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Ultra HD : Highly Recommended
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Release Date: February 13th, 2024 Movie Release Year: 1940

His Girl Friday - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray (Columbia Classics Vol.4)

Overview -

4K UHD Review By: M. Enois Duarte
Based on Ben Hecht's play The Front Page, Howard Hawks's His Girl Friday stars the charismatic performances of Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. Eighty-five years later, the classic romantic-comedy continues to entertain and delight audiences thanks to those memorable actors, as well as the rapid-fire, quick-witted dialogue. The classic film arrives on Ultra HD with a gorgeous 4K HDR presentation, but the same DTS-HD MA mono track and set of bonuses. Nevertheless, the overall UHD package is Highly Recommended.

Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Two-Disc UHD Combo Pack
Video Resolution/Codec:
2160p HEVC/H.265 - Dolby Vision HDR
Aspect Ratio(s):
Audio Formats:
English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
English SDH
Special Features:
Audio Commentary, Featurettes, Trailers
Release Date:
February 13th, 2024

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


Set within the frenetic energy of the "dark ages of the newspaper game," Howard Hawks's His Girl Friday continues to delight audiences nearly eighty-five years later partly due to the wonderfully memorable performances of Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. From the moment we see them on screen, they charm us with such charisma and genuine attraction that it instantly feels effortless to believe their characters, Walter and Hildy, truly belong together. The other reason for the film's success and why their union feels natural is frankly the dialogue, written by Charles Lederer and Ben Hecht, whose original play The Front Page this is based on. The rapid-fire, quick-witted exchange of the two is hypnotically rhythmic, and the actors bounce off each other with such ease that it is nearly mesmerizing to watch. 

In fact, the other characters seem incapable of keeping up with their fast-talking repartee, especially Hildy's naive, gullible fiancé Bruce (an equally wonderful Ralph Bellamy), which makes them the perfect, believable match in this chaotic world of the newspaper business. And within that, we have a plot that essentially exists like a live version of the mantra "all's fair in love and war." Much in the same way that ace reporter Hildy chases the story of a convicted bookkeeper (John Qualen) on the eve of his execution, manipulating the situation for the best sensational story, her hard-boiled editor Walter also manipulates Bruce and Hildy's engagement to expose cracks in the relationship so that he can conveniently swoop in. Granted, both their actions are arguably unethical, but in the capable, masterful hands of Howard Hawks, their inevitable union surprisingly feels earned and satisfying because once again, Hildy and Walter are made for one another. 

Vital Disc Stats: The Ultra HD Blu-ray
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment brings Howard Hawks's His Girl Friday to Ultra HD Blu-ray as a two-disc combo pack with a flyer for a Digital Copy, which grants access to the 4K HDR version with legacy Dolby Digital stereo. The dual-layered UHD66 disc sits comfortably opposite a Region Free, BD50 disc inside a black, eco-elite vortex case with a glossy slipcover. At startup, the disc goes straight to a static main screen with the usual options along the bottom while music plays in the background.

Currently, the film is only available with Sony's Columbia Classics Volume 4 6-film collection which also includes:

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

Kramer Vs. Kramer 


Sleepless In Seattle

Punch-drunk Love

Video Review


The Howard Hawks screwball comedy breaks the story first on the Ultra HD newspaper with an impressive and lovely HEVC H.265 encode that bests the 2017 Criterion Collection release, boasting a notable uptick in overall clarity and resolution. The fine textures in the fabric and stitching of the costumes are more apparent, particularly in Cary Grant's suit, while the background information is sharper and clearer to make out. Although slightly darker overall than what would be initially expected, the Dolby Vision HDR presentation nonetheless shows an improved contrast and brightness balance, especially the cleaner, more brilliant whites in the outfits. Black levels are richer and inkier throughout, but occasionally, a few minor instances of crush can engulf the finer aspects of the clothes and darker corners of the press room. Specular highlights add a welcome punch and shine to the various light fixtures and a tight, crisp sparkle in the reflection of the glassware. Presented in its original 1.37:1 aspect ratio, the native 4K transfer is awash in a noticeable, stable layer of natural grain, giving the digital video an attractive film-like appeal. (Dolby Vision HDR Video Rating: 86/100)

Audio Review


The classic rom-com also arrives at home theaters with an excellent DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 soundtrack, one with all the focus and attention on the rapid-fire dialogue, as it should. Vocals are crisp and distinct from start to finish with outstanding inflection in the voices and performances of the entire cast. While cleanly delivered in the center of the screen, we can still appreciate the clarity and discreteness of the ambient effects, such as the hustle-and-bustle of the newsroom and the sirens of police in the distance, generating a broad, open soundstage full of warmth and fidelity. Although it never pushes far into the upper frequencies, the lossless mix nonetheless exhibits a clean, detailed mid-range, making for a fantastic complement to the visuals. (Audio Rating: 82/100)

Special Features


All the bonus material is housed in the accompanying Blu-ray disc.

  • Audio Commentary with film critic and author Todd McCarthy
  • Ben Hecht (HD, 26 min) 
  • Lighting Up with Hildy Johnson (HD, 25 min) with film scholar David Bordwell
  • Screwball Style: The Iconic Costumes of Robert Kalloch (HD, 16 min) 
  • Breaking the Speed Barrier: The Dialogue (HD, 13 min) 
  • On Assignment (1080i/60, 9 min) 
  • Carry Grant: Making Headlines (1080i/60, 5 min) 
  • Rosalind Russell: The Inside Scoop (1080i/60, 3 min) 
  • Howard Hawkes: Reporter's Notebook (1080i/60, 3 min) 
  • The Funny Pages (1080i/60, 3 min) 
  • Vintage Advertising (1080i/60, 1 min) 
  • Trailers (HD)

Eighty-five years later, Howard Hawks's classic romantic-comedy His Girl Friday continues to entertain and delight audiences with its plot about two newspaper reporters who realize they belong together while frantically chasing after a sensational story. Based on Ben Hecht's play The Front Page, part of the film's success and popularity is the charismatic performances of Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell while the other is rapid-fire, quick-witted dialogue. The classic film arrives on 4K Ultra HD with a gorgeous Dolby Vision HDR presentation, but the same mono DTS-HD MA soundtrack and set of bonuses. Nevertheless, the overall UHD package is Highly Recommended.

All disc reviews at High-Def Digest are completed using the best consumer HD home theater products currently on the market. More about the gear used for this review.