Tuesday, November 17, 2009

His Girl Friday

Hilarious. The dialogue is as witty as has ever been filmed. The pace is breakneck speed. I find myself trying to stop laughing at one line because I have another laugh or two lined up. Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell are fantastic. They have terrific timing, great chemistry and some of the best dialogue imaginable. You have to pay attention to the dialogue. Often there are two conversations going on simultaneously. You can follow one or both, but do follow along. Don't miss anything.

Based on the play The Front Page by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur. Charles Lederer adapted the screenplay with wonderful results. Director Howard Hawks insisted the part of Hildy (Russell) be rewritten for a woman. This allows for a romance subplot underneath the newspaper main storyline. Cary Grant owns a newspaper and is divorced from Rosalind Russell. She returns to the paper to inform her ex that she is remarrying. He constructs a plot to regain her affections and to get her back as his ace reporter. Ralph Bellamy does a nice job as the kind, but slow, husband to be. Of course, he has no chance when put up against Cary Grant. But then who does?

His Girl Friday is a classic comedy done at light speed. Don't go for popcorn because you will miss out.

Filmed in 1940, directed by Howard Hawks, written by Charles Lederer, starring Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell and Ralph Bellamy.

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