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Archive for January 5th, 2011

                                                                                                                                                                               

© 2010 by James Clark

       As we get underway with a new year, and thoughts of exciting new things coming up, let’s pause for once with something quite old that doesn’t look so out of place after all. His Girl Friday (1940), what is  widely categorized as a “screwball comedy,” starring the immensely appealing Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, comes to us as a euphoria-tonic antidoting a rough patch of history. Its clearly exceptional performances arise from a dynamite script, and here we must watch our step.

    This high-gloss entertainment/profit centre packs a level of peppiness not often to be seen in “comedies,” and, with a little scrutiny, we must realize its “fun” is so reckless as to be constantly spitting in the face of every humanitarian nicety. In the course of delivering a sensational news story, an editor/publisher, “Walter Burns,” phones in a dramatic revamp of the front page, “No. No…Never mind the Chinese earthquake…I don’t care if there’s a million dead!” This is just one of countless indiscretions coming from Grant’s roguish charmer in pursuit of not only a scoop relating to a convicted murderer’s imminent hanging, but scooping back onto his staff and into his bed a crack reporter (“Hildy”) who until very recently was his wife. (more…)

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