No doubt about it, the script for Lewis Milestone's 1931 comedy The Front Page was fast. But in 1939, Howard Hawks gave it a turbo charge by making Cary Grant the conniving newspaper editor out to stop his star reporter - - and now ex-wife - - Rosalind Russell marrying mummy's boy Ralph Bellamy. Fast? It's practically supersonic. Jaws locked on full-auto, Grant and Russell beggar belief as they motormouth through an overlapping avalanche of in-jokes, plot twists and fizzing witticisms.
It's a miraculous balancing act from Hawks, who keeps death-row drama bleeding under the movie's screwball skin to give this frantic battle of the sexes a fiendishly dark sophistication. Damn near the fastest, funniest 92 minutes in cinema history.