Girl Friday" on DVD
Columbia Tristar's "His Girl Friday" is based on the famous play "The
Front Page." It's a "nearly screwball" comedy from director Howard Hawks
that pairs Cary Grant with Rosalind Russell as a pair of once-married
newspapermen who can't seem to stay apart no matter how hard they try.
The Hawks version changes the "ace reporter" role to a female, which
adds a whole dimension of comedy and chemistry - and the Grant/Russell
team make the most of it.
His Girl Friday moves along at a breakneck pace and you'd better not
blink or you may miss some delicious dialogue (some of which was apparently
made up on the set) or action bits. The lines are great, the performances
are perfect for the material, and the film rockets along to its relatively
happy ending without too many people getting hurt along the way - though
lives are definitely changed.
Grant and Russell have real sparks between them - and it's great to see
Russell's character is a strong woman at home in a mostly-male world.
Terrific support comes from Ralph Bellamy, who thinks he's there to marry
Russell but who turns out to be mostly just along for the ride.
This is not only a good comedy, it's a delicious indictment of the newspaper
business and, by extension, the TV networks and magazines that have come
along since. It's a tale of "Get the story - or make the story - at all
costs," and though it's far more gentle than it need be, it should be
required viewing by journalists and journalism students worldwide.
The DVD version has been restored from the original negative and the
digitally mastered fullscreen picture and Dolby Digital mono audio looks
and sounds very good considering the movie's age.
Extras include a running commentary with film critic and author Todd
McCarthy, a quartet of featurettes, vintage advertising, trailer, talent
files, and a typically "Columbia Classics" liner essay.
His Girl Friday from Columbia Tristar Home Video
92 minutes, Fullscreen, Dolby Digital mono
Starring Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy, Gene Lockhart
Written Charles Lederer, Directed by Howard Hawks
Tell us at TechnoFile what YOU think