Welcome to this week's "Movies... For Free!" column, where we showcase classic movies freely available in the public domain (with streaming video!). Read the article and watch the movie right here!
His Girl Friday, 1940.
Directed by Howard Hawks.
Starring Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell and Ralph Bellamy.
His Girl Friday is a screwball romantic comedy of the classic Hollywood era, featuring Cary Grant as wealthy and devious news editor Walter Burns, whose reporter ex-wife Hildy (Russell) is about to remarry and settle down to a quiet life of housewifery with insurance man Bruce Baldwin. Determined to prevent her from leaving (both personally and professionally), Burns entices Hildy with the opportunity to cover one last story while arranging for a series of mishaps to befall her fiancé.
A remake of the 1931 satirical comedy The Front Page (itself an adaptation of the stage play of the same name), His Girl Friday was the third pairing between director Howard Hawks and leading man Cary Grant, with Grant having headlined Hawks’ previous two movies, Bringing Up Baby (1938) and Only Angels Have Wings (1939). Whereas The Front Page concerns the efforts of the newspaper editor to retain the services of his star reporter, Hawks added a romantic element to the satire by making Hildy woman, and Rosalind Russell is a perfect match alongside Grant.
The film is notable for its masterful and innovative use of overlapping dialogue, which Hawks used to capture the frenetic pace of the newsroom environment. While it features themes such as murder and execution, this does not detract in the slightest from the wonderful comic elements and the film remains to this day a standout of the genre.
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