His Girl Friday
Written by Charles Lederer
Cinematography by Joseph Walker
Editing by Gene Havlick
Art direction by Lionel Banks
Starring Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell,
Ralph Bellamy, and John Qualen
The Great McGinty
Art direction by Hans Dreier and A. Earl Hedrick
Set decor by A.E. Freudeman
Starring Brian Donlevy, Akim Tamiroff,
and William Demarest
There are a few moments where our politically correct standpoint might think director Sturges is making fun at the expense of black people, but our disapproval dissipates somewhat when we realize that the humor would still be present if a white actor had been substituted. Sturges pokes fun at everyone. If the black actors had had more central roles, we would feel completely assuaged, but at least he hired them, gave them speaking lines, and their characters were invited to celebrate at the inauguration. We can not rewrite history: this was a time where things were not equal for all people, including black folk and women folk.
In the end, it's all about a dead-end guy who becomes promising and then gives up at the first set-back. Pretty dreary stuff, but what makes it interesting is that it communicates something real about political situations and about the politically jaded. In a way, it is a gift of the movie that it presents no solution, but rather only describes a problem, and does so clearly with great sympathy and humor. In this way, we are relieved that someone else is aware of injustice, and our minds are left turning to come up with the solution.