678. His Girl Friday (1940)

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7.1 Crazy screwball comedy
  • Acting 7.4
  • Directing 7.4
  • Story 6.6
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy

Director: Howard Hawks

Running Time: 92 mins


His Girl Friday is an American film about a cunning but buffoonish New York Times reporter who uses all his know-how to prevent his ex-wife from remarrying.

While I did enjoy quite a few of the big gags in this film, I didn’t the story was particularly strong in comparison to a lot of other screwball comedies. Films like Bringing Up Baby and It Happened One Night have got a great combination of farce and a fantastic relationship between the two main characters, however this wasn’t so interesting to follow along to.

However, I will start with the fact that this film has got quite a lot of big laugh-out-loud moments. I wouldn’t say it’s consistently hilarious and farcical, but is rather reliant on the occasional big joke to keep it relatively entertaining, and it succeeds in that with some properly funny jokes from time to time that reinvigorate your enjoyment of the film after the periods where it settles down.

And that’s where I think the major flaw in this film is. Yes, the whole concept is a total farce, and I found the premise and the opening stages funny and interesting, however as the film goes on, it becomes a very repetitive and uninteresting story between its major gags, meaning it’s easy to lose interest in the story very rapidly.

I said that Bringing Up Baby and It Happened One Night were examples of films with great central relationships, and this is another one. It’s definitely not as exciting and funny as those two, but Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell had some great chemistry that made their sparring quite entertaining to watch.

Overall, then, I’ll give this a 7.1, because, although it lacked a hugely entertaining and interesting story, it redeemed itself by having a lot of great gags and two fantastic central performances.

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About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com