His Girl Friday (1940)

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A hard-nosed newspaper woman decides to quit to marry and settle down, but when a death row inmate escapes and lands in her lap things get a little more complicated.

His Girl Friday features one of the great screwball partnerships of all time as Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell bicker and swap wisecracks faster than a pair of Grouchos on amphetamines. Russell is a wonderfully independent female lead, giving as good as she gets from Grant’s hilariously immoral and hustling newspaper editor. Beneath the fast-paced laughs there is also plenty of black comedy and social satire to be had, poking fun at the media’s attitude to what is “newsworthy”, political corruption and a veiled commentary on the validity of the death penalty; which all may go relatively unnoticed as you may find yourself laughing too much to notice!

The slightly flimsy plot gets a little lost underneath all the breathless banter and it’s nowhere near as funny when Grant and Russell are not together on screen but as a whole, His Girl Friday is classic comedy.

7/10

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