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Directed by Howard Hawks

United States 1940 92 mins. In English

One of the most famous products to come out of Columbia Pictures during its late-’30s/early-’40s heyday, His Girl Friday is a model of wisecracking, fast-paced dialogue directly springing from its screwball forebears of the ’30s (in particular Frank Capra’s Columbia films). Walter Burns (an effervescent Cary Grant) is a newspaper editor whose ex-wife Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell in her most famous role) is on the verge of settling down to a boring housewife’s life, having once been a star investigative reporter. But Burns has one last job for Hildy: cover the high-profile execution of a convicted murderer. Is Burns sincere, or callously trying to win Hildy back? And when the murderer escapes, how will they handle it? His Girl Friday is a film that provides endless small pleasures to its audience—“a frenetic movie about attraction, ambition, and work that hasn’t lost a step—it’s funny, and not in that appreciative-titter ‘Ah, that was the Golden Age’ way.”—Nick Pinkerton, The Village Voice.