Thursday, July 2, 2009

Stop The Presses

His Girl Friday(1940)Directed By Howard Hawks

Walter Burns: "You've got an old fashioned idea divorce is something that lasts forever, 'til death do us part.' Why divorce doesn't mean anything nowadays, Hildy, just a few words mumbled over you by a judge. " I talk fast too, I'm told, not nearly as witty as this(what mere mortal could be). I smiled the whole time, and found myself more and more engaged, as it went on.
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."
Made in 1940, when WW2 was referred to as "the European war", and it still holds up pretty well.
The game of ex who won't let go, would have never allow you to root for the arrogant jerk to go with the guy whose worst for her, but such is this film's charms.
Fast talking aside, this was actually a pretty ruthless comedy, a women jumps out of a window for Gods sake, and no one cares!
Walter Burns: "Oh, Walter." And I still claim I was tight the night I proposed to you. If you had been a gentleman, you would have forgotten all about it. But not you! "
Hildy Johnson: [hurls her purse at him]" Why, you - ! "
Walter Burns: [ducks and her purse barely misses him] You're losing your eye. You used to be able to pitch better than that."
Everything is just a story to these people, not just the journalists, even the Mayor and Police Chief.For whom the death of a police officer, is just a matter of keeping "the colored vote" under their hat.The more honest and upright the characters, the more they get steamrolled over, Russel's fiance, his mother, the escaped convict, etc.
"Hildy Johnson: Walter, you're wonderful, in a loathsome sort of way." Watching Russell and Grant, one up each other is great, they have more genuine chemistry, than most movie couples.
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."
It's not laugh a minute, but I chuckled allot, and I'm still smiling as I write this. I already look forward to watching it again. A classic that lives up the title.As for what the title "His Girl Friday" means, I'm not sure, but my friend Alice Shen told me and I liked it. "The title? Maybe it has something to do with the big Friday headlines having to be in the Saturday morning paper.I always thought it referred more to how, by the end of the work week, she'll always be his girl.For the weekend."


neillgrant said...

Ah this is one of my favorite movies

neillgrant said...

apparently this film is in public domain:

Joe Sylvers said...

I told you I'd get around to watching it eventually.