Tuesday, January 18, 2022

On This Day... His Girl Friday (1940)

 Cary Grant's 35th full length film, His Girl Friday, was released on this day in 1940.


Editor of The Morning Post, Walter Burns (Cary Grant), is about to lose his ex-wife and the newspaper's best reporter, Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell), when she moves to Albany with her insurance agent fiancĂ©, Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy).  Hildy wants to leave journalism behind to live a normal life with someone who will never take her for granted.  To win back both his top journalist and the love of his life, Walter has to persuade Hildy into accepting one last story she won't be able to resist--the impending execution of  convicted murderer, Earl Williams (John Qualen).  Can Hildy renounce her passion for journalism, and Walter, the exciting man who never stopped loving her?


Cary Grant...Walter Burns
Rosalind Russell...Hildy Johnson
Ralph Bellamy...Bruce Baldwin
Gene Lockhart...Sheriff Hartwell
Porter Hall...Murphy
Ernest Truex...Bensinger
Cliff Edwards...Endicott
Clarence Kolb...Mayor
Roscoe Karns...McCue
Frank Jenks...Wilson
Regis Toomey ...Sanders
Abner Biberman...Louie
Frank Orth...Duffy
John Qualen...Earl Williams
Helen Mack...Mollie Malloy
Alma Kruger...Mrs Baldwin
Billy Gilbert...Joe Pettibone
Pat West...Warden Cooley
Edwin Maxwell...Dr. Egelhoffer

Did You Know?

One of the first films (preceded by "Stage Door" (1937)) to have characters talk over the lines of other characters, for a more realistic sound. Prior to this, movie characters completed their lines before the next lines were started.

The film finished shooting seven days behind schedule. The delays were caused by the complexity of shooting the rapid-fire dialogue, which had to be carefully timed with business and movement. The restaurant scene in which Burns takes Hildy and Bruce to lunch took four days to shoot. The original schedule had only allotted two days for the scene.

To maintain the fast pace, Howard Hawks encouraged his cast to add dialogue and funny bits of business and step on each others lines whenever possible.

This motion picture was released nationally on Cary Grant's 36th birthday.


Walter Burns: There's been a lamp burning in the window for ya, honey... here.
Hildy Johnson: Oh, I jumped out that window a long time ago.

Hildy Johnson: A big fat lummox like you hiring an airplane to write: "Hildy, don't be hasty. Remember my dimple. Walter." Delayed our divorce 20 minutes while the judge went out and watched it.

Hildy Johnson: He's kind and he's sweet and he's considerate. He wants a home and children.
Walter Burns: Sounds more like a guy I ought to marry.

Walter Burns: You've got the brain of a pancake. This isn't just a story you're covering - it's a revolution. This is the greatest yarn in journalism since Livingstone discovered Stanley.
Hildy Johnson: It's the other way around.
Walter Burns: Oh, well, don't get technical at a time like this.

Lobby Cards and Posters:

Directed by Howard Hawks
Produced and Distributed by Columbia.
Running time: 92 minutes.

Artwork by Rebekah Hawley of Studio 36.

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