Hildegarde Withers
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Quotes for
Hildegarde Withers (Character)
from A Very Missing Person (1972) (TV)

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Penguin Pool Murder (1932)
Telephone Operator: What are you trying to do, put the B on me?
Hildegard Withers: I'm trying to put nothing on you. You have enough on already. Now, if you answer my questions, you can go right back to your artwork!

Hildegard Withers: [to telephone operator who is putting on thick make-up] Now that you've got your disguise on, I would like to ask you a few questions. That is if you talk through all that make-up.

Oscar Piper: It takes a certain type to be a detective.
Hildegard Withers: Well, I've noticed that.

Hildegard Withers: Are you sure it was a man's voice?
Telephone Operator: Well it ain't likely a woman'd be calling me baby, is it?
Hildegard Withers: No, not so far downtown as this. Now, baby, I mean, eh, get the Chief Operator to trace that call. Tell her to report to Inspector Piper at Police Headquarters.
[Pointing to the Telephone Operator's lipstick]
Hildegard Withers: Oh, next time use a lighter shade. That's a little vulgar. Au revoir.
Telephone Operator: Okay, Lydia Pinkham.

Oscar Piper: [Hovering over Parker's dead body] It looks to me like a clear case of homicide.
Hildegard Withers: Heh! I realized that a half hour ago. That's why I had one of my students call the police, hmmm?
Oscar Piper: [Sarcastically] I'm surprised you thought the police necessary.

Hildegard Withers: I was with my class of pupils.
Isadore - Student with Glasses: Where are those pupils. Whatta yuh mean by letting them go home?
Hildegard Withers: Letting them? Huh, I see you have no children of your own, Inspector. The moment you order everyone to stay, they, uh-uh,
[She clears her throat]
Hildegard Withers: ... I believe the word is "scram."

Telephone Operator: Say, what are you? A policewoman?
Hildegard Withers: As far as it concerns you, I'm connected to the detective bureau... not very pleasantly... but connected still.

Barry Costello: [Walking back to his table in the courtroom] Your honor, I've finished with the witness.
Hildegard Withers: You may be finished with the witness, Mr. Costello, but the witness is not finished with you!

Oscar Piper: Miss Withers, you took the very words right out of my mouth.
Hildegard Withers: Don't worry, you'll have plenty left.
Oscar Piper: And if I haven't, you've got a couple!

Oscar Piper: Phooey! What's good looks got to do with romance?
Hildegard Withers: Young man, have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror?
Oscar Piper: Sure. Have you?
Hildegard Withers: I was in hopes you wouldn't bring that up.

Hildegard Withers: Funny how simple the answers are when we know them.

Hildegard Withers: My hat pin! It's gone! It's gone! Well, children, why don't you do something! Don't stand there like a lot of grown-ups! Teacher's lost her hat pin!

Hildegard Withers: Well, really, Inspector. What do you suppose I was doing here with my class of pupils? Entertaining the fish? I'm a school teacher. And I might have done wonders with you if I'd caught you young enough.

Hildegard Withers: I'd never trust a man who was a penguin fancier.
Oscar Piper: Well, I wouldn't want to live with one if he kept bringing them home with him.

Hildegard Withers: Did you notice Gwen Parker's, eh, legs, Inspector?
Oscar Piper: Who didn't it!
Hildegard Withers: I mean her stockings. They both have stains on them.
Oscar Piper: Stains? Good, I'll look into that.

Oscar Piper: You do alright by yourself in the way of vittels, don't you?
Hildegard Withers: I suppose you thought school teachers lived on chalk and old blotting paper.
Oscar Piper: Well to be frank, I never gave it much thought what school teachers did.

Hildegard Withers: Oh, you penguin fanciers, you're such flatterers.
Barry Costello: That's the secret of our success with penguins.
Hildegard Withers: Well, some good woman is losing a very pleasant husband by it.

Oscar Piper: Oh, Hello Miss Withers, what's on your chest?
Hildegard Withers: None of your business.

Hildegard Withers: Oh, if you want us to hit on anything more, just let me know.
Oscar Piper: Oh, come on back, Miss Withers. I think maybe we can get together on something at that.

Hildegard Withers: All you're after is a conviction, anybody's conviction. I never saw such a man!
Oscar Piper: How many men have you seen?
Hildegard Withers: Plenty of them.

Hildegard Withers: I'm not the emotional type, Mr. Piper, but even you must get a little thrill, out of the thought, that we, you and I, helped those young people to this happiness.
Oscar Piper: [Looking out a window at Philip Seymour slap Gwen Parker in the face] That a boy! That baby's had that coming to her for a long time.


Murder on the Blackboard (1934)
Oscar Piper: I got to admit, you can take it.
Hildegarde Withers: Well, don't forget, when necessary I can dish it out, too.
Oscar Piper: I wish you'd let me forget it.

Oscar Piper: I oughta be a detective in the movies.
Hildegarde Withers: You could do all the acting, and the author could solve the crime.

[last lines]
Oscar Piper: ...A fella could come up and see ya some time couldn't he?
Hildegarde Withers: Why, Oscar Piper!
[Oscar laughs]
Hildegarde Withers: Why, you dreadful man! You get out of here. Go on, get out!
[He leaves the diner, laughing heartily, as Hildegarde smoothes her ruffled feathers]
Hildegarde Withers: Insulted at my age!
Bearded Diner: Better late than never, sister.
Hildegarde Withers: [haughtily] That will do.

Addison 'Ad' Stevens: Well, you might as well know it. We're going to be married.
Hildegarde Withers: Well! Those who try it once always try it again. Must be something in it.

Oscar Piper: You were the only one besides Schweitzer who knew she had the lottery ticket. You planned the whole thing.
Jane Davis: I didn't! I tell you, I didn't!
Oscar Piper: You murdered your best friend for a mere Sweepstakes prize.
Hildegarde Withers: A mere Sweepstakes prize of $50,000. Ha! I'd murder some people I know for 50 cents.
Oscar Piper: Ah, the French secret police are now wit' us. I gave orders for the teachers to be here at 9. It's now 10.
Hildegarde Withers: Ten AFTER ten, Inspector.
Oscar Piper: Something important kept you, I suppose.
Hildegarde Withers: Just the solution of the murder, that's all.
Oscar Piper: Oh, that's fine. Everybody all rounded up now, I take it?
Hildegarde Withers: Well, I haven't rounded up a lot of helpless women for browbeating, anyway.
Oscar Piper: I never met a helpless woman in my life. Siddown.

Hildegarde Withers: [after a staggering Otto bumps into her] Otto Schweitzer, watch where you're going!
Hildegarde Withers: [He coughs right into her face and she covers hers up] Ooohhh...
Hildegarde Withers: [after a pause she smells his breath] The only excuse I can find for you is...
Hildegarde Withers: [She sniffs him] ... seems to be bonded stuff.

Oscar Piper: I'm gonna take this building apart brick by brick until I find the man that did that!
Hildegarde Withers: Or the woman...
Oscar Piper: Or the woman! Ain't let a cop killer get away in this town in twenty years!
Hildegarde Withers: Cop killer! I suppose one dead schoolteacher more or less doesn't count.
Oscar Piper: I don't count my corpses until I come to 'em!

Oscar Piper: We caught him quicker than I thought.
Hildegarde Withers: Almost anything can be done quicker than you think of.

Hildegarde Withers: [to Stevens] Unfortunately the police, although they may be fools, they're not sentimental fools.

Hildegarde Withers: That settles it!
Oscar Piper: Settles what?
Hildegarde Withers: I'm going to search the cellar.
Oscar Piper: You're not going into the cellar alone.
Hildegarde Withers: That's something you'll have to decide for yourself, Oscar.

Oscar Piper: This case is open and shut.
Hildegarde Withers: Open and shut?
Oscar Piper: Sure! The guy's a moron.
Hildegarde Withers: You should get him on the force.

Oscar Piper: [to Smiley about Otto] Book him for disorderly conduct or inciting to riot. Isn't so long as you get him in a cell.
Hildegarde Withers: How are you going to find him in a cell if you couldn't find him in the cellar?

Hildegarde Withers: [Discussing Otto] Smells like my Uncle Henry used to smell when my mother wouldn't let me kiss him good-night.


Murder on a Bridle Path (1936)
Police Insp. Oscar Piper: [In frustration] Well, I'm a speckled ape!
Hildegarde Withers: [Dryly] This is no time for a confession, Oscar.

Police Insp. Oscar Piper: I don't see why I always have to miss my breakfast for these accidents!
Hildegarde Withers: [Arriving on the scene to hear Oscar's complaint] I had an uncle who thought the World War would have been an accident.

Hildegarde Withers: How long have you worked around here?
'High-Pockets': About three months, Ma'am... not countin' the week I was in jail.
Hildegarde Withers: What were you doing in jail?
'High-Pockets': Shootin' craps.
Hildegarde Withers: No, I mean what did they put you in jail for?
'High-Pockets': Shootin' craps.

Police Insp. Oscar Piper: Hildegarde, this may be what the French call a crime of passion.
Hildegarde Withers: Oscar, don't you think we ought to try to keep this case clean?

Hildegarde Withers: [to Eddie] I have a great deal of influence with Inspector Piper. We roomed together in college.

Hildegarde Withers: You're a fine fellow, High Pockets.
'High-Pockets': Yes, Ma'am, I sure am.
Hildegarde Withers: And I know I can trust you to keep quiet about all you told me, understand?
'High-Pockets': Yes, Ma'am, Miss Withers, when I keeps quiet, I keeps quiet aaalll over.

Police Insp. Oscar Piper: [as Hildegarde tries to get into the police car with Oscar] Well, where do you think you're goin'? What are you always following me for?
Hildegarde Withers: I don't know, Oscar. I guess it's because you always bring out the mother in me.

Hildegarde Withers: [Going into the old, dark Gregg Mansion] This place would be great for an embalmers' convention!

Hildegarde Withers: You're a good boy, High Pockets, and I think you'll go far.
'High-Pockets': Yes, Ma'am, how far should I go?

Police Insp. Oscar Piper: [Seeing Hildegarde going through a pair of empty pants] Are you sure you were never married?
Hildegarde Withers: There's a time and place to be funny.

Hildegarde Withers: How can you find out if a man has false teeth?
Police Insp. Oscar Piper: Get 'im mad enough to bite yuh.


Murder on a Honeymoon (1935)
Oscar Piper: So that's your system?
Hildegarde Withers: Can you suggest a better one?
Oscar Piper: I suggest using your head a little.
Hildegarde Withers: That'd be nice work for you, Oscar, if you could get it.
Hildegarde Withers: Uuuhhh!

Hildegarde Withers: [Surprised by Oscar's sudden surprising appearance on Catalina by sneaking up behind her] Oscar Piper!
Oscar Piper: Little moments from the lives of great detectives - Hildegarde, ya get screwier every day.
Hildegarde Withers: Come all the way from New York just to be stupid in new surroundings?

Chief Of Police Britt: We've never had a murder here on the island. In fact, people don't even die here very often.
Hildegarde Withers: Maybe they die, and you don't know it.

Oscar Piper: Well, where's the corpse?
Hildegarde Withers: [Faking befuddlement] Now let me see - what did I do with that corpse? Oh, the police station! Come on, Oscar!
Oscar Piper: Just a minute, it'll keep until after lunch, won't it?
Hildegarde Withers: Well, I hope so.
Oscar Piper: I never look at a corpse on an empty stomach. Com'on.
Hildegarde Withers: Hmmmm.

Oscar Piper: Uhhhh! Will you please to mind your own business! I'll tackle this myself. This is a man's job.
[He walks away]
Hildegarde Withers: That's what I'm afraid of!

Hildegarde Withers: [to the dog Mr. Jones, who has helped Hildegarde find a clue] If there is any justice, you should have a kennel and a tree in the heart of Scotland Yard.

Oscar Piper: [Frustrated] I'm going to make one of these mugs talk if I have to work on 'em with a rubber hose!
Hildegarde Withers: [Sarcastically] A very original idea for a policeman!

Hildegarde Withers: [after the doctor, who has just come from the beach in an old-fashioned swimsuit, says it's a natural death] Are you quite capable of judging?
Dr. O'Rourke: Well, I ought to be - I am a doctor!
Hildegarde Withers: Well, I took you for a lifeguard.
Dr. O'Rourke: [With indignance] I gave him a very thorough examination.
Hildegarde Withers: [Sarcastically] I can imagine!
Dr. O'Rourke: I resent your attitude, madame!
Hildegarde Withers: [Remarking on his bizarre bathing suit] Don't try to be impressive in that drape, young man. You can't frighten me until you put on your trousers.

Hildegarde Withers: [She clears her throat] Mr. Britt, here is a list of all the persons on the plane... names, addresses, and occupations.
Chief Of Police Britt: Well, thanks for going to so much trouble.
Captain Beegle: [Sarcastically] Yeah, meddling is a pleasure for some people.


The Plot Thickens (1936)
Oscar Piper: [Parodying the witnesses reactions out of frustration] "I don't know," "You don't know," It's funny. Nobody seems to know nothing! around here!
Hildegarde Withers: Hah! I wouldn't broadcast that if I were you, Oscar.

Oscar Piper: [Seeing a piece of evidence] I saw this on Carter's desk this morning.
Hildegarde Withers: Sure, and it went in one eye and out the other.

Hildegarde Withers: Now don't behave more stupid than is natural, Oscar.

Hildegarde Withers: Inspector, I have a feeling there's more to this case than meets the eye.
Oscar Piper: You say that about every case.


Forty Naughty Girls (1937)
Stage Board Man: [after Hildegarde accidentally finds herself onstage during a dance number] I didn't know you had it in you, sister.
Hildegarde Withers: Well, I'm glad it's out.