Study Guide

His Girl Friday Scene 2

Scene 2

Scene 2

  • Out to lunch; Walter seats himself between Hildy and Bruce, blocking Bruce. Because Walter is… well, you know. A stinker.
  • Bruce says Hildy always does the unexpected; Walter talks up her newspaper skills.
  • Bruce explains they're going to live in Albany with Bruce's mother for the first year. Walter sneers at him. Bruce doesn't get it, but Hildy does.
  • She keeps kicking Walter under the table. Once she misses and kicks the waiter.
  • Walter learns that they're leaving in two hours for Albany on the train.
  • So he dumps food on himself, then goes and asks the waiter to tell him that he has a phone call.
  • Subterfuge. That's what Walter's all about.
  • Walter goes back to the table and is concerned that Bruce and Hildy are going to be on the sleeper together to Albany.
  • But Hildy assures him that Bruce's mother is coming along.
  • No sex. Phew.
  • Gus the waiter calls Walter to the phone (like Walter asked him to) and Walter calls Duffy. He tells Duffy to send Sweeney away, and says Hildy is coming back to work at the paper (though she doesn't know it), and generally plots nefariously.
  • Walter returns to the table and starts talking about the Earl Williams case.
  • Williams lost his job, became mentally ill, and ended up shooting a black policeman.
  • The paper has been taking his side, but because of the black vote in the city, the mayor and sheriff have decided they want to execute Williams.
  • Watching the film, you'd think black people controlled the city, when in reality, this movie was made before the Civil Rights Movement
  • His Girl Friday doesn't want to think about that though. It knows Walter's a stinker, but it's not really interested in the ways that he and the other characters are racist stinkers.
  • Hildy gets excited about the case and suggests doing an interview with Williams to show that he's insane and shouldn't be hanged.
  • Walter tells her she should do it; Bruce thinks she should too… to save the man's life.
  • She says Sweeney should do it. Walter says Sweeney's wife had twins.
  • Hildy points out Sweeney got married only four months before.
  • And of course, under the Hays code (see Shock Rating) no one can have sex before they're married, so no kids are possible.
  • Walter switches tactics and offers to take out an expensive insurance policy if Hildy will write the story.
  • Bruce is reluctant, but Hildy says she'll do it because they need the money.
  • She says she'll go to the press room and wait for Bruce's call. She'll write the story when Walter has handed over the money.
  • Hildy takes all the money Bruce has ($500) because she's worried that Walter will steal it from him.

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