Aparna (inspirethoughts) wrote,

Movie Critique 2016 – 06/25/2016: His Girl Friday

Continuing with the critiques I started in 2015, here is the next in series – a movie review.
Prologue: Go here.

Stars:  3.5 / 5
Recommendation: A sorry of screwball comedy that doesn’t bore you but doesn’t charm you either.  Easy watch.

His Girl Friday is a 1940American screwball comedy film starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. The movie is an adaptation of the 1928 comedy play The Front Page by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur.

This movie interested me after I came across in one of the book I wrote a review on and another movie I wrote a review on. First one, in Ellen Byerrum's Lethal Black Dress - 10th book in the Crime of Fashion Series - (My review here), the movie is mentioned. As Lacey goes through the videos Courtney had made as part of her series, she talks about one look that reflects the movie His Girl Friday. Second, in the 2006 movie The Holiday (Check my review here). For the movie, it is said that Kate Winslet had watched a lot of screwball comedies to get the right persona for the role.

Walter Burns (portrayed by Cary Grant) is a very cynical editor of The Morning Post and very much still in love with his ex-wife former star reporter, Hildegard "Hildy" Johnson (portrayed by Rosalind Russell). When he comes to know that Hildy is going to marry an insurance man named Bruce Baldwin (portrayed by Ralph Bellamy) and wanting to settle down as a wife and mother all the way in Albany, New York. And he very moment the reporter who was supposed to cover the execution of a convicted murder Earl Williams (portrayed by John Qualen) as he is sick. Walter uses this as a ruse and being that Bruce's earnings are short - per the life-style that Hildy is used to) - to retain Hildy for one last job, even goes to the resort to give her a very high pay for that job. Bruce and Hildy accept that, after much deliberation. However, what they don’t know is the hidden agenda of Walter which leads to arrests, kidnapping, and eventually capturing back the criminal. But will Walter win back Hildy? Or will Hildy go and marry off Bruce? Where has Earl gone to?

It's supposed to be a screwball comedy, right. However, I laughed less and infact had dozed off in between that I had to re-watch it again. But the star cast have done a very good job in the movie. Plot opens as a comical one but takes a serious turn then again moves into the lane of comedy keeping the serious along-side. The director also used the concept of overlapping conversations to make it look more real where people always talk one over the other. However, for me it did turn into a cacophony of noise at times. Yet it was not a bad movie for 92 minutes of reel time. One that you can watch comfortably sitting in your catch and not get bored.

Spoiler Alerts:
1) I wonder if there is an original or otherwise script of the play The Front Page somewhere that I could read. If I find it before the year ends, a definite item for my blogs.
2) Ralph Bellamy who portrays the role of Bruce Baldwin in the movie is a very accomplished actor. However I have had the pleasure of watching his acting only in one of his movies - 1983 Trading Places - where he portrayed the role of Randolph Duke - a cunning billionaire commodities trader. Another movie for my blog, I suppose. ;)
3) The play The Front Page was also adapted into a film prior to this film in 1931 with the same name by Howard Hughes. In this film the character Hildy was a male just like the original play. Another one for my blog post if I can find the film.
Tags: critique by amateur, movies, reviews

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