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His Girl Friday (1940)

Cary Grant , Rosalind Russell , Howard Hawks  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (276 customer reviews)

Price: $46.78 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy, Gene Lockhart, Porter Hall
  • Directors: Howard Hawks
  • Writers: Ben Hecht, Charles Lederer, Charles MacArthur
  • Producers: Howard Hawks
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 21, 2000
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (276 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305416192
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,020 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "His Girl Friday" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Four Featurettes: "Cary Grant: Making Headlines," "The Inside Scoop: Rosalind Russell," "Reporter's Notebook: Howard Hawks" and "The Funny Pages"
  • Vintage Advertising
  • Talent Files (Howard Hawks, Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell and Ralph Bellamy)

Editorial Reviews

The Front Page, Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur's classic 1928 newspaper play, has had three official film versions and contributed structural DNA to half the movies ever made about professional camaraderie and fierce love-hate friendships. Lewis Milestone's 1931 movie is well respected (Billy Wilder's 1974 version isn't), but this is one case where the remake towers brilliantined head and blocked shoulders above the original.

Howard Hawks had the inspired notion of making Hildy Johnson--the ace newsman whom demonic editor Walter Burns is trying to keep from quitting and getting married--a she instead of a he. What's more, she's not only Walter's star reporter but also his ex-wife. When Hildy (Rosalind Russell) comes to tell Walter (Cary Grant) she's leaving the newspaper business, he bamboozles her into carrying out one last assignment--a death-row interview with a little nebbish (John Qualen) convicted of killing a policeman. It sounds like a snap, but before you can say screwball comedy, the press room of the Criminal Courts Building has become ground zero for all the lunacy a jailbreak, a shooting, an impromptu suicide, a corrupt city administration, and the most Machiavellian "hero" in the American cinema can supply.

His Girl Friday is one of the, oh, five greatest dialogue comedies ever made; Hawks had his cast play it at breakneck speed, and audiences hyperventilate trying to finish with one laugh so they can do justice to the four that have accumulated in the meantime. Russell, not Hawks's first choice to play Hildy, is triumphant in the part, holding her own as "one of the guys" and creating an enduring feminist icon. Grant is a force of nature, giving a performance of such concentrated frenzy and diamond brilliance that you owe it to yourself to devote at least one viewing of the movie to watching him alone. But then you have to go back (lucky you) and watch it again for the sake of the press-room gang--Roscoe Karns, Porter Hall, Cliff Edwards, Regis Toomey, Frank Jenks, and others--the kind of ensemble work that gets character actors onto Parnassus. --Richard T. Jameson

Product Description

A classic screwball comedy in which Russell plays reporter Hildy Johnson, who, on the eve of her remarriage, is talked into one more assignment by her editor and ex-husband, Grant. While interviewinga condemned man, Hildy realizes that his hanging is planned as a vote-getting measure. Spontaneously, she helps the man escape.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
237 of 250 people found the following review helpful
This is one on my favorite movies of all time. The dialog is fast, funny and SMART. Plus, the gender treatment is fascinating, and not dated in the slightest. But . . . WARNING! Avoid the D3K DVD at all costs. It is truly the most horrendous digital transfer I have ever encountered. The picture is fuzzy and the dialogue almost incomprehensible. I have a five-year-old VHS copy of a TV broadcast of the movie that has much better sound/picture quality. To make things worse, the feature menus on the DVD are poorly designed, so that you cannot tell what you are selecting. And the makers had the audacity to have a whole menu with the credits for production of the DVD. I can't believe how mad I got trying to use this DVD.
Luckily my friend had another version I could compare (and eventually buy). The "His Girl Friday/Cary Grant on Film" version is superb in comparison: Dialog is crisp, picture sharp. It has a bonus documentary, Tony Curtis introduction and the trailer. And IT COSTS LESS than the D3K. This version is a winner.
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63 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks to the other amazon reviewers ... April 29, 2001
By "bdny"
for warning me about which version to get. I bought the columbia classics version which was digitally remastered. The picture and sound quality are both excellent. There are a couple of versions out there. Luckily, I read the reviews here and didn't get duped into buying the cheap poor quality dvd. The movie itself is my favorite comedy of all time next to Some Like It Hot. This was one of my favorite roles by Cary Grant. The chemistry with Rosalind Russell was very smooth and Ralph Bellamy played his part well as the stuffy insurance salesman...Remember GET THE COLUMBIA CLASSICS VERSION. It's an extra ten bucks but excellent quality.
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102 of 115 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Technical/quality issues December 9, 1999
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I'm sure you know that this classic movie is great. The DVD itself, on the other hand, is not what I've come to expect regarding restoration and remastering and whatnot. Bottom line is, the quality was as bad as the "bargain bin" VHS tapes of old movies that I quickly learned to avoid. In particular the sound was badly degraded, with a hiss that made it difficult to understand the dialog towards the beginning (that improved somewhat, but it was still bad). That's particularly annoying because I could clean it up better than that myself, with a trivial application of "Cool Edit" shareware! Clearly, this is a direct scan of poor quality original and zero work went into presenting it. The picture, too, is full of flickering spots and the whole thing has a soft out-of-focus look to it. If you just have to have this film in your collection, be resigned to the poor quality. If you're just looking, ask yourself if it's cheap enough for the lousy job.
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73 of 81 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unbearable Image and Sound Quality January 6, 2000
Avoid this product at all costs. This great movie is ruined on this disc. The image quality is awful and continuously blurred. The sound quality is equally fuzzy. It's like watching a movie with your head wrapped in cheese cloth.
Amazon should stop selling this disc on the grounds of defective merchandise.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Columbia Classics version is the one to get December 27, 2000
By A Customer
The Amazon practice of putting all reviews for all versions of a title under each version makes things confusing in the case of His Girl Friday. It is in the public domain so there have been several cheap and lousy copies-of-copies releases. The Columbia Classics version (released November 21, 2000) is the one to last great picture and sound quality, by the original studio from the original film. The commentary by Todd McCarthy is good and the extras are fun, but the movie is the thing and 60 years later it's as fun as ever. What dazzling acting and dialogue. A classic.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shamefully Poor Quality Ruins Great Movie December 22, 1999
A long-time favorite movie of mine, "His Girl Friday" is overdue for a thorough restoration. With its release on DVD, I hoped I'd see Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell looking crisp and sharp and hear their crackling dialogue with new clarity. Alas! This DVD appears to be a pirated copy made from a defective video tape. I was unable to tolerate more than five minutes of the fuzzy, ghostly spectres that flickered across the screen or the hisses and burbles that issued from the apparitions in place of dialogue. I seriously question the honesty of the manufacturer. An outrage.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
July 16, 2002
This is a great film, but my object here today isn't
to write about how much smarter this film is than most
contemporaray comedies, or to praise Howards Hawks,
Rosalind Russel or Cary Grant, alas, but to warn anyone
thinking of buying a DVD version of 'His Girl Friday' to
It is an awful transfer, grainy, worn-out, and
unprofessional. It probably gets a lot of nibbles by
having a low price. Don't be fooled. Pay the extra
ten bucks, or whatever, and get a responsible version
of this knock-out comedy.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding DVD, if you get the right one!!!! November 21, 2000
His Girl Friday is a hilarious movie, but because it has now been in the public domain for a few years, any ol' person or company could make a videotape or copy of it. This brand new DVD is immaculate in the transfer - Make sure though you're getting the DVD that has the "Columbia Classics" across the top - any other version is more than likely an old transfer with little care taken in the DVD mastering... This new DVD is the best the movie will probably ever look and is still a great film with some of the best bantering/overlapping dialogue and hilarious acting by Cary Grant you'll ever find....
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Can't beat an old classic....lots of humor and done tastefully...
Published 11 hours ago by Tammy Henderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Grant and Russell: one of the greatest pairings in Hollywood history!
Russell and Grant together are Hollywood Magic at its greatest! They took a terrific stage play, put in a great "twist" (make Hildy a woman), cast the most intelligent and... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Reader in Palo Alto
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The story line and the dialog as totally ahead of their time.
Published 7 days ago by hueyboy77
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't believe I waited so long to see this. ...
Can't believe I waited so long to see this. The dialogue was so witty and face paced I may have to watch it again to catch what i missed.
Published 10 days ago by Katy Kattelman
5.0 out of 5 stars Crazy, but in a good way.
When I first showed "His Girl Friday" to my partner, all he could say was,
"This movie is so crazy!" as he tried to stop laughing. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Captain Bill
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!!
Everyone should experience Cary Grant at least one time in his life!
Published 12 days ago by Andrew
1.0 out of 5 stars It was big then!!!!
Interesting to watch what entertained people not so long ago, and wonder why it was considered so entertaining. The evolution of the human brain, I guess?
Published 24 days ago by Gerald J. Vogt
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad film, but...
Not the best I've seen of Cary Grant. Note that this movie IS in black & white.
The plot was lacking substance & became confusing in the end, but relatively entertaining and I... Read more
Published 28 days ago by Tracy Sutton
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it. I was a little girl when he ...
This is classic Cary Grant. I loved it. I was a little girl when he passed away, but I love his charm and his movies I am so glad that you have these available. Keep it up. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Judy Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fast paced witty dialogue
Published 1 month ago by Paul Gallaher
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