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A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying.
Sheriff Hartwell: Aiding an escaped criminal and a little charge of kidnapping. Fred, the Mayor: Well, looks like about ten years a piece for you two birds. Walter Burns: Does it? [unimpressed] Hildy Johnson: If you think you've got The Morning Post licked it's time for you to get out of town. Fred, the Mayor: Whistling in the dark. Well that isn't going to help you this time. You're through. Walter Burns: Listen the last man that said that to me was Archie Leach just a week before he cut his throat.
[describing Bruce] Walter Burns: He looks like that fellow in the movies - Ralph Bellamy.
Walter Burns: You've got an old fashioned idea divorce is something that lasts forever, 'til death do us part.' Why divorce doesn't mean anything nowadays, Hildy, just a few words mumbled over you by a judge.
Walter Burns: Diabetes! I ought to know better than to hire anybody with a disease.
Hildy Johnson: [speaking to Walter on the phone] Now, get this, you double-crossing chimpanzee: There ain't going to be any interview and there ain't going to be any story. And that certified check of yours is leaving with me in twenty minutes. I wouldn't cover the burning of Rome for you if they were just lighting it up. If I ever lay my two eyes on you again, I'm gonna walk right up to you and hammer on that monkeyed skull of yours 'til it rings like a Chinese gong!
Hildy Johnson: Walter, you're wonderful, in a loathsome sort of way.
Hildy Johnson: [Hildy's on the phone telling Walter how Earl Williams escsaped] Of course he had to have a gun to re-enact the crime with. And who do you think supplied it? Peter B. Hartwell. B For brains.
Walter Burns: Bruce, I, uh... let me get this straight. I must have misunderstood you. You mean you're taking the sleeper today and then getting married tomorrow? Bruce Baldwin: Oh, well, it's not like that. Walter Burns: Well, what's it like? Hildy Johnson: Poor Walter. He'll toss and turn all night. Perhaps we better tell him Mother's coming along, too. Walter Burns: [to Hildy] Mother? Why, your mother kicked the bucket! Bruce Baldwin: No, my mother, my mother. Walter Burns: Oh, your mother. Oh, well, that relieves my mind. Hildy Johnson: [to Walter] It was cruel of us to let you suffer that way. [to Bruce] Hildy Johnson: Isn't Walter sweet? Always wanting to protect me.
Bruce Baldwin: [Concerning Walter] I like him; he's got a lot of charm. Hildy Johnson: Well he comes by it naturally his grandfather was a snake.
Walter Burns: Look, Hildy, I only acted like any husband that didn't want to see his home broken up. Hildy Johnson: What home? Walter Burns: "What home"? Don't you remember the home I promised you?
Walter Burns: There's been a lamp burning in the window for ya, honey... here. Hildy Johnson: Oh, I jumped out that window a long time ago.
Walter Burns: Take Hitler and stick him on the funny page.
Hildy Johnson: Walter! Walter Burns: What? Hildy Johnson: The mayor's first wife, what was her name? Walter Burns: You mean the one with the wart on her? Hildy Johnson: Right. Walter Burns: Fanny!
Louis: What's the matter, Hildy? Hildy Johnson: Don't give me that innocent stuff! What did you pull on Mr. Baldwin THIS time? Louis: Who, me? Hildy Johnson: Yes, you and that albino of yours! Louis: You talkin' about Evangeline? Hildy Johnson: None other! Louis: She ain't no albino. Hildy Johnson: She'll do 'till one comes along! Louis: She was born right here in this country!
Walter Burns: What do you think I am, a crook? Hildy Johnson: Yes.
Hildy Johnson: A big fat lummox like you hiring an airplane to write: "Hildy, don't be hasty. Remember my dimple. Walter." Delayed our divorce 20 minutes while the judge went out and watched it.
Sheriff Hartwell: Please don't call me 'Pinky'. Murphy: Why not? Sheriff Hartwell: Because I got a name, see... and it's Peter B. Hartwell. McCue, reporter: What's the "B" for? Murphy: Bull.
Hildy Johnson: I suppose I proposed to you? Walter Burns: Well, you practically did, making goo-goo eyes at me for two years until I broke down. [impersonates Hildy, flutters his eyelashes] Walter Burns: "Oh, Walter." And I still claim I was tight the night I proposed to you. If you had been a gentleman, you would have forgotten all about it. But not you! Hildy Johnson: [hurls her purse at him] Why, you - ! Walter Burns: [ducks and her purse barely misses him] You're losing your eye. You used to be able to pitch better than that.
Hildy Johnson: [speaking to Walter on the phone] Did you hear that? That's the story I just wrote. Yes, yes, I know we had a bargain. I just said I'd write it, I didn't say I wouldn't tear it up! It's all in little pieces now, Walter, and I hope to do the same for you some day! [hangs up emphatically] Hildy Johnson: [to the other reporters] And that, my friends, is my farewell to the newspaper game.
Hildy Johnson: Take your hands off me! What are you playing osteopath?
Fred, the Mayor: It frightens me to think of what I'd like to do to you.
Walter Burns: You've got the brain of a pancake. This isn't just a story you're covering - it's a revolution. This is the greatest yarn in journalism since Livingstone discovered Stanley. Hildy Johnson: It's the other way around. Walter Burns: Oh, well, don't get technical at a time like this.
Bruce Baldwin: Mighty nice little town, Albany. They've got the state capitol there, you know.
Walter Burns: What were you when you came here five years ago - a little college girl from a school of journalism. I took a doll-faced hick... Hildy Johnson: Well, you wouldn't take me if I hadn't been doll-faced. Walter Burns: Well, why should I? I thought it would be a novelty to have a face around here a man could look at without shuddering.
Bruce Baldwin: [Speaking of Walter] You know, Hildy, he's not such a bad fellow. Hildy Johnson: No, he should make some girl real happy. Bruce Baldwin: Uh-huh. Hildy Johnson: [Under her breath] Slap-happy. Bruce Baldwin: He's not the man for you. I can see that. But I sort of like him. He's got a lot of charm. Hildy Johnson: Well, he comes by it naturally - his grandfather was a snake.
Walter Burns: We've been in worse jams than this, haven't we, Hildy? Hildy Johnson: Nope.
Walter Burns: [ducking from Hildy's throw and reaching for the ringing telephone] Oh, you're losing your arm! You used to be able to pitch better than that.
Walter Burns: Listen, you insignificant, square-toed, pimpled-headed spy.
Walter Burns: Sorta wish you hadn't done that, Hildy. Hildy Johnson: Done what? Walter Burns: Divorced me. Makes a fella lose all faith in himself. Gives him a... almost gives him a feeling he wasn't wanted. Hildy Johnson: Oh, now look, junior... that's what divorces are FOR!
Bensinger: Are we invited to the wedding? Hildy Johnson: Well, I might use you for a bridesmaid, Roy.
Walter Burns: [on the phone] Well Butch, where are you?... Well, what are you doing there? Haven't you even started?... Listen, it's a matter of life and death!... Well, you can't stop for a dame now! I don't care if you've been after her for six years. Butch - our whole lives are at stake! Are you going to let a woman come between us after all we've been through?... Butch, I'd put my arm in fire for you, up to here. Now you can't double-cross me... Put her on, I'll talk to her. [talking to the woman] Walter Burns: Oh, good evening madam. Now listen, you ten-cent glamour girl. You can't keep Butch away from his duty!... What's that?... You say that again, I'll come over there and kick you in the teeth!... Say, what kind of language is that? Now look here you. - [makes a noise like a horse, hangs up] Walter Burns: She hung up! What did I say?
Walter Burns: Well well... how long is it? Hildy Johnson: How long is what? Walter Burns: You know what... how long is it since we've seen each other?
Walter Burns: Madam, you are a cock-eyed liar!
Molly Malloy: If you was worth breaking my nails on I'd tear your face wide open.
Sanders: Where'd ya get the hat? Hildy Johnson: Hey! I paid twelve bucks for that hat.
Walter Burns: Let's see this paragon! Is he as good as you say? Hildy Johnson: Why, he's better! Walter Burns: Well then, what does he want with you? Hildy Johnson: Ah-ha-ha, now you got me!
Hildy Johnson: [speaking of her fiance] He treats me like a woman. Walter Burns: Oh he does, does he? Mm-hm... how did I treat you? Like a water buffalo?
Hildy Johnson: [to Walter] Listen to me, you great big bubble-headed baboon!
[Joe brings a reprieve for Earl Williams from the governor] Fred, the Mayor: Who else was there when he gave you this? Joe Pettibone: Nobody. He was out fishing. Fred, the Mayor: [to Sheriff Hartwell] Get the Governor on the phone. Joe Pettibone: No, he's not there. He's out duck shooting. Fred, the Mayor: The blasted nimrod... fishing, duck shooting! A guy who's done nothing for the last forty years but play pinochle gets elected governor and right away he thinks he's a Tarzan!
Walter Burns: Hey, Duffy, listen. Is there any way we can stop the 4:00 train to Albany from leaving town? Duffy - Copy Editor: We might dynamite it. Walter Burns: Could we?
Walter Burns: [Points at Bruce's boots] Oh and I see you've got your rubbers too, always good to be prepared for anything.
Wilson, reporter: Any dope on how he escaped? McCue, reporter: Maybe the sheriff let him out so Williams could vote for him.
Hildy Johnson: I wouldn't cover the burning of Rome for you if they were just lighting it up!
Hildy Johnson: [speaking on the phone to Bruce] There's an old newspaper superstition that the first big check you get, you put in the lining of your hat. In your hat! It brings good luck. Murphy: I've been a reporter for 20 years - I never heard that before. Hildy Johnson: [to Murphy] Neither did I.
Hildy Johnson: All I know is that instead of two weeks in Atlantic City with my bridegroom, I spent two weeks in a coal mine with John Krupsky. You don't deny that, do you Walter? Walter Burns: Deny it? I'm proud of it. We beat the whole country on that story. Hildy Johnson: [shouting] Well, suppose we did. That isn't what I got married for!
Walter Burns: [On the phone with Duffy; Walter and Hildy are getting remarried and going to Niagara Falls on their honeymoon] What? A strike? What strike? Where? Albany? Well, I know it's on the way, Duffy, but I can't ask Hildy to... Hildy Johnson: All right, we'll honeymoon in Albany. Walter Burns: Okay, Duffy. [to Hildy] Walter Burns: Well, isn't that a coincidence, we're going to Albany! I wonder if Bruce can put us up.
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