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  • Writer's pictureDomenic

His Girl Friday| Review

Updated: May 31, 2022

Some of the best films of the 1940s are most of the time overlooked when reflecting on the decade's filmography. Casablanca, Citizen Kane, and It's A Wonderful Life, are all great films in their own right; but the decade is all too packed with masterpieces that some often get "overlooked." His Girl Friday, among others, never receives the recognition and spot-on "Greatest Comedies of all time" lists it rightfully deserves.

After a forty month hiatus, Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell) returns to her morning post office space, only to reveal that she will quit her job in the coming days. The reason behind her lengthy hiatus traces to her decision of filing for a Reno divorce from her self proclaimed "bad husband," Walter Burns (Cary Grant). Hildy soon comes to tell Walter that she'll be leaving for Albany tomorrow to marry Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy), an insurance agent. Walter doesn't want to lose Hildy, whether as a reporter or as a wife and does whatever he can to stop her from leaving him.

Walter manipulates Hildy into reporting on Earl Williams (John Qualen), a man on death row. While Hildy continues her work, Walter manages to get Bruce arrested multiple times. One night, Williams escapes prison and hides in the police station thanks to Hildy. Chaos ensues when Hildy, prompted by many questions, decides on her future.

His Girl Friday triumphs as a comedy classic for the ages. Stand-out performances from both Cary Grant and Rosalind Russel help establish the masterpiece label. Howard Hawks turns a simple stage play and story line into the 1940's version of Uncut Gems. Alongside other Hawks films, his direction surpasses the occasional pans and close-ups to further establish himself as one of the greatest. Hawks very well stands as one of the greatest directors of all time, thanks to this film and many others.

Time Stamp: April 13, 2020

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