His Girl Friday

DVD review from The Movie Snob

His Girl Friday (B-). Cary Grant (The Bishop’s Wife) plays Walter Burns, a charming but unscrupulous New York newspaper editor. Rosalind Russell (Auntie Mame) is Hildy Johnson, his ex-wife and former star reporter. She shows up at his office with her new fiancé, a bland insurance salesman named Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy, Pretty Woman). Walter deploys every trick in his book to try to win Hildy back as both wife and reporter, getting her to cover the imminent execution of a convicted murderer who may have been insane. Widely considered one of the funniest comedies ever made, this 1940 release just didn’t do it for me. The dialogue is delivered at machine-gun-fire speed, but I didn’t think it was all that witty. The most remarkable thing about the picture to me was its amazingly cynical view of both journalists and politicians. In that sense, it certainly feels ahead of its time.


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