Study Guide

His Girl Friday Love


BRUCE: Even ten minutes is a long time to be away from you.

HILDY: What did you say?

BRUCE: What?

HILDY: Go on. [He laughs sheepishly] Well, go ahead.

BRUCE: Well, I just said, "Even ten minutes is a long time to be away from you."

HILDY: I heard you the first time. I like it. That's why I asked you to say it again.

Bruce speaks directly; he tells Hildy he loves her. Walter has trouble doing that. Hildy seems to like the direct approach… but notice that she first pretends she hasn't heard Bruce. Like Walter, she's addicted to misdirection (to poor Bruce's misfortune).

HILDY: Walter, you're wonderful. In a loathsome sort of way.

Hildy seems to insult Walter… but she also compliments him. She's conflicted. Love; it's complicated.

WALTER: Any way we can stop the 4:00 train to Albany.

DUFFY: We might dynamite it.

WALTER: Could we?

Presumably Walter isn't serious here (is he?). But his willingness to resort to violence is typical of his approach to love. He sees it as a campaign; which may involve kidnapping, skullduggery, and the occasional blown up train.

WALTER: Now Bruce, don't you think that Hildy is entitled to spend her last remaining years without worries of money? Of course you do, Bruce.

BRUCE: Of course, if you put it that way.

WALTER: And remember, I love her too.

BRUCE: Yes, I'm beginning to realize that.

WALTER: And the beauty of it is, she'll never have to know until I've passed on. Oh well, maybe she'll think kindly of me after I'm gone.

BRUCE: Gee! You make me feel like a heel comin' between ya.

WALTER: No, no Bruce. You didn't come between us. It was all over for her before you came on the scene. For me... it'll never be.

This is Walter's most direct statement of love, and it's made to Bruce, not Hildy. Walter doesn't like to reveal weakness… but also, talking about his love to Bruce is a strategy. He's getting Bruce to feel guilty, and to trust him. Then he lowers the boom. Walter doesn't say anything (least about love) without a plot. Because he's a stinker. (Notice in the scene that Walter wipes away a tear, sees that Bruce isn't looking, taps him on the shoulder, and then wipes away the tear again.)

HILDY: I thought you were really sending me away with Bruce. I didn't know you had him locked up. I thought you were on the level for once. I think you were just standing by and letting me go off with him without doing a thing about it.

WALTER: Oh come on, honey. What do you think I was? A chump?

HILDY: And I thought you didn't love me.

WALTER: Oh, what were you thinking with?

Hildy starts to cry. At first it seems like she's crying because she thought Walter was on the level, and he betrayed her again. But as she talks, it becomes clear she was crying because she thought Walter was on the level, and was willing to let her go marry Bruce. She was afraid that Walter was too nice—but, of course, he isn't.

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