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His Girl Friday [DVD] [1940]

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His Girl Friday [DVD] [1940] + Bringing Up Baby [DVD] + It Happened One Night [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy, Gene Lockhart, Porter Hall
  • Directors: Howard Hawks
  • Writers: Ben Hecht, Charles Lederer, Charles MacArthur
  • Producers: Howard Hawks
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, French
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Waterfall
  • DVD Release Date: 30 Oct 2006
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000DZRL6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,406 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

A Howard Hawks screwball comedy. Walter Burns (Cary Grant) is a newspaper editor trying to hang on to his star reporter, Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell), who is also Walter's ex-wife. Hildy is leaving journalism to go off and marry Bruce (Ralph Bellamy), but an escaped convict, hiding behind a desk in the newsroom, is the perfect bait for Walter to lure Hildy back to her job and to him.


His Girl Friday is one of the five greatest dialogue comedies ever made. Howard Hawks had his cast play it at breakneck speed, and audiences hyperventilate trying to finish with one laugh so they can do justice to the four that have accumulated in the meantime. Rosalind Russell, not Hawks' first choice to play Hildy Johnson--the ace newsperson whom demonic editor Walter Burns is trying to keep from quitting and getting married--is triumphant in the part, holding her own as "one of the guys" and creating an enduring feminist icon. Cary Grant's Walter Burns is a force of nature, giving a performance of such concentrated frenzy and diamond brilliance that you owe it to yourself to devote at least one viewing of the movie to watching him alone. But then you have to go back (lucky you) and watch it again for the sake of the press-room gang--Roscoe Karns, Porter Hall, Cliff Edwards, Regis Toomey, Frank Jenks, and others--the kind of ensemble work that gets character actors onto Parnassus. --Richard T Jameson, --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Colin Jones on 28 May 2006
Format: DVD
In terms of picture quality there are some unsatisfactory DVD versions of `His Girl Friday' but there is nothing wrong with this particular item (Columbia Classics CDR 19838). The film remains fresher than many old comedies and stands up to repeated viewings. It is sharply written, briskly directed, superbly cast and well played from top to bottom. Watching this is a great way to stay cheerful on a rainy evening indoors.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Aug 2005
Format: DVD
With Howard Hawks in the director's chair and Cary Grant in the lead role, you're pretty much guaranteed to have a good time. His Girl Friday isn't the first or last film adaptation of the 1928 play The Front Page, but it is easily the best. This thing comes at you a mile a minute, with dialogue that starts out at break-neck speed and never slows down and more humorous moments than you can find time to laugh at. It's an unusual romantic comedy, given the fact that Cary Grant's character is a little less than noble (he is a rather ruthless newspaper man, after all) and the nice guy in the picture is lucky to finish at all, but there's still something endearing about the whole relationship between Walter Burns (Grant) and his former ace reporter Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell), who also happens to be his ex-wife (in earlier adaptations of the story, Hildy was just a darn good male reporter). Hildy is due to get married in less than 24 hours, and Burns is desperate to win her back - for the newspaper as well as himself. The big city proves most cooperative in his endeavors, with a corrupt sheriff and mayor getting set to hang a "dangerous" little man for murder in order to bolster their bids for reelection in three days. And that's only the beginning of this screwball comedy story. This battle of the sexes turns into one of the most impressive battles of wits the big screen has ever seen, and the whole wild and crazy story makes for an extraordinary experience.
Grant and Russell demonstrate remarkable chemistry together, which is a necessity given the fact that their characters are divorced and know each other's ways so well. Poor Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy), Hildy's mild-manner fiancé, is overwhelmed by the charm and manipulations of the remarkable Walter Burns.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By FictionFan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 April 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
No-one does fast-talking comedy like Cary Grant. Always just on the edge of going overboard but never quite falling, he would be reason enough to watch this film. Add a wonderful script, Rosalind Russell in full feisty mode, Howard Hawks' flawless direction, and a great group of supporting actors and you've got a sure-fire winner.

Ace reporter Hildy Johnson (Russell) decides to throw up journalism in favour of marriage to her strait-laced fiancé played by Ralph Bellamy. This doesn't fit at all with the plans of her former editor and coincidentally former husband, Walter Burns (Grant). He asks her to cover one last story, hoping to revive both her journalistic instincts and their relationship.

While the battle of the sexes storyline is a little dated (and not true to the original play, The Front Page, in which Hildy was in fact male), the careless way the journalists are willing to manipulate and exploit ordinary people in pursuit of a good story still resonates strongly. This is black comedy at its best.

Treat yourself - watch this film as a double-bill with Arsenic and Old Lace [DVD] and then tell me if you don't agree Grant is one of the true greats.
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62 of 68 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Oct 2000
Format: DVD
What a travesty the DVD of 'His Girl Friday' release is - so much so that it must rank among the worst DVDs ever released onto the unsuspecting Region 2 market. Don't get me wrong, I am in no way criticising the film itself - simply the ineffective and downright lazy DVD transfer.
One only has to look at the likes of the recent releases of 'The Big Sleep' and 'Casablanca' to see what can be done with all-time classic movies. Ok, neither of these titles is packed with extras, which many would see as a crime in itself, but the picture and sound quality are superb considering the vintage of their original release and is a testament to those involved in the transfer to DVD. This is especially gratifying when one realises that although these titles are often cited as 'top 10 greats', they will have a limited audience among the 'Matrix' and 'Men In Black' fans and therefore will ultimately be monetarily less successful.
However, even an admittedly limited audience appeal cannot excuse the complete lack of effort put into this release. Not only does it have no extras ( which on a film of this age is perhaps excusable ) but the picture and sound are so terrible that an old VHS copy I have actually rivals it for quality - this is especially telling due to the fact that my VHS copy was recorded off-air on long-play on a very cheap tape ( in fact I think that this DVD must have been taken from a similar source ).
As a fan of classic films I purchased this DVD with great pleasure that a distribution company would have taken the trouble to release one of the greats - what I didn't bank on was the fact that I could only stand to watch this title for around 5 mins before I had to switch it off and resort to my VHS copy - where at least the hiss didn't drown out every bit of dialogue.
In short, my advice to anyone who is a fan of this film ( or DVD in general ) is to vote with your feet and avoid this DVD like the plague !
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anyone know a good dvd version of ' HIS GIRL FRIDAY ' 3 25 Aug 2009
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