His Girl Friday
HIS GIRL FRIDAY (U)
D: Howard Hawks
Columbia (Howard Hawks)
W: Charles Lederer [based on the screenplay "The Front Page" by Charles MacArthur & Ben Hecht]
DP: Joseph Walker
Ed: Gene Havlick
Mus: Morris Stoloff
Rosalind Russell (Hildy Johnson), Cary Grant (Walter Burns), Ralph Bellamy (Bruce Baldwin), Gene Lockhart (Sheriff Hartwell), Porter Hall (Murphy), Ernest Truex (Bensinger), Cliff Edwards (Endicott), Clarence Kolb (Mayor)
His Girl Friday is a classic screwball comedy and possibly the fastest-talking movie ever filmed, with zingers from all the cast involved.
Reportedly the style of dialogue became an inspiration to Quentin Tarantino's style of writing, describing "His Girl Friday style back-and-forth dialogue" in the opening scene to Pulp Fiction.
The Front Page has seen many remakes, including a well-known 1974 version with Jack Lemmon & Walter Matthau, however, His Girl Friday is most possibly the best of the lot, with the character "Hildy Johnson" getting a gender switch and being portrayed by the excellent Rosalind Russell.
The story, set in the world of journalism, features a cunning newspaper editor (Cary Grant) who wants to prevent his best reporter from getting married by giving her one final story to cover, a court case concerning the murder of a policeman. However, the real reason he doesn't want her to quit and settled down is because he wants her himself.
A lot of screwball comedies from the same period haven't dated too well, but this film isn't one of them. As good now as it ever was, with a great twist on the story it was originally based on.