the making of His Girl Friday
  • His Girl Friday trailers
  • New 4k digital restoration of The Front Page, made from a recently discovered print of Director Lewis Milestone's preferred version, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • New high-definition digital restoration of His Girl Friday, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • New interview with film scholar David Bordwell about His Girl Friday
  • New piece about Playwright and Screenwriter Ben Hecht
  • New piece about the restoration of The Front Page
  • Plus: A booklet featuring essays on His Girl Friday and The Front Page by film critics Farran Smith Nehme and Michael Sragow
  • Radio adaptation of His Girl Friday from 1940
  • Radio adaptations of the play The Front Page from 1937 and 1946

Synopsis

His Girl Friday
The second screen version of the Ben Hecht/Charles MacArthur play The Front Page, His Girl Friday changed hard-driving newspaper reporter Hildy Johnson from a man to a woman, transforming the story into a scintillating battle of the sexes. Rosalind Russell plays Hildy, about to foresake journalism for marriage to cloddish Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy). Cary Grant plays Walter Burns, Hildy's editor and ex-husband, who feigns happiness about her impending marriage as a ploy to win her back. The ace up Walter's sleeve is a late-breaking news story concerning the impending execution of anarchist Earl Williams (John Qualen), a blatant example of political chicanery that Hildy can't pass up. The story gets hotter when Williams escapes and is hidden from the cops by Hildy and Walter--right in the prison pressroom. His Girl Friday may well be the fastest comedy of the 1930s, with kaleidoscope action, instantaneous plot twists, and overlapping dialogue. And if you listen closely, you'll hear a couple of "in" jokes, one concerning Cary Grant's real name (Archie Leach), and another poking fun at Ralph Bellamy's patented "poor sap" screen image. Subsequent versions of The Front Page included Billy Wilder's 1974 adaptation, which restored Hildy Johnson's manhood in the form of Jack Lemmon, and 1988's Switching Channels, which cast Burt Reynolds in the Walter Burns role and Kathleen Turner as the Hildy Johnson counterpart. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Cary Grant
    Cary Grant - Walter Burns
  • Rosalind Russell
    Rosalind Russell - Hildy Johnson
  • Ralph Bellamy
    Ralph Bellamy - Bruce Baldwin
  • Gene Lockhart
    Gene Lockhart - Sheriff Hartwell
  • Helen Mack
    Helen Mack - Mollie Malloy

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