His Girl Friday

In Howard Hawks' delirious, rapid-fire newsroom screwball comedy His Girl Friday (1940), we have manic about-to-be-wed reporter Rosalind Russell racing in high heels after a story lead, then tackling the man to the sidewalk. "Where's my hat?" she later demands, unaware that it's perched on her head. She puts on her coat backward. When an inconvenient mother-in-law threatens to ruin the big prison-escape story our heroine and her editor (and ex-husband) Cary Grant are composing, the old hag is slung over the shoulder of a goon and transported to a taxi. Anytime you wonder what happened to Russell's fiance, there's a cutaway to screwball yeoman Ralph Bellamy behind bars again (about four stints in one day, thanks to jealous, conniving Grant). Clearly, we're not so far from Chaplin and Keaton. (NR) BRIAN MILLER

March 31-April 1, 2 & 4 p.m.; April 2-5, 7 & 9 p.m., 2012

 
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