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Nightly's Movie of the Week, Week 6 : His Girl Friday (1940)

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This week's Nightly.Net movie of the week is His Girl Friday (1940) starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. The movie was directed by Howard Hawks. The Internet tells me that "it is a screwball comedy about a newspaper editor using every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying." Okay!


His Girl Friday (1940) is a black'n'white movie. No need to adjust your television set! The colours are absent by design and deliberate intention! Not unfortunate error!


It is widely considered a classic and was selected in 1993 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry of the Library of Congress as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". Oooooh! Congress!


His Girl Friday (1940) is available to stream, uh, everywhere? It's on Amazon Prime, ImdbTV, The Roku Channel, Hoopla, Vudu, Tubi, Kanopy, DirecTV, epix, Popcornflix, PureFlix, Pluto TV, Classix, and The Film Detective. It can be also be seen for free via the Internet Archive or on DailyMotion or on YouTube.



It has a 7.9 rating on the Imdb. Movies that the ImdB algorithm considers to be better than or as good as His Girl Friday (1940) include such classics as Monster's, Inc (2001), The Help (2011), Logan (2017), Rush (2013), Star Wars Episode VI : Return of the Jedi (1983), Green Book (2018), Batman Begins (2015), A Beautiful Mind (2001), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Life Is Beautiful (1997), Joker (2019), La La Land (2016), Star Trek (2009), Cinderella Man (2005), Dragon Ball Super : Broly (2018), Boruto : Naruto the Movie (2015), Todd McFarlane's Spawn 2 (1998), and Todd McFarlane's Spawn 3 : The Ultimate Battle (1999).



His Girl Friday (1940) is appropriate for all Nightly.Net participants. Its running time is ninety two minutes long. Please, enjoy!

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Welp! This may be the end of Nightly Movie Club if no one but the person who suggests the movie is going to, y'know, watch the movie! Certainly the end of my participation in it from now on. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the 200+ views and the 'like' from Jacen123 (did one hundred and twenty two other Jacens register before you back in '99?), no question, they are a comfort to me. They are a balm to my spirit. I feel like Frodo on the rock in Mordor surrounded by lava at the start of the many many endings of Peter Jackson's adaptation of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. I feel like those views and that 'like' are my Samwise Gamgee, here with me in that moment. I'm glad to be with you, 200+ views and Jacen123's 'like', here at the end of all things.



[addendum : omigosh, Jacen! Your reply in this thread indicating your plans to see the film in one of the next few days is, uh, like the three (3) eagles at the end of that movie! This last minute rescue really made my day! I hope you enjoy the film!]



I did watch the movie over the weekend and wrote up a little of what I thought about it. Here you go! Not going to pick anyone else to do the next week of Nightly Movie Club. Going to go into the West and diminish, instead!


·         Any picture which includes an exclamation of "Jumpin' Jehoshaphat!" is well worth the price of admission.

·         I do wonder about whether or not this picture would be so beloved if it hadn't gone out of copyright. Or if all other pictures went out of copyright in a sensible fashion, too. Do you think alternate timelines enjoy it and It's A Wonderful Life (1946) and Night of the Living Dead (1968) in the same way? Please go ask the people or intelligent crab-men (and WOMEN!) living in the alternate timelines what pictures they enjoy and in what way they enjoy them. I suppose much of it depends on whether or not they have television over there.

·         I think this might be my fourth time seeing this picture. I saw it once or twice as a little kid, again in summer '10, recently to make sure it would still hold up so I could pick it for the movie club w/a clear conscience (fat lot of good that did me!), and now again. So four or five times, minimum.

·         I don't think it counts as a noir, obviously. It's so funny! It ends happily! But it IS a black and white picture set in a contemporary city featuring plenty of gunplay released in the correct time period w/an appropriately cynical attitude towards the pillars of society. It's one long sneer against domesticity, against government, against the free press, against the whole world, just an unending tirade of the motor-mouthed against the slow-witted.

·         There's a repeated conversational refrain "Can that girl write an interview?" / "She'll do until something else comes along." & "She ain't no albino." / "She'll do until one comes along."  that may have resurfaced with the Coen Bros. in No Country for Old Men (2007), the line they put in Tommy Lee Jones' mouth in reply to Garret Dillahunt saying "This is turnin' into a hell of a mess, ain't it, Sheriff?". It might have been in the book for all I know but I think they've also used it once or twice in their other stuff. And it may also have been a commonplace bit of banter, may not even come from this particular picture at all. Still, I like to think there's a connection.

·         I don't know. We're going into another official lockdown up here and the weather's taken a turn for the worse. I'm in a pretty sour mood! I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling that way, of course. And yet there's something magical about this movie. It's just scene after scene after scene of long take after long take. None of them ever quite call attention to themselves but in retrospect it seems impossible to imagine they ever managed to get it right once, let alone again and again. Cary Grant shaking Ralph Bellamy's umbrella instead of his hand! How wonderful it is to be to be able to witness such seemingly effortless acts of craftsmanship, doled out and eaten up by two practitioners at the absolute top of their game, strung together in a row like pearls on a string. Eighty years later and it's still such a pleasure to see! Maybe some pictures really are like poetry, like sculpture, maybe some pictures will really last. (Yes, I understand that I'm talking about a farcical comedy with, like, a condom joke in it. I know! I just find it v. moving!) (I laughed out loud @ Rosalind Russell tackling the warden after the jailbreak!)

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I was able to watch it, but haven’t had time to put together a good post.

I do appreciate you picking it, because I otherwise probably would have forever kept it on my list of movies to watch someday. And that list keeps getting longer.

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