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Pop Culture 101-His Girl Friday
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Pop Culture 101: HIS GIRL FRIDAY

Sunday September, 29 2019 at 12:30 PM

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Pop Culture 101 - HIS GIRL FRIDAY

His Girl Friday would be followed by two other remakes of The Front Page. Billy Wilder would direct a version bearing the original play's name in 1974. That version would star Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau in the leads, with Susan Sarandon and Carol Burnett in supporting roles. In 1988, Ted Kotcheff would turn Hildy back into a woman in Switching Channels, starring Burt Reynolds and Kathleen Turner. For that version, the workplace was changed to a cable news network modeled on CNN.

The working woman's battle to balance career and marriage was a staple of Hollywood filmmaking at the time, turning up in films as different as Woman of the Year (1942), the first Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn vehicle, and Mildred Pierce (1945), the classic soap opera. Later films clearly influenced by His Girl Friday include Broadcast News (1987), with Holly Hunter, and I Love Trouble (1994), with Julia Roberts.

Jennifer Jason Leigh's tough newshound in The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) is an amalgam of the characters played by Russell here and by Barbara Stanwyck in Meet John Doe (1941).

In 2003, U.S. playwright John Guare adapted His Girl Friday to the stage by mixing the screenplay with elements of the original The Front Page. The production opened in London to mixed reviews, with Alex Jennings and Zoe Wanamaker in the leading roles.

by Frank Miller

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