Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Revisit: His Girl Friday

A Columbia Pictures release 1940
Directed by Howard Hawks
Writing credits
Ben Hecht (play The Front Page)
Charles MacArthur (play The Front Page)
Charles Lederer (screenplay)

A newspaper editor (Cary Grant) uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife (Rosalind Russel) from remarrying.

Hawks takes the pacing and pratfalls of the screwball comedy and plants them in a new narrative context with his film His Girl Friday. A classic in every sense of the word, the film is a great example of Hawk's use of quick edits and overlapping dialogue to create comedic gold. Cary Grant is enigmatic as always; one of the best parts about this film is that he plays a nasty, no good newspaper man who still gets the girl. To the untrained eye it might seem like a typical hackneyed Hollywood ending, but it works in context. I guess the moral here is 'be true to yourself'. The film went on to inspire the Cohen Brother's Hudsucker Proxy.

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