Walter Burns
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Quotes for
Walter Burns (Character)
from His Girl Friday (1940)

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His Girl Friday (1940)
Walter Burns: Diabetes! I ought to know better than to hire anybody with a disease.

Walter Burns: There's been a lamp burning in the window for ya, honey... here.
Hildy Johnson: Oh, I jumped out that window a long time ago.

Walter Burns: What do you think I am, a crook?
Hildy Johnson: Yes.

Walter Burns: Take Hitler and stick him on the funny page.

Walter Burns: Listen, you insignificant, square-toed, pimpled-headed spy.

Walter Burns: Bruce, I, uh... let me get this straight. I must have misunderstood you. You mean you're taking the sleeper today and then getting married tomorrow?
Bruce Baldwin: Oh, well, it's not like that.
Walter Burns: Well, what's it like?
Hildy Johnson: Poor Walter. He'll toss and turn all night. Perhaps we better tell him Mother's coming along, too.
Walter Burns: [to Hildy] Mother? Why, your mother kicked the bucket!
Bruce Baldwin: No, my mother, my mother.
Walter Burns: Oh, your mother. Oh, well, that relieves my mind.
Hildy Johnson: [to Walter] It was cruel of us to let you suffer that way.
[to Bruce]
Hildy Johnson: Isn't Walter sweet? Always wanting to protect me.

Walter Burns: [ducking from Hildy's throw and reaching for the ringing telephone] Oh, you're losing your arm! You used to be able to pitch better than that.

Hildy Johnson: I suppose I proposed to you?
Walter Burns: Well, you practically did, making goo-goo eyes at me for two years until I broke down.
[impersonates Hildy, flutters his eyelashes]
Walter Burns: "Oh, Walter." And I still claim I was tight the night I proposed to you. If you had been a gentleman, you would have forgotten all about it. But not you!
Hildy Johnson: [hurls her purse at him] Why, you - !
Walter Burns: [ducks and her purse barely misses him] You're losing your eye. You used to be able to pitch better than that.

Walter Burns: [on the phone] Well Butch, where are you?... Well, what are you doing there? Haven't you even started?... Listen, it's a matter of life and death!... Well, you can't stop for a dame now! I don't care if you've been after her for six years. Butch - our whole lives are at stake! Are you going to let a woman come between us after all we've been through?... Butch, I'd put my arm in fire for you, up to here. Now you can't double-cross me... Put her on, I'll talk to her.
[talking to the woman]
Walter Burns: Oh, good evening madam. Now listen, you ten-cent glamour girl. You can't keep Butch away from his duty!... What's that?... You say that again, I'll come over there and kick you in the teeth!... Say, what kind of language is that? Now look here you. -
[makes a noise like a horse, hangs up]
Walter Burns: She hung up! What did I say?

Hildy Johnson: All I know is that instead of two weeks in Atlantic City with my bridegroom, I spent two weeks in a coal mine with John Krupsky. You don't deny that, do you Walter?
Walter Burns: Deny it? I'm proud of it. We beat the whole country on that story.
Hildy Johnson: [shouting] Well, suppose we did. That isn't what I got married for!

Walter Burns: Look, Hildy, I only acted like any husband that didn't want to see his home broken up.
Hildy Johnson: What home?
Walter Burns: "What home"? Don't you remember the home I promised you?

Hildy Johnson: [speaking of her fiance] He treats me like a woman.
Walter Burns: Oh he does, does he? Mm-hm... how did I treat you? Like a water buffalo?

Walter Burns: Sorta wish you hadn't done that, Hildy.
Hildy Johnson: Done what?
Walter Burns: Divorced me. Makes a fella lose all faith in himself. Gives him a... almost gives him a feeling he wasn't wanted.
Hildy Johnson: Oh, now look, junior... that's what divorces are FOR!

Walter Burns: Well well... how long is it?
Hildy Johnson: How long is what?
Walter Burns: You know what... how long is it since we've seen each other?

Walter Burns: Let's see this paragon! Is he as good as you say?
Hildy Johnson: Why, he's better!
Walter Burns: Well then, what does he want with you?
Hildy Johnson: Ah-ha-ha, now you got me!

Hildy Johnson: Walter!
Walter Burns: What?
Hildy Johnson: The mayor's first wife, what was her name?
Walter Burns: You mean the one with the wart on her?
Hildy Johnson: Right.
Walter Burns: Fanny!

Walter Burns: Madam, you are a cock-eyed liar!

Sheriff Hartwell: Aiding an escaped criminal and a little charge of kidnapping.
Fred, the Mayor: Well, looks like about ten years a piece for you two birds.
Walter Burns: Does it?
[unimpressed]
Hildy Johnson: If you think you've got The Morning Post licked it's time for you to get out of town.
Fred, the Mayor: Whistling in the dark. Well that isn't going to help you this time. You're through.
Walter Burns: Listen the last man that said that to me was Archie Leach just a week before he cut his throat.

Walter Burns: You've got an old fashioned idea divorce is something that lasts forever, 'til death do us part.' Why divorce doesn't mean anything nowadays, Hildy, just a few words mumbled over you by a judge.

Walter Burns: What were you when you came here five years ago - a little college girl from a school of journalism. I took a doll-faced hick...
Hildy Johnson: Well, you wouldn't take me if I hadn't been doll-faced.
Walter Burns: Well, why should I? I thought it would be a novelty to have a face around here a man could look at without shuddering.

Walter Burns: You've got the brain of a pancake. This isn't just a story you're covering - it's a revolution. This is the greatest yarn in journalism since Livingstone discovered Stanley.
Hildy Johnson: It's the other way around.
Walter Burns: Oh, well, don't get technical at a time like this.

Walter Burns: We've been in worse jams than this, haven't we, Hildy?
Hildy Johnson: Nope.

Walter Burns: Hey, Duffy, listen. Is there any way we can stop the 4:00 train to Albany from leaving town?
Duffy - Copy Editor: We might dynamite it.
Walter Burns: Could we?

[describing Bruce]
Walter Burns: He looks like that fellow in the movies - Ralph Bellamy.

Walter Burns: [On the phone with Duffy; Walter and Hildy are getting remarried and going to Niagara Falls on their honeymoon] What? A strike? What strike? Where? Albany? Well, I know it's on the way, Duffy, but I can't ask Hildy to...
Hildy Johnson: All right, we'll honeymoon in Albany.
Walter Burns: Okay, Duffy.
[to Hildy]
Walter Burns: Well, isn't that a coincidence, we're going to Albany! I wonder if Bruce can put us up.

Walter Burns: [Points at Bruce's boots] Oh and I see you've got your rubbers too, always good to be prepared for anything.

Evangeline: What does he look like?
Walter Burns: He looks like that fellow in the movies. You know... Ralph Bellamy.


The Front Page (1974)
[last lines]
Walter Burns: That train that just left, what's the first stop?
Telegrapher: Gary, Indiana.
Walter Burns: All right. Send a message to the police chief at Gary, Indiana. Tell him to meet the midnight train to Philadelphia and arrest one Hildy Johnson.
Telegrapher: Hildy Johnson?
Walter Burns: Yeah. Son of a bitch stole my watch.

Hildebrand 'Hildy' Johnson: Goodbye, Duffy. Watch the diabetes. Walter, it's been fun.
Duffy: What's he mean by that?
Walter Burns: He's leaving us. Getting married.
Duffy: Yeah? That hostess at the Hotsy-Totsy Club?
Hildebrand 'Hildy' Johnson: You're not even close. Why, this is a very classy dame. Philadephia. Studied to be a concert pianist.
Walter Burns: Where in the hell would you meet a concert pianist?
Hildebrand 'Hildy' Johnson: Well, actually, she's a widow. Husband cracked up in a brand-new Packard. Only had 18 miles on it. So, to support herself, she's playing the organ at the Balaban & Katz Theater.
Walter Burns: The one in the Loop?
Hildebrand 'Hildy' Johnson: Yeah. We've been dating three months.
Walter Burns: Jeez, Hildy. why didn't you tell me? Kid, I woulda thrown you a little farewell party...
Hildebrand 'Hildy' Johnson: Oh, no, no, no! I know your farewell parties! When Ben Hecht was leaving for Hollywood, you slipped a micky in his gin fizz. It took four of us to get on the California Limited.

Walter Burns: [after unsuccessfully posing as probation officer Otto Fishbein] Tell Hildy I wish him all the luck in the world, and I mean it, or my name isn't Otto Fishbein.

Walter Burns: Get yer head back in there, you God Damned turtle!


The Front Page (1931)
[Hildy tries to explain to his fiancee why he's still working for Walter Burns' newspaper when he promised to resign]
Hildebrand 'Hildy' Johnson: Listen, dear, something terrific has happened. I was going to tell but I couldn't!
Walter Burns: Tell her nothing. She's a woman, you fool!

Hildebrand 'Hildy' Johnson: I'm all washed up.
Walter Burns: What's that?
Hildebrand 'Hildy' Johnson: I mean it this time, Walter.
Peggy Grant: Oh, Hildy, if I only thought you did!
Hildebrand 'Hildy' Johnson: If I'm not telling you the absolute truth, may I fall dead. I'm going to New York tonight with you, if you give me one last chance. I'm going to cut out drinking and swearing and everything connected with the crazy newspaper business! Honey, I'll never even read a newspaper.

[last lines]
Walter Burns: The son of a...
[Walter's elbow conveniently hits a typewriter keyboard]
Walter Burns: ...stole my watch!