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.