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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most extraordinary comedies of all time
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...
Published on July 10 2006 by Daniel Jolley

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars CONSUMER WARNING: Wonderful movie,TERRIBLE DVD version!
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...
Published on Oct. 23 2003


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars CONSUMER WARNING: Wonderful movie,TERRIBLE DVD version!, Oct. 23 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: His Girl Friday [Import] (DVD)
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 amazon.com 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars brilliant film--dreadful DVD, July 12 2004
By 
This review is from: His Girl Friday (Bilingual) [Import] (DVD)
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Double Warning - Great Movie - Bad DVD, Feb. 21 2004
By 
John L Priestley (Anchorage, Alaska United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: His Girl Friday [Import] (DVD)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most extraordinary comedies of all time, July 10 2006
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: His Girl Friday (DVD)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Transfer from Columbia Tristar, March 5 2005
By 
Nix Pix (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: His Girl Friday (DVD)
"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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5.0 out of 5 stars VINTAGE SCREWBALL SPARKLES ON DVD FROM COLUMBIA, June 10 2004
By 
Nix Pix (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: His Girl Friday (DVD)
"His Girl Friday" is Howard Hawk's inspired remake of the award-winning Broadway play and previous movie release of "The Front Page". It's the story of 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 behind the desk as a cub reporter.
THE TRANSFER: BEWARE OF THIS DVD! There are no less than 12 bootlegged versions of this film 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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5.0 out of 5 stars THE funniest movie ever made!, May 28 2004
By 
MSF (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: His Girl Friday (DVD)
'His Girl Friday' was released in 1940 (Actually, it was released on January 18th to be exact, which was Cary Grant's birthday). It was based on the play 'The Front Page' by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur. 'The Front Page' was actually first made into a movie in 1931 (keeping the title of the play). It has a big change. The Character played by Rosalind Russell in 'His Girl Friday', was actually a man in the original story. The film is directed by Howard Hawks, and it has a very fast-paced story, which is hilarious, all the way through.
The basic plot of the story, is that Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell) has just recently divorced Walter Burns (Cary Grant), and she tells him that she will no longer be working with his newspaper. So as to she can get married again, to another man, Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy, in a great role), and live a much more peaceful life than the one she has been living in the newspaper reporter business. Before she leaves, she agrees to covering one more story. But Walter does everything he can to make sure this isnt her last story, and that she doesnt re-marry.
The DVD presents the movie to us, in a very good looking print, with good sound aswell. It comes with some nice extras, such as a few featurettes (although short) of the lead stars. With other little things too.
Easily, in my opinion (and I know a lot of others) the funniest movie ever made. Maybe Howard Hawks' best movie, with a great, great cast. Very highly recommended.
PLEASE NOTE: Living in the UK, I obviously own the Region 2 release from Columbia. Checking through, it appears to be the same as this Region 1 release.
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3.0 out of 5 stars "What did I treat you like? A water buffalo?", April 3 2004
This review is from: His Girl Friday (DVD)
Walter Burns: I still wish you hadn't done that, Hildy.
Hildy Johnson: Done what?
Walter Burns: Divorced me. It makes a man feel he's not wanted.
Hildy Johnson: Oh, now look junior . . . that's what divorces are FOR!
Many films eventually are forgotten as the years go on. Yet, the quality ones like Howard Hawks' "His Girl Friday" not only are still remembered but still hold up remarkably well to this very day. Watching Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant work their magic in this production is proof positive that good films will always remain good films regardless of their age.
Reporter Hildy Johnson (Russell) plans to leave her job as a reporter in order to settle down with insurance salesman Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy). However, Hildy's boss and former husband, Walter Burns (Grant), does not want to lose her so he offers her the juicy assignment of covering the upcoming hanging of convict Earl Williams (John Qualen) to get her to stick around. Hildy accepts the job but gets more than she bargains for when she encounters the escaped Williams who takes refuge with her.
"His Girl Friday" is, more than anything else, a showcase for Russell and Grant. Given a wonderful script to work with, the two leads use their natural charisma to vividly bring to life their respective characters. The art of the verbal quip is refined like never before here as Russell and Grant trade one-liners so deftly and so amusingly that you will be constantly smiling at their playful and witty exchanges. "His Girl Friday" is also a reminder of just how rare it is to find a modern film that has the same type of sharp dialogue. When the medium evolved to showcase spectacle over substance, less concern was directed toward the quality of a screenplay and countless films have suffered for it. Thankfully, there still are films from the past like "His Girl Friday" to remind us that there was a time when Hollywood recognized the value of good writing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my top 10 favorites, Jan. 29 2004
By 
This review is from: His Girl Friday (DVD)
Senior year in Cinema class, our teacher made us read "The Front Page" (the play HGF is based upon)as extra credit in addition to watching this classic flick. Oddly enough,in the play, the Hildy character isn't a woman, but a man, best friend to the editor that doesn't want him to get married and quit. Both versions work, but I think I like the movie version better.
Walter Burns (Cary Grant) in Hildigard "Hildy" Johnson both work for the Post (he's editor, she's a reporter). They're also divorced. The opening sequence shows Hildy visiting Walter's office to break the news that she's not only quitting "the newspaper game", but she's also getting remarried to a guy named Bruce (Ralph Bellamy). Not only does Walter not want to lose his best reporter, he can't stand losing Hildy to someone else. He does everything in his power to prevent them leaving for Albany on the 6:00 train- from having Bruce get mugged, and then framed (twice), he convinces Hildy to write one last article. A man named Earl Williams is going to be hanged for shooting a cop, and the Post believes he's innocent. But as Hildy follows her end of the bargain, Walter keeps changing the rules and moving the goalposts to prevent her departure. Hildy's fellow reporters also lay odds on wether or not a "swell reporter" like Hildy would give up the thrill of the game to "darn socks for a guy in the insurance business". An excellent cast and wonderful chemistry between Russell and Grant makes this film a 5-star one to own. There aren't too many extras to rave about, but still a movie any classics fan should have.
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4.0 out of 5 stars His Girl Anyday, Oct. 25 2002
By 
"weirdo_87" (Rancho Cucamonga, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: His Girl Friday (VHS Tape)
Based upon the Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur play "The Front Page", "His Girl Friday" is one of the most terrific and enjoyable of screwball comedies, as well as a satire of the newspaper business (Which explains it lack of Oscars).
Cary Grant is Walter Burns, the chief editor of the Morning Daily newspaper. He runs into trouble with his ex-wife "Hildy" Johnson (Rosalind Russell), who is also the best writer at the paper. Hildy tells Walter that she is moving to Albany and is getting married to an insurance man, Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy). Thus, she's quitting her job. This comes at a bad time, for an innocent man named Earl Williams (John Qualen) has been charged with and will be hanged for murder. Walter seems to still love Hildy, and sure isn't going to loose his best writer. So he has her interview Williams and get a story on him to prove he isn't insane. Walter, however, has a plan behind this. He wants to delay the trip of Hildy and Bruce long enough to allow Hildy to reconsider her decision to leave the paper. Thus, he has Bruce put on the charge of stealing a watch. Hildy becomes so irate that she destroys her story and is about to depart when Earl Williams breaks out, causing a chain reaction of events that'll make Walter and Hildy feel as though they're in a tea kettle.
Hildy Johnson's character in the original play was a man. Which might explain some of her not so lady like gestures and actions. There's ink flowing in her blood and Walter knows that. He knows that she was meant to be active and adventurous, not bogged down by figures and facts in an insurance office. But, it is also very likely that some of the things Walter does are out of love. He wants to make up for lost time that he didn't have with Hildy, like how their honeymoon was spoiled because they were trapped in a mine. Grant seems to be perfect for the role. But, though Russell was also a terrific choice, other actresses of the period (Katherine Hepburn, Irene Dunne, Myrna Loy) would have also been good choices. They would have presented the character differently though; they don't have newspaper ink flowing in their blood. Then again, what right do I have to complain? I'm a film buff, yes, but one who still needs more experience in screwball comedies.
A fine supporting cast assists Grant and Russell. Bellamy replays a role that's similar to his in "The Awful Truth". Come to think of it, this movie is a lot like "The Awful Truth", at least with the bickering ex-lovers and with Bellamy's Bruce, like his Daniel in "Awful Truth", being loyal to his mother. Gene Lockhart ("Going My Way") has some funny scenes as Sheriff Peter B. 'Pinky', who inadvertently helps Earl Williams escape from prison (Which causes Hildy to say that the B means Brains). The newspaper reporters are all a cruel bunch: They published bad things about Earl Williams and smeared the name of his girlfriend, Molly Malloy (Helen Mack). They only spring into action when they hear a news lead that sounds interesting, such as a background check that shows Earl Williams failed a class in High School. Among this group includes Porter Hall, Cliff Edwards, Roscoe Karns, Frank Jenks, and Regis Toomey (There's also Ernest Truex as Roy Bensinger, a tribune reporter). Also in the supporting cast include Clarence Kold as the mayor who would hang his own mother to be reelected, Abner Biberman as Louis, a hood who seems to be a send up of "Scarface" Al Capone (Or at least as he was played by Paul Muni), Alma Kruger as Bruce's mother, who uncovers the hiding place of Williams, Pat Westas as Warden Cooley, Edwin Maxwell as Psychiatrist Dr. Egelhoffer and Billy Gilber as a messenger with news from the governor.
Though it could be another item that makes this show great, the rapid, twisting plot may annoy some. Walter teams with Hildy, only to then double cross her by getting Bruce landed in jail. But not just once, oh no no. The poor guy goes there three times. It's like "Come three times in one day and your next visit is free" (That's right. All this occurs in about 12-18 hours). The ending I'll try not to spoil. But I will say that'll either make sense to you or just seem like another happy Hollywood ending (Or similar to endings of screwball comedies like "It Happened One Night", "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town", "The Awful Truth" and "The Philadelphia Story").
The VHS edition I saw this on was from the Goodtimes Video series "Hollywood Movie Greats" and is erroneously called a "Collector's Edition." Well, I guess if the collector wants a so-so print of the movie. The picture quality is clear for the most part, though some scenes are lighter or darker then others. One such scene is when one reporter asks for more light in the pressroom, saying that he can't see a thing. He must be blind because I could see fine. The sound is clear for the most part, though some scenes suddenly become louder for a few minutes and then tone down. A collector's edition should also have something like a theatrical trailer, or at least an advertisement for others in the collection. Fortunately, the movie has been put on DVD in an edition licensed by Columbia. I don't have it, but it should at least have better audio and video (Not to mention some extras).
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His Girl Friday (Bilingual) [Import]
His Girl Friday (Bilingual) [Import] by Howard Hawks (DVD - 2002)
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