My 150 Favorite Movies - #54
The rat-a-tat dialogue delivered by Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday is enough to send shivers down one's spine. Based on the play The Front Page by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, originally produced on Broadway in 1928, the story concerns a police reporter, leaving the paper to get a respectable job and settle down, only to get caught up in a big criminal case. The newspaper's editor would do anything to have the reporter stay with the paper. The 1940 film version made the reporter a woman and added a romantic angle. One of the first films, if not the first film to have characters talking over each other in overlapping dialogue, His Girl Friday is a prime example of American screwball comedy, and was voted #10 in Total Film's 100 Greatest Films of All Time. In 1993 it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.