Film Reviews, Short Review

His Girl Friday (1940)

3/4

Perhaps the most exhausting ninety minutes ever put together on film, His Girl Friday is certainly an impressive accomplishment of breakneck dialogue and thespian prowess. On the one hand, I’m always impressed by the film’s accomplishments at holding such a pace for such a long time—director Howard Hawks films most of the scenes very simply, in long takes and basic mid-shots, so there are few cheats of editing going on here; that really is Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell reeling off every line so quick that the sonic boom can just about be heard at times—but I’m not convinced it makes for a truly classic film as the minds of most mere mortals cannot keep up with that kind of pace. Nevertheless, when I can keep up long enough to catch the dialogue, it’s always smart, funny, and well-delivered. I only wish I had a chance to breathe at times.

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