His Girl Friday is a 1940 American screwball comedy film directed by Howard Hawks, from an adaptation by Charles Lederer, Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur of the play The Front Page by Hecht and MacArthur. This was the second time the play had been adapted for the screen, the first occasion being the 1931 film also called The Front Page. The major change in this version, introduced by Hawks, is that the role of Hildy Johnson is a woman. The film stars Cary Grant as Walter Burns and Rosalind Russell as Hildy Johnson and features Ralph Bellamy as Bruce Baldwin. The plot centers on a newspaper editor named Walter Burns who is about to lose his newly engaged ace reporter ex-wife Hildy Johnson to another man. Burns suggest they cover one more story together, getting themselves entangled in the case of murderer Earl Williams as Burns desperately tries to win back his wife.
The film was #19 on American Film Institute's 100 Years...100 Laughs and has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. Because the claimants did not renew the movie's copyright registration, the film entered the public domain in the United States in 1968, but it remains copyrighted in France. The 1928 play it is based on remains under copyright in the United States until 2024.