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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 17 June 2017
Some other films are be unbeatable also, in their own way, but no film is better than 'His Girl Friday'.

The Blu-ray looks terrific, a big step up from the DVD.
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on 19 April 2017
Very pleased.
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on 6 August 2017
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on 26 April 2017
Well past its sell by date
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I was excited when I saw one of my favorite films (and possibly the funniest movie of all time) released at such a give-away price. Ordering it however, I was shocked to find the DVD transfer is simply awful. No matter how hard I fiddled with my TV I couldn't get the correct 4:3 aspect ratio. Having had the same problem with other Elstree Hill releases I realized the problem is with them. Avoid this company at all costs!!
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Howard Hawks was responsible for a lot of outstanding movies, like "The Big Sleep" and "Bringing Up Baby."

But one of his best was wild, witty screwball comedy "His Girl Friday," which has never quite gotten the same recognition as those better known films. It has razor-sharp, bullet-fast dialogue, a hilarious plot and Cary Grant as (once more) a divorced man who won't give up so easily. You'll never look at a rolltop desk the same way again.

Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell) comes into her ex-husband's newspaper office. Walter (Cary Grant) is ready to give her her old job -- until she announces that she's marrying a nice, dull insurance agent (Ralph Bellamy). Walter insists that Hildy can't just go to Albany and be a housewife, and she insists that that's exactly what she wants.

So the wily ex bribes Hildy to cover a sensational cop-killing case -- the convicted man is scheduled to be executed in the morning -- and takes the opportunity to make life difficult for her fiancee. Now Hildy tries to get the facts behind the cop-shooting, while battling with a corrupt mayor who wants the convicted man dead. Is the sordid world of journalism -- and Walter -- what Hildy really wants? Looks like it.

Sometimes even if people don't get along, they fit so perfectly that trying to get together with someone else is pointless -- just look at Shakespeare's Beatrice and Benedick. Personally I've never experienced that kind of love (yet), but I've seen couples who do work the way Hildy and Walter do. Howard Hawks captures the feel of such couples perfectly.

In addition to the screwball romance, Hawks mixes in a cop-killing, a prison break, an attempted suicide, a conspiracy for mayoral votes, and a lot of reporters slavering for a hit story. It's a tight, taut little story peppered with humor, like the convict in the roll-top desk, or Bellamy's imperious mother being dragged out of the building.

Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell have electric chemistry in this movie, from the first scene right to the finale. It's a shame that they apparently didn't collaborate on any other movies, because in terms of comedy skill, they fit as snugly as two pieces of a puzzle -- they jabber together, trade fast barbs, and lob insults that don't pierce each other's skin.

Their dialogue is as fast as their wits: "I wish you hadn't done that, Hildy." "Done what?" "Divorced me. It makes a man feel he's not wanted!" And on the sidelines, Bellamy has an amusing role as the rather slow-witted fiancee whom Grant charms and then gets arrested. Interestingly, Bellamy played the same role in "Awful Truth," another Grant movie about a divorced guy trying to win his ex-wife...

"His Girl Friday" is one of those classic movies that leaves you with a warm glow and a cynical chuckle. Hilarious from start to finish, especially with Grant and Russell.
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on 24 February 2004
I bought this version via a special offer run by the Daily Telegraph newspaper in the UK and am now returning it for a refund.
The film (or as much of it as we saw!) seems to deserve all the praise it has received. However, there are many different DVD versions on the market, as you can see here on Amazon, and this particular one should be avoided like the plague!
The transfer is poor, with a rather out of focus quality. There are no options whatsoever. No subtitles. No scene selection. No extra features. The DVD menu only allows you to play the movie and nothing else.
To make it even worse, my copy played about half way through then the picture started to break up and after a minute or so of this behaviour it just jumped back to the beginning. Obviously, I can't say if this particular defect applies to all copies.
Feedback on this site suggests that the Columbia Classics DVD might be a much better buy - and I will probably now get this version.
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on 17 January 2003
This has to be one of the finest comedies ever made. Fast, sharp and witty, Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell have one of the best fights ever on the war of the sexes.
There were at least another previous release of this film in DVD, but the film quality was quite bad, and there were no extras, subtitles or even scene selection! Finally with this edition it gets the DVD treatment it deserves: the picture has been clean up and probably restored and the sound is great. Columbia is taking great care with their classics, an example that other studios should follow.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 30 October 2014
"His Girl Friday" is simply one of "golden age" Hollywood's greatest treasures, one of the smartest, sassiest screen comedies of all time.
Silver screen idol Cary Grant stars as Walter Burns, a conniving New York newspaper editor who'll stop at nothing to beat his rivals to a scoop. There's a politically sensitive "death row" case playing out, and Walter desperately needs his star reporter and ex-wife Hildy (Rosalind Russell) to cover this hot potato of a story. She's equally determined to quit the newspaper rat race for a life of domestic tranquility in the sticks with the new man in her life. Cue a battle of wits and battle of the sexes in the finest tradition of "screwball" comedy as Walter does his scheming best to throw a spanner in the works.
It's doubtful if there'll ever be another comedy as fast and as furious as this one; the pace is relentless, with machine gun dialogue. You could see it twenty times or more and it's a fair bet that you'd still miss some of the gags in its razor sharp script. The performances of everyone, from principals to bit part players, are pitch perfect, with some miraculous comic timing and dexterity on display. Grant and Russell strike sparks of each other in a dazzling display of on screen chemistry, and there's a wonderfully droll study in dullness from Ralph Bellamy as Hildy's fiance. Director Howard Hawks displays total mastery of the genre, effortlessly pulling all the strings to deliver a piece of inspired mayhem to delight us over and over again. Utterly sublime.
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on 28 May 2006
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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