Light, enjoyable and clever. Well done!
VERY GOOD 1939 movie (according to copyright in opening film credits).
The plot mixes changing/evolving government, newspaper publishing, criminal courts, romance, comedy, and more. Fun to see more whacky 1940's ladies high end dresses - and especially those hats.
I rather enjoyed the extremely quick paced dialog throughout the film - first time I've heard it like that. Took a lot of talent for Grant and Russell to do it so effortlessly while the camer just roll on.
I do watch movies with English closed captions on (and I am a native speaker; I'm also an avid reader) - and they had to leave out a LOT of the dialogue since it went by so fast, would fill up so much screen and couldn't be read as quickly as spoken anyway.
And I will be watching 'Front Page' from 1931, which is also now available at KCLS.
Released in 1940, this film features rapid-fire smart dialog. I would rate "His Girl Friday" at 5.0 stars.
Why can't modern movies feature rapid-fire smart dialog? I can only conclude that major motion picture studios during the Golden Age of Film cared about the quality of their movies.
Don't miss watching this classic screwball comedy. Cary Grant has some great lines: "He looks like that fellow in the movies.......Ralph Bellamy" and "Listen, the last man that said that to me was Archie Leach, a week before he cut his throat".
High-pressured New York newspaper editor Walter Burns hits the roof when he discovers his ace reporter Hildy Johnson is quitting in order to get married and settle down in suburbia. Not only is she the best writer he has but she’s also his ex-wife and he’s never really fallen out of love with her. Resisting his less-than-subtle pleas to reconsider both her job and upcoming marriage, Hildy is determined to take the evening train to Albany accompanied by Bruce, her faithful lapdog of a fiancé, and his domineering mother. Resorting to sabotage, Walter tries every trick up his sleeve to thwart Hildy’s plans—but when a death row inmate the paper had been defending escapes and both the mayor and police chief are implicated in a political cover-up, Hildy’s reporter instincts kick in much to Walter’s delight and Bruce’s bewilderment… As the battling ex-spouses, Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell are pure comedy gold; their verbal sparring and witty comebacks practically fly off the screen at breakneck speed overseen by Howard Hawks’ frantic direction which keeps the action fast and razor sharp. Employing such relatively new script innovations as overlapping dialogue and ad-libbed lines, Hawks produces a rollicking coaster ride of a film that nevertheless manages to remain tight and (mostly) coherent. But beneath the laughs there is a cold vein of cynicism as amoral, muck-raking journalists and self-serving politicians are seen feeding at the same trough while a possibly innocent man awaits execution and his distraught girlfriend is regarded as little more than a tabloid footnote. A smart and incisive comedy with a social conscience…little wonder it has found its way on to so many “Best Of” lists.
The cinematic equivalent of sensory overload: the dialogue is so fast and the plot so torturous that you almost feel exhausted when it is over. Which is not to say it is anything less than a complete work of genius--when they say they don’t make em like they used to, this is what they are talking about.
This is a charming and roguish film about the early years of newspaper reporting and the lengths that some will go for a story. An editor tries to stop his ex-wife from re-marrying and quitting her job and he ultimately succeeds through/due to circumstances that practically demand she step up to get the story - her fiancé not being the kind of man to understand this part of her nature and personality...
Note to my grandchildren: Much of the humor in this movie depends on antique ideas and technology. In those days people learned about current events by reading a "newspaper" that was printed (like today, but in 2-D) a couple of times each day. People called "reporters" were paid (really!) to collect and write "articles" of interest. To do this they sometimes needed to "call in" the information using telephones connected by wires. Because of the wires, reporters needed to rush to a place were a telephone was and shout the "copy" to someone on the other end of the wire who would use a delightfully steam-punkish machine called a "typewriter" that would mechanically punch one letter at a time onto a piece of paper. Then, through a very complex process, this single copy of the "story" would be combined with many others into and "edition". Many copies of this edition would then be made and taken to various locations. If a person wanted to read the edition they had to go to one of the locations and pay money for a copy. Once read, the copy was useless and simply discarded. Oddly enough, the reporters were considered to be glamorous role-models.
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