Notes on His Girl Friday

  • I love your take on the hat’s journey from couture to cap. I love her coat. I loved her interview with poor Earl. “Production for use.” Interesting take on journalism too—they clearly have no problem becoming part of the story.
  • Cary Grant’s character is pretty repellent. His saving grace seems to be that he’s exceptionally funny and immensely active. Funny how attractive that combination can be, and how completely it overcomes his other shortcomings.
  • I think the title refers to Defoe’s Man Friday in Robinson Crusoe—a “native” from a neighboring island with ability and smarts who keeps Crusoe alive (after Crusoe helps deliver him from being cannibalized by his own people).
  • The movie’s a remake of an older movie called Front Page. Hildy should have been a guy. It was only when Howard Hawks’ secretary read the lines that he decided to cast the character as a woman. I think this might explain why it’s such a great part.
  • Molly Malloy doesn’t die—they say several times that she’s moving. But this doesn’t change the fact that no one seems to much mind her attempted suicide. I guess we’re supposed to take that opening caption seriously: “It all happened in the “dark ages” of the newspaper game – – when to a reporter “getting that story” justified anything short of murder.” Were you sorry you never got to hear Hildy’s story? I was. I wonder whether Molly’s attempt would have entered into it.
  • Why, in the name of all that’s holy, does Cary Grant tap the rolltop desk three times? I’ve watched it twice and I still don’t get it. Did he screw up, or did he want Earl to show himself?
  • He did have the whole planned out. He gave Louie directions to pay her back with counterfeit money. So he made sure Bruce would be in jail.
  • The luggage she’s carrying at the end is hers. My take is that, although at the beginning she objects to the fact that he’s not a conventional gentleman–he won’t invite her to sit down, she has to ask him for a cigarette, then for a light, then tell him not to walk ahead of her, etc.—she’s decided by the end that he offers her access to something she likes better. Makes sense, I guess. She’s not much of a gentleman herself; seems totally unperturbed by the journalists’ abuse of Molly.
  • I do find it weird that she’s so attracted to the idea of being a housewife. Doesn’t seem quite right. It’s interesting, though, that she lets slip, while typing out her story and distractedly fighting with Bruce, that she’s glad he’s going if he thought she was going to be some suburban wife and he was going to try to change her.
  • After Molly leaves the first time the journalists are totally deflated and uninterested in their poker game. They’re ashamed of themselves. This scene seemed both ugly and right.
  • I totally missed the rum thing. And yes, the mock turtle line is spectacular.

Fondly,
Millicent

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