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Watching Hildy and Walter on hulu.com

By Elizabeth Held
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
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I made a miraculous discovery last night.

"His Girl Friday" is on hulu.com in its entirety.

The 1940 movie stars Cary Grant as a newspaper editor (Walter Burns) trying to stop his ex-wife and top reporter Hildy Johnson (played by Rosalind Russell) from marrying a boring insurance salesman and settling down in Albany.

He begs her to cover one last story, and then does everything in his power to prevent her from leaving, including having her fiancé arrested three times.

The movie is known mainly for its rapid-fire dialogue and the chemistry between Grant and Russell. My favorite line: “Mighty nice little town, Albany. They've got the state capitol there, you know.” Still seems applicable today. I break it out whenever I try to explain to down-staters what possible benefit there could be to living upstate.

It really is a fun, witty movie and worth watching. I’m not sure I’d watch it with small children as the story Hildy is assigned to cover is an execution. But if you have an evening and an internet connection, catching it on hulu would probably bring a smile to your face.

Here are a few pieces of trivia I found on the International Movie Database and Wikipedia, for those of you who have seen the movie:

For one, Russell didn’t believe her lines were as good as Grant’s. So she hired an advertisement writer to come up with better lines. The movie’s director encouraged ad-libbing, so she worked these new lines right in. No one suspected a thing, except for Grant. He asked her each morning, “What have you got today?"

The movie is based off the play, “The Front Page.” In it, Hildy’s character is male.

The title comes from the phrase “girl Friday.” According to imdb this means, “someone's main all-around helper, as taken from the character in Robinson Crusoe, a 1719 novel by English author Daniel DeFoe.”

Hulu is adding more and more movies each day. Granted, many of them are Lifetime original movies, or movies you couldn’t pay me to watch, but some of them like "His Girl Friday" are high quality, including "Super Size Me," "Jerry Maguire," "Mr. Bean," "Dr. Strangelove," a series of old Sherlock Holmes movies, as well as a lot of Bollywood films.

Got a hulu movie recommendation? Leave a comment.

 

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