Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Commentaries on this Media!

Cheat cuts in His Girl Friday

by Brian Davis

Much can be said about this scene. First of all, we can note that Hawks begins with an establishing shot providing the audience with a sense of space. He establishes an axis of action that runs from Hildy to Bruce and begins a shot / reverse shot pattern. The cheat cuts are visible in how Walter remains in the center of the frame when we have the shot / reverse shot pattern at work. When we can only see Bruce's right shoulder, notice how Hildy and Walter are almost in contact. And notice how when only Hildy's left shoulder is visible, Walter and Bruce are almost in contact. Between shots Hawks has physically moved Walter so that he is entirely visible and center frame in all of the shots. We tend not to notice cheat cuts, once again, because continuity editing does such a great job at hiding its artifice.

Cheat cuts in His Girl Friday

In this scene Hawks uses cheat cuts in order to keep Walter (Carey Grant) in center frame.

from His Girl Friday (1940)
Creator: Howard Hawks
Posted by Brian Davis