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3.8 out of 5 stars
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on October 23, 2003
As noted by other viewers, this movie is fantastic - a true classic that holds up incredibly well over time. I am not writing about the film but about this particular DVD version by d3kfilms-- it is unwatchable, BOOTLEG quality, in my opinion. I had the misfortune of trying to rent this movie on DVD at my local video store, and this is the version they had in stock. It hadn't occured to me that a reputable video store would be stocking poor quality, unofficial versions of films, so I didn't at all expect what I saw when I watched this DVD. The image quality is EXTREMELY bad-- out of focus even when I put the sharpness levels up to maximum on my TV, and there are MAJOR scratches and jarring skips in the film. It was as if someone went to a revival theatre showing an extremely worn-out print of "His Girl Friday" and recorded the movie as it was playing on screen with their video camera, then burned what they recorded onto a DVD! That is how terrible the quality is, and this classic film deserves so much better. In fact, any film deserves better-- so watch out for DVDs that have this company's name (d3kfilms) on them or that do not have the original, legit studio's name on them. I noticed that sells 2 other versions of this movie on DVD-- try those before wasting your money on this one. I'd even recommend buying an official VHS version of the movie over this one. I was so shocked by what I saw that I got a refund of my money from the video store and then felt compelled to go online and warn people about it-- and I've never done either thing before.
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on July 12, 2004
Don't buy this DVD. The sound quality is terrible--a loud hissing noise overshadows the film's trademark fast, witty dialog. $5 seemed a small investment at the time, but I should have saved my money. Surely someday those who own the rights to "His Girl Friday" will release a DVD worthy of this wonderful classic.
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on February 21, 2004
I read a review about the bad DVD quality of the version of HIS GIRL FRIDAY produced by D3K films. I made sure I bought a different DVD of the movie from a company called Alpha Video. This was also an incredibly bad rendition of this classic movie. The contrast of the movie was so poor that you could not see the faces of the actors. It was also poorly framed. DON'T BUY THIS VERSION EITHER!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon August 24, 2014
This movie is from a play called "The Front Page " and has been done a number of times. In the original play the reporter Hildy
Johnson is a man. This version switches the role to a woman , Roz Russel , and that provides for additional laughs. She is terrific in the role. We have corrupt self serving politicians , and vain " sell more newspapers " newspapermen. Cary Grant , the editor of the paper , is priceless as he runs cons on everyone around him to manipulate things to his own benefit. On a list of the funniest movies of all time , this one would have to be included near the top. The dialogue is rapid fire , with screwball gags one after the other. Please consult other reviews as well , which advise of poor quality transfers on some DVDs. ( My version is VHS and has no problem. ) Induces a permanent grin from start to finish.
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on March 5, 2005
"His Girl Friday" is Howard Hawk's inspired remake of the award-winning Broadway play and previous movie release of "The Front Page". In this revamp, it's all about a rapid fire newspaper editor, Walter (Cary Grant) and his star reporter and ex-wife, Hildie Johnston. Hildie has decided to retire to the country with her soon to be new husband (Ralph Belamy). But when a prison break captures the imagination of a troupe of cutthroat reporters, all rabid for the real scoop, Hildie sets aside marital bliss for one last hurrah as a cub reporter.
THE TRANSFER: BEWARE OF THIS DVD! There are no less than 12 bootlegged versions of "His Girl Friday" being sold through various vendors on DVD. In all but one case the image quality looks as though the entire print had been fed through a meat grinder. The version you want is the one from Columbia Tri-Star Home Video. Its packaging features a disclaimer that reads "mastered from the original camera negative."
This version of "His Girl Friday" exhibits - in short - exemplary video quality. The B&W picture has been completely restored. Age related artifacts are nonexistent. The gray scale, black and contrast levels are perfectly realized. Fine detail will astound. There are no digital anomalies. The audio is mono but very nicely cleaned up.
EXTRAS: This version also includes some very nice - if all too brief - featurettes on the careers of stars Rosiland Russell and Cary Grant and the making of the film. There's also the original theatrical trailer.
BOTTOM LINE: This girl is worth seeking out!
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on July 20, 2000
OK, we all know that 'His Girl Friday' (aka 'The Front Page') is a terrific movie which belongs in every DVD collection. But there are some really bad, almost unviewable versions out there. Fortunately, I chose the right version, and it's a clean crisp image, tightly-focused sound -- a joy throughout. So if you want 'His Girl Friday', make sure you get the Laserlight DVD version, complete with a Cary Grant biog documentary and an unvelievably hokey intro from Tony Curtis on a bad day. I got the Laserlight disc from Amazon for around $7 -- the really bad dubs other reviewers have complained about from other companies cost more! I've found Laserlight transfers of old films are generally ok -- their cheapie Hitchcock transfers of 'The Lady Vanishes' and 'The 39 Steps' are almost as good as as Criterion in image, though pretty scratchy in sound. For a budget label, they do a good job compared to the absolute garbage put out by Madacy and others. So remember -- 'His Girl Friday' has to be from Laserlight or you're wasting your money and buying something totally unviewable. And no, this is NOT a paid ad! Just trying to steer people towards a good edition of a classic comedy. If Laserlight wants to thank me, they could prepare a DVD edition of my favourite of all Billy Wilder comedies, 'The Major and the Minor' with Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland. Love those 1940s comedies!
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on December 1, 1999
One of my very favourites. Howard Hawk's masterpiece is a culmination of the "screwball" comedy tradition of the thirties. Here, it's the dialogue rather than the plot which gives this gem its distinction. Roz Russell as Hildy turns the newsroom upside down as she throws her well-padded shoulders around. She's a fast-talking dame who's accepted by the newsmen as "one of the boys"; she's a fast talker with a quick retort for each and every wisecrack. The character of Walter Burns is made-to-order for Grant. Here, his stunts are verbal; his insults fly like daggers; the pace is somewhat frenzied, yet the film doesn't suffer from its weak thread of a plot. Time dances frantically by; the comedy is copious and varied; the gags are rapid-fire. The sarcastic banter between Hildy and Burns is the soul of the film. and it is this clever repartee that captures the audience. HIS GIRL FRIDAY is a fast, furious classic version of the Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur 1928 hit play "The Front Page". This movie is a unique example of Hollywood's golden years of film-making. The dialogue is delivered at breakneck speed with overlapping and clever inside jokes throughout. Rosalind Russell is a most inspired choice for Hildy Johnson (originally the character was a man) and she makes the best of her new-found niche in films; she's irreplaceable. Cary Grant has never been better and he even got to use his real name (Archie Leach) in one of his lines. Ralph Bellamy, an actor I usually don't care much for, fits right in here and the chemistry between the three is nothing less than exciting. There are serious undertones and John Qualen gives his most famous performance; he and the hysterical Helen Mack are chilling in their portrayals. Must be seen!
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on December 9, 1999
I'm sure you know that this classic movie is great. The DVD itself, on the other hand, is not what I've come to expect regarding restoration and remastering and whatnot. Bottom line is, the quality was as bad as the "bargain bin" VHS tapes of old movies that I quickly learned to avoid. In particular the sound was badly degraded, with a hiss that made it difficult to understand the dialog towards the beginning (that improved somewhat, but it was still bad). That's particularly annoying because I could clean it up better than that myself, with a trivial application of "Cool Edit" shareware! Clearly, this is a direct scan of poor quality original and zero work went into presenting it. The picture, too, is full of flickering spots and the whole thing has a soft out-of-focus look to it. If you just have to have this film in your collection, be resigned to the poor quality. If you're just looking, ask yourself if it's cheap enough for the lousy job.
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on December 28, 2012
His Girl Friday excellent example of how great "old movies" are. This one offers fast paced, intelligent, sparkling comedic timing with two of the best actors of their time.
We need to revisit such films and remind ourselves that not all movies need have a car chase, violence, or explosions to keep the viewers attention.
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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 fiance, is overwhelmed by the charm and manipulations of the remarkable Walter Burns. Even Hildy falls prey to his spontaneously elaborate schemes, finding herself agreeing to do one last story before leaving the newspaper business for good. That story, about a timid little man guilty of shooting a policeman whose forthcoming execution is being exploited as a triumph of law and order over anarchists and Reds, explodes in the hours leading up to the scheduled hanging, as the murderer escapes and ultimately provides the paper with a scoop that even the imaginative Burns could hardly have engineered on his own.

I could try to describe the story in more detail, but there's little purpose in doing so. His Girl Friday is all about the dialogue. There are more words spoken during this ninety-minute film than you will find in any handful of other motion pictures. Grant and Russell really are remarkable, as most scenes go on for many minutes without either actor breaking stride. All of the minor characters jump in and out at the same unstoppable pace, and many are the times multiple characters are speaking to different people simultaneously. This is nothing less than an elaborate circus of vocalization, and it is all you as the viewer can do to keep up with everything that is going on. Burns and Hildy may have little time to think, but that doesn't stop them from unleashing words of great wit, innuendo, sarcasm, comic genius, and even a couple of in-jokes one on top of the other. Meanwhile, the script becomes much more complicated than I expected, as the murderer awaiting the gallows escapes, the corruption of the police and local government is made manifest, a woman tries to kill herself, and Hildy's husband-to-be and his mother find themselves victimized by Burns' ruthless schemes to keep Hildy right where she belongs.

His Girl Friday is an inspired example of moviemaking at its best, a classic that demands multiple viewings and loses none of its edge over the ensuing decades since its 1940 release. Not only is the film a real hoot to watch, it's a strange sort of pleasure to sit back and enjoy a host of extraordinary actors performing at the very tops of their games. It takes accomplished actors to handle the intensity and sheer volume of dialogue that defines this film. His Girl Friday truly is one of the most impressive and extraordinary comedies ever made.
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