Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|His Girl Friday / My Favorite Brunette|
Actor: Cary Grant; Rosalind Russell;Bob Hope Dorthy Lamour; Peter Lorre; Lon Chaney
Similarly Requested DVDs
Two of the best from two of the best
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 05/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"How's this for a double helping of classic comedy from two of America's most revered entertainers? Arguably, His Girl Friday and My Favorite Brunette feature the best of both Cary Grant and Bob Hope, respectively.
With Howard Hawks in the director's chair and Cary Grant in the lead role, you're pretty much guaranteed to have a good time. His Girl Friday comes at you a mile a minute, with dialogue that starts out at break-neck speed and never slows down and more humorous moments than you can find time to laugh at. It's an unusual romantic comedy, given the fact that Cary Grant's character is a little less than noble (he is a rather ruthless newspaper man, after all) and the nice guy in the picture is lucky to finish at all, but there's still something endearing about the whole relationship between Walter Burns (Grant) and his former ace reporter Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell), who also happens to be his ex-wife. Hildy is due to get married in less than 24 hours, and Burns is desperate to win her back - for the newspaper as well as himself. This battle of the sexes turns into one of the most impressive battles of wits the big screen has ever seen, and the whole wild and crazy story makes for an extraordinary experience.
Grant and Russell demonstrate remarkable chemistry together, which is a necessity given the fact that their characters are divorced and know each other's ways so well. Poor Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy), Hildy's mild-mannered fiancé, is overwhelmed by the charm and manipulations of the remarkable Walter Burns. Even Hildy falls prey to his spontaneously elaborate schemes, finding herself agreeing to do one last story before leaving the newspaper business for good. That story, about a timid little man guilty of shooting a policeman whose forthcoming execution is being exploited as a triumph of law and order over anarchists and Reds, explodes in the hours leading up to the scheduled hanging, as the murderer escapes and ultimately provides the paper with a scoop that even the imaginative Burns could hardly have engineered on his own.
His Girl Friday is all about the dialogue. There are more words spoken during this ninety-minute film than you will find in any handful of other motion pictures. Grant and Russell really are remarkable, as most scenes go on for many minutes without either actor breaking stride. All of the minor characters jump in and out at the same unstoppable pace, and many are the times multiple characters are speaking to different people simultaneously. This is nothing less than an elaborate circus of vocalization, and it is all you as the viewer can do to keep up with everything that is going on. Burns and Hildy may have little time to think, but that doesn't stop them from unleashing words of great wit, innuendo, sarcasm, comic genius, and even a couple of in-jokes one on top of the other. Meanwhile, the script becomes much more complicated than I expected, as the murderer awaiting the gallows escapes, the corruption of the police and local government is made manifest, a woman tries to kill herself, and Hildy's husband-to-be and his mother find themselves victimized by Burns' ruthless schemes to keep Hildy right where she belongs.
His Girl Friday is an inspired example of moviemaking at its best, a classic that demands multiple viewings and loses none of its edge over the ensuing decades since its 1940 release. Not only is the film a real hoot to watch, it's a strange sort of pleasure to sit back and enjoy a host of extraordinary actors performing at the very tops of their games.
In My Favorite Brunette (1947), Bob Hope plays a baby photographer who dreams of becoming a detective. When an exotic brunette by the name of Carlotta Montay (Dorothy Lamour) mistakes him for a detective, he decides to throw caution to the wind and handle her case himself. A detective only needs smarts, courage, and a gun, and he has a gun; he has even invented a camera that takes pictures through keyholes. Carlotta says her husband is missing, although she later changes her story to say it is her uncle. When Jackson comes out to the house, he meets the missing uncle and starts to believe Carlotta is rowing upstream without a paddle, but Ronnie Jackson (Bob Hope) is not one to leave a gorgeous brunette in distress. To him, being a detective basically involves making time with beautiful female clients. Soon, as there really are all sorts of thug-induced shenanigans going on, Jackson is in over his head, eventually finding himself framed for a murder he didn't commit.
My Favorite Brunette features vintage Bob Hope comedy. He has one-liners for even the darkest of occasions; he even complains jokingly about his last meal when he is locked up in the hoosegow awaiting execution. Dorothy Lamour's character remains serious and reserved throughout, but this doesn't slow Bob Hope down, as he quite easily carries the movie's load of comedy single-handedly. As always with Hope, the comedy comes out in so many ways, particularly in the facial expressions; I don't think the man could ever have been not funny if he tried. The ending of this movie screams deus ex machina, but it really doesn't matter. My Favorite Brunette features an hour and a half of Bob Hope comedy in its most concentrated and effective form, guaranteeing a ton of laughs for anyone with a funny bone in his/her body. There's even a very special dessert at the end of this comedic buffet, as Bing Crosby puts in a quick but noteworthy appearance."