His Girl Friday

Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, and Gene Lockhart

If I was given the option to go back in time, I’d go to the Golden Age of Hollywood. I know that we tend to glamorize the past, believing it is better than what we have now, but there is something so intriguing about the film world during this time. First off, Hollywood was not a dirty hole in terms of its looks and L.A. did not have a filthy smoggy mushroom-cloud resting on top of it. Oh how wonderful it would have been to dine, chat, and celebrate with the likes of Cary Grant, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, and Katherine Hepburn (to name a few).

Another thing I adore about this era is the fact that most of the films give you what we consider today to be the typical Hollywood ending, meaning that everything is wrapped up neatly and fastened with a shiny red bow! Even though it is so unrealistic, you can not help but adore it! A prime example of this is Howard Hawks 1940 film His Girl Friday starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. Russell works for Grant’s character who is an editor of a newspaper and they are working diligently to cover a murder story, but Grant has other intentions while this chaotic endeavour unfolds. He is trying to prevent Russell, who happens to be his ex-wife, from marrying Gene Lockhart’s character. She is expected to marry the following day, but Hollywood *cough* I mean fate intervenes and prevents this from happening. Of course it is a wonderfully quick ending where the two spontaneously decide to re-marry (basically Grant tells her they are getting married) and they rush out the office door for a two-week honeymoon. Nowadays romance in films tends to mimic real-life and this sort of ending is not really believable, however I wish more films ended like this even though it sort of gets your hopes up.

Another thing I loved about this screwball film was the quick and witty banter between all the characters. Hawks did a great job of directing the hectic conversations so that you could follow along with all the characters rather than having to choose between them. There are some good laughs and you cannot help but enjoy yourself watching this film. In addition, I noticed that during the credits at the end the headline was “Players” rather than “Starring” or “In Order of Appearance.” I kind of liked that and I think it should be reinstated immediately!


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