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His Girl Friday
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His Girl Friday

4.3 9
Director: Howard Hawks, Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy

Cast: Howard Hawks, Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy

 

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Columbia Classics has done a wonderful job restoring His Girl Friday from the original negative. While it contains the obvious levels of grain and dirt that come with age, the picture is clear and bright. Images are well defined within the 1:33.1 transfer, and it looks far superior to VHS versions of films from this time period. Due to the film's age, the audio

Overview

Columbia Classics has done a wonderful job restoring His Girl Friday from the original negative. While it contains the obvious levels of grain and dirt that come with age, the picture is clear and bright. Images are well defined within the 1:33.1 transfer, and it looks far superior to VHS versions of films from this time period. Due to the film's age, the audio is available only in a mono version. However, this transfer contains a surprising level of clarity, which is especially important during the lengthy dialogue scenes. This is a fairly quiet audio track, but it succeeds because the story is composed almost entirely of rapid-paced, journalistic speech. It's refreshing to see a classic film like His Girl Friday receive a nice selection of extra features. The highlight is an impressive audio commentary by Todd McCarthy, film critic and author of Howard Hawks: The Grey Fox of Hollywood. He provides plenty of background information on the film, especially concerning Hawks' relationships with the actors. McCarthy is a virtual encyclopedia of knowledge on Howard Hawks, and it's unfortunate that he disappears for several lengthy sequences. Nevertheless, this is an insightful commentary and is helpful for viewers with little knowledge of Hawks and classic cinema. This disc also contains four brief but informative featurettes on Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Hawks, and the origins of the story. It also contains seven different language subtitle selections, including Portuguese, Korean, and Thai.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
One of the all-time-great comedies, His Girl Friday is a breakneck-paced joyride through the newspaper business, filled with some of the sharpest rapid-fire dialogue to ever grace the screen. Directed by Hollywood master Howard Hawks and adapted from the play The Front Page by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, His Girl Friday stars Cary Grant as a newspaper editor who will stop at nothing to lure his former star reporter (Rosalind Russell) -- who also happens to be his ex-wife -- back onto the newspaper and into his life. Hawks's typically clean, unobtrusive direction gives the actors plenty of room to work, and they make the most of it, reveling in the witty repartee and sprinting gleefully through scenes of nonstop, overlapping dialogue that may set a words-per-minute record. The jaded view of the press that marked the original play survives intact, but Hawks's addition of a romantic story line (the Russell character was a man in The Front Page) turns the material into a battle of the sexes -- a classic of the form. Grant, of course, delivers his lines with effortless impeccability; his sense of comic timing is nothing short of perfect. Russell matches him stride for stride and line for line, making for the kind of combustible screen chemistry that is the stuff of legend. The Columbia DVD includes a commentary track and four short documentaries.
All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
It's doubtful that one could find a movie as fast-paced as Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday, and next-to-impossible to find a film of the period more laced with sexual electricity. Decades after its release, the comedy-thriller adapted from Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur's play The Front Page holds up as a masterpiece of pacing and performance, and even manages a few healthy swipes at some of officialdom's sacred cows. At the time, His Girl Friday was also a piece of groundbreaking cinema for the rules it broke: Hawks' version added an element of sexual tension that was about the only thing missing from the original play and the 1931 film version, in which main characters Walter Burns and Hildy Johnson are men engaged in a symbiotic/exploitative professional relationship. Hawks transmuted Hildy Johnson into the persona of Rosalind Russell, who was entering her prime as an archetype of the ambitious, energetic woman. Coupled with Cary Grant's cheerful nonchalance as the manipulative editor Walter Burns, the material -- which was fairly scintillating on its own terms -- took on a fierce sexual edge that made the resulting film a 92-minute exercise in eroticism masquerading as a comic thriller. Russell may never have had a better role than Hildy Johnson; she became a screen symbol for the intelligent, aggressive female reporter, decades before Candice Bergen's star turn as television's Murphy Brown. Amid all of the jockeying for superiority, and the sparring between Grant and Russell -- which, in many ways, anticipates the jousting between Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in Hawks' own The Big Sleep, made four years later -- His Girl Friday found room to enhance some of the issues from the original play, including cynicism about government, the justice system and freedom of the press.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/21/2000
UPC:
0043396267091
Original Release:
1940
Rating:
NR
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital]
Time:
1:32:00

Special Features

Digitally mastered audio and video; Full-screen presentation; Audio: English [mono], Spanish; Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai; Audio commentary with film critic and author Todd McCarthy; Four exclusive featurettes; Vintage advertising; Theatrical trailers; Talent files; Interactive menus; Production notes; Scene selections

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cary Grant Walter Burns
Rosalind Russell Hildy Johnson
Ralph Bellamy Bruce Baldwin
Gene Lockhart Sheriff Hartwell
Helen Mack Mollie Malloy
Porter Hall Murphy
Clarence Kolb Mayor
Roscoe Karns McCue
John Qualen Earl Williams
Ernest Truex Roy Bensinger
Cliff "Ukelele Ike" Edwards Endicott
Frank Jenks Wilson
Regis Toomey Sanders
Abner Biberman Diamond Louie
Frank Orth Duffy
Alma Kruger Mrs. Baldwin
Billy Gilbert Joe Pettibone
Pat West Warden Cooley
Edwin Maxwell Dr. Egelhoffer
Irving Bacon Gus
Wade Boteler Jail Guard
Edmund Cobb Cop
Ralph Dunn Guard
Earl Dwire Mr. Davis
Pat Flaherty Actor
Marion Martin Actor
Eddie Hart Actor

Technical Credits
Howard Hawks Director,Producer
Lionel Banks Art Director
Sidney B. Cutner Score Composer
Gene Havlick Editor
Robert Kalloch Costumes/Costume Designer
Charles Lederer Screenwriter
Morris W. Stoloff Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Joseph Walker Cinematographer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selections
1. Start [2:34]
2. Lord of the Universe [12:12]
3. Lunch with Walter [9:23]
4. Gentlemen of the press [3:29]
5. $100,000 policy [4:46]
6. Earl Williams interview [3:27]
7. Miss Mollie Malloy [3:19]
8. Sheriff Peter B. Hartwell [1:42]
9. Watch thief [3:27]
10. Dr. Max J. Egelhoffer [1:02]
11. Jail break [6:22]
12. Masher [1:18]
13. The Mayor [1:47]
14. The reprieve [4:09]
15. Earl drops in [:49]
16. Mrs. Baldwin [4:45]
17. Giving them a story [:42]
18. Walter takes charge [:47]
19. Out on bail [3:00]
20. "Three taps is me." [2:41]
21. Roy B. Bensinger, poet [:54]
22. What became of Mother [2:55]
23. The third degree [2:56]
24. Accusing the mastermind [2:49]
25. Apprehending Williams [1:04]
26. Under arrest [:47]
27. Pettibone returns [1:29]
28. Noble Walter? [2:18]

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His Girl Friday 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can only say what every film buff already knows: this film is perfect.
Bubba85 More than 1 year ago
Columbia Home Video outdid themselves with this rendition of His Girl Friday. For the most part, the images from this 1940 film are crisp and easy to watch. The soundtrack has been cleaned up of all pops,whistles and crackles that were evident on the public domain VHS tapes that were available for so many years. You will not catch all of the rapid-fire dialogue the first time you watch this print. Sit back and enjoy a few laughs at this version of The Front Page, one of the greatest newspaper stories ever performed on the stage or on film. Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell shine !! Enjoy !!
JudyHope More than 1 year ago
Cary Grant is awesome. He had chemistry with everyone. This is a good DVD to own since it takes multiple viewings to catch all the dialog. Everyone is talking a mile a minute, running in and out of doorways, you won't get all the jokes in one viewing.

It has one of the first meta-jokes I've heard in a movie. Cary Grant tells one of his lackeys to follow a character played by Ralph Bellamy. His lackey asks how he will recognize the guy and Cary tells him "Oh, he looks like that Ralph Bellamy character." -- Makes me smile everytime.
Guest More than 1 year ago
His Girl Friday is a good comedy starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell and they are both superb and both get some very witty, snappy dialogue. I really enjoyed the sarcastic comments!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago