Expedient repartee is one of the major hallmarks of any screwball comedy classic, and director Howard Hawks was the undisputed king of prose. His work in the 1930s already consisted of major screwball classics Twentieth Century (1934), with John Barrymore and Carole Lombard, and Bringing Up Baby (1938), another collaboration with the ineffable Cary Grant. But His Girl Friday takes the cake not only for its record-setting dialogue speeds, but just for being one of the most uproariously hilarious films ever made. Hawks ingenious ploy to change the role of Hildy Johnson from a man to a woman in this definitive departure from the iconic stage play The Front Page is only one of the many radical adjustments he made that gives His Girl Friday a unique and inventive edge over the well-worn expectations of the original classic. Grant and girl Friday herself Rosalind Russell have incredible chemistry together, and an unbelievable knack for one-upmanship, leading the film to rapidly accelerate in both its humor and absurdity. The comic expertise on display for His Girl Friday cannot be overstated; this is a bona fide and much deserved classic that remains timeless in its comedy and astonishingly impressive in its skill.
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