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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Howard Hawks 
U.S. 1940

The second screen version of the Ben Hecht/Charles MacArthur play The Front Page, His Girl Friday changed hard-driving newspaper reporter Hildy Johnson from a man to a woman, transforming the story into a scintillating battle of the sexes. Rosalind Russell plays Hildy, about to foresake journalism for marriage to cloddish Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy). Cary Grant plays Walter Burns, Hildy's editor and ex-husband, who feigns happiness about her impending marriage as a ploy to win her back. The ace up Walter's sleeve is a late-breaking news story concerning the impending execution of anarchist Earl Williams (John Qualen), a blatant example of political chicanery that Hildy can't pass up. The story gets hotter when Williams escapes and is hidden from the cops by Hildy and Walter--right in the prison pressroom. His Girl Friday may well be the fastest comedy of the 1930s, with kaleidoscope action, instantaneous plot twists, and overlapping dialogue. And if you listen closely, you'll hear a couple of "in" jokes, one concerning Cary Grant's real name (Archie Leach), and another poking fun at Ralph Bellamy's patented "poor sap" screen image. Subsequent versions of The Front Page included Billy Wilder's 1974 adaptation, which restored Hildy Johnson's manhood in the form of Jack Lemmon, and 1988's Switching Channels, which cast Burt Reynolds in the Walter Burns role and Kathleen Turner as the Hildy Johnson counterpart.


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DVD Comparison:

Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Columbia Tri-Star (UK) - Region 2/4/5 - PAL

Big thanks to Ole of DVDBasen for the R2 - PAL Screen Caps!

(Columbia R1 - NTSC  Left vs. Columbia R2/4/5 - PAL -Right)

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Columbia Tri-Star

Region 1  - NTSC

Columbia Tri-Star
Region 2/4/5 - PAL
Runtime 1:31:51 1:28:09 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.37:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.72 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.37:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.17
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes

Bitrate:

Columbia R1

.

Bitrate:

Columbia R2/4/5

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0 ) DUB

English, German, Italian and Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)

Subtitles English Captions and French, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese, Chinese and Thai Subtitles as well as None English, Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Theatrical Release Date: January 11, 1940
Production Company: D3K Films

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1.00 ( Academy ratio )
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.37:1

Discographic Information:
DVD Encoding: Region 1 (US and Canada)

Edition Details:

• Commentary by Film Critic and Author Todd McCarthy
• Four Featurettes: "Cary Grant: Making Headlines,"(4:57) "The Inside Scoop: Rosalind Russell," (3:15)"Reporter's Notebook: Howard Hawks" (3:24) and "The Funny Pages" (3:29)
• Vintage Advertising (Posters / lobbycards).
• Talent Files (Howard Hawks, Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell and Ralph Bellamy)

• Trailers (His Girl Friday, It Happened One Night Born Yesterday and Pal Joey).

 

DVD Release Date: November 21, 2000
Keep Case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: Columbia Tri-Star (UK)
Theatrical Release Date: January 11, 1940

Aspect Ratio(s):
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.37:1

Discographic Information:
• Region 2/4/5 encoding (Europe, Middle East & Japan etc.)

Edition Details:
Commentary with Todd McCarthy.
featurettes: Cary Grant: Making Headlines (4:57), Rosalind Russell: The Inside Scoop (3:15), Howard Hawks: Reporter's Notebook (3:24), The Funny Pages (3:29).
Filmographies of Howard Hawks, Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell and Ralph Bellamy.
Vintage advertising (Posters / lobbycards).
Trailers (His Girl Friday, It Happened One Night and Mr. Smith Goes To Washington).

 

DVD Release Date: December 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 28

 

 

 

Comments: The Columbia R1 disc is better. Better and deeper blacks, slightly clearer. Other than the discs are pretty much the same except for some minor details ( see Trailers listed above). I was surprised and thought the PAL would come out on top. Just goes to show you. Both are super quality and much better than all of the others out there. A Classic film and a worthy DVD production. Stick with the R1 but if you don't own it yet, you know what to do. I think most individuals would be happy with the slightly lesser R2/4/5... especially if you require the extra subs. Great job Columbia!

(Note: His Girl Friday has recently entered into the public domain, and there have been multiple BAD versions released on DVD by other distributors.)

 - Gary W. Tooze





DVD Menus

(Columbia R1 - NTSC  Left vs. Columbia R2/4/5 - PAL -Right)


 


Screen Captures

(Columbia R1 - NTSC  Top vs. Columbia R2/4/5 - PAL -Bottom)



(Columbia R1 - NTSC  Top vs. Columbia R2/4/5 - PAL -Bottom)

 


(Columbia R1 - NTSC  Top vs. Columbia R2/4/5 - PAL -Bottom)

 


(Columbia R1 - NTSC  Top vs. Columbia R2/4/5 - PAL -Bottom)

 


(Columbia R1 - NTSC  Top vs. Columbia R2/4/5 - PAL -Bottom)

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Columbia R1

Sound:

-

Extras:

-

Menu:

-

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Columbia Tri-Star

Region 1  - NTSC

Columbia Tri-Star
Region 2/4/5 - PAL

 


 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...