Hildy Johnson, newspaper reporter, is engaged to Peggy Grant and planning to move to New York for a higher paying advertising job. The court press room is full of lame reporters who invent stories as much as write them. All are waiting to cover the hanging of Earl Williams…
If the title sounds familiar, that’s because Hecht and McArthur’s fast-talking hit play was turned into the screwball classic His Girl Friday by Howard Hawks. But very fun and very funny is Lewis Milestone’s pre-Code adaptation—newly restored!—which keeps the gender roles of the play intact.
Great version of this classic. Menjou is a fav of mine, hes just so cool. This pre-Code version has a bit more bite than the more famaliar Grant-Russell version. Some of the camerawork is also quite innovative for its time. Sometimes early talkies are too stagnant, the camera immobile, but not here. A real gem.
The history of fast-talking and overlapping dialogue begins very early, and this is an important step in that chronology of auditory and visual simultaneity later so important in Altman. On top of the screenplay, there's some interesting camera-work and editing here.
The first screen incarnation of the classic play still works well, especially since it was made in the pre-Code era. Milestone's direction in particular proves impressives, even 80 years later. http://eddieonfilm.blogspot.com/2010/04/this-story-is-laid-in-mythical-kingdom.html