His Girl Friday (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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One of the fastest, funniest, and most quotable films ever made, His Girl Friday stars Rosalind Russell as reporter Hildy Johnson, a standout among cinema s powerful women. Hildy is matched in force only by her conniving but charismatic editor and ex-husband, Walter Burns (played by the peerless Cary Grant), who dangles the chance for her to scoop her fellow newswriters with the story of an impending execution in order to keep her from hopping the train that s supposed to take her to Albany and a new life as a housewife. When adapting Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur s smash hit play The Front Page, director Howard Hawks had the inspired idea of turning star reporter Hildy Johnson into a woman, and the result is an immortal mix of hard-boiled newsroom setting with remarriage comedy. Also presented here is a brand-new restoration of the 1931 The Front Page, the famous pre-Code adaptation of the same material, directed by Lewis Milestone.
TWO-BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
- New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
- New 2K restoration of Lewis Milestone s The Front Page (1931), made from a recently discovered print of the director s preferred version
- New interview with film scholar David Bordwell about His Girl Friday
- Archival interviews with director Howard Hawks
- Featurettes from 1999 about Hawks, actor Rosalind Russell, and the making of His Girl Friday
- Radio adaptation of His Girl Friday from 1940
- New piece about the restoration of The Front Page
- New piece about playwright and screenwriter Ben Hecht
- Radio adaptations of the play The Front Page from 1937 and 1946
- His Girl Friday trailers
- PLUS: A booklet featuring essays on His Girl Friday and The Front Page by film critics Farran Smith Nehme and Michael Sragow
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Top Customer Reviews
It IS a pity that Criterion has apparently given up on recordings new commentary tracks because "His Girl Friday" is so chock full of great unsung supporting players and clever dialog, it would've been a real pleasure to listen to one of the many excellent film historians who would've spotlighted all of the performances and quirks in this classic screwball comedy.
Although officially a romance (and starring the heartthrob male lead of that era), it is really about two people who love their work and love working together. It is so clearly about work instead of romance that the remake (Front Page) had no troubles from switching the lead reporter to a male role.
speaking of the varying levels of quality in the transfer of this film - which remains, to this Columbia Journalism School graduate - the greatest and still most accurate of all films made about American reporting - THIS COVER IS THE ONLY HD VERSION FOR STREAMING. why this one, I have no idea - but the other two are blurry low-resolution that look like a remnant from the first VHS transfer, while this one has been cleaned up digitally and had its line count enhanced - even though whatever process they used increased the grain, and can't be compared to, say, any of the Criterion remasterings of black and white classics - it's still much easier on 2015 eyes than the other two. So this is the one to choose, even with its color photograph cover which hints of a colorized version - it is not. It's black-and-white. (and btw, the Netflix version of His Girl Friday is not only blurry but out of sync by at least two frames, so avoid)