"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

"HIS GIRL FRIDAY"

screenplay by

Charles Lederer

Based on the play

"The Front Page"

by

Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur

1939

SHOOTING DRAFT



FADE IN: INT. ANTEROOM CLOSE SHOT SWITCHBOARD

Two telephone operators sit at switchboard busy plugging in
and out answering calls.

1ST OPERATOR
This is the Morning Post... The City
Room? Just a moment, I'll connect
you.
(plugs in call)

2ND OPERATOR
Morning Post... Sports Department?
Just a moment --
(plugs in call)

CAMERA PULLS BACK to disclose the rest of the anteroom. To
Camera left are the elevators -- at back wall directly behind
switchboard are chairs and a table for visitors. Next to
switchboard are stairs leading downward to the next floor. A
waist-high iron grill with a gate in it separates the
switchboard from the anteroom, a similar grill separating it
again from the city room which stretches on beyond
switchboard. At a table in the switchboard enclosure sits an
office boy, about fifteen, doing a crossword puzzle. The big
clock on the back wall shows that it is nearly one o'clock.

CLOSE SHOT OFFICE BOY

as he bends over paper. We catch a glimpse of the squares of
a crossword puzzle.

MED. SHOT

as a reporter comes out of the City Room, clanging gate to
behind him. The office boy looks up.

OFFICE BOY
What's a seven-letter word for --?

REPORTER
Don't ask me! If I knew any seven-
letter words, I'd be something better
than a reporter!

He catches a glimpse of the far elevator going down.

REPORTER
Hey! Down! Down!

MED. SHOT ELEVATORS

as reporter runs in to the closed elevator door and pounds
on it. It comes back, the door opens, and he gets in. The
door closes, as elevator goes down. The near elevator comes
up and discharges Hildy Johnson and Bruce Baldwin. Bruce
carries an umbrella and wears a raincoat.

MED. CLOSE SHOT TABLE

office boy looking over his puzzle as Hildy and Bruce come
into the scene.

HILDY
(with a smile)
Hello, Skinny. Remember me?

OFFICE BOY
(looks up; then a
glowing smile)
Hildy Johnson!

CLOSE SHOT SWITCHBOARD

Hildy approaches the switchboard.

HILDY
(to operator)
Hello, Maisie.

The first operator looks up.

MAISIE
Hello -- Hildy! You coming back?

HILDY
No, just visiting. Tell me, is the
lord of the universe in today?

MAISIE
He is -- and in a very bad humor. I
think somebody stole one of his crown
jewels. Shall I announce you?

HILDY
No, never mind -- I'll blow my own
trumpet.

THREE SHOT BRUCE, HILDY AND OPERATOR

Hildy turns to Bruce.

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. I can stand being spoiled a
little. The gentleman I'm going to
have a chat with did very little
spoiling.

BRUCE
(grimly)
I'd like to spoil him just once.
Sure you don't want me to go in with
you?

HILDY
My job, Bruce. I started it -- and
I'll finish it.

BRUCE
I suppose you're right -- but if it
gets rough, remember I'm here.

HILDY
I'll come a-running, pardner.

She starts to push open the iron-grilled gate leading into
the City Room. Bruce quickly springs forward and opens it
for her. Hildy smiles.

HILDY
Thanks, Bruce.

She kisses his cheek and walks through. He looks after her.
The office boy whistles. Bruce pays no attention, but stares
after Hildy.

MEDIUM SHOT - SHOOTING DOWN LENGTH OF CITY ROOM

Hildy starts to walk through City Room.

TRUCKING SHOT - HILDY

as she walks the length of the City Room. It's a long walk,
because it's a room that takes up practically the whole floor.
The scene is a busy one. But, gradually, as Hildy starts
down, one after another recognize her. There are cries of:
"Hildy!" "Hello, Hildy", etc., from the men as Hildy goes
straight down the aisle. She never stops but waves her own
greetings: "Jim!" "Hi, good-looking!" "Laura" "Hullo, Pop"
"Nan!" "Eddie!" "Hello, Mac" "Pete!" "Frank" "Oscar!", and
gets responses from each of them. One man is bent over his
desk reading his copy -- he is standing up. Hildy slaps him
as she goes by. He turns around: "Say, who did that?" As he
sees Hildy: "Hello, Hildy!" Hildy: "Hi, Jake." She passes a
middle-aged woman, almost an Edna May Oliver type, seated at
a desk pounding out copy and smoking a cigarette. As Hildy
comes up to her she slaps the woman on the back.

HILDY
Hello, Beatrice. How's "Advice to
the Lovelorn"?

BEATRICE
(looking up)
Hildy! I'll be a monkey's uncle!
What are you doing here?

HILDY
Point of information -- what does a
girl say on meeting her divorced
husband? OR:
(What does a girl do,
etc.)

BEATRICE
(illustrating)
My advice is duck and cross with
your right.

Hildy moves on. CAMERA TRUCKS WITH HER to the end of the
room where she pauses before the frosted glass partition
which separates Walter Burns' office from the rest of the
City Room.

INT. BURNS' OFFICE LONG SHOT

as she opens the door. Burns is shaving with an electric
razor and Louie is holding the mirror up in front of him.

CLOSE SHOT BURNS

shaving, Louie holding the mirror.

LOUIE
A little more round the chin, Boss.

MEDIUM SHOT

There is a sound of the door closing and Burns, without
looking up, says:

BURNS
What do you want?

HILDY
Why, I'm surprised, Mr. Burns. That's
no way to talk to your wife -- even
if she's no longer your wife.

BURNS
(grinning)
Hello, Hildy!

HILDY
Hello, Walter.
(to Louie)
Hi, Louie -- how's the slotmachine
king?

LOUIE
Oh, I ain't doing that any more. I'm
retired. I'm one of you fellas now --
a newspaper man.

HILDY
Editorials?

BURNS
Get going, Louie. I got company.

The door flies open and Duffy comes busting in.

DUFFY
Walter!

BURNS
I'm busy, Duffy.

DUFFY
Well, you're not too busy to know
that the Governor hasn't signed that
reprieve!

BURNS
What?

DUFFY
And that means Earl Williams dies
tomorrow morning and makes a sucker
out of us!

BURNS
You're crazy. Where's Mac?

DUFFY
He's on my phone. He just called me.

BURNS
They can't do that to me!

He grabs the phone on his desk:

BURNS
Give me that call on Duffy's wire!
Hello -- Mac? Burns. Where's the
Governor? -- What do you mean, you
can't locate him?
(apparently pleading
to the one man in
the world who can
help him)
Mac, you know what this means. We're
the only paper in town defending
Earl Williams and if he hangs tomorrow
we're washed up! Find the Governor
and when you find him tell him we
want that reprieve!... Tell him I
elected him and I can have him
impeached! Sure, you can do it, Mac --
I know you can. I always said you
were the greatest reporter in the
country and now you can prove it.
Get going! Attaboy!

He hangs up.

BURNS
(to Duffy,
sarcastically)
The greatest reporter in the country!
First I gotta tell him what news to
get! Gotta tell him how to get it --
then I gotta write it for him
afterward! Now if you were a decent
City Editor --

CLOSE SHOT DUFFY AND BURNS

with Louie and Hildy in the b.g.

DUFFY
Don't blame me. I'm City Editor in
name only. You do all the hiring
around here.

BURNS
Yeah! Well, I do the firing, too.
Remember that, Duffy, and Keep a
civil tongue in your head.

MEDIUM SHOT

HILDY
I don't like to interfere with
business, but would you boys pardon
us while we have a little heart-to-
heart talk?

DUFFY AND LOUIE
(together)
Well -- But I gotta --

They look at Burns.

BURNS
Scram, you guys.

They start to go.

HILDY
You won't miss anything. You'll
probably be able to hear him just as
well outside as here.

They go.

HILDY
Mind if I sit down?

Hildy sits.

CLOSE SHOT DUFFY AND LOUIE

going out of the door. They cast an interested look back and
linger a second. Over scene comes Burns' voice.

BURNS' VOICE
I said scram!

They close the door hurriedly.

MED. CLOSE SHOT BURNS AND HILDY

HILDY
May I have a cigarette, please?

Burns reaches into his pocket, extracts a cigarette and tosses
it on the desk. Hildy reaches for it.

HILDY
Thanks. A match?

Burns delves into pockets again, comes up with matchbox,
tosses it to Hildy, who catches it deftly, and strikes the
match.

BURNS
How long is it?

Hildy finishes lighting her cigarette, takes a puff, and
fans out the match.

HILDY
How long is what?

BURNS
You know what. How long since we've
seen each other?

HILDY
Let's see. I was in Reno six weeks --
then Bermuda... Oh, about four months,
I guess. Seems like yesterday to me.

CLOSEUP BURNS

BURNS
(slyly)
Maybe it was yesterday. Been seeing
me in your dreams?

MEDIUM CLOSE SHOT THE TWO

HILDY
(casually)
No -- Mama doesn't dream about you
any more, Walter. You wouldn't know
the old girl now.

BURNS
(with conviction)
Oh, yes I would. I'd know you any
time --

He grows lyrical and, rising from his seat, is about to start
toward her, as he continues:

BURNS AND HILDY
(together)
-- any place, anywhere --

He sits.

HILDY
(half-pityingly)
You're repeating yourself! That's
the speech you made the night you
proposed.
(she burlesques his
fervor)
"-- any time -- any place --
anywhere!"

CLOSE SHOT HILDY AND BURNS

BURNS
(growling)
I notice you still remember it.

HILDY
I'll always remember it. If I hadn't
remembered it, I wouldn't have
divorced you.

BURNS
You know, Hildy, I sort of wish you
hadn't done it.

HILDY
Done what?

BURNS
Divorced me. It sort of makes a fellow
lose faith in himself. It almost
gives him a feeling he wasn't wanted.

HILDY
Holy mackerel! Look, Walter, that's
what divorces are for.

BURNS
Nonsense. You've got the old-fashioned
idea that divorces are something
that last forever -- till 'death us
do part'. Why, a divorce doesn't
mean anything today. It's only a few
words mumbled over you by a judge.
We've got something between us nothing
can change.

HILDY
I suppose that's true in a way. I am
fond of you, Walter. I often wish
you weren't such a stinker.

BURNS
Now, that's a nice thing to say.

HILDY
Well, why did you promise me you
wouldn't fight the divorce and then
try and gum up the whole works?

BURNS
Well, I meant to let you go -- but,
you know, you never miss the water
till the well runs dry.

ANOTHER ANGLE

HILDY
A fellow your age, hiring an airplane
to write:
(she gestures above
to indicate sky-
writing)
'Hildy: Don't be hasty -- remember
my dimple. Walter.! It held things
up twenty minutes while the Judge
ran out to watch it.

BURNS
Well, I don't want to brag, but I've
still got the dimple -- and in the
same place -- I just acted like any
husband who doesn't want to see his
home broken up.

HILDY
What home?

WALTER
What home? Don't you remember the
home I promised you?

HILDY
Oh, yes -- we were to have it right
after our honeymoon -- honeymoon!

BURNS
Was it my fault? Did I know that
coal mine was going to have another
cave-in? I meant to be with you on
our honeymoon, Hildy -- honest I
did.

HILDY
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 Kruptzky -- age
sixty-three -- getting food and air
out of a tube! You don't deny that.
Do you?

BURNS
Deny it! I'm proud of it! We beat
the whole country on that story.

HILDY
Well, suppose we did? That isn't
what I got married for. What's the
good of -- Look, Walter, I came up
here to tell you that you'll have to
stop phoning me a dozen times a day --
sending twenty telegrams -- all the
rest of it, because I'm --

BURNS
Let's not fight, Hildy. Tell you
what. You come back to work on the
paper and if we find we can't get
along in a friendly way, we'll get
married again.

HILDY
What?!!

BURNS
I haven't any hard feelings.

HILDY
Walter, you're wonderful in a
loathesome sort of way. Now, would
you mind keeping quiet long enough
for me to tell you what I came up
here for?

BURNS
(rising, reaching for
his hat)
Sure, come on. We'll have some lunch
and you can tell me everything.

HILDY
(also rising)
I have a lunch date. I just want --

BURNS
You can break it, can't you?

HILDY
No, I can't.

BURNS
Sure you can. Come on.

DIFFERENT ANGLE

HILDY
Don't tell me what to do! We're
divorced -- I'm a free woman. You're
not my husband and you're not my
boss! And what's more, you're not
going to be my boss.

BURNS
What do you mean by that?

HILDY
Just what I said. That's what I --

BURNS
You mean you're not coming back to
work here?

HILDY
That's the first time you've been
right today. That's what I --

BURNS
(still interrupting)
You've had a better offer, eh?

HILDY
You bet I've got a better offer.

BURNS
Well, go on and take it. Work for
somebody else! That's the gratitude
I get for --

HILDY
I know, Walter, but I --

BURNS
(ignoring her)
What were you when you came here
five years ago? A little college
girl from a School of Journalism! I
took a little doll-faced mugg --

HILDY
You wouldn't have taken me if I hadn't
been doll-faced!

BURNS
Why should I? I thought it would be
a novelty to have a face around here
a man could look at without
shuddering.

HILDY
Listen, Walter --

BURNS
(going right on)
I made a great reporter out of you,
Hildy, but you won't be half as good
on any other paper, and you know it.
You need me and I need you -- and
the paper needs both of us.

HILDY
Well, the paper'll have to learn to
do without me. And so will you. It
just didn't work out, Walter.

WIDER ANGLE

BURNS
It would have worked if you'd been
satisfied with just being editor and
reporter. But no! You had to marry
me and spoil everything.

HILDY
(indignantly)
I wasn't satisfied! I suppose I
proposed to you!

BURNS
Well, you practically did! Making
goo-goo eyes at me for two years
till I broke down. And I still claim
I was tight the night I proposed. If
you'd been a gentleman you'd have
forgotten all about it. But not you!

HILDY
(speechless)
You -- you --

She grabs something and chucks it at him. He ducks. The phone
rings.

BURNS
(to Hildy)
You're losing your eye. You used to
be able to pitch better than that.
(he reaches for phone)
Hello... Yeah... What? Sweeney? Well,
what can I do for you?

CLOSE SHOT DUFFY

seated at his desk, talking into phone.

DUFFY
What's the matter with you? Are you
drunk? This is Duffy, not Sweeney!

CLOSE SHOT BURNS AND HILDY

Burns into phone:

BURNS
Sweeney! You can't do that to me!
Not today, of all days! Jumping
Jehosophat! Oh, no, Sweeney... Well,
I suppose so... All right. If you
have to, you have to.
(he hangs up)
How do you like that? Everything
happens to me -- with 365 days in
the year -- this has to be the day.

HILDY
What's the matter?

BURNS
Sweeney.

HILDY
Dead?

BURNS
Not yet. Might just as well be. The
only man on the paper who can write --
and his wife picks this morning to
have a baby!

CLOSE SHOT HILDY

HILDY
Sweeney?
(she laughs)
Well, after all, he didn't do it on
purpose, did he?

CLOSE SHOT BURNS AND HILDY

BURNS
I don't care whether he did or not.
He's supposed to be covering the
Earl Williams case and there he is --
waiting at the hospital! Is there no
sense of honor left in this country?

HILDY
(practically)
Well, haven't you got anybody else?

BURNS
There's nobody else on the paper who
can write! This'll break me, unless --
(he stares at Hildy;
then a light breaks)
Hildy!

HILDY
No!

BURNS
You've got to help me, Hildy.

HILDY
Keep away --

BURNS
It'll bring us together again, Hildy --
just the way we used to be.

HILDY
That's what I'm afraid of. "Any time --
any place -- anywhere!"

BURNS
Don't mock, Hildy, this is bigger
than anything that's happened to us.
Don't do it for me! Do it for the
paper.

HILDY
Get away, Svengali.

BURNS
If you won't do it for love, how
about money? Forget the other offer
and I'll raise you twenty-five bucks
a week.

HILDY
Listen, you bumble-headed baboon --

BURNS
All right -- thirty-five, and not a
cent more!

HILDY
Please! Will you just --

BURNS
Great grief! What's that other paper
going to give you?

HILDY
I'm not working for any other paper!

BURNS
Oh! In that case, the raise is off
and you go back to your old salary
and like it. Trying to blackjack --

HILDY
Look at this!
(pulling her glove
off her left hand)

CLOSEUP HILDY

She gets glove off left hand and holds up an engagement ring
for him to see.

HILDY
Do you see this? Do you know what an
engagement ring is?

CLOSEUP BURNS

He looks at ring, swallows, then:

MED. SHOT

Burns and Hildy.

HILDY
I tried to tell you right away but
you started reminiscing. I'm getting
married, Walter, and also getting as
far away from the newspaper business
as I can get! I'm through.

BURNS
(himself again)
Get married all you want to, Hildy,
but you can't quit the newspaper
business.

HILDY
You can't sell me that, Walter.

BURNS
Who says I can't? You're a newspaper
man.

HILDY
That's why I'm quitting. I want to
go some place where I can be a woman.

BURNS
I know you, Hildy, and I know what
it would mean. It would kill you.

CLOSER SHOT

HILDY
(bitterly)
A journalist! Peeking through keyholes --
running after fire engines -- waking
people up in the middle of the night
to ask them if they think Hitler's
going to start a war -- stealing
pictures off old ladies of their
daughters that got chased by apemen!
I know all about reporters -- a lot
of daffy buttinskies going around
without a nickel in their pockets,
and for what? So a million hired
girls and motormen's wives will know
what's going on! No, Walter, I'm
through.

BURNS
Where'd you meet this man?

HILDY
Bermuda.

BURNS
Bermuda... Rich, eh?

HILDY
Not what you'd call rich. Makes about
five thousand a year.

BURNS
What's his line?

HILDY
He's in the insurance business.

BURNS
(looks up)
The insurance business?

HILDY
(on the defensive)
It's a good, honest business, isn't
it?

ANOTHER ANGLE

BURNS
Oh sure, it's honest. But somehow, I
can't picture you with a guy who
sells policies.

HILDY
Well, I can, and I love it! He forgets
the office when he's with me. He
doesn't treat me like an errand-boy --
he treats me like a woman.

BURNS
He does, does he? How did I treat
you -- like a water buffalo?

HILDY
I don't know about water buffaloes,
but I know about him. He's kind and
sweet and considerate. He wants a
home -- and children.

BURNS
Say, sounds more like a guy I ought
to marry. What's his name?

HILDY
Well, I'll give you a hint. By
tomorrow they'll be calling me Mrs.
Bruce Baldwin.

BURNS
Tomorrow? Tomorrow... as quick as
that?

HILDY
The quicker the better. Well -- I
finally got out what I came in to
tell you.
(she extends her hand)
So long, Walter, and better luck
next time.

BURNS
(taking her hand)
I wish you everything I couldn't
give you, Hildy.

HILDY
Thanks...

BURNS
Too bad I couldn't see this guy first.
I'm pretty particular about whom my
wife marries.

HILDY
(laughing)
Well, he's waiting in the anteroom
for me now.

BURNS
Say, could I meet him?

HILDY
Oh, better not, Walter. Wouldn't do
any good.

BURNS
You're not afraid, are you?

HILDY
Afraid? I should say not!

BURNS
All right then, come on and let's
see this paragon.
(gets hat)
Is he as good as you say?

HILDY
Better.

MED. SHOT OFFICE

Burns has his hat. They start toward the door.

BURNS
Then what does he want with you?

HILDY
(laughing)
Now you got me.

BURNS
Nothing personal. I was just asking.

At the door, Burns walks ahead, opens door and walks out.

INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE BURNS' OFFICE MED. CLOSE SHOT BURNS

BURNS
After all --

He stops as he realizes she's not there. The door opens.
Hildy comes out.

HILDY
You wouldn't believe this, Walter,
but Bruce holds the door open for
me.

BURNS
(incredulous)
No kidding?

INT. CITY ROOM FULL SHOT

Reporters conversing. They stop as Hildy and Burns enter
scene.

TRUCKING SHOT

as Hildy follows Burns through the City Room. This time, in
contrast to Hildy's original walk through the room, the groups
are silent as they watch the two.

HILDY
(trying to keep pace)
And he takes his hat off when he's
with a lady.

BURNS
(over his shoulder)
What for?

HILDY
(shouting)
And when he walks with a lady, he
waits for her!

BURNS
(stops)
Oh, I'm sorry.

Burns, at this point, has reached the switchboard. He says,
under his breath, to Maisie:

BURNS
(under his breath)
Have Duffy call me in the restaurant
in twenty minutes.

Hildy, a little out of breath, catches up with him. At the
iron gate that opens into anteroom Hildy jumps ahead, opens
the gate and holds it for Burns.

HILDY
Allow me.

BURNS
(walking right through)
Thanks.

Hildy follows him out.

INT. ANTEROOM MED. SHOT

as Hildy follows Burns in. Bruce is sitting on the bench. On
the end of a bench sits an old, grizzled Western Union "boy".
Ignoring Bruce, Burns strides over to the "boy", seizes his
hand, shakes it and says:

BURNS
I can see right away my wife picked
out the right husband for herself.

CLOSE SHOT BRUCE

Hildy behind him. Bruce registers amazement at this.

CLOSE SHOT BURNS AND MESSENGER

The messenger is more amazed than Bruce as Burns keeps pumping
his hand vigorously.

MESSENGER
There must be some mistake. I'm
already married.

BURNS
(you never saw a more
surprised man)
Already married!
(turning to Hildy
o.s.)
Hildy, why didn't you tell me?

CLOSEUP HILDY

She shakes her head at Burns' antics, but can't help smiling
nevertheless.

MEDIUM SHOT BURNS AND MESSENGER

BURNS
(again seizing
messenger's hand)
Congratulations again, Mr. Baldwin!

MESSENGER
But my name --

BRUCE
(as he enters scene)
Mr. Burns!

Burns turns slightly but doesn't release messenger's hand.

BURNS
Yeah? You'll have to excuse me --
I'm busy with Mr. Bruce Baldwin here.
Just leave your card with the boy.

CLOSE SHOT BRUCE AND BURNS

Bruce takes hold of Burns' coat and shakes it to get his
attention. Burns turns on him:

BURNS
I'm very sorry, but I'm busy! Look --
(he points o.s.)
-- there's the boy. Take your card
and leave it with him.

He turns away again. Bruce, determinedly, takes hold of his
sleeve and pulls at it.

BRUCE
Mr. Burns --

BURNS
(wheeling around)
I've just told you I was busy with
Mr. Bruce Baldwin!

BRUCE
I'm Bruce Baldwin!

MEDIUM SHOT

Burns, still pumping the dazed messenger's hand, stops at
this, drops hand, and turns to Bruce:

BURNS
You're Bruce Baldwin?

BRUCE
Yes!

BURNS
(accusing to messenger)
Then who are you?

MESSENGER
(falteringly)
My name's Pete Davis.

BURNS
Pete Davis! Well, Mr. Davis, this is
no concern of yours and after this
I'll thank you to keep out of my
affairs!

The messenger isn't quite sure what he's done but he slinks
back to his seat as Burns turns to Bruce.

CLOSEUP HILDY

She is beginning to get sore, but reluctantly again she is
compelled to smile at Walter's behavior.

CLOSE SHOT BURNS AND BRUCE

BURNS
(reaches for Bruce's
hand but grabs the
umbrella and begins
shaking the handle
up and down)
This is a pleasure, Mr. Baldwin, and
I'm sorry about the mistake.

BRUCE
(he tries to shift
the umbrella, calling
Burns' attention to
it, and offers his
hand instead)

BURNS
Oh, I thought there was something
funny... You see, Bruce, you don't
mind if I call you Bruce, do you?
After all, we're practically related --

BRUCE
(completely unnerved
by this time, and
you can't quite blame
him)
Mr. -- well -- no -- no -- not at
all.

BURNS
You see, my wife -- I mean, your
wife -- that is, I mean Hildy -- had
led me to expect that she was marrying
a much older man.

BRUCE
(this is the final
crusher)
Oh.

BURNS
But I see, she didn't mean old in
years. You always carry an umbrella,
Bruce?

BRUCE
Well, er -- it looked a little cloudy
this morning.

BURNS
That's right. -- Rubbers, too, I
hope? A man ought to be prepared for
any emergency.

Burns looks down. Bruce, in unconscious responses, helplessly
lifts his foot up and we see the rubber.

BURNS
Attaboy!
(taking Bruce's arm
and leading him toward
elevator)
Come on, Bruce.

BRUCE
(going along, but
worried)
Where are we going?

BURNS
Where are we going? I'm going to buy
you two lunch -- didn't Hildy tell
you?

BRUCE
(a helpless look back
at Hildy)
No -- she didn't.

BURNS
Just wanted to surprise you, I guess.
(as the elevator is
about to pass, he
calls)
Down!
(practically shoving
Bruce in)
After you, Bruce!
(as Bruce disappears
inside he turns toward
Hildy)
Come on, Hildy, my treat!

CLOSE SHOT BURNS NEAR OPEN ELEVATOR

We don't see the passengers. Hildy comes into scene.

HILDY
I suppose I can't call this off
without creating a scene -- but
remember, it's your last fling.

BURNS
(hurt)
How do you like that? Here I am being
nice to you and your sweet-heart and
that's the thanks I get!

He jumps into the elevator -- in a second he hops out.

BURNS
(very sweetly -- he
almost sings it)
Oh -- after you, Hildy!

With a look of disgust Hildy gets in. Burns follows and the
door slams on them.

CLOSEUP OFFICE BOY

He looks after departed elevator and whistles. Then he grins
all over.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. RESTAURANT CLOSEUP - A BEAMING WAITER

HE GRINS ALL OVER AND SAYS:

WAITER
Don't tell me it's you, Hildy!

CAMERA PULLS BACK and discloses our three at a restaurant
table. Nothing swanky -- a place like Jack Blake's in New
York, say.

HILDY
(beaming at waiter)
Nobody else.

She extends her hand. The waiter takes it; they shake.

HILDY
How's everything, Gus?

GUS
I can't complain.

BURNS
(studying menu)
Well, I can. I'm hungry. Roast beef
sandwich -- rare. And some coffee.

GUS
Shall I put a little rum in the
coffee? It's a nasty day.

BURNS
Good idea. How about you, Hildy?

HILDY
(discarding menu)
Oh -- I'll take the same, I guess.
And coffee.

GUS
Little rum in yours, too?

HILDY
I guess so.

Bruce looks at her. She hurriedly changes her mind.

HILDY
No -- just coffee, Gus.

GUS
(crestfallen)
Just coffee.
(to Bruce)
And you, sir?

BRUCE
(putting menu down)
Oh, I'll take the same, I guess. And
a glass of milk.

GUS
(incredulous)
Milk?

BRUCE
(thinks he hasn't
heard)
Yes.

GUS
(shaking his head as
he writes it down)
Milk.

BURNS
And don't put any rum in it, Gus.

CLOSEUP - GUS

Gus gives him a look and goes.

ANOTHER ANGLE - THE TRIO AT TABLE

Burns surveys the others quizzically.

BURNS
(a sigh)
Well, so you're getting married
tomorrow, eh? How does it feel, Bruce?

BRUCE
Feels awful good. Yes, sir -- we're
taking the four o'clock train to
Albany and tomorrow we'll be married.

BURNS
(it's the Puritan in
him)
Taking the train today -- and being
married tomorrow?

He whistles.

BRUCE
(rising to the bait)
Oh, it isn't like that.

HILDY
(reassuring Mrs. Grundy)
It will be perfectly all right,
Walter. Mother is coming with us on
the train.

BURNS
Mother? But your mother --

BRUCE
No. My mother.

BURNS
(he gets it and
underlines it)
Oh. Your mother -- well, of course,
that relieves my mind.

HILDY
(to Bruce)
Isn't it sweet of Walter -- still
wanting to protect me?

She gives Burns that too-sweet look.

BURNS
(apparently taking
this at face value)
I know I wasn't a good husband, Hildy,
but you can always count on me.

TWO SHOT - FEATURING BRUCE AND HILDY

BRUCE
(a little cookily)
I don't think she'll need you very
much -- I aim to do most of the
protecting myself.

He pats Hildy's arm -- she smiles at him.

THREE SHOT - HILDY, BRUCE AND BURNS

BURNS
Well, I'll tell you one thing, old
man, she never looked at me the way
she's looking at you.

HILDY
I might have, Walter, but you were
never there.

BURNS
Anyway, I'm glad you two are going
to be happy and have all the things
I couldn't give her. You know, Hildy
is about the best reporter in the
country -- and that goes regardless
of sex. But all she really ever wanted
was a home.

BRUCE
Well, I'll try to give her one.

BURNS
I know you will, Bruce. Are you going
to live with your mother?

BRUCE
Just for the first year.

BURNS
(sighing)
That'll be nice. A home with mother.
A real honeymoon. In Albany, too.
Ow!

That "ow" is sotto voce, but it's the direct result of a
kick under the table from Hildy.

BRUCE
Mighty nice little town, Albany.
They've got the State Capitol there,
you know.

BURNS
Yes, I know...
(he chuckles)
Hildy, will you ever forget the night
you brought the Governor back to
your hotel room and found me taking
a bath? She didn't even know I was
in town...

His laugh stops cold and he clutches for his shin again.
Hildy just looks. Providentially, the waiter enters the scene.

GUS
Well, here we are.

He begins serving them.

BURNS
(trying to pick up
again after a second)
How's business, Bruce?

BRUCE
Well, Albany's a mighty good insurance
town. Most people there take it out
pretty early in life.

BURNS
I don't blame them.

Gus, who has just managed to come between Hildy and Burns,
lets out a startled "ouch".

HILDY
Oh, I'm sorry, Gus! My foot must
have slipped.

GUS
(a pained expression
belies his words)
That's all right.

BURNS
I sometimes wish I'd taken out
insurance -- but, of course, now it
doesn't matter. Still, I suppose it
would have been the smart thing to
do.

BRUCE
Well, I honestly feel that way. I
figure I'm in one line of business
that really helps people. Of course,
we don't help you much when you're
alive -- but afterward -- that's
what counts.

BURNS
I see what you mean.

They fall to.

CLOSE SHOT - HILDY

She sips her coffee and acts surprised.

HILDY
Gus, this --

CLOSEUP - GUS

GUS
(winking)
Good coffee, isn't it?

CLOSEUP - HILDY

She smiles and winks back, and takes another sip.

GROUP SHOT AT TABLE

Gus starts to go.

BRUCE
You've forgotten my milk.

GUS
Oh. The milk. Yes.

He leaves scene, shaking his head. Burns sips his coffee. He
likes it. He lifts his cup to Hildy.

BURNS
Here's luck to the bride and
bridegroom.

HILDY
(lifts cup)
Thank you.

BRUCE
(looking for something
to respond with --
apologetically)
He hasn't brought my milk yet.

A bus boy comes into scene and stops before Burns.

BUS BOY
They want you on the phone, Mr. Burns.

BURNS
They would!

Boy goes, Burns rises, starts off, comes back for his cup of
coffee, which he then takes off with him.

TWO SHOT - BRUCE AND HILDY

BRUCE
(looking after him)
You know, Hildy, he's not a bad
fellow.

HILDY
(looking at him
maternally)
You're so nice, Bruce, you think
everybody else is.

BRUCE
Oh, he's not the man for you. I can
see that. But I sort of like him.
Got a lot of charm.

HILDY
He comes by it naturally. His
grandfather was a snake.

BRUCE
(shaking his head)
If anybody had told me I'd be sitting
at lunch with him -- but he swept me
right off my feet.

HILDY
That's what he did to me. Swept me
right off my feet -- and left me
lying on the floor.

INT. PHONE BOOTH FULL SHOT

Burns is listening, has coffee on ledge and sips it now and
then.

BURNS
Get this -- get Sweeney off that
yarn and out of town on a two weeks'
vacation -- and right away... All
right, Duffy, keep your shirt on.
Hildy's coming back... No. She doesn't
know it yet. But she'll be there. I
promise you, Duffy. And tell Louie
to stick around.

He hangs up, smiles, and finishes the coffee. Then he girds
himself for being crushed. He gradually begins to look sunk.
He pulls out a small mirror to study his expression till he
finally gets what he wants. He holds that expression as he
comes out of the booth.

INT. RESTAURANT MED. SHOT AT TABLE

Gus is entering the scene.

GUS
Your milk, sir.

He serves Bruce.

GUS
And I brought you another cup of
coffee, Hildy.

Gus serves her and puts still another cup in front of Burns'
chair.

HILDY
Thanks, Gus.

She takes a sip and almost chokes.

BRUCE
Too hot?

HILDY
(gasping for breath)
No. It's strong.
(quickly)
But I like it that way.

Gus goes, smiling.

BRUCE
(looking off)
Say, what's happened to Burns? He
looks sunk, doesn't he?

HILDY
(beaming)
He certainly -- hic -- does!

Burns comes into scene, looking like a 1929 banker just before
jumping off a roof, and sits down.

BRUCE
Anything the matter?

BURNS
Just Sweeney again. One of my best
reporters.

HILDY
What now?

BURNS
His wife had twins and he went out
to celebrate and got as drunk as a
lord. They can't even find him.
(he sips his coffee)
I tell you, drink is the ruin of
this nation.

HILDY
(sipping hers)
You said it.

BURNS
So -- Sweeney gets twins -- and Earl
Williams gets hanged tomorrow.

BRUCE
Just what is the lowdown on Williams?

BURNS
It's simple. A poor little dope who
lost his job went berserk and shot a
cop who was coming after him to quiet
him down.

HILDY
If he's nuts, why doesn't the State
just put him away?

BURNS
Because it happened to be a colored
policeman.

HILDY
(for Bruce's benefit)
The colored vote happens to be very
important to the Mayor of this town.

BURNS
Especially with an election coming
up in a few days.

BRUCE
Are you sure Williams is not all
there?

BURNS
All you've got to do is talk to him.
But the Mayor would hang his own
grandmother to be re-elected.

BRUCE
But couldn't you show the man wasn't
responsible?

CLOSEUP - BURNS

BURNS
(there's a sly
expression on his
face)
How?

HILDY'S VOICE
You could run an interview that would
prove it. Remember the interview I
wrote with Jimmy Wellman? That saved
his life.

BURNS
(slapping hands
together)
Yes, you could do it, Hildy. You
could save that poor devil's life.
You could -- but --
(the enthusiasm dies
away)
-- you're going away. I forgot.

THREE SHOT

BRUCE
How long would the interview take?

BURNS
Oh -- an hour for the interview.
Another hour to write it.

BRUCE
We could take the six o'clock train,
Hildy. If it would save a man's life.

HILDY
No, Bruce, dear. Don't you see? This
is a trick to get your sympathy. No,
Walter, I've been waiting for
something like this -- but I wasn't
sure when you'd spring it. If you
want to save Earl Williams' life,
you can interview him yourself. You're
still a good reporter. Bruce and I
will be on that four o'clock train --
and thanks just the same.

BURNS
I'm an editor. I know what ought to
be written, but I can't write it the
way you could. It needs a woman's
heart --

HILDY
Why, Walter, you're getting poetic!

BURNS
(to Bruce)
You see what I had to put up with?
She never trusted me! You argue with
her -- otherwise you're going on a
honeymoon with blood on your hands!

Bruce gulps.

BURNS
How can you have any happiness after
that? All through the years you'll
remember that a man went to the
gallows because you were too selfish
to wait two hours! I tell you, Earl
Williams' face will come between you
on the train tonight -- and at the
preacher's tomorrow -- and all the
rest of your lives!

HILDY
(breaking into applause)
What a performance! Bravo! Don't let
him fool you, Bruce -- it's only an
act!

BURNS
What do you mean, only an act? Haven't
you got any feeling?

HILDY
Well, it's either an act on your
part or a miracle on Sweeney's.

BURNS
What do you mean?

HILDY
I happen to know Sweeney was married
only three months ago. If he's got
twins this morning, I claim it was
done with mirrors.

BURNS
(laughs, throws up
his hands)
All right, Hildy, I'm licked. But
I'll make you and Bruce a business
proposition.

HILDY
We're not interested.

BURNS
(to Bruce)
Maybe you'll be. You're a smart young
man. You let Hildy do this story for
me and you can write out a $100,000.00
insurance policy for me. What do you
say?

BRUCE
I don't use my wife for business
purposes, Mr. Burns!

HILDY
Wait a minute, Bruce. What's
commission on a $100,000.00 policy?

BRUCE
Well, at his age, twenty payment
life, a little over a thousand
dollars.

HILDY
And what's the matter with a thousand
dollars?

BRUCE
But --

HILDY
According to the budget, we laid out
that's more than our food bill for a
whole year. Listen, Bruce, I don't
want Walter Burns to use me, but I'm
perfectly willing to use him. How
long will it take to get him examined?

BRUCE
I could get a company doctor in twenty
minutes.

BURNS
Now you're talking!

HILDY
(turning on Burns)
You keep out of this. Bruce, suppose
you examine Mr. Burns in his office.
I'll get my bag and go over to the
Press Room in the Criminal Courts
Building. You phone me as soon as
Mr. Burns has given you his check.
Then I'll go get the interview and
you phone Mother that we're taking
the six o'clock train.
(back to Burns)
And no tricks, Walter!

BURNS
What tricks would I pull?

HILDY
Oh, nothing! Of course, you might
cancel the check. Yes! Wait a minute!
What would be his first payment on
that policy?

BRUCE
About twenty-five hundred dollars.

HILDY
Better make that a certified check,
Walter.

BURNS
(indignantly)
What do you think I am -- a crook?

HILDY
Yes --- and that's putting it mildly!
No certified check -- no story --
Get me?

BURNS
All right. The check will be
certified. Want my fingerprints?

HILDY
(rising)
No thanks, I've still got those.
Well, I'll step into some working
clothes and hop over to the Press
Room for the background on this yarn.
It'll be kind of fun to see the boys
again, too. Remember, Bruce, it must
be certified.

BRUCE
All right, dear.

HILDY
Wait a minute, Bruce. Have you got
that money?

BRUCE
(feeling his pocket)
The five hundred? Sure.

HILDY
On second thought, would you let me
have it? I'll get the tickets.

BRUCE
But --

HILDY
Believe me, Bruce, I know what I'm
doing. He'd get you in a crap game --

BRUCE
But I don't gamble, Hilda!

HILDY
I know a lot of men who didn't do
anything till they met Walter Burns.
Please, dear.

BRUCE
(reluctantly)
All right.
(he pulls out his
wallet)
One -- two -- three -- four -- five.
Five hundred. Be careful, honey.

HILDY
I'll be careful, darling. You be,
please.

She kisses him, kisses her hand and pats it to Burns' cheek.

HILDY
So long, husbands.

She goes.

TRUCKING SHOT - HILDY

leaving. She weaves just a bit.

MED. CLOSE SHOT - THE TWO MEN

They look after her.

BRUCE
(smiling a little)
I never knew Hildy to be so determined
before.

BURNS
You haven't seen anything yet.

Bruce turns to look at Burns -- they look at each other.

FADE OUT:

FADE IN: INT. PRESS ROOM - CRIMINAL COURTS BLDG - DAY CLOSE
SHOT AT TELEPHONE

It is ringing. A hand comes in to take the phone. CAMERA
DRAWS BACK A LITTLE to show Endicott taking the phone. He
has an eye shade over his eyes and five cards in his other
hand.

ENDICOTT
(into phone)
Criminal Courts Press Room... This
is Endicott... No, nothing new on
the Williams case yet boss. Well,
you bet I'm here plugging away every
minute.
(hangs up and studies
his cards)
Up a dime.

CAMERA PANS SLOWLY to reveal the other players as they speak.
Playing are reporters Murphy, Endicott, Wilson, Schwartz and
McCue.

MURPHY
(dropping his cards)
By me.

WILSON
(also dropping)
Droparoo.

Schwartz knocks on table and drops cards.

MCCUE
(reluctantly)
I'll call.

ENDICOTT
Three sixes. Is that any good?

HILDY'S VOICE
It sure looks good from here.

The boys all look up toward sound of Hildy's voice.

CLOSE SHOT HILDY JOHNSON

framed in the doorway. She is carrying a bag and has changed
her costume to a tailored travelling suit. She grins and
comes into the room.

MED. SHOT REPORTERS

They are all talking at once as Hildy comes into the scene.
There are ad libs of "Hildy!" "Where'd you come from?" "Holy
Mackeral, Hildy Johnson!", etc. Hildy raises her hand for
silence.

HILDY
One at a time, boys.

She enters to a desk, places her bag on top of the desk,
takes her hat off and hangs it on a clothes tree in the
corner, comes back to desk and opens the travelling bag. All
through the above action she is talking rapidly.

HILDY
No, I'm not back for good. I'm just
covering the Earl Williams story for
Mr. Sweeney who had a sudden attack
of something but will be all right
by tomorrow. No, I haven't made up
with Walter Burns -- far from it! As
a matter of fact, I'm leaving tonight
for Albany and I'll be married
tomorrow morning. The lucky man is
Mr. Bruce Baldwin, a gentleman in
the insurance business -- and when I
say gentleman, I mean gentleman! Are
there any other questions?

Hildy takes notebook and pencil out of bag, looks at the
stockings she is wearing, sees she has a run and takes a
fresh pair out of the bag. She sits down and begins to put
on the new stockings.

ENDICOTT
(grinning)
Well, that about covers everything.

HILDY
Good. Now I want to ask you fellows
a couple of questions. Did Earl
Williams know what he was doing when
he fired that gun?

MURPHY
If you ask us, no. If you ask the
state alienists, the answer is yes.

MCCUE
It's a simple story. Earl Williams
works for the E.J. McClosky
Manufacturing Company as a bookkeeper
for fourteen years. He starts in at
twenty dollars a week and gradually
works his way up to twenty-two fifty.
A year ago the McClosky Company goes
out of business and Williams loses
his job.
(waving his hand toward
Wilson)
Take it away, Fred Wilson!

WILSON
Well -- Williams goes a little balmy
and begins making speeches on a plan
he's got to save the world. Only he
makes his speeches, usually, on a
very busy street and neglects to get
a license for it. Well, the cops let
him alone as much as they can because
he's harmless and they're kinda sorry
for him. But one day he decides to
hold a meeting right in the middle
of a Veteran's Parade and the cops
chase him. He gets scared and goes
into hiding.
(gesturing toward
Schwartz)
Come in, Dave Schwartz.

SCHWARTZ
His Honor, the Mayor, now comes out
with a statement that Earl Williams
is a dangerous character in the employ
of two or three foreign governments
and the police are going to get him
dead or alive. Somebody sends out a
tip that this guy is hiding in Molly
Malloy's joint. And this colored
policeman, Daniels, goes over to
pick Williams up. Williams has read
the papers, thinks the cop is going
to kill him and shoots first. That
is all.

HILDY
Thanks, boys. That's all I want to
know.

Hildy gets up, rolls the pair of stockings she has just
discarded into a ball, crosses to Bensinger's desk and puts
the stockings in a drawer.

ENDICOTT
Say, that's old Prissy Bensinger's
desk.

HILDY
I know, I just want to give him a
thrill.

Hildy crosses back to desk and sits down.

HILDY
All right, boys, now that everything
is settled, deal me in.

Hildy glances toward clock on wall. The hands show 2:45 PM.

INSERT: CLOCK - Hands pointing to 2:45 PM.

CLOSE SHOT HILDY

She picks up phone nearest her on desk and starts to dial,
picking up cards dealt her with one hand.

HILDY
(into phone)
Hello, this is Hildy Johnson. Get me
Walter Burns.
(she studies her cards --
then, into phone)
Hello, Walter. How's the old double-
crosser?

CLOSE SHOT WALTER BURNS

Telephone at his ear.

BURNS
Hello, my fine-feathered friend.
Thought I might be hearing from you.
What have you got to report?

CAMERA PULLS BACK TO MEDIUM SHOT and we see that Burns is
stripped to the waist. A doctor is applying a stethoscope to
his chest. We HOLD the picture a second: Burns listening
intently on the phone and the doctor listening intently to
his chest.

BURNS
(into phone)
Going all right, eh?

DOCTOR
(nodding)
Fine.

Doctor suddenly realizes what he's said and looks up.

BURNS
(putting hand over
mouthpiece of phone)
Doctor, will you please keep quiet a
minute? How do you expect me to get
any work done?

CAMERA PULLS BACK to include Bruce, who has some papers in
front of him at the desk. Bruce grins.

DOCTOR
How do you expect me to get anywhere
if you're going to keep on that phone?
If you'll just give me two minutes
more --

BURNS
(into phone)
Well, they haven't finished with me
yet but I'm hoping to get my shirt
back. Oh, no. I'm in the pink of
condition. They found two new dimples.

CUT TO:

INT. PRESS ROOM - CRIMINAL COURTS BLDG. CLOSE SHOT HILDY AT
TELEPHONE

cards in her other hand.

HILDY
How about that check? All right, Mr.
Burns, but remember, no checkee --
no story. Well, as soon as they decide
whether you live or not will you
have that new man of mine call me
up? Yes, sir.
(she hangs up)
All right, boys. Up a dime.

ENDICOTT'S VOICE
Right back at you.

MED. SHOT

MCCUE
(dropping his cards)
You fight it cut.

HILDY
And up a dime.

ENDICOTT
(studying a second)
I call. What you got?

HILDY
(displaying her cards)
Three bullets! Any good?

ENDICOTT
(throwing his cards
away)
Beats king up.

Hildy rakes in the money.

MCCUE
What are you going to do with all
that money, Hildy?

WILSON
Yeah -- you can't spend it in Albany.

HILDY
Oh, I'll think of something.

MED. SHOT

taking in door and including group. Bensinger, another
reporter, comes in from the corridor. He stands out from the
others because of his tidy appearance, and carries a book
under his arm.

MURPHY
Hello, Harvard! Got anything new on
the hanging?

CLOSE SHOT BENSINGER

BENSINGER
(cockily)
Why don't you fellows get your own
news?

CLOSE SHOT HILDY

HILDY
Can't you say 'hello' to a fellow?

TWO SHOT FEATURING HILDY AND BENSINGER

BENSINGER
Hildy!

He comes over to shake hands.

BENSINGER
Are you back?

HILDY
No, just a farewell appearance,
batting for Sweeney. I'm going into
business for myself.

BENSINGER
What doing?

HILDY
I'm getting married tomorrow.

BENSINGER
Well, congratulations! Good luck!

THE TABLE ANOTHER ANGLE

ENDICOTT
Why don't you use him for a
bridesmaid, Hildy?

SCHWARTZ
Come on, Hildy, your deal.

CLOSE SHOT BENSINGER AT HIS DESK

He opens a drawer, the one in which Hildy put her stockings.

BENSINGER
Say, who put these stockings in my
desk?
(he turns to the group)

McCUE's VOICE I don't know, but I think they got rats in the
building.

BENSINGER
(makes a gesture of
disgust and picks up
telephone)
This is Bensinger. I just saw the
Sheriff. He won't move the hanging
up a minute... All right, I'll talk
to him again, but it's no use. The
execution is set for seven in the
morning. Get me a rewrite man.

CLOSE SHOT ENDICOTT

dealing the cards.

ENDICOTT
Why can't they hang that guy at a
reasonable hour, so we can get some
sleep?

CLOSE SHOT BENSINGER

BENSINGER
(into phone)
Jake, new lead on the hanging. This
new alienist from New York -- Dr.
Max J. Egelhoffer -- is going to
interview Williams in about half an
hour -- in the Sheriff's office.

MED. SHOT AT TABLE - FEATURING MURPHY

Murphy reaches for the phone. Without dropping his cards, he
jiggles the hook.

MURPHY
That must be the tenth alienist
they've had on Williams. Even if he
wasn't crazy before, he would be
after ten of those babies got through
psychoanalyzing him.
(into phone)
Gimme the desk.

ENDICOTT
This Egelhoffer's pretty good.

MURPHY
Yeah? What did he ever do for his
country?

ENDICOTT
Don't you remember? He's the guy
went to Washington to interview the
Brain Trust, and gave out a statement
that they were all sane. It created
a sensation!

CLOSE SHOT BENSINGER

He is referring to his notes as he talks:

BENSINGER
(into phone)
Here's the situation on the eve of
the hanging:

CLOSE SHOT MURPHY

He continues playing his cards:

MURPHY
(into phone)
This is Murphy. More slop on the
hanging.

CLOSE SHOT BENSINGER

BENSINGER
(into phone)
A double guard's been thrown around
the jail, municipal buildings,
railroad terminals, and elevated
stations to prepare for the expected
general uprising of radicals at the
hour of execution.

CLOSE SHOT MURPHY

MURPHY
(into phone)
Ready? The Sheriff's just put two
hundred more relatives on the payroll
to protect the city against the Red
Army -- which is leaving Moscow in a
couple of minutes.
(consults his hand)
Up a dime.

CLOSE SHOT BENSINGER

BENSINGER
(into phone)
The Sheriff has just received four
more letters threatening his life,
but he says nothing can interfere
with his duty.

CLOSE SHOT MURPHY

MURPHY
(into phone)
And to prove to the voters that the
Red Menace is on the level, the
Sheriff has written himself four
more letters, threatening his life.
I know he wrote 'em on account of
the misspellings.

MED. SHOT AT TABLE FEATURING HILDY

ENDICOTT
Trouble is, when the Red Menace shows
up the Sheriff will still be crying
'Wolf!'

MURPHY
What have you got, Hildy?

HILDY
Kings and sixes.

MURPHY
(throwing down)
That's good.

HILDY
(sweeping coins in)
'Kings and sixes The pot affixes'...
Poetry. I learned that at my grandma's
knee.

WILSON
That's why I keep losing. My grandma
was a modest woman -- nobody ever
saw her knees, not even my grandpop.

INT. WALTER BURNS' OFFICE MED. SHOT

The doctor has gone. Burns is adjusting his shirt. Bruce is
sitting at the desk.

BRUCE
I don't know. This makes me feel
funny.

TWO SHOT

BURNS
Why shouldn't I make Hildy my
beneficiary? I've got nobody else to
leave it to.

BRUCE
I feel I ought to take care of her.

BURNS
Well, you'll take care of her. After
all, if that doctor's right, I'm
going to live for a long time yet.
Look, Bruce, this is a debt of honor.
I was a very bad husband: Hildy could
have got a lot of alimony if she'd
wanted to, but she wouldn't take
any. She had it coming to her, but
she was too independent.

BRUCE
Well, I'm independent, too.

BURNS
Figure it this way: I ought to be
good for twenty-five years. By that
time, you'll probably have made enough
so that the money won't mean anything.
But suppose you haven't made good --
don't you think Hildy's entitled to
a quiet old age without any worries?

BRUCE
Well, of course, if you put it that
way.

BURNS
(everything he has on
the ball)
And remember this, Bruce! I love
her, too.

BRUCE
I'm beginning to realize that.

BURNS
And the beauty of it is she'll never
have to know 'till I've passed on.
Maybe she'll think kindly of me ---
after I'm gone.

BRUCE
(a lump in his throat)
Gee, you almost make me feel like a
heel -- coming between you.

BURNS
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 over.

He turns away, wipes his eyes, and sneaks a glance to see
how that goes over. It goes over big -- Bruce hurriedly wipes
a tear away.

MED. SHOT

as Duffy comes into the room. He advances toward the desk.

DUFFY
(placing check on
desk)
Here's that certified check, Walter.
(sotto voce)
I drew out my wife's savings, and if
this isn't back by 5:30 I'm a ruined
man!

BURNS
(also sotto voce)
Don't worry, Duffy, you'll have it
back by five.
(louder)
Thanks, Duffy. Stick around.
(picking up check he
rises)

He walks over to Bruce.

BURNS
Well, Bruce, here you are -- certified
and everything.

BRUCE
(also rising)
Certified! I'm afraid Hildy'd feel
ashamed to think she hadn't trusted
you.

CLOSEUP DUFFY

He reacts to this sweetly solemn thought.

BURNS AND BRUCE

CAMERA FOLLOWS THEM as Burns walks Bruce toward door, his
arm around him.

BRUCE
Well, she'll know some day.

BURNS
That's all I ask. Oh, wait a minute.

He releases Bruce, runs back and gets umbrella and brings it
to him.

BURNS
Don't want to forget this, you know.
Might start to rain again.

BRUCE
Thanks. I'll phone Hildy right away
to get that story.

They are at the door. Burns opens the door for Bruce.

SHOT FEATURING LOUIS

Louis is sitting at a desk, apparently engrossed in a
newspaper. He is all alert, however. Bruce and Burns come
into the scene talking.

BURNS
Well, anyway, I know Hildy's getting
a good man.

BRUCE
(embarrassed)
Thanks a lot.

They pass Louis. He looks up.

BRUCE AND BURNS

Bruce, still embarrassed, looks down. Burns turns and signals
to Louis.

CLOSE SHOT LOUIS

watching.

CLOSE SHOT BURNS

Burns points to Bruce's back.

CLOSE SHOT LOUIS

Louis nods.

BRUCE AND BURNS

BURNS
Well, I got to get back. You can
find your way out, can't you?

BRUCE
Oh, sure.
(he extends his hand)
Well, thanks for everything.

BURNS
Don't thank me. I should thank you.
So long.

BRUCE
So long.

He turns and goes. Burns watches him.

REVERSE ANGLE

Bruce is going out, his back toward Camera. Burns watches.
Louis comes between Burns and Bruce and follows Bruce out as
we see Bruce going toward outer door.

CLOSEUP BURNS

He rubs his hands in glee as he starts back for his office.

INT. PRESS ROOM SHOT FEATURING HILDY

She is raking in a pot.

HILDY
I don't know why you boys are so
good to me.

MCCUE
(throwing cards down)
Your poker's improved a lot, Hildy.
Lend me two bucks, will you?

HILDY
Nothing doing. I'm playing for keeps.

There is a whirr and crash from the gallows. They start.

BENSINGER AT WINDOW

BENSINGER
I wish they'd stop that practicing.

The others drift into the scene and look out of the window.

INT. COURTYARD THE GALLOWS

The trap is sprung by two or three earnest men.

INT. PRESS ROOM GROUP AT WINDOW

HILDY
(turns away)
Well, anyhow, I won't be covering
stuff like this any more.

SCHWARTZ
What's the matter? Getting yellow?

MED. SHOT

A phone rings. McCue answers it.

MCCUE
For you, Hildy.

Hildy goes toward phone.

CLOSE SHOT HILDY AT PHONE

HILDY
Hildy Johnson... Oh, hello, Bruce.
Have you got it? Is it certified?

INT. PHONE BOOTH CLOSE SHOT BRUCE

BRUCE
Certified and everything. Got it
right here in my wallet... What? No,
he's not here -- I'm in a phone booth.

INT. PRESS ROOM CLOSE SHOT HILDY AT PHONE

McCue is hovering near.

MCCUE
Certified, eh? Who is it -- your
milkman?

HILDY
(in phone)
But, Bruce, don't keep it in your
wallet!... Well, you see --
(she is thinking
rapidly)
-- there's an old newspaper
superstition that the first big check
you get you -- you put in the lining
of your hat. That brings you good
luck for ten years.

MCCUE
Say, I've been a reporter twenty
years and never heard any hooey like
that. Where'd you get it?

HILDY
(to McCue)
I made it up just now, and who's
asking you?
(into phone)
I know it's silly, honey, but do it
for me, won't you?... Yes, right
now.

INT. PHONE BOOTH CLOSE SHOT BRUCE

BRUCE
All right. Wait a minute.

He takes check out of wallet, folds it into lining of hat.

BRUCE
All right. I've done it. Now, are
you satisfied?

INT. PRESS ROOM CLOSE SHOT HILDY AT PHONE

HILDY
Fine. And here's a kiss for you.

She blows a kiss into the phone. Immediately we hear kiss
sounds all over. She looks up and glares. Then back to phone:

HILDY
Now, darling, you go back to the
hotel and pack and you and Mother
pick me up here about half-past five.
Goodbye, dear.

INT. PHONE BOOTH CLOSE SHOT BRUCE

He blows a kiss into the phone and hangs up.

EXT. OUTSIDE RESTAURANT LOUIS

Studying a paper, reads it for a moment. Bruce comes out of
restaurant and starts out. After a second, Louis follows
him.

INT. ENTRANCE TO A CELL BLOCK OF COUNTY JAIL MED. SHOT

Warden Cooley sits at a desk near the grilled doorway that
leads to the cells. He is studying a Racing Form. Hildy's
hand reaches into the shot and flicks the newspaper. He looks
up. THE CAMERA PULLS BACK to include Hildy.

COOLEY
Hello, Hildy! What are you doing
around here?

HILDY
I want to interview Earl Williams,
Warden. How about a little service?

COOLEY
No more interviews. Besides, a
doctor's coming over.

Hildy reaches down out of camera range -- comes up with bill.

HILDY
Say, isn't this your twenty dollars?

COOLEY
(looks at bill eagerly)
I think it is.

HILDY
(handing it over)
I thought so. Come on, I'm in a hurry.

Cooley pockets the twenty and reaches for his key ring.

EXT. STREET SCENE

There is a milling mob around a center of activity that the
Camera can't find.

SHOT OF COP

as he sees this and strolls determinedly toward it.

THE CROWD

The cop comes in and breaks ranks. He pushes his way toward
center and looks down.

CLOSE SHOT BRUCE

lying down, held by Louis.

MED. SHOT

COP
What's going on?

LOUIS
This guy stole my watch.

COP
(lugging them both to
feet)
Have you got his watch?

BRUCE
He's crazy. I haven't any watch.

LOUIS
I saw him. He put it in his back
pocket.

BRUCE
I haven't got --

COP
Wait a minute.

The cop reaches into Bruce's back pocket. Watch comes out.

COP
(to Louis)
Is this yours?

LOUIS
Yeah! That's it!

COP
What about it?

BRUCE
I never saw it before.

Cop grabs Bruce. Louis grabs his other arm.

COP
Come on!

He whistles.

COP
(to mob)
Beat it!

CLOSE SHOT THREE

as they go through crowd. The look on poor Bruce's face,
muddy anyhow, is something. Suddenly, Bruce cries:

BRUCE
My hat!

COP
Get his hat, somebody.

CLOSEUP BRUCE'S HAT

lying top up, in a puddle. Hand reaches in and picks it up.

CLOSE SHOT THREE

as hat is passed to cop, who jams it down on Bruce's head.
Another takem from Bruce.

INT. COUNTY JAIL MED. CLOSE SHOT

at the door of Earl Williams' cell. Hildy sits on a stool at
the door, pencil and copy paper in hand. Earl Williams sits
at the edge of his cot, facing Hildy. There is a bouquet of
roses in a water pitcher by the cot. Our first impression of
Williams is that he's a rational, well-poised citizen. It is
only under Hildy's questioning that he gradually reveals
himself.

WILLIAMS
I couldn't plead insanity, because
you see I'm just as sane as anybody
else.

HILDY
(puzzled and worried)
You didn't mean to kill that
policeman?

WILLIAMS
Of course not. I couldn't kill anybody --
it's against everything I've ever
stood for. They know it was an
accident. They're not hanging me for
that -- they're hanging me for my
beliefs.

HILDY
What are your beliefs, Earl?

WILLIAMS
They're very simple. I believe in
the Golden Rule. I'm not the first
man to die for preaching it. But if
they would only listen to it -- we
could have a fine, decent world
instead of this mass of hate that
makes man do such cruel things.

HILDY
How would you go about applying the
Golden Rule, Earl?

WILLIAMS
I'd do away with the profit system
and have production for use only.
There's enough food and clothing and
shelter for everybody if we'd use
some sense.

HILDY
(writing)
"Production for use only." Well,
maybe that's the answer.

WILLIAMS
It's the only answer. Everything has
a use and if we let it be used for
its purpose, we could solve all our
problems. Food was meant to be eaten,
not stored away in restaurants while
poor people starved; clothing was
meant to be worn, not piled up in
stores while people went naked.
Doesn't that make sense?

CLOSEUP HILDY

HILDY
(thoughtfully)
Yes, that makes a lot of sense, Earl.

WILLIAM'S VOICE
Just use things for what they were
meant, that's all.

HILDY
Sure.
(she studies him a
moment)
What's the purpose of a gun, Earl?

CLOSEUP WILLIAMS

WILLIAMS
A gun?
(he thinks -- then a
revealing smile breaks
out)
Why -- to shoot, of course.

MED. CLOSE TWO SHOT

HILDY
Is that how you came to shoot the
policeman?

WILLIAMS
Sure. You see, I'd never had a gun
in my hand before and I didn't know
what to do with it. Well, when I get
stuck, I know that there's an answer
for everything in production for
use. So it came to me in a flash:
what's a gun for? To shoot! So I
shot. Simple isn't it?

HILDY
(writing)
Very simple, Earl.

WILLIAMS
There's nothing crazy about that, is
there?

HILDY
No, Earl, not at all.
(she indicates the
flowers)
Who sent you the flowers, Earl?

WILLIAMS
(reverently)
Miss Mollie Malloy. She's a wonderful
person.

HILDY
(pointing to picture
pinned on wall)
Isn't that her picture?

WILLIAMS
(turning toward it)
Yes. Isn't she beautiful?

INSERT: PICTURE OF MOLLIE

HILDY'S VOICE
If you should be pardoned, are you
figuring on marrying Mollie?

EARL'S VOICE
Oh, no, she's much too good for me.

HARTMAN'S VOICE
How'd you get in here?

MEDIUM SHOT

Sheriff Hartman has come into the scene. Hildy turns toward
him.

HILDY
Same way you did.
(pointing)
Through that gate.

HARTMAN
I gave strict orders that nobody was
to interview Williams without my
permission.

HILDY
All right, then, I'll just run the
story that Sheriff Hartman is afraid
to let reporters interview his
prisoner. Of course, with election
coming, that might do you a lot of
harm, but just as you say.

HARTMAN
Now, wait a minute! I'm not afraid
of anything. What were you going to
write about Williams?

HILDY
Oh, nothing much. Just that the state
had proved he was sane -- and he
admits it himself. If you don't want
me to run it --

HARTMAN
(beaming)
Oh, that'll be all right, Hildy. Go
ahead, run it. And you can say I
treated him well, too.
(turning toward
Williams)
'Lo, Earl. How are you feeling?

WILLIAMS
Fine, thanks, Sheriff.

HARTMAN
That's good, Earl. Oh, they've got
another alienist to see you. He ought
to be here any minute. Don't go to
sleep, will you?

WILLIAMS
I won't.

HARTMAN
(to Hildy)
Hildy, how'd you like a couple of
tickets for the hanging?

HILDY
(in a low voice so
Williams won't
overhear)
No, thanks Sheriff. I'm leaving town
tonight.

HARTMAN
(just as loud as ever)
You ought to stay over. You always
wrote a good hanging story, Hildy.

HILDY
That's awful kind of you, Sheriff.
I've got to get started on my
interview. See you later.

WILLIAMS
Don't forget about production for
use.

HILDY
I won't, Earl.
(she goes)

INT. PRESS ROOM GROUP SHOT POKER GAME - NIGHT

The game is on. Bensinger, at his desk, is reading a book.
The electric lights have been switched on.

MURPHY
(raking in a pot)
Well, a guy can win when Hildy ain't
around.

ENDICOTT
Who's this guy she's gonna marry?

WILSON
Baldwin -- his name is.

SCHWARTZ
I give that marriage six months.

MCCUE
Why?

SCHWARTZ
Hildy won't be able to stay away
from a paper any longer than that.
Did you see her eyes light up when
she came in here? Like an old fire
horse.

MURPHY
She says she's gonna write fiction.

ENDICOTT
Well, if she's gonna write fiction,
there's nothing like being a reporter.

SCHWARTZ
I'll give ten to five that marriage
won't last six months. Hildy's a
newspaper man. She's got headlines
in her veins -- the way we all have
or we'd be out of these lousy jobs.

Mollie Malloy appears in doorway. She moves slowly into the
room.

MCCUE
Well, well -- Miss Mollie Malloy.

MURPHY
Hello, Mollie.

WILSON
How's tricks, Mollie?

CLOSE SHOT MOLLIE

MOLLIE
I've been lookin' for you tramps.

MED. GROUP SHOT

ENDICOTT
Kid, those were pretty roses you
sent Earl. What do you want done
with them tomorrow morning?

MOLLIE
(tensely)
A lot of wise guys, ain't you?

SCHWARTZ
(uncomfortably)
You're breaking up the game, Mollie.
What do you want?

MOLLIE
I want to tell you what I think of
you -- all of you.

Hildy appears in the doorway and comes into the room.

MURPHY
Keep your shirt on.

MOLLIE
(to Murphy)
If you was worth breaking my fingers
on, I'd tear your face wide open.

Hildy goes to desk and begins typing away.

MURPHY
What are you sore about, sweetheart?
Wasn't that a swell story we gave
you?

MOLLIE
You crumbs have been making a fool
out of me long enough!

BENSINGER
(rising and coming
over)
She oughtn't be allowed in here!

CLOSEUP MOLLIE

MOLLIE
(flaring)
I never said I loved Earl Williams
and was willing to marry him on the
gallows! You made that up! And about
my being his soul-mate and having a
love-nest with him.

CLOSE SHOT ENDICOTT

looking up at her.

ENDICOTT
You've been sucking around that cuckoo
ever since he's been in the death-
house. Everybody knows you're his
sweetheart.

CLOSEUP MOLLIE

She blows up.

MOLLIE
That's a lie! I met Mr. Williams
just once in my life when he was
wandering around in the rain without
his hat and coat on, like a sick
dog, the day before the shooting. I
went up to him like any human being
would and I asked him what was the
matter, and he told me about being
fired after working at the same place
for fourteen years, and I brought
him up to my room because it was
warm there.

CLOSE SHOT HILDY

She is typing away, stops to look over at Mollie, then
resolutely turns away, studies her stuff, and begins typing
again.

MURPHY'S VOICE
Aw, put it on a phonograph!

MED. SHOT MOLLIE AND OTHERS

MOLLIE
Just because you want to fill your
lying paper with a lot of dirty
scandal, you got to crucify him and
make a stooge out of me!

ENDICOTT
(to Mollie)
Got a match?

MOLLIE
(heedless)
I tell you he just sat there talking
to me -- all night. And never once
laid a hand on me. In the morning he
went away, and I never saw him again
till that day at the trial!

The boys laugh.

CLOSEUP MOLLIE

She lashes out at them.

MOLLIE
Go on, laugh! I'd like to know some
curses bad enough for your greasy
souls! Sure, I was his witness --
the only one he had. Yes -- me --
cheap little Mollie Malloy! I'm
everything the District Attorney
said I was. And still I was the only
one with guts enough to stand up for
him! I told the truth and the District
Attorney knows it! That's why you're
persecutin' me! Because Earl Williams
treated me decent and not like an
animal -- and I said so!

MEDIUM SHOT

MURPHY
(finally irritated)
Go into your dance! This is the Press
Room. We're busy.

WILSON
Why don't you go and see your boy-
friend?

ENDICOTT
(winks at the others)
But you'll have to hurry up -- he
left a call for seven A.M.

MOLLIE
(through her teeth)
It's a wonder a bolt of lightning
don't come down and strike you all
dead!

From o.s. comes sound of the gallows. Mollie gasps.

ENDICOTT
(suddenly uncomfortable)
Don't get hysterical, kid.

MOLLIE
(begins to sob)
Shame on you!

CLOSE SHOT MOLLIE -- TAKING IN MURPHY

MOLLIE
(hysterically)
A poor little fellow that never meant
nobody no harm! Sitting there alone
this minute with the Angel of Death
beside him, and you cracking jokes!

CLOSEUP HILDY

typing away furiously, regardless of this. She ends a page.
The sound of Mollie sobbing comes over the scene. Hildy
inserts a fresh page.

MURPHY'S VOICE
If you don't shut up, we'll give you
something to cry about!

Hildy looks o.s. and rises determinedly.

MEDIUM SHOT - MOLLIE BACKING AWAY FROM MURPHY

She is still sobbing. Hildy comes into scene and puts her
arm around Mollie.

HILDY
(gently)
Come on, Mollie. This is no place
for you.
(she leads Mollie
toward door)

MOLLIE
They're not human!

HILDY
They're newspaper men, Mollie. They
can't help themselves. The Lord made
them that way.

MOLLIE
(one look back as
Hildy leads her out
door)
It wasn't the Lord! It was the devil!

Hildy and Mollie exit. There is a pause. The boys look at
each other uncomfortably. The phone rings. Wilson goes to
answer.

MURPHY
(picking up cards)
You guys wanna play some more poker?

ENDICOTT
What's the use? I can't win a pot.

CLOSE SHOT WILSON AT PHONE

WILSON
(into phone)
Who? Hildy Johnson? She just stepped
out. She'll be back in a second.
Who? Oh, Mr. Baldwin. Well, if you'll
hang on a minute, she ought to be
right in. All right.
(he covers transmitter)

MED. SHOT TAKING DOOR

WILSON
(to others)
Baldwin. The blushing bridegroom --
himself.

SCHWARTZ
What's he want?

WILSON
Wants Hildy -- and sounds very
excited.

Hildy comes back. Looks at them and stares contemptuously.

HILDY
Gentlemen of the Press! Always picking
on somebody who can't defend himself --
the littler the better.

WILSON
Phone for you, Hildy.

HILDY
(going toward it)
Who is it?

WILSON
Oh, some insurance man. Are you in?

HILDY
(grabbing phone)
Give me that!

CLOSEUP HILDY

HILDY
(into phone)
Hello! Hello! Bruce?... what?...
Where are you?... You're where?...
How did that happen?...
(she listens
unbelievingly a second)
I'll be right over!

MED. SHOT

as Hildy hangs up and darts out of room. The others watch in
amazement.

MURPHY
Boy, did you see her go?

ENDICOTT
Lioness Rushes to Defense of Cub.

WILSON
I told you Baldwin was in trouble.

MCCUE
Probably went out without his hankie
and wants Mamma to wipe his nose.

SCHWARTZ
I still give that marriage six months.

DISSOLVE TO:

CLOSE SHOT BENSINGER

at phone.

BENSINGER
Hello, baby, get me the Sheriff's
offico, will you... Hello, Sheriff
Hartman?... This is Bensinger. How
about that favor? You know what:
once and for all, will you hang this
guy at five A.M. instead of seven?
It won't hurt you and we can make
the City Edition.

INT. SHERIFF'S OFFICE CLOSE SHOT SHERIFF HARTMAN

at phone.

HARTMAN
(indignantly)
Once and for all, I'm not going to
hang anybody except at the legal
hour... What? Don't threaten me,
Bensinger! I'm not afraid of any
newspapers. Yeah?... Oh, shut up!
(he hangs up; an
afterthought -- he
calls up operator)
And, operator, I told you not to
disturb me! I don't care who calls --
I don't want to be disturbed again
till I tell you!
(he hangs up -- turns
to somebody o.s. and
speaks)
How do you like that, Dr. Egelhoffer?
Want me to hang williams at their
convenience!

CAMERA PULLS BACK TO A MED. GROUP SHOT, showing Williams,
Sheriff Hartman and Dr. Egelhoffer. They are the only
occupants of room. Williams is seated facing a large standing
searchlight.

EGELHOFFER
The newspapers! Sheriff, they're the
scum of modern civilization.

HARTMAN
You said it!

EGELHOFFER
They're always after me for
interviews.

HARTMAN
Me, too.

EGELHOFFER
(fencing)
Of course, I sort of promised them I
would give out a statement when I
got through here. You don't mind?

HARTMAN
(not liking it)
Well, I don't know if that's ethical.
You see, all statements are supposed
to come from me.

EGELHOFFER
(he'll bargain)
We'll have to satisfy them. What
would you say to giving them a joint
interview? I could give them some of
the psychological aspects of the
case and you could give them the
legal aspects.

HARTMAN
(he buys)
A joint interview, eh? That might be
all right. We could have our pictures
taken together, Doctor.

EGELHOFFER
Yes, shaking hands. I don't take a
very good picture, though.

HARTMAN
It doesn't matter. The publicity's
the main thing.

EGELHOFFER
Yes, I suppose so. It all helps.

WILLIAMS
(just a spectator up
to now)
Are you gentlemen all through with
me?

EGELHOFFER
Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot you were
here. No, Mr. Williams, we still
have some questions for you. Sheriff,
will you kindly extinguish the lights?

The Sheriff puts out the lights and the Doctor switches on
the searchlight, which shines in Williams' face.

EGELHOFFER
You know you are to be executed, Mr.
Williams. Who do you feel is
responsible for that?

WILLIAMS
The system. But I'm not afraid to
die, Doctor. I'm dying for what I
believe.

EGELHOFFER
I see. You realize, however, that
you committed a crime?

CLOSEUP WILLIAMS

WILLIAMS
In a legal sense, yes. But not
actually. Actually, I'm innocent. I
didn't do anything.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. POLICE CELL CLOSEUP BRUCE

BRUCE
I'm innocent. I didn't do anything.
I never stole a watch in my life.

CAMERA PULLS BACK to show us Bruce in police cell. Hildy
outside. A police lieutenant with her in b.g.

HILDY
I know you didn't, Bruce.

She whirls on lieutenant.

HILDY
(to lieutenant)
Let him out of here, Lieutenant.

LIEUTENANT
(conciliatingly)
But, Hildy, I can't. He's accused of
stealing a watch. And they found the
watch on him.

HILDY
And who accused him? Diamond Louis!
One of the worst crooks in town! Why
don't you arrest Louis instead of
innocent people that he frames?

LIEUTENANT
Now, Hildy --

HILDY
Don't Hildy me! Are you going to let
him out?

LIEUTENANT
I can't.

HILDY
All right. You can't. But tomorrow
the Post will run the story of that
roulette game on 43rd Street that
your brother-in-law runs. And we'll
print that you get five hundred a
month for forgetting about it!

LIEUTENANT
Now, Hildy, don't be hasty! I can't
let him out.

HILDY
You can let him out on bail, can't
you?

LIEUTENANT
Five hundred dollars.

HILDY
You'll take fifty and like it!

LIEUTENANT
(wavers)
Well, all right. But I'm liable to
get into a jam.

He starts to open cell door.

HILDY
You'll get into a worse one if you
don't.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. TAXI (PROCESS SHOT)

Hildy is combing Bruce's hair. He begins to look presentable.
He fumbles in his breast pocket.

HILDY
What's the matter?

BRUCE
I lost my wallet.

HILDY
(stops)
The check, Bruce!

Bruce picks up his hat and gets check out of lining.

BRUCE
That's right here. Gee, it was lucky
your telling me about that old
newspaper superstition.

HILDY
(taking check and
putting it away)
Yes, wasn't it?

BRUCE
I can't imagine who did it. I can't
think of any enemies I have.

HILDY
(looking at him fondly)
I'm sure you haven't any.

BRUCE
For a minute, I thought maybe Walter
Burns was at the back of it. But
then I realized he couldn't have
been.

HILDY
Oh, no. How could you ever think of
such a thing?

BRUCE
Oh, I realized right away. He's really
a very nice fellow, Hildy -- I found
that out.

HILDY
Yes, he is... Look, Bruce, we're
taking that next train -- and when I
say next train, this time I mean it!

BRUCE
Did you finish the interview?

HILDY
(to driver)
The Criminal Courts Building.

The driver nods.

HILDY
(to Bruce)
No -- but I'm sure it'll be all right
with Walter.

BRUCE
But, gee, Hildy -- he gave us that
insurance business -- and you promised --

HILDY
Well, the story's practically
finished. I'll just go upstairs and
send it over with a messenger.

The cab stops. Hildy gets out and Bruce starts to follow.
Hildy turns and pushes him back in the cab.

EXT. STREET MED. SHOT HILDY

at door of cab. Bruce in cab.

HILDY
No, you stay here. I'm not taking
any more chances. I'll be down in
three minutes -- and don't you dare
move!

Hildy turns and starts for stairs of Criminal Courts Building.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. PRESS ROOM MED. SHOT AT HILDY'S DESK

Schwartz is reading Hildy's interview to the other boys, who
are grouped around. Bensinger is at his desk, a book open,
but listening.

SCHWARTZ
(reading)
"But the State has a production for
use plan, too. It has a gallows and
at seven A.M., unless a miracle
occurs, that gallows will be used to
separate the soul of Earl Williams
from his body. And out of Molly
Malloy's life will go the one kindly
soul she ever knew --"
(he stops)
That's as far as Hildy got. But, I
ask you, can that girl write an
interview?

BENSINGER
I don't think it's very ethical
reading other people's stuff.

ENDICOTT
Don't give us that ethics stuff.
You'll be the only one who'll swipe
any of it.

SCHWARTZ
I still say anybody that writes like
that ain't going to give it up
permanently to sew sox for a guy in
the insurance business. Now I give
that marriage three months and I'm
laying three to one. Any takers?

HILDY'S VOICE
I'll take that bet.

They turn. Hildy comes into the scene.

HILDY
(going to her phone)
It's getting so a girl can't step
out of the room without being
discussed by a bunch of old ladies.
(into phone; her voice
assumes a silken
quality)
Hello, Post... Mr. Walter Burns,
please.

CLOSE SHOT SCHWARTZ

SCHWARTZ
(embarrassed)
Well, Hildy, we were only saying
that a swell reporter like you
wouldn't give this up so easily.

MED. SHOT FEATURING HILDY

HILDY
(into phone)
This is Hildy Johnson...
(to Schwartz)
Oh, I can give it up all right.
Without a single quiver. I'm going
to live like a human being -- not
like you rats.
(into phone)
Oh, is that you, Walter dear? Oh, I
didn't mean "dear." That was just
habit, I guess. Oh, be yourself,
Walter. I've got some news for you...
Yes, I got the interview, but I've
got some news that's more important.

The others are listening, suspecting a scoop.

HILDY
Better get a pencil out and write it
down. All ready?
(then with a sudden
change of pace)
Get this, you double-crossing
chimpanzee, there ain't gonna be any
interview and there ain't gonna be
any story... Huh? That certified
check of yours is leaving with me in
twenty minutes. And if I ever see
you again, it's going to be just too
bad... Eh?... Oh, you don't know
what I'm angry about, do you? If you
come over I'll be very glad to tell
you the story of Louie's watch. I
dare you to come over, you -- you --
skunk in sheep's clothing! And bring
that bodyguard of yours, too -- you'll
need him.

QUICK CUTS OF REACTION FROM OTHERS

CLOSEUP HILDY

HILDY
...And I just want you to listen to
one more thing.

She gets her story out of typewriter, applies it to
transmitter and tears it up.

HILDY
Hear that? That's the interview I
wrote... Yes, I know we made a
bargain. I just said I'd write it --
I didn't say I wouldn't tear it up.
Yes, it's all in little pieces now,
Walter, and I hope to do the same
for you some time!

She hangs up.

MED. SHOT FEATURING HILDY

She reaches under her desk, pulls up bag, talking all the
time. The others are too startled to do anything but listen.

HILDY
And that's my farewell to the
newspaper game. I'm going to live a
normal life and have a home.

She reaches into the drawer of desk and gets some stuff which
she puts into bag.

HILDY
I'm going to be a woman, not a
newsgetting machine. I'm going to
have babies and nurse them and love
them and give 'em cod liver oil and
worry about their new teeth -- and
the minute I catch one of them even
looking at a newspaper, I'm going to
brain him! Where's my hat?

Someone points to her hat. She rises and goes toward it. Her
bag is still open. Her phone rings. Schwartz answers it.

SCHWARTZ
(subdued tones)
Hello, Mr. Burns. Yes, she's still
here.

HILDY
(stopping midway to
her hat)
I'll take it.
(she comes over to
phone)
What's the matter, Mr. Burns -- don't
you understand English? -- Why, your
language is shocking, Mr. Burns --
positively shocking! I don't mind
because I was married to you and
know what to expect, but suppose
Central is listening in... Oh, did
you hear that, Central? We ought to
report him, don't you think?... Oh,
fooey on you!

She pulls the phone out of the wall, walks toward window and
tosses it out of the window. She waits for the crash, turns
back and says:

HILDY
Now where was that hat? Oh, yes.

She starts toward it.

INT. SHERIFF HARTMAN'S OFFICE MED. SHOT

WILLIAMS
I hope you're pretty nearly through
with me, Doctor, I'm getting a little
fatigued.

HARTMAN
Yeah, you don't want to tire him
out, Doctor.

EGELHOFFER
Just one thing more. I'd like to
reenact the crime, Mr. Williams. May
I have your gun, please, Sheriff?

Hartman starts to take gun out, hesitates.

HARTMAN
I don't know --

EGELHOFFER
(insistently)
Come, come, Sheriff, lightning doesn't
strike in the same place twice.
Nothing's going to happen.

Hartman hands him the gun.

EGELHOFFER
Now, the Sheriff will be Mollie
Malloy, in whose room you were. You
will be Earl Williams. And I will be
the policeman. Follow me, Mr.
Williams?

WILLIAMS
Yes, sir.

Egelhoffer hands the gun to Williams and then backs up a few
paces.

EGELHOFFER
So -- now I say to you: 'Earl
Williams, you are under arrest!' and
you point your gun at me.

WILLIAMS
(hesitantly)
Well, it wasn't exactly that way --

EGELHOFFER
(insistently)
Point the gun at me!

Williams does so.

EGELHOFFER
Then what did you do?

Williams hesitates for a moment and then pulls the trigger.
Hartman promptly dives under the desk as Egelhoffer topples
over.

WILLIAMS
(pathetically)
Now can I go, please?

There is a loud banging on the door and a voice calling:

VOICE
Hey, Sheriff! Open up! What happened?

Williams, alarmed by voice, turns and starts toward window.

INT. PRESS ROOM MED. GROUP SHOT

Hildy is now wearing her hat and gloves. She picks up her
bag and starts for the door.

ENDICOTT
Goodbye, Yonson.

MCCUE
So long, Hildy.

MURPHY
Send us a postcard, kid.

SCHWARTZ
Who'll keep the lamp in the window
for you.

BENSINGER
Goodbye, Hildy.

Hildy has crossed to doorway, the CAMERA TRUCKING WITH HER.
She turns and faces the room to make a last bravura speech.

HILDY
Well, goodbye, you wage-slaves. When
you're crawling up fire escapes,
getting kicked out of front doors,
and eating Christmas dinners in one-
armed joints, don't forget your pal,
Hildy Johnson! And, remember, my
husband sells insurance!

She turns and starts on a bit of verse:

HILDY
"It takes a heap o' livin' to make a
house a home."

She is interrupted by a terrific fusillade of shots in the
courtyard. A roar of excited voices comes up. For a tense
second, everyone is motionless. There is another volley of
shots. Wilson, Endicott and Murphy jump for the window.

CLOSE SHOT AT WINDOW

VOICES FROM COURTYARD
Get the riot guns! Spread out, you
fellows! Etc.

WILSON
There's a jail-break!

MURPHY
(at window,
simultaneously)
Cooley! What's the matter What's
happened?

VOICES FROM YARD
Watch the gate! He's probably trying
the gate!

Outside, a siren begins to wail.

ENDICOTT
(out the window)
Who got away? Who was it?

VOICE OUTSIDE
Earl... Williams!!!

THE REPORTERS
Who? Who'd he say? Earl Williams! It
was Earl Williams! He got away! Etc.

SHOT AT DESK

MCCUE
Holy ---! Gimme that telephone!
(works hook frantically)
Hurry! Hurry up! This is important!

MED. SHOT TAKING IN DOOR

Searchlights hit the windows, sweeping from direction of the
jail. Hildy stands paralyzed, her bundle in her hand. There
is another rifle volley. Two windowpanes crash into the room.
Some plaster falls. Gongs sound above the siren. The boys
are jumping for their telephones. Another windowpane goes.

MCCUE
(screaming)
Look out!

CLOSE SHOT AT WINDOW

MURPHY
(out the window)
Look out where you're aiming, will
you?

A QUICK MONTAGE

of reporters at their various phones follows: "Gimme the
desk!" "Flash!" "Earl Williams just escaped!" "Don't know
yet -- call you back.", etc., are shouted into the phones by
Schwartz, Wilson, McCue, Endicott, Bensinger and Murphy.
After each man communicates with his paper, he dashes for
the door.

MEDIUM SHOT

The last of the reporters is gone.

CLOSE SHOT - HILDY

Her bag, almost unnoticed, falls to the floor. CAMERA TRUCKS
WITH HER as she moves back into the room, absently grabbing
and trailing a chair.

ANOTHER ANGLE

HILDY
Ahhh --

She lets go of the chair and takes one of the telephones.

HILDY
Morning Post?... Get me Walter Burns --
quick! Hildy Johnson calling.

Very calmly she sits on the long table, her back against the
wall and waits.

CLOSEUP - HILDY

HILDY
Walter?... Hildy. Earl Williams just
escaped from the County Jail. Yep...
yep... yep... don't worry! I'm on
the job!

She hangs up.

MEDIUM SHOT

There is another volley outside. Hildy sails her hat and
starts peeling off her gloves as she jumps for the door.

EXT. COURTYARD - DAY MEDIUM SHOT - AT THE GATE

There are the reporters joining armed guards who are leaping
into squad cars ready for the chase. Cooley is beside the
gate. As the reporters and guards pile into the cars, the
gate opens and out they go.

MEDIUM SHOT AT DOOR LEADING FROM BUILDING TO COURTYARD

Hildy comes on a run from this door, hesitates a moment,
then sees something o.s. and runs for it.

MED. SHOT - SQUAD CAR

as it comes careening across courtyard toward gate. Hildy
tears into scene, jumps for and makes the running-board, and
hangs there as the car swerves up to the gate.

MED. SHOT - AT GATE

Hildy notices Cooley as the car, gathering speed, goes by
him. She leaps from the running-board and lands clump on
Cooley.

CLOSE SHOT - HILDY AND COOLEY

Cooley has been knocked to the ground by the impact of Hildy's
leap. She is sitting on him.

HILDY
Cooley, I want to talk to you.

COOLEY
(trying to get up)
Hildy -- I can't. I'm busy -- I --
Let me up, Hildy. Earl Williams has
escaped --

He struggles.

HILDY
There's money in it, Cooley.

COOLEY
I can't Hildy. It means my job! It
means --

HILDY
(interrupting him)
A lot of money.
(she opens her bag)
Four hundred and fifty dollars --

She fingers the bills.

COOLEY
How much?

HILDY
Four hundred and fifty dollars. Is
it a deal?

COOLEY
It's a deal. Let me up.

Cooley gets up and dusts himself off.

COOLEY
Let's see the money.

HILDY
(money still in her
hand)
First we talk. How did Earl Williams
get that gun?

Cooley looks around quickly.

COOLEY
Come on, and I'll tell you.

He jerks his head, indicating to Hildy to follow him.

MEDIUM SHOT

They move off as the gates are closed.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. PRESS ROOM - CRIMINAL COURTS BUILDING - DAY FULL SHOT

The room is empty. All the telephones are ringing crazily.
Endicott enters hurriedly, crosses to his phone.

ENDICOTT
(into phone)
Endicott talking.

CLOSE SHOT ENDICOTT - AT PHONE

ENDICOTT
(into phone)
No -- nobody knows where he got the
gun, but I think Mollie Malloy
smuggled it in to him. He ran up the
fire-escape, and went back in the
infirmary window. Then he got out
through the skylight. He must have
slid down the rain-pipe to the street.

MURPHY'S VOICE
Gimme the Desk.

MED. TWO SHOT

including Murphy and Endicott at separate phones.

ENDICOTT
No, I tell you! Nobody knows where
he got it.

MURPHY
The Crime Commission has offered a
reward of ten thousand dollars for
Williams' capture.

ENDICOTT
Call you back.

He hangs up swiftly and goes out.

MURPHY
No clue yet as to Earl Williams'
whereabouts. Here's a little feature
though: There's been an accident
about a tear bomb --

Wilson enters and picks up his phone.

WILSON
(into phone)
Wilson talking.

MURPHY
Yeah -- tear bomb. Criminals cry for
it.

MEDIUM SHOT

including Murphy, Wilson and doorway. The Sheriff enters,
turning as he enters. As he turns back to someone in corridor:

HARTMAN
If the Mayor wants me, he knows where
I am.

MURPHY
(into phone)
This tear bomb went off unexpectedly
in the hands of Sheriff Hartman's
Bombing Squad.

HARTMAN
What went off?

MURPHY
(into phone)
Four of Mr. Hartman's Deputy Sheriffs
were rushed to the hospital --

HARTMAN
A fine fair-weather friend you are!

MURPHY
(remorselessly, into
phone)
The names are Merwyn D. Mayor, who
is the Mayor's brother-in-law --

HARTMAN
After all I've done for you --

MURPHY
(continuing)
Howard Shenken, the Sheriff's uncle
on his mother's side --

WILSON
(into phone)
Hello, Jim? Sidelights on Sheriff
Hartman's manhunt.

The Sheriff spins around -- another enemy. At this moment
Hildy enters the room and crosses casually to her telephone
where she stands waiting.

MURPHY
(into phone)
William Lungren, who is the Sheriff's
landlord, and Lester Bartow who
married the Sheriff's niece. You
remember, the very homely dame. Call
you back.

He hangs up.

WILSON
(into phone)
Mrs. William Tausig, age fifty-five,
scrub lady, while at work scrubbing
the eighth floor of the Commerce
Building, was shot in the left leg
by one of Sheriff Hartman's deputies.

Hartman groans. There is a sound of machine-gun firing in
the courtyard.

HILDY
There goes another scrub lady.

WILSON
(into phone)
I'll go right after it.

He hangs up and exits.

MURPHY
(to Hildy)
Any dope yet on how he got out?

HILDY
From all I can get the Sheriff let
him out so's he could vote for him.

HARTMAN
I'm very disappointed in you, Hildy
Johnson.

He turns and exits.

CLOSE SHOT AT TABLE NEAR HILDY'S PHONE

taking in Hildy and Murphy.

MURPHY
How do you suppose Williams got that
gun?

As Hildy shrugs, there is another flurry of machine-gun fire.
Murphy leaves precipitately. Hildy, alone at last, picks up
the phone.

HILDY
(into phone)
Give me Walter Burns -- quick --

She lays down the telephone receiver and crosses to the door
which she closes, then returns to the phone.

HILDY
(picking up phone)
Walter, listen. I've got the inside
story on how Williams got the gun
and escaped.

INT. WALTER BURNS' OFFICE - DAY CLOSE SHOT - BURNS

at his desk, telephone to his ear.

BURNS
Exclusive? That's great.

INT. PRESS ROOM - DAY CLOSE SHOT - HILDY

HILDY
It cost me four hundred and fifty
bucks to tear it out of Cooley.

INT. BURNS' OFFICE CLOSE SHOT - BURNS

BURNS
Never mind that. What's the story?

INT. PRESS ROOM CLOSE SHOT - HILDY

HILDY
Never mind it? That's not my money!
That's Bruce's money!

INT. BURNS' OFFICE CLOSE SHOT - BURNS

BURNS
You'll get it. Now what's the story?
(he raises his hand)
I'll have the paper send the money
right down to you. I swear it on my
mother's grave.

INT. PRESS ROOM CLOSE SHOT - HILDY

HILDY
Wait a minute. Your mother's alive.

INT. BURNS' OFFICE CLOSE SHOT - BURNS

BURNS
I meant on my grandmother's grave.
Don't be so technical, Hildy. What's
the story?!

INT. PRESS ROOM CLOSE SHOT - HILDY

HILDY
Well, this expert Dr. Egelhoffer,
from New York, decides to make
Williams re-enact the crime --

She starts to giggle at the thought.

HILDY
Well, I'm coming to it. It seems the
Professor had to have a gun to re-
enact the crime with -- and who do
you suppose supplied it? Nobody else
but that great thinker, Sheriff
Hartman!

INT. BURNS' OFFICE CLOSE SHOT - BURNS

BURNS
(laughing)
No kidding, Hildy.
(suspiciously)
Say, this isn't a rib?

INT. PRESS ROOM CLOSE SHOT - HILDY

HILDY
No, this is on the level, Walter.
I'm not good enough to make this one
up. The Sheriff gave his gun to the
Professor, the Professor gave it to
Earl, and Earl gave it right back to
the Professor -- right in the stomach!
Who? No, Egelhoffer wasn't hurt badly.
They took him to the County Hospital
where they're afraid he'll recover.

INT. BURNS' OFFICE CLOSE SHOT - BURNS

BURNS
That's great work, Hildy... Huh? Oh,
will you stop worrying about the
money? I'll see you get it in fifteen
minutes.

INT. PRESS ROOM CLOSE SHOT - HILDY

HILDY
It better be fifteen minutes, because
Bruce is waiting downstairs in a
taxicab and that meter's clicking
away to beat the band.

INT. BURNS' OFFICE CLOSE SHOT BURNS

BURNS
Hold on a minute.

CAMERA PULLS BACK disclosing Louis and a blonde sitting on a
divan in Walter's office. Burns' beckons the blonde:

BURNS
(his hand carefully
over receiver of
phone)
Come here. There's a guy waiting in
a taxi in front of the Criminal Courts
building. His name is Bruce Baldwin.
Can you do your stuff?

BLONDE
I've never flopped on you, have I?

BURNS
Then scram! You've got about two
minutes.

She exits.

BURNS
(into phone)
Sorry to keep you waiting. How much
was it again? Four hundred and fifty
dollars? Hang on a second.

He puts his hand over the phone again and beckons to Louis.

BURNS
(to Louis)
I need four hundred and fifty dollars
in counterfeit money. You know where
I can get it?

LOUIS
It's awful funny -- I happen to have
some on me.

BURNS
(into phone)
It's coming right over. I'm sending
it over with Louis. Thanks for the
story and good luck on your honeymoon.

INT. PRESS ROOM MED. SHOT HILDY AT TELEPHONE

HILDY
Keep the thanks, but just see that
the money gets here!

She hangs up. The door opens and McCue enters and crosses to
his phone.

MCCUE
Hello, Hildy. I thought you were
gone.

HILDY
I thought so, too.

Hildy takes a look at the clock, rises and begins to pace up
and down, pounding her hands together.

CLOSE SHOT MCCUE AT PHONE

MCCUE
(into phone)
McCue speaking. Mrs. Phoebe DeWolfe,
eight-sixty-one and a half South
State Street, colored, gave birth to
a pickaninny in a patrol wagon with
Sheriff Hartman's special Rifle Squad
acting as nurses. Well -- Phoebe was
walking along the street when all of
a sudden she began -- that's right.
So the police coaxed her into the
patrol wagon and they started a race
with the stork. When the pickaninny
was born the Rifle Squad examined
him carefully to see if it was Earl
Williams who they knew was hiding
somewhere.

MED. SHOT

Hildy is still pacing. McCue laughs at his own joke.

MCCUE
(to Hildy)
Did you get that, Hildy?

HILDY
No -- what?

Hildy's phone rings. She answers.

CLOSE SHOT HILDY AT PHONE

HILDY
Hello -- Bruce! I thought you were
downstairs in a -- What? Arrested
again! What for this time, Bruce?
Mashing! Oh, Bruce, can't I leave
you alone for three minutes even?
Well, where are you? The 27th
Precinct? All right, I'll be right
over --
(she breaks off and
looks down at her
bag on the desk)
I'll be over in twenty minutes, Bruce.
(she hangs up)
If I ever see Walter Burns --
(she picks up phone
and dials viciously)
Get me Walter Burns... Hildy Johnson!
Well, he was there just a minute
ago! Have him call me back!

She hangs up.

MEDIUM SHOT

HILDY
(to McCue)
If Walter Burns calls, hold the wire
for me, will you? I'll be right back.
(she goes out)

MCCUE
Okay, Hildy.
(into phone)
Well, we can't get any official
statement --

MEDIUM SHOT ANOTHER ANGLE

The door opens and the Mayor enters.

MCCUE
(into phone)
Oh, wait a minute -- here's the Mayor.
Maybe he'll give us one.

CLOSEUP THE MAYOR

turning away with a wave of his hand.

MAYOR
Don't pester me now, please. I got a
lot on my mind.

CLOSEUP MCCUE

MCCUE
(into phone)
His Honor won't say anything.

He hangs up and exits out of scene.

MED. CLOSE SHOT MAYOR TAKING IN DOOR

McCue comes in to him. Murphy and Endicott come in.

MAYOR
(to McCue)
Have you seen Sheriff Hartman?

MCCUE
It's hard to say, Your Honor. The
place is so full of cockroaches.

MURPHY
Say, Your Honor, what effect's this
jail-break going to have on the
colored voters?

CLOSEUP THE MAYOR

MAYOR
Not an iota. In what way can an
unavoidable misfortune of this sort
influence the duty of every citizen,
colored or otherwise?

MED. SHOT INCLUDING GROUP

ENDICOTT
Your Honor, is there a Red Menace or
ain't there?

The Sheriff comes scooting in.

MAYOR
(to the Sheriff)
Hartman, I've been looking for you!

He closes in on the Sheriff, followed by the reporters.

MURPHY
So have we!

ENDICOTT
What's the dope, Sheriff?

MURPHY
Who engineered this getaway?

CLOSE SHOT

HARTMAN
Just a minute! We've got him located.

ENDICOTT
Williams?

MURPHY
Where is he?

HARTMAN
Where he used to live. You can catch
the Riot Squad -- it's just going
out.

The boys beat it, fast.

MAYOR
Pete, I want to talk to you!

HARTMAN
I ain't got time, Fred, honest. I'll
see you after.

MAYOR
Did you actually give Williams that
gun?

HARTMAN
(a wail)
The professor asked me for it -- I
thought it was for something
scientific!

MAYOR
Pete, I've got a mighty unpleasant
task to perf --

The Sheriff suddenly nudges him for quiet, and the Mayor,
turning, sees:

ANOTHER ANGLE FEATURING SCHWARTZ

coming in and going to the phone. He is whistling.

SCHWARTZ
Hiya, Your Honor.
(into phone)
Schwartz calling.
(to the Mayor)
How about it, Your Honor? Any
statement on the Red uprising
tomorrow?

MAYOR
What Red uprising?

HARTMAN
There'll be no Red uprising!

SCHWARTZ
(into phone)
Gimme rewrite --
(to the Mayor)
The Governor says the situation calls
for the militia.

MAYOR
You can quote me as saying that
anything the Governor says is a tissue
of lies.

SCHWARTZ
(into phone)
Hello, Jake. Here's a red-hot
statement from the Governor. He claims
that the Mayor and the Sheriff have
shown themselves to be a couple of
eight-year-olds playing with fire.

CLOSEUP SHERIFF AND MAYOR

SCHWARTZ' VOICE
Quote him as follows: "It is a lucky
thing for the city that next Tuesday
is Election Day, as the citizens
will thus be saved the expense of
impeaching the Mayor and the Sheriff."
That's all -- call you back.

MED. SHOT SCHWARTZ

He hangs up and starts out.

SCHWARTZ
Nice to have seen you, Mayor.

He exits, whistling.

MAYOR
We've got to go somewhere private,
Pete. I've got to talk to you straight
from the shoulder.

They start out.

MED. SHOT SHERIFF AND MAYOR

As they start for the door it opens. As they exit Hildy
enters, almost crossing them but not quite noticing them as
she starts pounding her hands together and pacing up and
down Press Room.

MED. SHOT MAYOR AND SHERIFF

as they start down the hall, CAMERA TRUCKING WITH THEM.

HARTMAN
(beside himself)
Now, listen, Fred. Just give me a
few hours before you make any
decisions. I'll get results. I'm
doing everything humanly possible.
I've just sworn in four hundred
deputies.

MAYOR
Four hundred! Do you want to bankrupt
this administration?

HARTMAN
(pleadingly)
I'm getting them for twelve dollars
a night.

MAYOR
Twelve dollars! -- For those rheumatic
uncles of yours?
(gesturing)
Out shooting everybody they see for
the fun of it?

HARTMAN
(with dignity)
If you're talking about my brother-
in-law, he's worked for the city
fifteen years.

They come to the door of the Sheriff's office. Hartman opens
door and the Mayor enters, Hartman following.

INT. SHERIFF'S OFFICE MED. CLOSE SHOT

Hartman closes door and turns to Mayor, who faces him
portentously.

MAYOR
Pete, you're through!

HARTMAN
(stunned)
What do you mean -- through?

MAYOR
I mean I'm scratching your name off
the ticket Tuesday and running
Czernecki in your place. It's nothing
personal. And, Pete -- it's the only
way out. It's a sacrifice we all
ought to be glad to make.

HARTMAN
(David to Jonathan)
Fred!

MAYOR
Now, Pete! Please don't appeal to my
Sentimental side.

HARTMAN
Fred, I don't know what to say. A
thing like this almost destroys a
man's faith in human nature.

MAYOR
I wish you wouldn't talk like that,
Pete.

HARTMAN
Our families, Fred. I've always looked
on Bessie as my own sister.

MAYOR
(wavering and desperate)
If there was any way out...

As a phone rings:

HARTMAN
There is a way out. I've got Williams
surrounded, haven't I? What more do
you want?
(into phone)
Hello... Yes... Hello!
(wildly)
Four hundred suppers! Nothing doing!
This is a man-hunt -- not a
banquet!... The twelve dollars
includes everything!!

He hangs up.

HARTMAN
That gives you an idea of what I'm
up against!

MAYOR
(hotly)
We're up against a lot more than
that with that nutty slogan you
invented: 'Reform the Reds With a
Rope'.

Sheriff winces.

MAYOR
Williams ain't a Red, and you know
it!

HARTMAN
Well, there's a lot of Communistic
sympathizers around --

MAYOR
I know it! But they've got nothing
to do with this case! Do you realize
there are two hundred thousand votes
at stake and unless we hang Earl
Williams we're going to lose 'em?

HARTMAN
But we're going to hang him, Fred.
He can't get away.

A knock on the door.

MAYOR
What do you mean he can't get away?!
He got away, didn't he?

Knocking louder.

MAYOR
Who's out there?

VOICE OUTSIDE (PINKUS)
Is Sheriff Hartman in there?

Sheriff starts for door.

HARTMAN
(relieved)
Ah! For me!

MED. SHOT TAKING IN DOOR

Sheriff opens the door. A small, very colorless and
ineffectual man named Pinkus is there.

HARTMAN
(as he opens door,
disclosing Pinkus)
I'm Sheriff Hartman. You want me?

PINKUS
(coming in)
You're certainly a hard fellow to
find, Sheriff.

MAYOR
(annoyed)
What do you want?

PINKUS
(taking a document
from his pocket and
proffering it to
Sheriff)
I'm a messenger at the State House.
This is from the Governor.

MAYOR
What's from the Governor?

PINKUS
The reprieve for Earl Williams.

HARTMAN
(stunned)
For who?

PINKUS
(amiably)
Earl Williams. The reprieve.

MAYOR
W-wait a minute.

Getting his bearings.

HARTMAN
(bursting forth)
The Governor gave me his word of
honor he wouldn't interfere. Two
days ago!

MAYOR
And you fell for it, Pete. It
frightens me what I'd like to do to
you.
(to Pinkus)
Who else knows about this?

The Sheriff, with shaking hands, opens and begins to read
the thing.

PINKUS
They were all standing around when
he wrote it. It was after they got
back from fishing.

MAYOR
(to Sheriff)
Get the Governor on the phone!

PINKUS
(helpfully)
You can't get him on the phone. He's
out duckshooting now.

MAYOR
Fishing! Duckshooting! How do you
like that. A guy does nothing more
strenuous for forty years than play
pinochle -- he gets elected Governor
and right away he thinks he's Tarzan!

HARTMAN
(thrusting the document
at the Mayor)
Read it! Insane, he says.
(shaking a finger in
Pinkus' face)
He knows very well that Williams
ain't insane!

PINKUS
Yeah. But I --

MAYOR
(interrupting)
Pure politics!

HARTMAN
An attempt to ruin us!

The phone rings. Hartman starts for it.

MAYOR
(reading)
Dementia praecox Oh-h-h!

HARTMAN
We got to think fast before those
lying reporters get hold of this.
What'll we tell 'em?

MAYOR
Tell 'em the party is through in
this State on account of you.

HARTMAN
Ah, Fred --
(into phone)
Hello... this is Hartman --

MAYOR
(apoplectic)
And you can tell 'em as an
afterthought that I want your
resignation now!

HARTMAN
(from the phone)
Sssh. Wait, Fred.
(excitedly, into phone)
What?... Where?... Where? Holy Moses!

MAYOR
What is it?

HARTMAN
They got him!
(back to phone)
Wait a minute -- hold the wire.
(to the Mayor)
They got Earl Williams surrounded --
the Riot Squad has -- in his house.

MAYOR
Tell 'em to hold the wire.

HARTMAN
I did.
(into phone)
Hold the wire.

MAYOR
Cover up that transmitter!

Sheriff does so. Mayor faces Cooney.

MAYOR
Now, listen! You never arrived here
with this -- reprieve. Get it?

PINKUS
(blinking)
Yes, I did, just now. Don't you
remember?

MAYOR
How much do you make a week?

PINKUS
Huh?

MAYOR
(impatiently)
How much do you make a week? What's
your salary?

PINKUS
(reluctantly)
Forty dollars.

HARTMAN
(into phone)
No -- don't out me off.

MAYOR
How would you like to have a job for
three hundred and fifty dollars a
month. That's almost a hundred dollars
a week!

PINKUS
Who? Me?

MAYOR
(exasperated)
Who do you think!

Pinkus is a little startled; the Mayor hastens to adopt a
milder manner.

MAYOR
Now, listen. There's a fine opening
for a fellow like you in the City
Sealer's office.

PINKUS
The what?

MAYOR
The City Sealer's office!

PINKUS
You mean here in the city?

MAYOR
(foaming)
Yes, yes!

HARTMAN
(at phone)
Well, wait a minute, will you? I'm
in conference.

PINKUS
(a very deliberate
intellect)
No, I couldn't do that.

MAYOR
Why not?

PINKUS
I couldn't work in the city. You
see, I've got my family in the
country.

MAYOR
(desperate)
But you could bring 'em in here!
We'll pay all your expenses.

PINKUS
(with vast thought)
No, I don't think so.

MAYOR
For heaven's sake, why not?

PINKUS
I got two kids going to school there,
and if I changed them from one town
to another, they'd lose a grade.

MAYOR
No, they wouldn't -- they'd gain
one! And I guarantee that they'll
graduate with highest honors!

PINKUS
(lured)
Yeah?

HARTMAN
(into phone)
Hold your horses -- will you, Olsen?
Hurry up, Fred!

MAYOR
Now what do you say?

PINKUS
This puts me in a peculiar hole.

MAYOR
No, it doesn't.
(hands him the reprieve)
Now, remember: you never delivered
this.
(rushing him to the
door)
You got caught in the traffic, or
something.
(opening door)
Now, get out of here and don't let
anybody see you.

PINKUS
But how do I know...?

MAYOR
Come in and see me in my office
tomorrow. What's your name?

PINKUS
Pinkus.

MAYOR
(taking out his wallet)
All right, Mr. Pinkus, all you've
got to do is lay low and keep your
mouth shut. Here!
(he hands him a card)
Go to this address. It's a nice,
homey little place, and they'll take
care of you for the night. Just tell
'em Fred sent you. And here's fifty
dollars on account.

He pushes money into Pinkus's hand and pushes him through
the door. Pinkus goes.

HARTMAN
(into phone,
desperately)
Will you wait, Olsen? I'll tell you
in a minute!

The door opens again and Pinkus comes back in.

PINKUS
You forgot to tell me what a City
Sealer has to do.

MAYOR
(turning hastily toward
Pinkus)
I'll explain it tomorrow!

PINKUS
Is it hard?

MAYOR
No! It's easy -- it's very easy!

HARTMAN
(pleadingly, into
phone)
Just one second --

PINKUS
That's good, because my health ain't
what it used to be.

MAYOR
(pushing him out the
door)
We'll fix that, too.
(he closes the door
after him)

HARTMAN
(into phone -- one
more plea)
Just -- one -- second!

He turns to the Mayor with a gesture of appeal. The Mayor
closes the door and turns to Hartman.

MAYOR
(huskily)
All right. Tell 'em to shoot to kill.

HARTMAN
What?

MAYOR
Shoot to kill, I said.

HARTMAN
I don't know, Fred. There's that
reprieve if they ever find out.

MAYOR
Nobody reprieved that policeman he
murdered. Now, do as I tell you.

HARTMAN
(into phone)
Hello, Olsen... Listen...
(his voice is weak)
Shoot to kill... That's the orders
pass the word along... No! We dont
want him! And listen, Olsen, five-
hundred bucks for the guy that does
the job... Yes, I'll be right out
there.
(hangs up)
Well, I hope that's the right thing
to do.

MAYOR
Now take that guilty look off your
face, Pete -- and stop trembling
like a horse.

HARTMAN
(mopping his brow)
If we didn't have election Tuesday
I'd have this on my conscience.

INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE PRESS ROOM MED. SHOT

Louie comes from the direction of the stairs and crosses
toward door to Press Room. He pauses a moment, puts his hand
in his pocket, pulls out some bills, counts them and opens
the door.

INT. PRESS ROOM MED. SHOT

Hildy is still pacing, pounding her hands together and
glancing every so often at the clock on the wall. Suddenly
she crosses to her phone, picks up transmitter --

HILDY
(into phone)
Will you try --

LOUIE'S VOICE
Hildy.

HILDY
(wheeling towards
door)
Louie!

She drops the phone and hurries towards him.

HILDY
Have you got my dough?

LOUIS
Oh, sure. The boss sent me over with
it. Four hundred dollars, wasn't it?

HILDY
Four hundred and fifty and I'll cut
your throat if you try any tricks!

LOUIS
All right, all right. You can't blame
a guy for tryin', can you?

HILDY
Come on with that money!

LOUIS
First you got to sign a receipt.
(he pulls out a receipt)

HILDY
Where's the money?

LOUIS
Keep your shirt on. I got it -- right
here.
(he picks out money
and counts)
One hundred -- two hundred -- three
hundred -- four hundred -- and fifty.
Now sign.

HILDY
(grabs money and signs)
Here!

LOUIS
Thanks. So long, Hildy!

HILDY
(grabbing him)
So long, nothing! Where's Bruce
Baldwin's wallet?

LOUIS
Huh?

HILDY
None of that innocent stuff, you
double-crossing hyena! You stuck
Bruce Baldwin in jail this afternoon
on a phony charge that he swiped
your watch, and you frisked his
wallet! Now, give me that wallet or
I'll stick you in jail and it won't
be on any phony charge either! It'll
be for life!

LOUIS
Now don't get excited, Hildy! I don't
know what you're talking about --
but is this Mr. Baldwin's wallet?

He takes Bruce's wallet out.

HILDY
(grabbing it)
You know it is!

LOUIS
I didn't frisk him. He must have
dropped it in Burns' office. I didn't
know whose it was.

HILDY
No -- and you don't know that your
cheap boss has had Mr. Baldwin
arrested again -- do you?

LOUIS
(surprised)
What -- already? Why, the dame left
only a minute before I did!

He suddenly realizes what he's said and sprints for the door.
Hildy chucks something at him. It just misses as he ducks
out of the door.

MED. SHOT ANOTHER ANGLE

Hildy casts a savage look after the departed Louie, takes
another look at the clock and grabs a phone and starts to
dial.

HILDY
(into phone)
27th Precinct Station House?

Hildy stops short, arrested by a sound from the open window.
She turns and sees Earl Williams, looking more inoffensive
and exhausted than ever, indeed on the verge of collapse. He
carries a large revolver. The search-lights that have been
playing in the courtyard strike into the windows again.

WILLIAMS
(pointing gun at her)
Drop that phone --

Hildy drops the phone back on the hook.

WILLIAMS
(supporting himself
by holding on to
edge of desk)
You're not going to phone anybody
where I am.

HILDY
(bracing herself)
Put down that gun, Earl.

He advances steadily toward Hildy, the gun aimed at her.

HILDY
You're not going to shoot me, Earl.
I'm your friend, remember? I've got
to write that story about your
"Production for Use".

WILLIAMS
Yes -- that's right. Production for
use.

Hildy starts walking toward him, slowly.

HILDY
Earl, you don't want to hurt your
friends, do you?

WILLIAMS
Don't move!

Hildy stops.

WILLIAMS
Maybe you're my friend and maybe
you're not -- but don't come any
nearer. You can't trust anybody in
this crazy world. Say, I'll bet I
could shoot you from here.

HILDY
Sure you could, Earl -- but you
wouldn't want to do that, would you?
You wouldn't want to kill anybody.

WILLIAMS
No, no, you're right. I don't want
to kill anybody. All I want to do is
be let alone.

Hildy sneaks another step forward.

HILDY
Earl, there's just one thing I ought
to clear up for the interview.

WILLIAMS
What's that? Only -- you're getting
too near. I don't trust anybody.

HILDY
I don't blame you, Earl.
(another step forward)
If I were in your place I wouldn't
trust anybody, either.

WILLIAMS
(suddenly)
Keep away!

He points the gun at Hildy, pulls the trigger and we hear a
faint "click!"

WILLIAMS
(weakly)
I guess I used all the shells.

CLOSE TWO SHOT

He drops the gun and clutches at the edge of the desk for
support. Hildy lurches forward and she grabs the other side
of the desk for support. And at this moment she looks more
tired than he does. She looks at Earl and breathes heavily.

HILDY
Earl, you must never do that again.

WILLIAMS
Oh, I'm awful tired. I couldn't go
through another day like this.

HILDY
(more her old self
now)
Well, maybe you think I could!

CAMERA FOLLOWS HER as she retrieves the gun and jams it in
her purse, jumps to the windows, pulls down the shades.

EARL'S VOICE
I'm not afraid to die. I was tellin'
the fella that when he handed me the
gun.

Hildy crosses swiftly to the door, locks it and puts out the
lights, so that they are visible only faintly in the light
from the areaway.

HILDY
Don't talk too loud.

WILLIAMS
(babbling on as she
moves about)
Wakin' me up in the middle of the
night -- talkin' to me about things
they don't understand. Callin' me a
Bolshevik. I'm an anarchist. It's
got nothin' to do with bombs. It's
the philosophy that guarantees every
man freedom. You see that, don't
you?

HILDY
Sure I do, Earl.

Hildy is looking around for a hiding place for him.

WILLIAMS
I wish they'd take me back and hang
me. I done my best.

He abruptly crumples and falls to the floor. Hildy stands
for a second, desperate. Then she picks him up and half
carries, half drags him over toward a chair and places him
in it. Then she makes a quick dash for her phone.

HILDY
(into phone)
Hello... Gimme Walter Burns -- quick!

Another phone there rings. Hildy answers it, propping the
receiver of her own phone between ear and shoulder.

CLOSEUP HILDY AT PHONE

HILDY
(into second phone)
Hello -- hel -- Oh, hello, Bruce...
Oh, Bruce, please -- I know I said
I'd be down in fifteen minutes, but
something terrific's happened! Hang
on, Bruce --
(into first phone)
Walter?... Hildy. Come over here --
right away!... Wait!
(into second phone)
Bruce, just a second, Bruce -- I'll
explain everything.
(into first phone)
Walter! Get this: I've got Earl
Williams... Yes! Here in the Press
Room... Honest! On the level. Hurry --
I need you.

She hangs up and turns into second phone.

HILDY
Bruce, this is the biggest thing
that ever happened...
(lowers voice)
I just captured Earl Williams -- you
know -- the murderer --

There is a knocking on the door, but she doesn't hear it.

HILDY
Bruce, I'll be down -- Well, Bruce,
the minute I turn him over to the
paper I'll be right down. Bruce,
don't you -- Bruce, I can't now -- I
can't, don't you realize?

There is a click from the phone. He has hung up. Hildy
dejectedly hangs up the phone. There is the sound of knocking
on the door. She springs up.

MED. SHOT

taking in door. Hildy glares apprehensively, then crosses to
it.

HILDY
(cautiously)
Who's there?

MOLLIE'S VOICE
It's me, Mollie Malloy! Let me in.

Hildy carefully unlocks the door. Mollie bounds in like a
wildcat and seizes her.

MOLLIE
Where are they gone? You know where
they are?

HILDY
Wait a minute, Mollie.

She manages to relock the door, then turns, leaning against
it, facing Mollie.

CLOSE SHOT HILDY AND MOLLIE

MOLLIE
They got him surrounded some place --
gonna shoot him like a dog!

HILDY
Mollie, they haven't got him. You
gotta help me, Mollie! We've got to
do something!

MOLLIE
What do you mean?

There is a sound -- a groan -- as Williams starts to come
to.

MOLLIE
(spinning around)
What's that?

HILDY
Quiet, Mollie!

MOLLIE
There's somethin' funny going on
around here.

MED. SHOT

Mollie crosses to wall and switches on the lights. She sees
Williams, sobs and rushes over to him.

CLOSEUP EARL AND MOLLIE

Mollie gets down on her knees and begins ministering to Earl.
He opens his eyes.

WILLIAMS
Hello, Mollie.

Mollie begins to sob.

WIDER ANGLE SHOT

Hildy comes over and says:

HILDY
Quiet, Mollie, quiet!

WILLIAMS
(putting out hand to
stroke her hair)
Don't cry, Mollie, there's nothing
to cry about.

HILDY
How'd you get here, Earl?

WILLIAMS
Down the drainpipe. I didn't mean to
shoot him. You believe me, don't
you, Mollie?

MOLLIE
(coming up)
Of course I believe you.

WILLIAMS
I forgot to thank you for those roses.
They were beautiful.

MOLLIE
That's all right, Mr. Williams...
(to Hildy)
You're a woman. You got to help us.
You got to get him out of here, some
place where I can take care of him.

HILDY
Stop screaming, Mollie or we're sunk.
I'm trying to think of something
before those reporters get back.

WILLIAMS
Let 'em take me. It's better that
way.

MOLLIE
No -- I'll never let 'em!

The door is tried outside.

MOLLIE
They'll get him! They'll get him!

HILDY
Ssh!

INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE PRESS ROOM DOOR CLOSE SHOT

Endicott at door is trying to get in.

ENDICOTT
Who locked the door?

INT. PRESS ROOM BACK TO HILDY

HILDY
(calling)
Just a second, Mike ---
(whispering to Mollie)
Mollie, I got it!

MED. CLOSE SHOT AT DESK

Hildy jumps in to the desk and opens it, turning to cry in a
tense whisper to Earl:

HILDY
Can you get in this desk?

INT. CORRIDOR CLOSE SHOT

Wilson is there too, now, and he and Endicott are pounding
on the door.

WILSON
What's going on in there?

INT. PRESS ROOM HILDY, MOLLIE AND EARL

Mollie and Earl are with Hildy in front of desk now. They
are speaking in whispers.

WILLIAMS
What good'll it do?

HILDY
We'll get you out in ten minutes.

INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE DOOR

ENDICOTT
Open up there, will you!

INT. PRESS ROOM HILDY, MOLLIE AND EARL

HILDY
(crying)
All right -- all right!

MOLLIE
(to Earl)
Go on!
(shoving him to desk)
Please!

WILLIAMS
They'll find me anyhow.

There is further and louder pounding on the door. Earl gets
in the desk. Hildy and Mollie pull the roll-top down over
him.

HILDY
(calling)
I'm coming!
(to Earl)
Keep dead quiet. Don't even breathe.

MOLLIE
(to Earl)
I'll be right here. I won't leave
you.

INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE DOOR

ENDICOTT
(giving door a terrific
kick)
Hey!

INT. PRESS ROOM CLOSE SHOT HILDY AND MOLLIE

HILDY
(to Mollie)
Mollie, drop down here! You've
fainted!

MOLLIE
What's the idea?

HILDY
Never mind! Just play dead.

Hildy rapidly unbuttons Mollie's waist and throws it back.
The kicking at the door continues.

MED. SHOT

Hildy rushes over to windows and pulls up the shades. Mollie
is lying quietly on the floor with her eyes closed. Hildy
rushes over to water cooler and gets a paper cup full of
water. She throws the water in Mollie's face.

MOLLIE
(spluttering)
Hey --

HILDY
(fiercely)
Shut up, you!

Hildy crosses swiftly to the door.

INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE DOOR

The door opens in Endicott's face and there is Miss Johnson,
quite cool.

ENDICOTT
Kind of exclusive, ain't you? We got
calls to make, you know.

HILDY
Run down and get some smelling salts,
will you?

WILSON
Smelling salts! What's going on here?

They catch sight of Mollie, stretched out on the floor.

ENDICOTT
Mollie Malloy -- what happened to
her?

HILDY
(as Endicott and Wilson
enter room)
Came up here -- had hysterics and
passed out. I've been trying to get
her to come to.

INT. PRESS ROOM MED. SHOT

Mollie is shaking her head.

ENDICOTT
She looks as though she's going to
come to.

HILDY
Give me a hand with her, will you?

ENDICOTT
Okay.
(lifting Mollie)
Up you go, Mollie.

Hildy and Endicott lift Mollie and seat her in a chair. Wilson
crosses to his phone.

CLOSE SHOT WILSON AT PHONE

WILSON
(into Phone)
City Desk.

MED. CLOSE SHOT

Taking in Hildy, Wilson and Mollie and Endicott.

ENDICOTT
She'll be all right.
(crosses to his phone)
The Desk.

WILSON
(into phone)
Well, they surrounded the house, all
right, only they forgot to tell
Williams, and he wasn't there.

MED. LONG SHOT TAKING IN DOOR

Murphy comes in.

MURPHY
(seeing Hildy, who
has been fastening
Mollie's blouse)
Hildy, I thought you were gone --

HILDY
Well -- I was going, but Mollie
fainted away and I thought I ought
to do what I could.

MURPHY
Some Hallowe'en goin' on outside.
The whole police force standing on
it's ear.

Murphy crosses to his phone. McCue comes in.

MCCUE
(panting)
What a chase!

ENDICOTT
(into phone)
No luck on Williams, yet -- call you
back.

He hangs up.

WILSON
(into phone)
Okay, later.

He hangs up.

MURPHY
(into phone)
Murphy talking.

Schwartz comes in.

HILDY
Any news?

SCHWARTZ
Yeah. I was never so tired in my
life.

He picks up his phone.

MCCUE
(into phone)
Where? Harrison Street Station? All
right, connect me.

SCHWARTZ
(into phone)
Schwartz calling... Out with Hartman's
deputies. I'm in a drugstore. You
can't call me back because I'm going
right on with them.

He hangs up -- puts his feet on the desk.

CLOSE SHOT HILDY AND MOLLIE

HILDY
Are you all right, now?

MOLLIE
Yeah, I'm feelin' fine.

MED. SHOT GROUP

MURPHY
Sure, Mollie, you never looked better
in your life.

MCCUE
(turning from phone)
Yeah, hold the line. Hey, this looks
good. An old lady just called the
detective bureau and claims Williams
is hiding in her cellar. Well - we've
looked every other place. Want to go
out on it?

ENDICOTT
Aw, nuts with chasing around any
more. I spent a dollar-forty on taxis
already.

SCHWARTZ
I say we don't go out any more. Let
Earl Williams come to us.

CLOSEUP HILDY

HILDY
A fine bunch of reporters. Biggest
story in two years and they're too
lazy to go after it.

MED. SHOT GROUP

ENDICOTT
It's easy for you to talk. You're
retired. We're still working.

MCCUE
Okay.
(into phone)
Forget it.
(he hangs up)

HILDY
What's the matter with you boys?
Afraid it might rain? If you want to
go, I'll cover this end.

MURPHY
Say, Hildy, if I know you, you sound
pretty anxious to get rid of us. Are
you trying to scoop us or something?

ENDICOTT
Something smells around here. If you
ask me Mollie gave her the story on
how Williams got that gun.
(turning on Mollie)
Did you smuggle that gun into
Williams, Mollie?

MOLLIE
I didn't do nothin'.

MCCUE
(crossing to Mollie)
Come clean, Mollie.

Wilson, Endicott and Murphy follow McCue toward Hildy.

ENDICOTT
Better let us in on it, Mollie.

HILDY
Aw, why don't you let her alone?
She's ill!

MURPHY
Oh, you two are pals now -- I think
you're right, Endicott. Mollie did
give her some kind of story.

ENDICOTT
I tell you, it's a screwy set-up. We
better hold onto 'em both.

At this point Mrs. Baldwin appears in the doorway. Hildy
gasps and starts for her.

MED. SHOT AT DOOR

Mrs. Baldwin is in a very righteous mood.

MRS. BALDWIN
Well?

CLOSE SHOT HILDY

as she comes in to her.

HILDY
Mother!

MRS. BALDWIN
Don't you mother me! Playing cat-and-
mouse with my poor boy! Keeping him
looked up -- making us miss two trains --
and supposed to be married tomorrow!

HILDY
Mother, I can explain everything.
I'll go with you in five minutes and --

MRS. BALDWIN
You don't have to go with me at all!
Just give me my son's money and you
can stay here forever as far as I'm
concerned. Stay with that murderer
you caught!

CLOSE SHOT REPORTERS

as they get this. Reactions as they glance at one another.

MRS. BALDWIN'S VOICE
(continuing)
Which one of these men is it? They
all look like murderers to me!

MURPHY
Where does she get that stuff?

SCHWARTZ
Shall we tell her what she looks
like?

ENDICOTT
Wait a minute! What murderer did you
catch, Hildy?

MED. SHOT GROUP

The reporters are looking intently at Hildy and Mrs. Baldwin.

HILDY
I don't know what she's talking about.
I never said any such thing.

MRS. BALDWIN
I'm quoting my son, and he has never
lied to me.

The reporters move toward Hildy and Mrs. Baldwin speaking
simultaneously.

REPORTERS
I knew something stunk around here --
Who says she caught him --? What do
you mean she caught a murderer --?
etc.

HILDY
(desperately)
But I never said anything like that!

MRS. BALDWIN
Yes, you did!

CLOSEUP MOLLIE

MOLLIE
She never told her that!

MED. CLOSE SHOT GROUP

HILDY
I said I was trying to catch one.
(to Mrs. Baldwin)
You got it balled up, Mother.

CLOSE SHOT

taking in Mollie, with Murphy coming into scene to her.

MURPHY
What do you know about it? How do
you know she didn't?

He grabs her cruelly by an arm.

MOLLIE
Let go!

Endicott comes into scene.

ENDICOTT
Hold on to her, Jimmy -- she's in
with Hildy on this.

CLOSE SHOT HILDY AND MRS. BALDWIN

Hildy tense with anxiety, her eyes on Mollie, off. Murphy
comes viciously into scene to her and jerks Hildy by an arm.

MURPHY
Who you holding out on? Come clean,
or we'll make you wish you had --

MED. SHOT

as the rest of the reporters surround Hildy menacingly.

ENDICOTT
(to Hildy)
Hildy, are you gonna cross us for
Walter Burns after the way you told
him off?

WILSON
Give in, Hildy -- you can't get away
with it.

CLOSEUP MOLLIE

AS SHE CRIES WILDLY:

MOLLIE
Wait! You stool-pigeons! She don't
know where Williams is. I'm the one
that knows.

SHOT OF REPORTERS

as they turn on Mollie.

ENDICOTT
What do you mean, you know?

They start for Mollie.

MED. SHOT

Mollie begins backing slowly around the table, away from
them, toward the window.

MOLLIE
Go find out, you heels! You don't
think I'm gonna tell!

CLOSEUP HILDY

who has remained riveted at desk.

HILDY
Let her alone! She's goofy!

MOLLIE AND REPORTERS

Hemmed in by the massed reporters, she makes a sudden lunge
for the door.

REPORTERS
Look out! Close that door! etc.,
etc.

They split, some of them heading her off at door, others
from opposite side of table, so that she runs back between
window and table.

MCCUE
You ain't gettin' out o' here!

ENDICOTT
Now, where is he?

WILSON
Where you hidin' him?

MOLLIE
I ain't gonna squeal! I ain't goin'
to!

MURPHY
(leaning across table)
Come on, you! Before we slap you
down.

ENDICOTT
Do you want us to call the cops and
have them give you the boots?

MURPHY
Where is he, before we beat it out
of you?

MOLLIE
(backing)
Don't you come near me, you kidney
foot!

Murphy continues to advance on her. The reporters start for
her from the other side. Mollie snatches up a chair and swings
it at the advancing circle of men.

MOLLIE
(wild and blubbering)
Let me alone or I'll knock your heads
off!

ENDICOTT
Put down that chair!

SCHWARTZ
Get around -- get on the side of
her.

MOLLIE
(still backing)
No, you don't!
(a scream)
Keep away!

WILSON
Grab her!

With a last, wild look at her encircling foes.

MOLLIE
You'll never get it out of me!
(hurls chair at them)
I'll never tell! Never!

She makes a desperate leap for the open window and disappears
out. Her scream of terror is heard as she drops. THEN RUSH
FORWARD TO:

CLOSE SHOT AT WINDOW

as the reporters rush in and look out, an assortment of awed
and astonished exclamations rising from them.

CLOSE SHOT MRS. BALDWIN

She turns away from the window and hides her face in her
hands.

MRS. BALDWIN
Take me out of here! Take me --
(a moan)
Oh-h --

She collapses to a chair.

SHOT AT WINDOW

MCCUE
(turning)
Get the cops, somebody.

MURPHY
(turning)
Come on, fellas.

They start in a rush for the door.

MED. SHOT AT DOOR AND DESK

as the reporters rush out, and Hildy crosses, dazed to the
window.

HILDY
Gee! The poor kid... the poor kid.

Reaching the window, she looks out.

EXT. PAVEMENT SHOOTING DOWN FROM HILDY'S ANGLE

The form of Mollie on the pavement below moves slightly in
the moonlight, as guards rush into scene to her.

VOICES
(of guards rushing in)
Get a doctor! Take her to the
infirmary! She ain't killed -- she's
moving!

INT. PRESS ROOM SHOOTING INTO ROOM FROM WINDOW

Hildy turns, shaken, back into the room from the window and
sees advancing to her across the room Walter Burns. Diamond
Louie has entered with the Boss and stands leaning by the
door. Mrs. Baldwin's face is still hidden by her hands. Hildy
starts for Burns.

HILDY
Walter! D-did you see --
(gesturing back to
window)
-- that?

CLOSE SHOT BURNS

BURNS
Yes. Where is he?

HILDY
(comes in to him)
She jumped out of the window.

BURNS
I know. Where is he, I said.

[MISSING PAGE]

CLOSE SHOT MRS. BALDWIN

looking up at them, off.

MRS. BALDWIN
What are you doing?

BURNS' VOICE
Shut up!

MRS. BALDWIN
I won't shut up! That girl killed
herself. Oh-h, you're doing something
wrong. What's in that desk?

CLOSE AT DESK - TAKING IN LOUIE AT THE DOOR

Burns slams closed the desk and steps to Louie.

CLOSE SHOT

BURNS
Louie, take this lady over to Polack
Mike's and lock her up. See that she
doesn't take to anyone on the way.

CLOSEUP MRS. BALDWIN

MRS. BALDWIN
What's that -- what's that?

CLOSE SHOT GROUP

as Louie comes in to Mrs. Baldwin.

HILDY
Wait a minute, Walter. You can't do
that!

LOUIE
(extending his hand
as if to shake hands
with Mrs. Baldwin)
My name is Louis Peluso.

Unluckily for her she responds, only to find herself jerked
to her feet and spun around so that one of Louie's arms is
about her waist and the other hand over her mouth. Louie
starts her to door.

BURNS
Tell 'em it's a case of delirium
tremens.

TRUCKING SHOT

with them -- Hildy catching up.

HILDY
Now, let go of her, Louie. Listen,
Walter, this'll get me in a terrible
jam with my fiancée and I don't stand
so well with him now. Don't worry,
Mother, this is only temporary.

At the door, Louie gets Mrs. Baldwin out and disappears with
her. Hildy starts after them, when Burns' arm comes into
scene, catching her.

CLOSE SHOT BURNS AND HILDY

BURNS
Where do you think you're going?

HILDY
Let go o' me! I've got to get Bruce
out of jail! Oh, Walter, why did you
have to do this to me?

BURNS
(scornfully)
Get Bruce out of jail! How can you
worry about a man who's resting
comfortably in a quiet police station
while this is going on? Hildy, this
is war! You can't desert now!

HILDY
Oh, get off that trapeze!
(indicating desk, off)
There's your story! Smear it all
over the front page -- Earl Williams
caught by the Morning Post! And take
all the credit -- I covered your
story for you and I got myself in a
fine mess doing it -- and now I'm
getting out! I know I told you that
twice before today -- but this time
I mean it!

BURNS
You drooling idiot! What do you mean,
you're getting out! There are three
hundred and sixty-five days in the
year one can get married -- but how
many times have you got a murderer
locked up in a desk? -- Once in a
lifetime! Hildy, you've got the whole
city by the seat of the pants!

HILDY
I know, but --

BURNS
(interrupting)
You know! You've got the brain of a
pancake! That wasn't just a story
you covered -- it was a revolution!
Hildy! This is the greatest yarn in
journalism since Livingstone
discovered Stanley for the New York
Herald!
(quickly closes the
door)

HILDY
(slightly bewildered)
Wait a minute -- wasn't it Stanley
who discovered Livingstone?

BURNS
Don't get technical at a time like
this! Do you realize what you've
done? You've taken a city that's
been graft-ridden for forty years
under the same old gang and with
this yarn you're kicking 'em out and
giving us a chance to have the same
kind of government that New York's
having under La Guardia! We'll make
such monkeys out of these ward-heelers
next Tuesday that nobody'll vote for
them -- not even their wives!

HILDY
(the fire upon her)
I'd like to think.

BURNS
Well, think it then, because it's
true! We'll crucify that mob. We're
going to keep Williams under cover
till morning so the Post can break
the story exclusive. Then we'll let
the Governor in on the capture --
share the glory with him.

HILDY
(excited)
I get it!

BURNS
You've kicked over the whole City
Hall like an apple-cart. You've got
the Mayor and Hartman backed against
a wall. You've put one administration
out and another in. This isn't a
newspaper story -- it's a career!
And you stand there belly-aching
about whether you catch an eight
o'clock train or a nine o'clock train!
Still a doll-faced mugg! That's all
you are.

HILDY
Let me get at that typewriter and
I'll show you how a doll-faced mugg
can write!

BURNS
Attagirl! Why, they'll be naming
streets after you -- Hildy Johnson
Street! There'll be statues of you
in the parks, Hildy. The radio'll be
after you -- the movies!
(slapping his fist
against his open
palm)
By tomorrow morning I'll betcha
there's a Hildy Johnson cigar! I can
see the billboards now. Light up
with Hildy Johnson!

HILDY
Whoa -- wait a minute. We can't leave
Williams here. One of the other
fellows'll --

BURNS
We're going to take him over to my
private office.
(turning)
Where's our phone?

HILDY
That one -- how you gonna take him?
They'll see him.

SHOT AT TABLE

as Burns gets phone and jiggles the hook.

BURNS
Not if he's inside the desk. We'll
carry the desk over.
(into phone)
Give me Duffy!

HILDY
You can't take that desk out. It's
crawling with cops outside.

BURNS
We'll lower it out of the window
with pulleys. Quit stallin'.

As Hildy seems abstracted:

BURNS
Hildy!

HILDY
(coming to)
Huh!

BURNS
Get the lead out of your typewriter
and start pounding out a load, will
you? Snap into it!

HILDY
How much do you want on it?

BURNS
All the words you've got.

HILDY
(turning)
Where's some paper?

Goes out of scene.

BURNS
(into phone)
Hello...! Hello!

SHOT AT DESK

As Hildy comes in, going to desk, she turns to call back:

HILDY
Can I call the Mayor a bird of prey --
or is that libelous?

CLOSEUP BURNS AT PHONE

BURNS
Call him a love-child, if you want
to.
(into phone)
Duffy!

CLOSE SHOT HILDY

Having opened the drawers of Bensinger's desk, she is tossing
play manuscripts, syringes, patent medicines and old socks
into the air, in a frantic search for paper.

HILDY
(calling to Burns)
How about the time he had his house
painted by the Fire Department?

CLOSE SHOT BURNS

BURNS
Give him the works.
(into phone)
Hello, Duffy, get set! We've got the
biggest story in the world. Earl
Williams caught by the Morning Post --
exclusive!

TWO SHOT HILDY AND BURNS

Hildy has unearthed a package of Bensinger's private
stationary. She rises with it.

BURNS
(to Hildy)
Fine!
(into phone)
Now, listen, Duffy -- I want you to
tear out the whole front page...
That's what I said -- the whole front
page! Never mind the European war!
We've got something a whole lot bigger
than that. Hildy Johnson's writing
the lead and I'll phone it over to
you as soon as she's finished.
(he starts to hang
up, then thinks of
something else)
Oh, Duffy! Get hold of Butch O'Connor
and tell him I want him to come up
here with half a dozen other wrestlers --
right away! Tell him we'll run his
picture on the sport page for two
weeks straight. What? I've got a
desk I want moved. Never mind what
desk!

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. STREET NIGHT MED. LONG SHOT

as the taxi darts through traffic, narrowly avoiding cars,
trucks, etc., it comes almost head-on to an oncoming car.

INT. TAXICAB - NIGHT - PROCESS CLOSE SHOT

Louie, worried, ducks unconsciously. Mrs. Baldwin faints
across his lap.

EXT. STREET MED. LONG SHOT

The taxi swerves just in time to duck the oncoming car. As
it starts forward again a truck comes toward the cab, head
on.

INT. TAXICAB - PROCESS CLOSE SHOT

Diamond Louie pushes Mrs. Baldwin into an upright position,
takes a look through the windshield, sees the truck and gives
a big "takem" and faints across Mrs. Baldwin.

EXT. STREET MED. SHOT

The truck and taxicab crash and the screen blacks out.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. PRESS ROOM - NIGHT CLOSE SHOT HILDY

at typewriter, smoke rising from her cigarette. As the CAMERA
ANGLE WIDENS we see a fairly disheveled Hildy typing away
furiously.

BURNS' VOICE
(Into phone)
"The Blackest cesspool in American
city life!" Hold on Duffy, I'll see
if she's got any more.

Burns comes into the scene, tears a page out of Hildy's
typewriter. She inserts another one without noticing.

MED. SHOT

Burns goes back to the phone as Hildy continues to type
furiously.

BURNS
(into phone)
Duffy -- Duffy!
(clicking the phone
furiously)
Operator! Operator! Get me Duffy
back. Somebody cut us off!

ANOTHER ANGLE FAVORING DOOR

as Bruce Baldwin enters.

BRUCE
Hildy!

BURNS
What the devil do you want? Listen,
Bruce, you can't come in here now!
We're busy!
(suddenly, into phone)
Where you been, Duffy? Stick around!
What? What Chinese earthquake? The
deuce with it... what's that?

CLOSE SHOT HILDY

typing away madly. Bruce comes into the scene.

BRUCE
Hildy!

HILDY
(looking up, very
casually)
Hello, Bruce...

She resumes her typing, then suddenly realizes the situation
and jumps up.

HILDY
BRUCE!! How'd you get out?

BRUCE
(the hands-off attitude)
Not through any help of yours, Hildy.

HILDY
Bruce, I know, but I was in the
biggest jam --

BURNS' VOICE
Hildy!

MED. SHOT

As Hildy turns toward his voice, Burns, still with the phone
in his hand, keeps talking to her.

BURNS
For Pete's sake, Hildy, they're
waiting for the rest of that story!

HILDY
(resignedly)
Okay, Walter.
(sits down at her
typewriter again)

CLOSE TWO SHOT BRUCE AND HILDY

Hildy begins typing again.

BRUCE
I waited and waited and then I had
an idea and wired Albany to send me
a hundred dollars so I could get out
on bail...
(desperately)
I don't know what they'll think --
they sent it to the police station!

HILDY
(she barely stops
typing)
We'll explain the whole thing to
them.
(resumes typing)

BRUCE
I know I got you into this, Hildy,
but it does seem to me that you can't
care much for me if you're willing
to let me stay locked up for two
hours.

HILDY
Bruce, you know I'm mad about you
and stop talking like that.
(calling o.s. to Walter)
Walter!

CLOSE SHOT BURNS

BURNS
(into phone)
Take the President's speech and run
it on the funny page...
(turns to Hildy, o.s.)
What is it, Hildy?

HILDY'S VOICE
What was the name of the Mayor's
first wife?

BURNS
You mean the one who drank so much?
Tillie!

CLOSE SHOT HILDY AND BRUCE

HILDY
Thanks.
(she types furiously)

CLOSE SHOT THE DESK

Its top opens slowly and Williams' head sticks out.

CLOSEUP BURNS INCLUDING DESK IN B.G

BURNS
(screaming)
Get back in there, you mock turtle!

The desk-top falls, the fugitive disappearing within.

CLOSEUP BRUCE

turning around toward Burns.

BRUCE
Did you say anything, Mister Burns?

CLOSEUP BURNS

covering up, fast.

BURNS
No -- I was just talking to one of
the guys at the office.
(indicating phone in
his hand)

MED. CLOSE SHOT BRUCE AND HILDY

BRUCE
(to Burns)
Oh.
(turns to Hildy)
I wonder what's keeping mother? She
was supposed to come down and get
you.

HILDY
Oh, she was here.

BRUCE
Where'd she go?

HILDY
Out some place.

She types away. Bruce grabs her and stops her.

BRUCE
Hildy! Where's mother?

HILDY
Oh -- mother -- she -- I don't know
where she went.

BRUCE
Did you give her the money?

HILDY
No, I was going to give it to her --
but she left hurriedly.

BRUCE
Then suppose you give me the money.
Four hundred and fifty dollars.

HILDY
Oh, yes. Here it is.

She gets the wallet. Burns comes into the scene and pulls
another page out of her machine.

HILDY
Here it is, Bruce. One -- two --
three -- four hundred -- and fifty
dollars.

BRUCE
(drily)
Thank you.

CLOSEUP BURNS

watching this with a grin.

MED. SHOT

Featuring the threesome.

BRUCE
(to Hildy)
And I'll take that certified check,
too. I've decided I can handle things
around here...

BURNS
Come on, Hildy, we've got to keep
going! Sorry, Bruce, but --

HILDY
Just a second, Walter. Here, Bruce,
here's the check... And, oh, Bruce,
here's your wallet. I got it back.

BRUCE
(taking it and
surveying it coldly)
You got it back, eh? There's something
funny going on around here.

BURNS
Hildy!

HILDY
All right, Walter.

She sits down and begins to type.

BRUCE
I'm taking the nine o'clock train,
Hildy. And you can meet us at the
station.

HILDY
Fine.

She types away.

BURNS
(coming over to Bruce)
I'll see she's there, Bruce, I promise
you.

BRUCE
(dramatically)
If she's not there, mother and I are
leaving anyhow!

But Hildy continues typing and doesn't even get it.

CAMERA TRUCKS WITH BURNS

as he leads Bruce away toward door.

BURNS
I know how you feel, Bruce, but you've
got to forgive her. She's only a
woman, after all.

BRUCE
Suppose she is -- I have feelings,
too! Do you know where I've been for
the last couple of hours? Locked up
in a police station and she didn't
move to do anything about it.

BURNS
Ts! Ts! Ts!

BRUCE
And now I don't know where my mother
is. She may be lost.

BURNS
I'll find her, Bruce, if I have to
put every detective in the city on
the job. Tell you what -- go over to
the Missing Persons Bureau and
describe your mother. What does she
look like?

BRUCE
She's -- well, she's very motherly.
That's about the best description I
know.

BURNS
(nodding)
That's the kind of stuff they want!

They go out the door.

INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE DOOR MED. CLOSE SHOT

as they come out.

BURNS
Oh, Bruce, let me see that money
Hildy gave you.

BRUCE
The money? Why?

BURNS
There's a lot of counterfeit big
bills going around.

BRUCE
(worried)
Gee! Take a look, will you?

He hands the money to Burns. Burns looks at it carefully and
hands it back.

BURNS
Oh, this is all right, Bruce. I just
wanted to be sure.

BRUCE
Say, I want to be sure, too!

INT. PRESS ROOM MED. SHOT

Hildy is typing furiously. Burns enters, grinning, locks the
door behind him and goes to phone and picks it up.

BURNS
(into phone)
Duffy. Good. Stick close.

He turns and crosses quickly to look out the window.

AT WINDOW

Burns coming in to window.

BURNS
(despairingly)
Now the moon's out!

He turns away, crossing to the desk, the CAMERA TRUCKING
with him. At the desk he taps three times, being answered by
three taps from within.

BURNS
Fine. Three taps is me. Don't forget!
You're sitting pretty, now. Got enough
air?

He raises top an inch or two and fans air in to Williams.

BURNS
Is that better? Now breathe deep!

We hear an intake of breath from inside the desk.

BURNS
Attaboy!

He closes the desk and turns back to the table. As he passes
Hildy, who is still typing rapidly:

BURNS
(looking over her
shoulder)
That's the stuff! Lam it into 'em,
Hildy.

He jerks the sheet from Hildy's machine, crosses to his desk
and picks up the phone.

BURNS
(into phone)
Hello! Duffy, ready? Here we go!

CLOSEUP BURNS

reading from the page he has taken from Hildy's typewriter.

BURNS
(into phone)
"In the darkest hour of the city's
history --"

INT. MAIN FLOOR CRIMINAL COURTS BUILDING LONG SHOT

At the end of the hall are glass doors through which can be
seen a turmoil of activity in the street outside -- newsboys,
a crowd, and a mounted policeman or two. Bruce comes down
the hall, his face set and angry. As he goes, he sees a sign
set over a doorway in the hall. It reads: MISSING PERSONS
BUREAU. He stops and enters.

INT. PRESS ROOM - NIGHT CLOSEUP BURNS AT PHONE

BURNS
(into phone)
Listen, did you impress it on Butch
that I want him and his gang here
right away? You did? Every minute
counts. All right.
(puts receiver down
on table)
Duffy's getting old!

CLOSE SHOT HILDY

HILDY
Where's Butch?

BURNS' VOICE
He's on the way.

HILDY
(over her typing)
He'd better hurry. The boys'll be
coming back to phone.

BURNS
(coming into shot to
peer over her shoulder)
Well, keep going! We want an extra
out on the streets before it's too
late!

HILDY
(looking up suddenly)
Where's Bruce?

BURNS
Bruce? Oh -- er -- he went out to
get the tickets.

HILDY
What tickets?

BURNS
Railroad tickets.

HILDY
Is he coming back here?

BURNS
Didn't you hear him? Of course he's
coming back here. Keep going, will
you?

MED. SHOT

as Burns leaves Hildy and goes over to desk and picks up his
phone again.

BURNS
(into phone)
Duffy!

EXT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE DOOR - NIGHT CLOSE SHOT BENSINGER

Finding the door locked, he knocks.

INT. PRESS ROOM - NIGHT MED. CLOSE SHOT BURNS AND HILDY

as another knock comes, they take it big.

HILDY
(calling)
Who is it?

EXT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE DOOR - NIGHT CLOSE SHOT BENSINGER

BENSINGER
What's the idea of locking this?

INT. PRESS ROOM - NIGHT CLOSE SHOT BURNS AND HILDY

HILDY
That's Bensinger. That's his desk.

BURNS
(whispering)
What's his name?

The door knob is rattled violently.

HILDY
Bensinger -- of the Tribune.

EXT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE DOOR - NIGHT CLOSE SHOT BENSINGER

BENSINGER
Open this door!

INT. PRESS ROOM CLOSE SHOT BURNS

He starts for the door.

BURNS
I'll handle him.

CAMERA TRUCKS WITH HIM to the door.

BURNS
The Tribune, eh? Watch me!

He opens the door.

AT DOOR

BENSINGER
(as he comes in)
Ain't you got any more sense than to --
?
(sees Burns and is
overcome)
Oh, h-hello, Mr. Burns. Why, quite
an honor having you come over here.

BURNS
(casually)
Hello, Bensinger.

BENSINGER
Excuse me, I just want to --

He starts for the desk. Hildy's typing goes on, coming in
over the scene.

BURNS
(starting for the
desk, suddenly
blocking his path)
Quite a coincidence, my running into
you tonight. Isn't it, Hildy?

HILDY'S VOICE
Yeh.

BENSINGER
How do you mean?

CLOSEUP BURNS AND BENSINGER

BURNS
I was having a little chat about you
just this afternoon -- with our Mister
Duffy.

BENSINGER
(essaying a pleasantry)
Nothing -- ah -- detrimental, I hope.

BURNS
I should say not! That was one swell
story you had in the paper this
morning.

BENSINGER
(deeply moved)
Oh, did you -- care for the poem,
Mr. Burns?

BURNS
(startled)
The poem?... The poem was great!

BENSINGER
(blinking at these
words)
Remember the ending?
(and he recites)
" -- and all is well, outside his
cell, But in his heart he hears the
hangman Calling and the gallows
falling And his white-haired mother's
tears..."

BURNS
(overcome)
Heartbreaking! How would you like to
work for me?

BENSINGER
What?

MEDIUM SHOT

taking in table, Hildy typing there.

BURNS
(to Bensinger)
We need somebody like you. All we've
got now are a lot of low-brows. Like
Johnson here.

He starts shoving Bensinger away from the desk, toward the
table.

BENSINGER
Seriously, Mr. Burns?

Clinging to him, Burns takes him to the phone.

BURNS
(into phone)
Duffy! I'm sending Bensinger over to
see you.
(looking up at
Bensinger)
Mervyn, isn't it?

BENSINGER
No. Roy. Roy V.

BURNS
(with a little laugh
at his own
forgetfulness)
Of course!
(into phone)
Roy Bensinger, the poet. Of course
you wouldn't know! You probably never
heard of Shakespeare, either! Put
Mr. Bensinger right on the staff.
(to Bensinger)
How much are you getting on the
Tribune, Roy?

BENSINGER
Seventy-five.

BURNS
I'll give you a hundred and a by-
line.

ANOTHER ANGLE

as Burns continues.

BURNS
(into phone)
Let him have everything he wants.
(puts down the
receiver; turns to
Bensinger)
Now hustle and write me a story from
the point of view of the escaped
man.
(acting it out)
He hides, cowering... Afraid of every
light, of every sound... hears
footsteps... his heart going like
that... And all the time they're
closing in... Get the sense of an
animal at bay!

BENSINGER
Sort of a Jack London style?

TRUCKING SHOT

BURNS
Exactly!

Leads him hurriedly to the door.

BENSINGER
I got my rhyming dictionary in --
(indicating desk)

BURNS
(getting him to door)
It doesn't have to rhyme!

CLOSE SHOT - AT DOOR

as Bensinger turns there.

BENSINGER
Gee, I'm terribly grateful, Mister
Burns. Do you suppose there might be
an opening some time as foreign
correspondent? I parley a little
French, you know.

Burns shakes hands with him and opens the door with the other
hand.

BURNS
I'll keep you in mind.

BENSINGER
(going)
Au revoir, mon capitaine.

BURNS
(never at a loss in
any language)
Bon jour!

Continuing his French, he gets the door closed and relocked
and turns for the table, singing as he does so:

BURNS
Mademoiselle from Armontieres, parlay --

MED. SHOT

Burns returns alertly to table, not noticing that Hildy has
stopped typing, and sits staring moodily before her.

BURNS
(into phono)
Duffy! Got this!

CLOSEUP BURNS - AT PHONE

BURNS
A rat from the Tribune is coming
over to get a job -- Bensinger, the
guy I told you about. Handle him
with kid gloves. Tell him to get
busy writing poetry... No, we don't
want him. Stall him along until the
extra comes out. Then tell him his
poetry stinks and kick him downstairs.

He lays down receiver.

WIDER ANGLE

taking in Hildy. She looks up at him.

HILDY
(to Burns)
Double-crossing swine!

BURNS
You said it! But this'll teach him a
lesson. He won't quit his paper
without giving notice after this.

Hildy doesn't bother to reply. She rests her chin on her
hands and stares moodily ahead.

BURNS
Tear into it, will you? Don't sit
there like a frozen robin!

HILDY
I'm finished.

BURNS
Finished!

He grabs the last sheet of paper out of her typewriter, kisses
her and rushes over to the telephone.

CLOSEUP BURNS

at phone.

BURNS
(into phone)
Duffy! All right -- here we go! And
got it out as soon as you can. I
want this paper out on the streets
in half an hour!
(reading Hildy's copy)
"So once more the Morning Post --"

EXT. CRIMINAL COURTS BLDG. - NIGHT MED. SHOT

Diamond Louie, bearing evidence of a mishap, his hat crushed,
his face bruised and his clothes torn, comes running down
the sidewalk and up the steps into the buildings.

INT. PRESS ROOM - NIGHT MED. SHOT

Hildy is up now, pacing.

HILDY
Bruce ought to be back by now. Walter,
you're not trying anything again,
are you?

BURNS
(coming over to her)
Hildy, you think I could? After this
story?
(taking a flask from
his pocket)
Here! You're just nervous.

Hildy takes the flask and takes a drink. There is a knock on
the door. Burns takes the flask from her, restores it to his
pocket and goes to the door.

BURNS
Who is it?

LOUIE'S VOICE
It's me, Boss -- Louie.

BURNS
(opening the door)
It's Louie!

Louie slips in and Burns relocks the door.

BURNS
(seeing Louie's
disarray)
What's the matter?

Hildy crosses to Louie.

HILDY
(frantically)
Where's Mrs. Baldwin?

BURNS
What did you do with her?

HILDY
(almost afraid to
speak)
What happened?

CLOSE SHOT - THE THREE

BURNS
You been in a fight?

LOUIE
(still out of breath)
Down Western Avenue. We were going
sixty-five miles an hour. You know
what I mean?

BURNS
Take that mush out of your mouth!

HILDY
Where's the old lady?

LOUIE
I'm telling you!

CLOSEUP - LOUIE

as he gets breath and blurts:

LOUIE
We run smack into a police patrol.
You know what I mean? We broke it in
half!

BACK TO GROUP

HILDY
(moaning)
Oh-h-h... was she hurt?

BURNS
Where is she? Tell me!

HILDY
Louie!

LOUIE
I'm telling you. Can you imagine
bumping into a load of cops?! They
come rollin' out like oranges!

HILDY
(seizing him)
What did you do with her?

LOUIE
Search me! When I come to I was
running down Thirty-fifth Street.

HILDY
-- You were with her. You were in
the cab, weren't you?

LOUIE
(exposing his bruised
scalp)
Was I? The driver got knocked cold.

BURNS
Butter-fingers! I give you an old
lady to take somewhere, and you hand
her over to the cops!

LOUIE
What do you mean, I handed her? The
patrol wagon was on the wrong side
of the street.

BURNS
Now everything's fine. She's probably
squawking her head off in some police
station.

CLOSEUP - LOUIE

LOUIE
I don't think she's talking much...
You know what I mean?

He winks reassuringly.

BACK TO GROUP

HILDY
(paralyzed)
Don't tell me -- was she killed?

BURNS
(hopefully)
Was she? Did you notice?

LOUIE
Say, me with a gun on my hip and a
kidnapped old lady on my hands, I
should stick around asking questions
from a lot of cops! You know what I
mean?

Hildy sinks into a chair.

CLOSE SHOT HILDY IN THE CHAIR

HILDY
Dead... dead! That's the end!

Burns comes into scene to her.

BURNS
It's Fate, Hildy. What will be, will
be.

HILDY
(wildly)
What am I going to say to Bruce?
What'll I tell him?

BURNS
If he really loves you, you won't
have to tell him anything.
(whacking her on the
shoulder)
Snap out of it! Would you rather
have had the old dame dragging the
whole police force in here?

HILDY
I killed her. I'm responsible. Oh-
h... what can I do now? How can I
ever face him? Oh, I hope he never
comes back!

She buries her face in her hands.

BURNS
Look at me, Hildy --

HILDY
(springing up)
I'm looking at you -- you murderer!

BURNS
If it was my own mother, I'd carry
on! You know I would. For the paper!

HILDY
(calling off to Louie)
Louie, where'd it happen? I'm going
out!

MED. SHOT GROUP

The Post phone rings.

BURNS
(grabbing Hildy)
You stay here. I'll find out
everything.

LOUIE
(to Hildy)
Western an' Thirty-fourth.

Hildy jumps for the outside phone on the desk.

TWO SHOT INCLUDING BURNS AT PHONE AND HILDY AT PHONE

BURNS
(into phone)
Hello -- hello...

HILDY
(into phone)
Gimme Western four-five-five-seven.

BURNS
(guarded)
Who?
(wildly)
Hello, Butch! Where are you?

HILDY
(into phone)
Mission Hospital? Gimme the Receiving
Room.

BURNS
(into phone)
What are you doing there? Haven't
you even started?

HILDY
(into phone)
Hello -- Eddie? Hildy Johnson. Was
there an old lady brought in from an
auto smashup?

BURNS
(into phone)
Oh, for --
(yelling)
H. Sebastian -- Butch! Listen, it's
a matter of life and death! Listen!

HILDY
(into phone)
Nobody?
(jiggles hook)
Morningside three-one-two-four.

BURNS
(into phone)
I can't hear... You got who? Speak
up! A what?... You can't stop for a
dame now!

HILDY
(into phone)
Is this the Community Hospital?

BURNS
(howling into phone)
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?

HILDY
(into phone)
Hello, Max, Hildy Johnson. Was there
an old lady --?

BURNS
(into phone, drowning
out Hildy)
Butch! I'd put my arm in fire for
you -- up to here!
(indicates up to where)
Now, you can't double-cross me!...
She does? All right -- put her on.
I'll talk to her... Hello! Oh, hello,
Madam... Now listen, you ten-cent
glamour girl, you can't keep Butch
away from his duty... What's that?
You say that again and I'll come
over there and knock your eye out!
Hello?
(turning, as he hangs
up)
I'll kill 'em! I'll kill both of
'em!
(into Post phone)
Duffy!
(to the universe)
Mousing around with some big blonde
Annie on my time! That's co-operation!
(screaming into phone)
Duffy!!

HILDY
Shut up, will you?
(into phone)
You sure? Nobody?

BURNS
(into phone)
Duffy!!!!
(listening)
(into phone)
Duffy!!!!
(listening)
Well, where is Duffy?
(throwing receiver to
desk)
Diabetes! I ought to know better
than to hire anybody with a disease.
(turning)
Louie.

MED. SHOT GROUP

BURNS
(to Louie)
It's up to you.

LOUIE
(loyally)
Anything you want, Boss.

BURNS
Beat it out and get hold of some
guys.

LOUIE
Who do you want?

BURNS
(starting for the
door, followed by
Louie)
Anybody with hair on his chest. Get
'em off the street -- anywhere. Offer
them anything -- only get them.
(confidentially)
We've got to get this desk out of
here.

He unlocks the door.

LOUIE
You know me. The shirt off my back.

BURNS
You got plenty of money?

LOUIE
Sure, boss.

BURNS
I mean real money -- not counterfeit!

LOUIE
I always have both.

He goes out.

BURNS
(calling after him)
And don't bump into anything.

He relocks the door.

HILDY
Lafayette two-one-hundred.

BURNS
(turning from door)
That dumb immigrant'll flop on me. I
know it.
(bitterly)
Can you imagine Butch doing this to
me -- at a time like this?

CLOSE SHOT HILDY AT PHONE, TAKING IN DESK

Burns steps into scene.

BURNS
(confidentially)
If Louie doesn't come back in five
minutes we'll get it out alone.
There's millions of ways. We can
start a fire and get the firemen to
carry it out in the confusion.

He crosses to the desk and inspects it.

HILDY
(into phone)
Ring that number, will you?

BURNS
(to Hildy, oblivious
of her telephoning)
Come here. See if we can move it.

HILDY
(into phone)
Hello -- hello! Is this the Lying --
In Hospital? Did you have an auto
accident in the last --

BURNS
(interrupting)
Will you come here?

HILDY
(into phone)
Oh, I see. I beg your pardon.

BURNS
When I'm surrounded, with my back
against the wall, you're not going
to lay down on me, are you --

HILDY
Yes.

She jiggles the phone hook.

BURNS
(going to her)
Hildy, you just can't leave me out
on a limb now. It -- it wouldn't be
cricket!

HILDY
I don't care what you say. I'm going
to find Bruce's mother.
(she jiggles the hook
madly)
Oh-h...
(she hangs up)
I'm going out and find her!

Grabbing her hat and purse, she starts for the door.

MED. SHOT OF HILDY, TAKING IN DOOR

There is a loud knocking on the door.

BURNS
(coming into scene
after Hildy)
Don't open that!

HILDY
(at the door)
Who says so? I'm going to the morgue --
to look --

She unlocks the door.

CLOSE SHOT AT DOOR

as Hildy flings the door open, only to find the Sheriff,
accompanied by two deputies -- Carl and Frank -- and
surrounded by McCue, Murphy, Schwartz, Wilson and Endicott.

MURPHY
There she is!

MCCUE
Say, Hildy...

Hildy makes a decision and tries to push through them, but
the Sheriff grabs her and pushes her back.

HARTMAN
Just a minute, Johnson!

HILDY
Let go o' me. What's the idea?

MCCUE
What's your hurry?

MURPHY
We want to see you.

The deputies seize her.

HILDY
Take your paws off me!

HARTMAN
Hold her, boys!

Burns comes into scene.

BURNS
(to Sheriff)
Who do you think you are, breaking
in here like this?

HARTMAN
You can't bluff me, Burns. I don't
care who you are or what paper you're
editor of.

HILDY
(struggling)
Let me go!
(hysterically)
Fellows, something's happened to my
mother-in-law.

HARTMAN
Hang onto her! Keep her in here!

MED. SHOT

as Hildy breaks loose and retreats back into the room before
Hartman and the deputies.

MCCUE
We know what you're up to.

ENDICOTT
Probably goin' out to get Williams.

SCHWARTZ
The door was locked.

WILSON
She and Mollie were talking.

HILDY
I don't know anything, I tell you.
There's been an accident.

HARTMAN
Johnson, there's something very
peculiar going on.

HILDY
You can send somebody with me if you
don't believe me!

HARTMAN
I wasn't born yesterday. Now the
boys tell me you and this Mollie
Malloy --

HILDY
Nobody's trying to put anything over
on you. I'm getting out of here and
you can't stop me!

MURPHY
(comes into scene)
You're not going anywhere.
(to the Sheriff)
She's got the story sewed up, Pete.
(indicating Burns)
That's why Burns is here.

SCHWARTZ
We're on to you, Hildy. Let us in on
it.

TWO SHOT - SHERIFF AND BURNS

BURNS
(purring)
If you've any accusations to make,
Hartman, make them in the proper
manner. Otherwise, I'll have to ask
you to get out.

HARTMAN
(pop-eyed; stammering)
You'll ask me to what?

BURNS
Get out!

HARTMAN
(to deputies, off)
Close that door. Don't let anybody
in or out.

MED. SHOT - THE GROUP

MURPHY
Come on, Pinky! Give 'em a little
third degree.

ENDICOTT
Make them talk and you got Williams,
Pinky!

HARTMAN
Johnson, I'm going to the bottom of
this. What do you know about Williams?
Are you going to talk or aren't you?

HILDY
What do I know about Williams?

HARTMAN
All right, boys. Take her along. I
got ways of making her talk.

The deputies seize Hildy. She struggles.

HILDY
Look out, you --

MCCUE
(nervously)
What's the use of fighting, Hildy?

Hildy manages to get in a few resounding smacks on the
deputies' faces. The reporters swarm around the struggling
trio. There are shouts of: "I got her!" "No, you don't!"
"Aw, Hildy...", etc. In the struggle, Hildy suddenly drops
her purse. It lands with a clank and comes open. A gun is
revealed on the floor. Hildy picks it up.

DEPUTIES
Hey, she's got a gun! Look out, she's
got a gun!

The deputies and reporters start to close in on her
cautiously.

HILDY
(trying to face in
all directions)
No, you don't! Walter!

BURNS
What is it? Here!

She tosses the gun to Walter, but one of the deputies
intercepts the throw.

HARTMAN
Gimme that.

He takes the gun from the deputy.

CLOSER SHOT

The Sheriff stands frozen, staring at the gun.

HARTMAN
(to Hildy)
Where'd you get this?

HILDY
I've got a right to carry a gun if I
want to.

HARTMAN
Not this gun!

Burns comes into scene.

BURNS
(easily)
I can explain that, Hartman. When
Hildy told me she wanted to interview
Earl Williams I thought it might be
dangerous and I gave her a gun to
defend herself.

HARTMAN
Oh, you did! Well, that's very, very
interesting. This happens to be the
gun that Earl Williams shot his way
out with!

REPORTERS AD LIB
What? What's that? Etc...

BURNS
(advancing on Sheriff)
Are you trying to make me out a liar?

MURPHY
(bitterly at Hildy)
It's the last time I ever trust a
woman, Hildy.

SCHWARTZ
Maybe Williams was gonna be her best
man.

WILSON
That's pretty rotten, Hildy. Crossing
your own pals.

HARTMAN
(shoving up to Hildy;
trembling)
Where is Earl Williams? Where you
got him?

BURNS
(sympathetically)
You're barking up the wrong tree,
Hartman.

HARTMAN
I'll give you three minutes to tell
me where he is.

HILDY
He went over to the hospital to call
on Professor Egelhoffer.

HARTMAN
(outraged)
What?

HILDY
With a bag of marshmallows.

The Sheriff stands silent -- then hastily turns.

MED. SHOT GROUP AROUND HILDY

REPORTERS AD LIB
Come on, Hildy. Where is he?... This
is a sweet trick, Hildy... I thought
we were friends... Etc.
(to Sheriff)
Look here, Pete! What about Mister
Burns?... Ask the Master Mind! What's
he doing over here?

HARTMAN
(grabbing Burns' arm)
Speak up! What do you know about
this.

BURNS
(gently but firmly
disengaging his hand)
My dear Hartman!

He moves casually to a post before the desk and maintains
it.

MURPHY
Can that! Where is he?

BURNS
(to Sheriff)
The Morning Post is not obstructing
justice or hiding criminals. You
ought to know that.

HARTMAN
No? Well --
(turning to Hildy)
Johnson, you're under arrest.
(turning to Burns)
You, too, Burns.

BURNS
(calmly)
Who's under arrest? You pimple-headed,
square-toed spy -- do you realize
what you're doing?

HARTMAN
I'll show you what I'm doing. Burns,
you're guilty of obstructing justice
and so is the Morning Post. I'm going
to see that the Post is fined ten
thousand dollars for this.

BURNS
You'll see nothing of the kind,
Sheriff.

HARTMAN
We'll just start by impounding the
Post property.
(pointing to
Bensinger's desk,
addressing Hildy)
Is that your desk?

HILDY
(jumping)
No!

BURNS
(almost simultaneously)
Yes! What are you afraid of Hildy? I
dare him to move that desk out of
here.

HARTMAN
Oh, you do, eh?
(to deputies)
All right, boys. Confiscate that
desk.

Several of the deputies start toward the desk.

BURNS
(trying to intercept
deputies)
Hartman, if you take this desk out
of this building, I'll put you behind
bars.

HARTMAN
You will, eh? Well, we'll see about
that.
(to deputies)
All right, boys. Take it.

BURNS
I'm warning you -- it'll be a Federal
offense.
(to deputy nearest
him)
And you'll be an accessory!

HARTMAN
We'll take a chance on that, Burns.
(to deputies)
Go ahead, boys.
(the deputies continue
toward the desk)

INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE PRESS ROOM - NIGHT MED. SHOT

Flanked by two policemen, Mrs. Baldwin, dishevelled, with
her hat over one ear, is marching toward the Press Room,
bound for vengeance. Bruce, considerably upset, is with her.
As they reach the door to the Press Room, Mrs. Baldwin stops.

MRS. BALDWIN
You wait outside, Bruce.

BRUCE
But, mother --

MRS. BALDWIN
(firmly)
No! You'll weaken when you see that
little Jezebel! I'm going to tell
her what I think of her!

She plumps her hat down more firmly on her head and marches
into the Press Room followed by the two policemen. Bruce
remains outside the door.

INT. PRESS ROOM

Taking in door as it opens and Mrs. Baldwin, followed by the
policemen, comes in.

HILDY
(leaping forward)
Mother!

MRS. BALDWIN
(pointing out Burns
to the officers)
That man there!

HILDY
(hugging Mrs. Baldwin)
Mother! Oh, I'm so glad to see you!
Are you all right? Tell me.

Mrs. Baldwin indignantly shakes her off.

HARTMAN
What's the idea here?

POLICEMAN
This lady claims she was kidnapped.

HARTMAN
What?

MRS. BALDWIN
They dragged me all the way down the
stairs --

HARTMAN
Just a minute. Did -- did --
(points to Burns)
-- this man have anything to do with
it?

MRS. BALDWIN
He was the one in charge of
everything! He told them to kidnap
me!

BURNS
(amazed)
Are you referring to me, Madam?

MRS. BALDWIN
You know you did!

HARTMAN
What about this, Burns? Kidnapping,
eh?

BURNS
(round-eyed)
Oh, trying to frame me, eh! I never
saw this woman before in my life!

MRS. BALDWIN
Oh, what a thing to say! I was
standing right here - after the girl
jumped out of the window.

HARTMAN
Did you get the Mayor?

DEPUTY
He's coming over.

BURNS
(to Mrs. Baldwin)
Now, Madam -- be honest. If you were
out joy-riding, drunk, and got into
some scrape, why don't you admit it,
instead of accusing innocent people?

MRS. BALDWIN
(beginning to doubt
her senses)
You ruffian! How dare you say a thing
like that?

HILDA
Please, Mother, he's just crazy!

MRS. BALDWIN
(to Sheriff)
I'll tell you something more. I'll
tell you why they did it!

BURNS
(fidgeting)
Come on, Sheriff. We've got to get
bail.

MRS. BALDWIN
(continuing crescendo)
I was in here -- and they had some
kind of murderer in with them. They
were hiding him!

This is a bombshell. The room is electrified.

HARTMAN
Hiding him? In here?

Murphy, followed by the reporters, comes into scene.

MURPHY
Hiding him where?

HILDY
Mother!

REPORTERS
Where was he?... Where'd they have
him?... Etc.

CLOSE SHOT BURNS

at the desk.

BURNS
(with superb
indignation)
Madam, you're a cockeyed liar! And
you know it!

To emphasize his righteousness, he pounds on the desk three
times, forgetting that that is his signal to Williams. Then,
realizing what he has done, he gasps.

MED. SHOT

Burns advances from desk, the others retreating before him.

BURNS
(anxiously)
Come on, Sheriff, we've got to get
bail.

Three answering knocks come from the desk.

GROUP SHOT WITH DOORWAY IN B.G

They jump around to face the desk.

HARTMAN
(whispering)
What was that?

REPORTERS AD LIB
He's in the desk! -- For the love of --
He's in there! Etc.

HARTMAN
Aha! I thought so! Stand back,
everybody!

DEPUTY
Look out, Sheriff. He may shoot!

HARTMAN
Get your guns out!

The policemen and deputies get out their guns.

HILDY
He's harmless.

HARTMAN
Don't take any chances. Shoot through
the desk.

HILDY
He can't hurt anybody. You've got
his gun.

MRS. BALDWIN
(panic-stricken)
Oh, dear! Oh, dear!

BURNS
You grey-haired old Judas!

MRS. BALDWIN
Let me out! Let me out of here!

She streaks for the door, flings it open and goes. The
reporters tear out of scene to their telephones.

HARTMAN
(to policeman)
You stand there!

MURPHY'S VOICE
City Desk! Quick!

SCHWARTZ' VOICE
Gimme the Desk!

HARTMAN
(to another policeman)
You there!

ENDICOTT'S VOICE
City Desk! Hurry!

MCCUE'S VOICE
Gimme Emil...

HARTMAN
(to a Deputy, pointing
with his gun toward
the window)
You cover the window.

MURPHY'S VOICE
Look out where you're pointing that
gun!

The Sheriff draws his men in around the desk, their guns
drawn on it.

WILSON'S VOICE
Lemme have the Desk! Quick!

MURPHY'S VOICE
Hold the wire! I've got a flash for
you!

BURNS
(to Hildy)
Call Duffy!

HARTMAN
No, you don't!

BURNS
(to Sheriff, furiously)
Do you want to get us scooped?

MCCUE'S VOICE
Emil? Hang on for a second.

HARTMAN
Now then, everybody aim at the center.
And when I say three --

HILDY
That's murder!

HARTMAN
(changing his mind)
All right! Carl! Frank! One of you
get on each side of the desk. Take
hold of the cover.

They do.

HARTMAN
Now then! We got you covered,
Williams. Don't try to move. Now!
Everybody quiet and ready for an
emergency. I'm going to count three.

SCHWARTZ
Hold it! Something coming up.

HARTMAN
One!

ENDICOTT
Hold the phone!

MURPHY
(into the phone)
I'll have it in a minute.

HARTMAN
Two!

WILSON
(into phone)
Right away now!

HARTMAN
(turning back to desk)
Everybody ready? All right. Now then,
up with it.

Two deputies raise the cover. Williams is revealed, cowering
in the desk, his hands over his face. The Sheriff rushes on
him, jabbing his gun into him.

CLOSE SHOT SHERIFF AND WILLIAMS

HARTMAN
Got you, Williams!

WILLIAMS
(a wail)
Go on -- shoot me!

MEDIUM SHOT

as the police and deputies come in to assist the Sheriff.
The reporters are telephoning in, the police shouting -- all
the voices mixing in, in incredible confusion, as the Sheriff
rushes Williams to the door and takes him out.

MURPHY'S VOICE
Earl Williams was just captured in
the Press Room of the Criminal Courts
Building, hiding in a desk.

OFFICERS AD LIB
(all talking at once)
Grab him! That's him! Don't let him
shoot! Stick 'em up! -- Etc.

CLOSEUP MCCUE AT PHONE

MCCUE
(into phone)
...Williams in a rolltop --

CLOSEUP WILSON AT PHONE

WILSON
(into phone)
-- nabbed Williams hiding --

ENDICOTT'S VOICE
-- found Williams' hiding place.

SCHWARTZ' VOICE
He offered no resistance.

CLOSEUP MCCUE AT PHONE

MCCUE
(into phone)
Williams put up a desperate struggle
but the police overpowered --

CLOSEUP MURPHY AT PHONE

MURPHY
(into phone)
-- tried to shoot it out with the
cops but his gun wouldn't work, so --

WILSON'S VOICE
-- trying to break through the cordon
of police --

CLOSEUP ENDICOTT AT PHONE

ENDICOTT
(into phone)
Williams was unconscious when they
opened the desk --

CLOSEUP BURNS

grabbing the Post phone.

BURNS
(into phone)
Duffy! The Morning Post just turned
Earl Williams over to the Sheriff.

CLOSE SHOT THE SHERIFF

coming in the door with two policemen and leaping to get the
phone away from Burns.

MED. SHOT BURNS AT PHONE, HILDY BESIDE HIM

BURNS
(into phone)
Duffy!

The Sheriff and police come into scene.

HARTMAN
(indicating Burns and
Hildy)
Put the cuffs on those two!

The police handcuff Hildy and Burns.

ENDICOTT
An anonymous note received by the
Sheriff led to Williams' capture.
More later.

He hangs up.

CLOSEUP MURPHY AT PHONE

MURPHY
(into phone)
An old sweetheart of Williams'
doublecrossed him. Call you back.

He hangs up.

MED. SHOT TAKING IN DOOR

REPORTERS
Where's that old lady? Hey, Madam!
Where'd she go? Where's the old dame?
Etc., etc. They run out after Mrs.
Baldwin, the Mayor entering just
after they go. Burns and Hildy,
handcuffed together, stand near the
Sheriff.

HARTMAN
(into phone)
Hello, girlie -- gimme Cooley. Quick!

BURNS
Hartwell, you're going to wish you'd
never been born!

The Mayor comes into scene.

MAYOR
Fine work, Pete! You certainly
delivered the goods. I'm proud of
you.

HARTMAN
(holding the phone)
Look kind o' natural, don't they,
Fred?

MAYOR
(happily)
A sight for sore eyes!

HARTMAN
(rolling in catnip)
Aiding an escaped criminal! And a
little charge of kidnapping I'm
looking into.
(into phone; suddenly)
But that's the jail! There must be
somebody there!

MAYOR
Well! Looks like about ten years
apiece for you birds!

BURNS
Does it? You forget the power that
always watches over the Morning Post.

MAYOR
Your luck's not with you now!

HARTMAN
(into phone)
Cooley?... I caught Williams single-
handed -- we're going to proceed
with the hanging per schedule!

He wiggles the hook for another call.

BURNS
(to Mayor)
You're going to be in office for
exactly two days more and then we're
pulling your nose out of the feed
bag.

HARTMAN
(into phone)
Give me the District Attorney's
office.
(to Burns)
I'll tell you what you'll be doing --
making brooms in the State
penitentiary.
(into phone)
Hello, D'Arrasty! This is Hartwell.
Come over to my office, will you?
I've just arrested a couple of
important birds and I want to take
their confessions.

He hangs up. Burns makes a sudden lunge for the Morning Post
phone and cries into it.

BURNS
(into phone)
Duffy! Get Liebowitz!

MAYOR
All the lawyers in the world aren't
going to help you!

BURNS
This is the Morning Post you're
talking to!

MAYOR
(enjoying himself)
The power of the press, huh!

He laughs. Pinkus, the Governor's messenger, plentifully
stewed, reels in the door. He approaches the Mayor and Sheriff
who have their backs to him.

BURNS
(at the Mayor)
Bigger men than you have found out
what the power of the press is...
President!... Yes -- and Kings!

PINKUS
(woozy; handing Sheriff
the reprieve over
his shoulder)
Here's your reprieve.

The Mayor and Sheriff spin around.

MAYOR
(in a panic)
Get out of here!

PINKUS
You can't bribe me!

BURNS
What's this?

HARTMAN
Get out of here, you!

PINKUS
I won't. Here's your reprieve.

HILDY
What?

PINKUS
I don't want to be City Sealer. I
don't like seals anyhow. They smell.

MAYOR
Who is this man?

HARTMAN
(to an officer)
Throw him out, Frank.

HILDY
(seizing Pinkus with
her free hand)
Who was bribing you?

Burns also seizes Pinkus who is being pulled out of shape.

PINKUS
They wouldn't take it.

MAYOR
You're insane!

BURNS
(triumphant)
What did I tell you? An unseen power!
(to Pinkus)
What's your name?

PINKUS
Silas F. Pinkus.

MAYOR
You drunken idiot! Arrest him! The
idea of coming here with a cock-and-
bull story like that!

HARTMAN
It's a frame-up! Some imposter!

HILDY
Wait a minute!
(to the officers)
Let go there!

BURNS
(to Sheriff and Mayor)
Murder, uh?

HILDY
Hanging an innocent man to win an
election!

HARTMAN
That's a lie!!

MAYOR
I never saw him before!

BURNS
(to Pinkus)
When did you deliver this first?

HILDY
Who did you talk to?

PINKUS
They started right in bribing me!

HILDY
Who's 'they'?

PINKUS
(indicating the Mayor
and Sheriff)
Them!

MAYOR
That's absurd on the face of it, Mr.
Burns! He's talking like a child.

BURNS
Out of the mouths of babes.

MAYOR
He's insane or drunk or something.
Why, if this unfortunate man,
Williams, has really been reprieved,
I personally am tickled to death.
Aren't you, Pete?

HILDY
Go on, you'd kill your mother to get
elected!

MAYOR
That's a horrible thing to say, Miss
Johnson, about anybody!
(to Burns)
Now, look here, Walter, you're an
intelligent man --

BURNS
(interrupting)
Just a minute.
(to Pinkus)
All right, Mr. Pinkus. Let's have
your story.

PINKUS
Well, I been married for ten years
and --

BURNS
(interrupting)
Skip all that.

MAYOR
(loudly)
Take those handcuffs off our friends,
Pete. That wasn't at all necessary.

HARTMAN
(springing to obey)
I was just going to!

He gets the key from the officer.

MAYOR
Walter, I can't tell you how badly I
feel about this. There was no excuse
for Hartwell to fly off the handle.

HARTMAN
(unlocking the
handcuffs)
I was only doing my duty. Nothing
personal in it.

They are set free.

HILDY
You guys better quit politics and
take in washing.

MAYOR
(looking over the
reprieve)
Sheriff, this document is authentic!
Earl Williams has been reprieved,
this Commonwealth has been spared
the painful necessity of shedding
blood.

BURNS
Save that for the Tribune.

MAYOR
(to Pinkus)
What did you say your name was --
Pinkus?

PINKUS
That's right.

He shows the Mayor a locket.

PINKUS
Here's the picture of my wife.

MAYOR
A very fine-looking women.

PINKUS
(mysteriously angered)
She's good enough for me! And if I
was to go home and tell my wife --

MAYOR
I understand perfectly, Mr. Pinkus,
and as long as I am Mayor --

BURNS
Which ought to be about three hours
more, I'd say.

HILDY
Just until we can get out a special
edition asking for your impeachment.

BURNS
And your arrest. You'll each get
about ten years, I think.

MAYOR
Don't make any hasty decisions, Mr.
Burns, you might run into a thumping
big libel suit.

HILDY
You're going to run into the Governor.

MAYOR
(trying to brush it
off)
Now, my old friend the Governor and
I understand each other perfectly.

HARTMAN
(eagerly)
And so do I!

MAYOR
(with superb contempt)
So do you what, you hoodoo!
(to Pinkus, suavely)
And now, Mr. Pinkus, if you'll come
with us, we'll take you over to the
Warden's office and deliver this
reprieve.

The Sheriff, Pinkus and the Mayor go out of scene.

BURNS
(dreamily)
Wait till those two future jailbirds
read the Morning Post tomorrow.

Walter turns to Hildy and they suddenly smile at each other.

HILDY
How was that for a tight squeeze?

BURNS
Don't tell me you were worried!

HILDY
Worried! I was petrified. Weren't
you?

BURNS
Uh-uh. As long as we were in there
together pitching -- they couldn't
lick us. Well, it's been a lot of
fun.

HILDY
In a way.

BURNS
(laughs)
I mean -- working together. Just
like the old days. The things we've
been through, Hildy.

HILDY
We've certainly been in some swell
jams.

BURNS
Remember the time we broke into the
D.A.'s office, and copied Fifi
Randell's diary?

HILDY
Yeah. What about the time we hid the
missing heiress in the sauerkraut
factory? Six scoop interviews!

BURNS
Yeah - but that time we stole Old
Lady Haggerty's stomach off the
Coroner's physician. We proved she
was poisoned though, didn't we?

HILDY
(laughing)
We sure did, but we had to go in
hiding for a week.

BURNS
In the Shoreland Hotel. And our only
chaperon was the poor old lady's
stomach.

HILDY
Don't remind me. That's how we
happened to --

She breaks off. There is a moment's pause.

BURNS
Sorry, Hildy. I didn't mean to be
making love to another man's fiancee.

HILDY
That's all right, Walter. It's as
much my fault as yours.

BURNS
(glancing at the clock)
Bruce is making the nine o'clock
train. I told him you'd be on it --
unless you want to write this story
yourself.

HILDY
Well, if it's my last story, I'd
like it to be a good one. But -- I
guess I can't, Walter.

BURNS
Suit yourself, kid. This isn't for
me to decide. Of course, you could
make a later train and still be in
Albany tomorrow morning.

HILDY
Yeah. I suppose I could. But, Walter --

BURNS
He's going to have you the rest of
his life, Hildy. Can't you give me
another hour?

HILDY
I don't know what to do, Walter.

BURNS
Flip a coin.

HILDY
All right.
(takes coin from her
bag)
Heads I go -- tails I stay to write
the story. Ready?

CLOSEUP BURNS

gazing nervously at the hand holding the coin.

BURNS
Ready.

CLOSE SHOT BURNS AND HILDY

She flips and catches the coin. She holds it tightly clasped
in her hand, afraid to look. They stare at each other a
second.

BURNS
(nervously)
Well -- what is it?

HILDY
(almost breaking)
What's the difference? I'm going to
write that story -- and you know it!

She puts the coin away without looking at it. Burns rushes
to her, tries to take her in his arms.

BURNS
Hildy!

HILDY
(furiously)
Don't touch me! I'm not doing it for
you!

BURNS
(softly)
Then why are you doing it?

HILDY
Because I'm a newspaper woman, Heaven
help me!

DISSOLVE TO:

MONTAGE SHOTS

INT. CITY ROOM - Hildy typing away furiously. Copy Boy tearing
sheets from her typewriter as she writes.

Burns coming in and tearing sheets from typewriter.

Linetype machines.

Presses going.

Headline: THE POST SAVES EARL WILLIAMS!

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. BURNS' OFFICE

Headline: POST SAVES EARL WILLIAMS!

Over this sound of newsboys calling "Extra! Extra!"

CAMERA DRAWS BACK to rest of story:

"Impeachment Proceedings Launched Against Mayor For Attempting
to Conceal Governor's Reprieve!"

CAMERA DRAWS BACK FURTHER to the by-line --

By Hildegarde Johnson.

CAMERA DRAWS BACK STILL FURTHER to disclose Burns and Hildy
looking at paper on Burns' desk.

BURNS
(enthusiastically)
The greatest yarn ever written by
anybody. My hat's off to you, Hildy!

HILDY
(grimly)
Thanks.

BURNS
And what a way to quit. While you're
still champion! That's the way to
leave, Hildy!

HILDY
Yeah. Only -- only I'm not leaving,
Walter.

BURNS
What do you mean? Bruce'll be waiting
for you in Albany.

HILDY
No, he won't. I wired him that I
wasn't coming.

CLOSEUP BURNS

BURNS
Where'd you wire him?

HILDY
On the nine o'clock train. That's
the one he took, isn't it?

BURNS
Sure.

MED. SHOT

HILDY
It's awfully clear now. Bruce needs
a wife who can give him a home --
and affection -- and peace. I couldn't
do that for him, Walter. I'm what
you made me -- a cheap reporter who'd
give up her soul for a story!... Is
that job still open?

BURNS
Both jobs are open, Hildy. The paper --
and being Mrs. Walter Burns.

HILDY
Thanks, Walter, but it's no good. We
tried it.

BURNS
Sure, it was good -- it was wonderful!
Only you expected it to be like other
marriages. It can't be like other
marriages -- we're different! We're
a different world. Look at what we
went through today. I wouldn't trade
that for any honeymoon in the world.
I bet you wouldn't, either.

HILDY
A fine honeymoon, with a murderer
right in the boudoir! And that other
honeymoon in a coal mine!

BURNS
That's what makes it romantic. Every
other married couple goes away on a
honeymoon and for two weeks the bride
knows just where the groom is, and
vice versa. But us -- you never know
where I am and I'm not sure where
you are. That's Romance!

HILDY
Well, maybe I'd like to know just
once!

BURNS
Hildy, if that's what you want, all
right. We'll even go to -- how about
Niagara Falls?

HILDY
(jumping)
Niagara Falls! Walter, you don't
mean that?

BURNS
Sure I do. And I'll tell you something
else -- I'd like a baby.

HILDY
Walter!

BURNS
Sure, I can't last forever. I want a
son I can train to take my place on
this paper.

HILDY
What would you do if it was a
daughter?

BURNS
Well, if she looked like you -- Say!
My brains and your looks -- that
mightn't be such a bad combination.

HILDY
What's the matter with my brains?

BURNS
What's the good of arguing about
something that probably doesn't exist?
Look, Hildy, I'm proposing to you.
What do you say?

HILDY
Well, I'd like to be lady-like and
think it over.

BURNS
I don't want to rush you. Take a
couple of seconds.

MED. SHOT AT DOOR

Louie marches in with a judge, half-dressed. Louie has the
judge in a tight grip.

MED. CLOSE SHOT

BURNS
Hello, Judge!

JUDGE
This is an outrage, Mr. Burns! Sending
a gunman to kidnap me!

BURNS
Now, wait a minute, Judge. This isn't
a kidnapping. You've got the legal
power to perform a marriage ceremony,
haven't you?

HILDY
What!

BURNS
Now don't argue, Hildy.
(to Judge)
How about it, Judge?

JUDGE
Yes, but --

BURNS
Then go ahead. Come on, Hildy.

HILDY
Nobody's going to rush me into
anything!
(as Louie sticks a
gun in her ribs)
You keep away from me!
(but she's scared)

LOUIE
All right, Judge.

INT. CITY ROOM MED. SHOT

Reporters are standing on desks to watch through the glass
partition of Burns' office.

1ST REPORTER
I'll be doggoned! A shotgun marriage!

2ND REPORTER
Don't they usually keep the gun on
the man?

INT. BURNS' OFFICE CLOSE SHOT JUDGE

reading the marriage ceremony.

JUDGE
(continuing)
" -- so long as you both do live?"

BURNS
I will.

GROUP SHOT

HILDY
That's what he said the last time.
Don't believe him, Judge.

BURNS
Hildy, from this time on no tricks,
no double-crossing -- everything on
the level!

HILDY
You're not fooling anybody.

JUDGE
(continuing)
"Hildegarde Johnson, will you have
this man as your wedded husband, to
live together in the ordinances and
estate of Matrimony?"

HILDY
What would you do with a gun in your
back?

LOUIE
(poking her)
Quiet!

JUDGE
"Will you love him, comfort him,
honor and keep him in sickness or in
health; --

HILDY
If I know where he is.

JUDGE
" -- and, forsaking all others, keep
thee only unto him, so long as you
both do live?"

HILDY
I will -- if he will.

JUDGE
(to Burns)
Have you got a ring?

Burns starts searching his pockets, then, to Hildy:

BURNS
(he takes ring off)
How about Bruce's?

HILDY
Walter, you can't do that!

BURNS
Sure, I can. Look at the policy I
gave him!
(placing Bruce's ring
on Hildy's finger)
"With this ring I thee wed and with
all my worldly goods I thee endow:
And thereto I plight thee my troth."

INT. CITY ROOM CLOSE SHOT

REPORTER
Say, I'm surprised she got the ring
back!

INT. BURNS' OFFICE CLOSE SHOT GROUP

JUDGE
" -- pronounce you Man and Wife."

Burns throws his arms around Hildy and kisses her.

BURNS
Hildy, darling!

HILDY
Yes -- 'Hildy, darling'. I'm just a
fool. That's what I am. I know what
it's going to be like.

BURNS
It'll be Heaven!

HILDY
Sure, Heaven! You've probably thought
up another coal mine to send me down
in -- to get a new story for your
paper!

Hildy turns over copy of the extra lying on Burns' desk.

CLOSEUP HILDY

She stops cold.

HILDY
Walter!

INSERT: NEWSPAPER --

"COUNTERFEIT PASSER CAUGHT!"

"Attempting to pass five hundred dollars worth of counterfeit
money at the Union station, a man giving his name as Bruce
Baldwin of Albany, New York, was arrested last night -- "

TWO SHOT BURNS AND HILDY

HILDY
Counterfeit money! That's the money
you sent me, Walter! You -- you --

WALTER
(starting to run)
But, Hildy, listen --

MED. FULL SHOT

Burns retreats from Hildy, she runs after him. He dashes
through glass-paned door into adjoining office. Hildy throws
her bag at him and it smashes the glass pane in the door.

INT. ADJOINING OFFICE CLOSE SHOT BURNS AND HILDY

She is pursuing him around table similar to one in Burns'
office.

BURNS
But, Hildy -- I can explain --

HILDY
You -- you!!

INT. BURNS' OFFICE CLOSE SHOT JUDGE AND LOUIE

LOUIE
I think it's going to work out all
right this time.

FADE OUT:

THE END

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