His Girl Friday

Title: His Girl Friday
Year: 1940
Director: Howard Hawks
Writer: Charles Lederer, based on a play by Ben Hecht & Charles MacArthur
Starring: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy
Music: Sidney Cutner & Felix Mills
Distinctions: currently #221 on IMDb’s Top 250
Synopsis: a girl wants to leave the newspaper business to get married, but when the opportunity to exploit a condemned man and humiliate her fiance arises, she naturally can’t resist
How I saw it: on video (rented from Netflix), April 2008
Subjective Rating: 3/10 (Bad).
Objective Rating: 1/10 (gets a pity point for special effects/design) c. 1.4/4 (Bad).

It made me a little upset, physically. Every character falls under two categories: assh***s and victims. There are a few very funny lines, but for the most part it’s awkward stage writing. They never stop talking, so maybe the funny lines are coincidence — sort of the monkeys with typewriters effect. Everyone reads their lines as fast as humanly possible. You have to pause it every few minutes to breath. I’ve yet to see Cary Grant do anything I would call acting, but here he is at his worst.

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