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Tempo and dialogue

by Kate Fortmueller

Tempo is often established by music and occasionally sound effects. In some films, especially screwball comedies, the pacing of the dialogue is crucial for establishing the rhythm of the film. In His Girl Friday, Hildy's (Rosalind Russell) speech patterns change over the course of the film. Consider this sequence in relation to a scene from earlier in the film (also available on Critical Commons). How does she speak to her fiancé earlier in the film? How does she speak to him in this scene?

His Girl Friday (1940) - "A newspaperman"

In this sequence Hildy comes back into the fold as a newspaperman.

from His Girl Friday (1940)
Creator: Howard Hawks
Posted by Kate Fortmueller