Monday, April 9, 2012

TODAY'S NUGGET: #31 WGA Script of All Time - His Girl Friday (1940)

[Quick Summary: The night before a newspaper woman is to be re-married, her news publisher ex-husband lures her back into the news game with a juicy capital murder story.]

This movie is praised loudly & widely for its funny, fast-paced, furious dialogue.

Upon reading the script, I was interested to note that the dialogue is great in large part because the REACTION SHOTS are so great.

ex. "HILDY: I won't be more than ten minutes, I promise you.
BRUCE: Even ten minutes is a long time to be away from you.

We hear a giggle off scene.

CLOSE SHOT OFFICE BOY

He looks towards Bruce and Hildy and giggles.

TWO SHOT BRUCE AND HILDY

HILDY: What did you say, Bruce?

Bruce, embarrassed, looks at the office boy, then looks back at Hildy as they turn toward second gate leading into City Room.

BRUCE: I said -- uh -- I said even ten minutes -- is a long time -- to be away from you."
HILDY: Don't be embarrassed, Bruce. I heard it, but I just wanted to hear it again.

Notice the reactions:
1) The office boy giggles at the lovey dovey adults
2) Bruce is even more embarrassed & we know he's a private guy
3) Bruce's response to Hildy shows that he lets her lead the relationship

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: Reaction shots can be an extension of the dialogue.

His Girl Friday (1940)
by Charles Lederer

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