Voila! Finally, the Murder, My Sweet
script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Philip Marlowe movie
with Dick Powell. This script is a transcript that was painstakingly
transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Murder, My Sweet. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally
tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to
drop me a line. You won't
hurt my feelings. Honest.
I remember you as a noisy little
fellow, son. All of a sudden, you get quiet.
Is your book of answers lost,
or are you waiting for your lawyer?
Maybe you don't think
murder looks good on you.
- Maybe I didn't do it.
- Maybe he didn't do it.
Look, Marlowe, we're arraigning you.
We don't like you, but it ain't personal.
We just follow a routine after a killing.
He asked us to talk to you, if that's okay.
- Is he holding the kid?
- I wouldn't know.
- Is she all right?
- I wouldn't know that either.
- Where did you see her last?
- I forget.
- How do you feel?
- Like a duck in a shooting gallery.
- Yeah. Thanks.
Want to make a statement?
Boys tell me I did a couple of murders.
Anything in it?
You got a rope under my ears?
I think you better let me have it.
I'll have to hold it on you,
but I think you better let me have it.
Okay, Dowling. Bring in your notebook.
We're all set.
- The works?
Some of it you know. If I misquote you...
Let's get it on the record,
from the beginning.
With Malloy, then.
It was about : . Anyway, it was dark.
- Why were you at the office that late?
- I'm a homing pigeon.
I always come back to the stinking coop
no matter how late it is.
I'd been peeking
under old Sunday sections...
for a barber named Dominic
whose wife wanted him back. I forget why.
I only took the job because my bank
account was trying to crawl under a duck.
And I never found him.
I just found out all over again
how big this city is.
My feet hurt.And my mindfelt like a plumber's handkerchief.The office bottle hadn't sparked me up...so I'd taken out my little black bookand decided to go grouse hunting.Nothing like soft shouldersto improve my morale.The soft shoulders had a date,but she thought she could fix that...and was going to check right back.There's something about the dead silenceof an office building at night...Not quite real.The traffic down below was somethingthat didn't have anything to do with me.
I seen your name
on the blackboard downstairs.
I come up to see you.
You're a private eye?
I'd like you to look for somebody.
I'm closed up, pal. Come around
tomorrow, and we'll talk about it.
I looked for her where she worked...
but I've been out of touch.
I'd like to show you where she worked.
Okay. You show me where she worked.
The joint looked like trouble,but that didn't bother me.Nothing bothered me.The two twenties felt nice and snugagainst my appendix.I tried to picture him in lovewith somebody, but it didn't work.
They changed it a lot.
There was a stage where she worked,
and some booths.
Pink flowers was in the slatwork.
She was cute as lace pants.
Eight years since I seen her.
Six she didn't write,
but she'll have a reason.
- What's she do, sing?
Let's you and me go up
and nibble a couple.
- Whiskey. Call yours.
You never heard of Velma?
Look, Joe, I'm sorry about your girl.
And I know how you feel,
but she ain't here.
No girl's been here
since I owned this place.
No show. No noise.
I got a reputation for no trouble.
She used to work here.
You ask him about Velma.
We've been over all that. Drink up, Joe.
You remember Velma?
I'll have to request
you don't bother the customers.
So far you rate me polite?
I don't bother you none.
Some guys has the wrong ideas
when to get fancy.
Come on. Eight years is a lot of gin.
They don't remember Velma.
- Who asked you to stick your face in?
- You did. Remember me?
I'm the guy who came in with you, chunky.
Moose. The name is Moose.
On account of I'm large.
- Moose Malloy. You heard of me, maybe?
They changed it a lot.
There was a stage
where she worked and some booths.
You said that.
I'm beginning not to like it here.
- Maybe I told you too much.
- We was to be married.
- What happened?
Where do you figure I've been away
those eight years?
I put away a few grand before I went up.
- You been in the caboose ever?
- Just a couple of overnight stops.
Okay. You find Velma.
- She got a last name?
- Velma. Velma Valento.
- How will I get in touch with you?
- I get in touch with you.
I spent a buck in another barfor some history.Mike Florian ran the joint until .He died in in the middle of a glass of beer.His wife Jessie finished it for him.Tracing her was easy. I could do that.A bright third gradercould have done it, but not Malloy.He needed a private detective.She was a charming middle-aged ladywith a face like a bucket of mud.I gave her a drink.She was a gal who'd take a drink...if she had to knock you downto get the bottle.
That liquor's been keeping
the right company all right.
Just hold it careful, mister.
This ain't no time to drop anything.
What was it we was talking about?
The red-headed girl named Velma Valento.
Used to work in your husband's place
on Central Avenue.
Who was it you said you was, mister?
A private cop.
You didn't say that, mister...
but I knew you wasn't no regular cop.
No regular cop
ever bought a drink of that stuff.
Do you remember Velma?
- Who was that, copper?
No. I don't seem to right off.
What was it you said you wanted her for?
I'm tracing her for a client of mine.
I shouldn't ought to sit here
and bother with you...
but when I like a guy
and he buys me a drink...
the ceiling is the limit.
Hold on to your chair
and don't step on no snakes.
I got an idea.
Them is all Mike left me,
them and his old clothes.
Publicity, that is.
But them dolls didn't never get
in the papers...
at least not in connection with the place,
Why did you hide this picture of Velma?
Why did you hide it?
Give it to me!
She was a nice kid...
but she's dead.
- Moose will be sorry to hear that.
- Yeah. Won't he, though?
Yeah, he's out. He's out,
and he's looking for his girl.
Why did you hide her picture?
I don't know anybody
by the name of Moose, copper.
I don't know anybody
by the name of Moose.
Suddenly, she wasn't drunk anymore.Her hand was steady, and she was cool...like somebody makingfuneral arrangements for a murder...not yet committed.
I let in a guy a couple hours ago.
He said it was important. Okay?
He's in love and in a big hurry.
He'll get over that.
- Cute little fella, isn't he?
He smells real nice.
I took the liberty
of waiting here, Mr. Marlowe.
The attendant gave me the impression
I could expect you soon.
Who put in the pitch for me, Mr. Marriott?
- I beg your pardon?
- How did you get my name?
As a matter of fact...
I decided to employ a private investigator
This being Saturday afternoon,
I failed to reach anyone by phone...
and was somewhat at a loss as to...
The directory listed several in this
neighborhood, so I took a chance...
I'm in a clutch at the moment.
I'm pretty busy.
I couldn't take on anything big.
What's the job?
I'll require your services
for just a few hours this evening.
I'm meeting some men
shortly after midnight.
I'm paying them some money.
You better get your flaps down,
or you'll take off.
What's the deal, blackmail?
I'm not in the habit
of giving people grounds for blackmail.
I've simply agreed to serve
as bearer of the money.
- How much and what for?
- I can't go into that.
You just want me to go along
and hold your hand?
I'm afraid I don't like your manner.
I've had complaints about it.
But it keeps getting worse.
How much are you offering me
for doing nothing?
I really hadn't gotten around
to thinking about it.
You suppose you can get around
to thinking about it now?
How would you like
a swift punch on the nose?
I tremble at the thought of such violence.
I'm offering $
for a few hours of your time.
If that isn't enough, say so.
There's no risk.
Some jewels were taken
from a friend in a holdup.
- I'm buying them back.
- Where and when?
The arrangements specify that I drive
to a secluded canyon above the beach...
Wait a minute.
You drive to a nice, dark petting spot,
hiding me in the backseat...
- to buy back jewelry for a lady...
- I didn't say that.
...and what you get will be a package
you won't be allowed to open at all.
There's nothing to prevent them
from double-crossing you.
I certainly couldn't do anything to stop it.
Every move's planned. They aren't figuring
on roughing you up if you play ball.
But they wouldn't like you being twins.
One of us might get hurt.
I'm afraid I can't do anything
for you, Mr. Marriott.
But I'll take your $
and tag along for the ride.
I carry the shopping money, too,and I do the driving.We were watched.I didn't see anything.I felt it in my stomach.I was a toad on a wet rock.A snake was lookingat the back of my neck.
- There should be some white posts soon.
- Pull your head in.
A path there goes down into the hollow
where we're to wait.
Check: White posts.
You sit tight.
I'll go down and have a look-see.
Looks like a tryout
to see if you obey orders.
I caught the blackjack right behind my ear.A black pool opened up at my feet.I dived in. It had no bottom.I felt pretty good... like an amputated leg.
Are you all right? What happened?
He was doubled up on his face...in that bag-of-old-clothes positionthat always means the same thing:He had been killed by an amateur...or by somebody who wanted itto look like an amateur job.Nobody else would hit a manthat many times with a sap.
The oftener you go over it,
the sillier it sounds.
You know nothing about Marriott, how
much money he had, or what it was for.
Trusting soul, wasn't he?
Letting you carry the payoff.
Sorry I don't have it.
After I beat Marriott's brains out...
and just before I hit myself on the back
of the head, I hid it under a bush.
Supposing a jewel outfit got the idea
of using a detective as a utility man...
for contacts and payoffs.
Suppose they ran out of uses for him.
They might try
to hang a murder around his neck.
Now I'm a finger for a heist mob.
Also I'm Jack the Ripper.
Look, I try to be helpful.
I get up off the nice cold ground
and walk five miles to a phone...
right after having my head treated.
I lead you to the body instead of
letting you find it next Christmas.
I tell you all I know, four times!
It sounds screwy. All right, it is screwy.
Sometimes I'm not smart,
but it's all I know.
I'm tired of listening to your bum guesses.
Either book me or let me go home.
I don't like looking at you, either.
I don't like sitting here.
I'd much rather be home in bed, too.
I'd rather dig eggshells out of garbage
cans than pry information out of you.
- I get it. You don't like me.
- No. I never have, and I never will.
You're a not a detective,
you're a slot machine.
You'd slit your own throat for six bits.
- Now, look...
- All I want from you is silence.
One false move, and you'll be locked up
as a material witness.
It's that kind of a case, with the witnesses
gagged and the papers crying for news?
I'll get them their murderer.
You'll get him about the time
you get your third set of teeth.
Okay. Go on home to bed.
Stick to your story if you want.
Play it dumb, play it any way...
but stay out of my way.
And stay out of the way of Marriott's pals.
I've been after these boys for a long time,
and I'm close. I'll get them.
So watch your step...
or I may have to pick you up
in the same basket with Jules Amthor.
- Is Amthor mixed up in this?
- So you know him, then?
I know lots of people in this town...
but I never heard of Jules Amthor.
It's a bad guess.
Business is getting better. And prettier.
Mr. Marlowe, I'm Miss Allison, The Post.
The police aren't being helpful
on the Marriott case. I wonder...
How did you know about me?
I have friends at the City Hall, naturally.
That's my business.
I'd just get you in a lot of trouble.
Did Marriott tell you
who owned the jade he was buying back?
They'll never know where I heard it,
but if I know something...
I'll be in a much better
bargaining position down there.
Come in, Miss Allison. Have a seat.
No, I wasn't told who owned the jade.
Didn't seem to be any of my business.
- Had you known Marriott some time?
- A couple of weeks. Why?
Did you have any theories about what
happened, or was supposed to happen?
One or two.
- You do your own typing, Miss Allison?
- Why, yes.
I'm not always this brilliant, Miss...
But I'm improving.
What do you do besides playing reporter?
You're a hot rock anyway.
I should toss you to the cops.
All I could tell them last night was that
Marriott was buying back some jewelry.
You'd impress them
with that line about the jade.
Have you ever known a Velma Valento,
Miss Grayle, a singer?
It was another case, anyway.
I was just hoping...
Did your friends at City Hall
tell you about the jade, too?
- Who does it belong to?
- What's your interest in it?
We won't get anyplace
answering questions with more questions.
- I'll take my answer first.
I'm interested in the jade,
now that I know about it...
because I'd like to know who besides me
might have killed Marriott.
He gave me $
to take care of him and I didn't.
I'm a small businessman
in a messy business...
but I like to follow through on a sale.
The jade belongs to my father.
Now unlock the door.
I got it from Marriott it belonged to a lady.
My father happens to be married.
Yes, of course he would be.
Then your mother was wearing it
the night of the holdup?
She's not my mother.
Which one sent you here to feel me out?
It was my own brilliant idea.
Before I see the police,
I think I'll have a talk with your father...
and your father's wife.
Open the door.
It was a nice little front yard.Cozy, okay for the average family...only you'd need a compassto go to the mailbox.The house was all right, too,but it wasn't as big as Buckingham Palace.I had to waitwhile she sold me to the old folks.
It was like waiting to buy a crypt
in a mausoleum.
Mr. Marlowe, Father.
- How do you do?
- How are you?
It's good of you to come.
This is Mrs. Grayle.
Are you familiar with jade, Mr. Marlowe?
What do you know about jade?
It's green, isn't it?
Yeah. No, thanks.
Jade, Mr. Marlowe...
is not sufficiently known
or appreciated in this country.
The great rulers of the East, however...
- Sit down, won't you?
- Thank you.
The great rulers of the East have treated it
with a reverence accorded no other stone.
They've spent years
searching for a single piece.
Fei-ts'ui jade, in which I, as a collector...
am particularly interested,
is extremely valuable.
like most old men with a hobby...
I'm inclined to be a bit of a bore.
But since my daughter
has brought you into this matter...
I was already in it up to my eyebrows.
I take it the whatchamacallit you lost
was this stuff, fei-ts'ui?
A necklace, Mr. Marlowe.
A necklace. beads
of about six carats each.
- Worth how much?
- That's difficult to say.
The Chinese government
had a somewhat larger necklace...
which once brought as much as $ .
You were about to ask, Mr. Marlowe,
why I should be so reckless...
as to go out in the evening
wearing an irreplaceable necklace.
Something like that.
It's unanswerable. I shouldn't have.
I never should have worn it out.
Where was the stickup?
If you'll excuse me,
I'm feeling a little tired.
But Mrs. Grayle will tell you
anything else you want to know.
We're naturally anxious
to locate the necklace, Mr. Marlowe.
I only hope it can be managed
without any publicity.
Yeah. So do I.
with the polite drinking, shall we?
- Would you mind...
- No. Not at all.
I didn't think
there were enough murders these days...
to make detecting very attractive
to a young man.
I stir up trouble on the side.
How much money
was in Marriott's envelope?
- Cheap at the price.
- Dirt cheap.
they didn't know its real value.
Who knew you'd be wearing the necklace
this particular night?
My maid, perhaps,
but she's had a hundred chances.
- Besides, I trust her.
I don't know. I trust some people.
- I trust you.
- Did you trust Marriott?
Not in some things. In others, yes.
There are degrees.
I thought detectives were heavy drinkers.
Some of them are.
Some of them just encourage
other people to drink.
- Shall I tell you about the holdup?
- It might help.
Lin and I had been out dancing.
He was bringing me home.
- Where were you stopped?
- Near here.
Does it matter a lot?
Not too much at the moment.
How many other Marriotts are there:
Pretty guys who take you dancing?
I'm very fond of my husband.
Only his two-step's getting a little stiff.
Do you know a Jules Amthor?
- I've heard Lin speak of him. Why?
- I don't know.
The cops told me to leave him alone.
That makes me want to look him up.
- Is he a bad boy?
- A lot of Lin's friends are, I'm afraid.
Lin was rather a heel himself...
but he was a nice heel.
The papers didn't say much
except that he wasn't shot.
- With a sap, only good.
If an elephant had stepped
on his head, same effect.
I feel so responsible now,
but it seemed quite simple to buy it back.
I don't understand.
I've tried to put it together
with the holdup, but I can't.
You know, there was something peculiar
about the holdup.
They gave me back one of my rings.
Rather a good one, too.
- What's Amthor's racket?
- I'm not sure.
Some sort of psychic consultant.
A quack, probably.
You see, Lin fancied himself a sculptor,
but he was mixed up about it.
That's why he went to him originally.
He couldn't get started for fear of failure.
I wonder if he'd take my case.
- Who was that?
You will help me, won't you?
Is this for love, or are you paying me
something in money?
I never hired a detective before.
What are the rates?
As much as the traffic will bear.
- When can you start?
- I've already started.
How do I find Amthor?
I'll see if I can smoke him out for you.
He's quite inaccessible.
- Mr. Amthor is here, Mrs. Grayle.
Show him in.
Don't look so judicial.
He really is inaccessible.
I hadn't the faintest idea he was coming.
I haven't seen him in months.
How do you spend your evenings?
Recently, I've been playing
Button Button with the cops.
- And then where do you go?
- I'm in the book.
Let's see what's on his mind.
This is Mr. Marlowe. Mr. Amthor.
Mr. Marlowe's a private detective.
He was with Lin when...
I was hired as a bodyguard
and bungled the job.
Now I'm investigating myself.
You must forgive me
for not coming sooner. It's such a shock.
These things are so difficult to believe.
Close friend, someone you know so well...
- What could have happened?
- I've got a couple of notions.
When could you help me work them out?
I wouldn't make a good detective,
Mr. Marlowe, and l...
I know. You are inaccessible.
In what way do you think I could help you?
I spent last night with the police.
It was their idea.
They took it for granted
that if I'd known Marriott, I knew you, too.
They told me not to get too close to you,
said you'd bite.
You look harmless to me.
I'd be glad to arrange an interview if...
Just leave the number with Mrs. Grayle.
Don't go to any special trouble.
I'll bring my own crystal ball.
- How do you get out of this funhouse?
- This way, sir.
It's on the bed.
This is six weeks
since you sent your laundry out.
You must be in love.
Bring it back tomorrow.
You've got a nice build
for a private detective.
It gets me around.
How does one get to be
a private detective?
You don't mind my sizing you up a little?
Most are ex-cops.
I worked for the D.A., got fired.
- Not for incompetence, surely.
- For talking back.
I had an interesting childhood, too, but
you didn't drop in to get a biography.
I thought you'd like to know
what Amthor said...
and I wanted to make it official.
Shall we call this a retainer?
Yeah, let's call it a retainer.
If the cops get to you, you sent for me.
I didn't want to take the case.
You talked me into it.
- You hired me.
- Do they have to know about me?
Would that bother you?
We live pretty much by ourselves.
And my husband has a morbid fear
of any kind of publicity.
He's not very strong.
I'll manage it. How did it go with Amthor?
I'm stubborn. I don't like being rushed.
I figured, the way you're dressed,
you're on the town, stopped by here to...
I was hoping
you'd buy me a drink somewhere...
or don't you ever relax
when you're on a case?
Not in public. It's too crowded.
Do you like the Coconut Beach Club?
Never been there. I'm the drive-in type.
The lights would be flattering to you.
They might even mellow you a little.
It's the sort of place
where you have to wear a shirt.
Be right with you.
- I think I'll put some powder my nose.
- You've already got powder on it.
I like you, but I'm too old to play games.
If you're jealous of your stepmother,
we can talk about that tomorrow.
She'll be here soon, and I don't want
you two tangling in public.
There's no danger.
You're being sidetracked.
Helen's gone by now.
- What do you mean sidetracked?
- You'll find out.
I'm just staying long enough
to speak my piece.
Tell me, are you a member of a
syndicate with international contacts...
or do you get all your information
- What did she ask you to do?
- You missed that part?
She wanted me to kiss her
and find her jade necklace.
I may have the order wrong,
but that's the general idea.
You said you were a businessman.
Whatever she was willing to pay you,
I'll up it.
Just stay away from her.
Forget the whole thing.
What's the matter?
What are you looking at me like that for?
I don't know.
Surely I'm not corrupting you.
You've been bought off before.
I seem to remember you
from one of my dreams.
- One of the better ones.
- Would it be worth $ ?
Stick around. I'll be right back.
Ditch the babe.
What's the matter with you?
Don't you want me to have a love life?
Ditch the babe.
Look, I'm a big boy now.
I blow my own nose and everything.
You hired me. Now stop following me,
or I'll get mad.
- Ditch the babe. I'd like you to meet a guy.
- Take it easy.
Soon gangrene will set in, in those fingers.
- I'd like you to meet a guy.
You do go for the showgirl type,
don't you, sonny?
- Cute, huh?
- Come on. I'd like you to meet a guy.
What's the matter with going up the front
way? Your friend behind in his rent?
That's just part of my clothes.
I hardly ever shoot anybody.
On clear days, Mr. Marlowe, you can see
the ships in the harbor at San Pedro.
I trust you brought your crystal ball.
I don't get it.
You mean there are some things
you do not understand?
I've always credited the private detective
with a high degree of omniscience.
Or is that only true in rental fiction?
I'd like you to ask him now.
- Don't be impatient.
- Ask me what?
- Can't you do your own asking?
- Take it easy, big boy.
The boss wants a nice, quiet talk
with your friend.
I believe you wanted to discuss
my relationship with the police.
I usually come in through the front door,
big as life.
I merely wanted to take you
on the wing, so to speak.
An old psychological trick.
It helps us get closer to the real man.
Where did you pick up Malloy?
My dear Mr. Marlowe...
I notice in you an unpleasant tendency
toward abrupt transitions.
A characteristic of your generation.
In this case, I must ask you
to follow some sort of logical progression.
Now, about the police...
Maybe they got something on you
or they're trying to get it.
I didn't expect you to tell me which.
I was just baiting you.
It's an old psychological trick, grandpa.
What's your racket?
I am in a very sensitive profession.
I am a quack.
Which is to say, I'm ahead of my time
in the field of psychic treatment.
Naturally, certain elements
would like to show me in a bad light.
It's entirely possible
they have discussed me with the police.
That is it.
Sorry if I've upset your theories about me,
which must be more elaborate, but...
My theory's pretty simple.
It goes like this:
Marriott was a blackmailer of women.
He was good.
Women liked him around. His interest
in clothes and jewelry came easy.
But he wasn't the whole works. Somebody
told him which women to cultivate...
so he could load them with ice,
go out dancing...
then slip to the phone
and tell the boys where to operate.
And that is your picture
of Marriott and me?
I am slightly disgusted
and very disappointed.
Don't look now,
but Gussie the gun collector is back.
I am very disappointed in you.
Your thinking is untidy,
like most so-called thinking today.
You depress me.
Suppose your theory were correct...
I would have Mrs. Grayle's jade now,
- Unless something went wrong.
- What could have gone wrong?
Marriott could have lost his nerve
and rung in a private dick.
Take a private dick who'd risk his neck
for $ .
He might get ambitious.
He might figure an expensive necklace
would be nice to have in the bank.
This hypothetical detective of yours...
he might be willing to part
with the necklace for a consideration.
Could be, if he had it.
How big a consideration?
It would be difficult to discuss that
until he produced the necklace.
He might be bluffing,
hoping to gain information.
In which case, a great thinker might try
to shake something out of him.
You wouldn't suggest that?
Only if you wanted
to wear your face backwards for a while.
No need for us to be
at each other's throats, Mr. Marlowe.
There's really no need for subterfuge.
I want that jade.
I'm prepared to buy it from you
if you have it...
or if you can get it.
Supposing I haven't got it...
or supposing I don't want to sell...
You get him to tell you yet?
He refuses to tell me where she is.
I gave you some dough to find Velma.
- I don't like you not telling where she is.
- Who says I got her?
- I don't like nobody to kid with me.
- He's lying. He knows where she is.
Take it easy. We'll get it out of him.
How'd you get mixed up with these guys?
What's the connection?
He's okay. He tells me about you.
If he tells you I know where Velma is,
He just picked you up to do his dirty work.
He's after jewelry. He thinks I've got it.
Ask him about Velma.
- I paid you to find her.
- Keep your shirt on.
- Where you got her?
- I haven't got her, you nitwit.
Where's the necklace?
Tell me and I'll stop him.
You shouldn't have done that.
You shouldn't have hit me.
Let him breathe a little.
- Where's the necklace?
- I haven't got it.
All right. A little more.
Let him go. He's tame.
I could teach you, but to what purpose?
A dirty, stupid little man
in a dirty, stupid world.
One spot of brightness on you,
and you'd still be that.
Isn't that so?
I'm glad you hit me. It helps.
Helps me a great deal.
The black pool opened up at my feet again,and I dived in.Next thing I remember,I was going somewhere.It was not my idea.The rest of it was a crazy,coked-up dream.I had never been there before.Where's the necklace?You shouldn't have hit me.The window was open,but the smoke didn't move.It was a gray web, woven by spiders.I wondered how they got themto work together.
What strikes you funny, pally?
- The smoke.
- The smoke strikes you funny?
- Where am I?
- You like also to know where you're at.
Anything else, pally?
The doors are too small.
The stairs are made of dough.
I think this guy's nuts.
Do you think he's nuts?
- I think I'll take myself a nap again.
- Better make it just that, pally.
My throat felt sore...but the fingers feeling itdidn't feel anything.They were just a bunch of bananasthat looked like fingers.I wondered what I was shot full of.Something to keep me quietor something to make me talk.Maybe both.Okay, Marlowe, I said to myself,you're a tough guy.You've been sapped twice, choked,beaten silly with a gun...shot in the arm until you'reas crazy as a couple of waltzing mice.Now let's see youdo something really tough...like putting your pants on.Okay, you cuckoo, walk and talk.What about? Anything. Everything.Just talk and keep walking.You're getting out of here.That's a beautiful bed.Stay off it!Walk!I walked. I don't know how long.I didn't have a watch.They don't make that kind of timein watches, anyway.I was ready to talk to somebody.
That'll quiet your nerves, pally.
The buzzer won't
buy you anything tonight, doc.
I just gave nursey a sleeping tablet.
For three days, you've been
a sick man, sir, a very sick man.
I cannot recommend
your being up and about.
I had a nightmare. A lot of crazy things.
I woke up,
and the room was full of smoke.
I was a sick man.
Instead of pink snakes, I got smoke.
Here I am, all cured.
- What were you saying?
- I made no remark.
Remarks want you to make them.
They got their tongues hanging out
waiting to be said.
I'm Dr. Sonderborg.
You've been suffering
from narcotic poisoning.
On account of you pumped me
full of this poisoning, doc?
Speak up, Dr. Jekyll!
I'm in a wild mood tonight!
I want to go dance in the foam.
I hear the banshees calling.
I haven't shot a man in a week.
You very nearly died, sir.
I had to give you digitalis.
Also a little something to make me talk?
What was I supposed to talk about?
Maybe about a jade necklace
I haven't got?
Was I good telling you
about what I don't have?
Did the customers like me?
Or will Amthor be disappointed in you?
Never disappoint Mr. Amthor.
It depresses him.
You're not well, Mr. Marlowe.
You may collapse at any time.
I must insist upon you going back to bed.
Please give me this.
Now the gun, please.
The gun, please.
I strongly advise...
Tie a ribbon on the one
to the front door, doc.
When you got a gun, people are
supposed to do what you tell them.
I'm afraid you're going
to faint, Mr. Marlowe.
Tie a ribbon on it!
The girls must have a great time with you.
- I'm booked, captain.
- Look, pal, l...
I'm booked, captain.
You ain't in good shape.
You shouldn't ought to fight with me.
- I'll murder you.
- I don't like fighting.
- Maybe you were just making love to me.
- I like you to keep looking for Velma.
You're nuts. You're crazy as a rabbit.
- He sent after me.
- Who? The smart thinker Amthor?
- He was kidding with me.
- He was kidding the pants off of you, son.
He was waving a fish in front of your nose,
so you wouldn't find your gal.
Nobody's supposed to find her.
I think he's got other plans for her.
- You ain't in good shape. I better help you.
- Then get me a cab, you dopey ape.
- I'd like you to take my friend.
Look, I got a fare and I'm on waiting time.
Can't you see the flag is down?
- I'd like you to take my friend.
I said something wrong there. I knew it.The big stir-bug wastoo anxious to get rid of me.His brain was working.I don't know what happened to it,but it was working... at the wrong time.I wanted to sleepa couple of hundred years...but I couldn't.Nulty was watching my apartment.So I decided to call on Annto find out why she was living alone...and if she really liked it.
- What do you want?
- Black coffee, eggs, and a scotch and soda.
- Go away.
- Excuse me.
This is a nice place.
Isn't there room for you in the palace?
An old ballroom or something
you could sleep in?
Or don't you like it out there?
I'm all broke up with cops, honey.
They're hanging all over my place
and at the office.
They may just want to chat,
but I'm not ready for them yet.
- I'll have to live here a couple of days.
- You're drunk. Get out.
That's no way to talk to your loved one...
when he comes home to you
from the brink of the grave.
Helen fixed me a blind date with Amthor
and a couple of his whipping boys.
- What happened? Are you all right?
- He gave me a cute time for three days.
I don't think I'm supposed to be alive...
- Say that again.
- Say what again?
The last thing you said.
I said, "What happened?
Are you all right?"
What's the matter?
Why do you keep looking at me
as if I had a hole in my head?
What were you doing in the canyon
the night Marriott was killed?
I just remember how it happened.
I was lying on my face
because I'd been banged on the head.
Somebody threw a flashlight on me
and asked me, was I all right.
And then she said, "What happened?"
Yeah, it was a girl.
A girl with red hair, a crooked nose,
and a nice figure.
- I didn't kill Marriott.
- You weren't just taking a hike.
You found out
something would happen out there.
Knowing you, I'd say you overheard
Marriott and Helen...
making some sort of arrangements
about the jade.
You knew they had been holding hands.
- You didn't like that.
- I didn't kill him.
You don't like anybody
that has anything to do with Helen.
- Are you trying to reform her?
- I hate her!
That doesn't make sense.
I hate her, but she's married to my father
and she means a great deal to him.
I'm fond of my father.
It's more than being fond...
It's not something you'd understand,
because it doesn't involve money.
I just don't want anything to hurt him.
A guy playing around with his wife...
a guy like Marriott: That would hurt him.
If he killed Marriott, you'd protect him.
It's been done before.
- There's no age limit on jealous husbands.
- Not Father!
I don't buy it, either... yet.
I was just trying it on for size.
A lot of things still don't fit.
I don't know how you showed up at my
office the next day, making like a reporter.
- Whose handwriting is this?
- I found it on Marriott.
You went through his pockets?
That took a strong stomach.
- How'd you like to work for me?
- I'm flattered.
I'm also tired of you.
And I've got a date. Go home.
I can't. There's a little bundle
on my doorstep named Nulty...
who's playing at not looking like a cop.
But he's terrible at it.
Get rid of him.
Tell him you decided
to have a quiet little supper here with me.
- I'd like a word with your boyfriend.
- Well, I really don't...
- Come in, Lieutenant.
Thanks to you guys,
my love life's going to pieces.
I've been looking for you for three days.
We were sitting down to soft-boiled eggs
and scotch. You wouldn't join us?
The last time I saw you,
I gave you good advice.
- I guess it didn't take.
- I didn't bother your little pal Amthor.
I didn't get around to it. He got to me.
- He gave me quite a party.
- How did it go?
What'll it buy me? This is straight.
You'd like to get Amthor,
I'd like to help you.
He annoyed me a little.
Let you have it cheap.
I just get to finish my dinner.
- Come in, Nulty. Make yourself at home.
Amthor's a tough cookie.
He works some complicated
jewelry routine on gals...
who come to him
with broken-down libidos.
- I think Marriott was his contact man.
- Let's get to the new part.
The jewelry Marriott was buying back
was a jade necklace...
belonging to one of Amthor's patients,
worth about $ .
Marriott might've been crossing Amthor.
Anyway, he fumbled the ball.
- It's a lot of theory. Let's go.
- Amthor figured I picked it up.
He figured wrong. I disappointed him.
I didn't have the jewelry and I didn't talk.
But he has a little rest home
where you learn to talk.
It's operated by a guy
who calls himself Dr. Sonderborg.
He's a whiz with a hypo.
It's at rd and Descanso.
- Who owns this jade?
- I told you. One of Amthor's patients.
- By the name of?
- I don't know.
Sorry to bother you, Miss Grayle.
When were you out last
to your father's place in Brentwood?
Not for several days. Is something wrong?
I'm buying your information this time.
Don't make a habit of helping me.
I might get grateful and lock you up.
- How could he know about me?
- I don't know.
That's what happens when a cop
goes to college. He gets too smart.
Fix your face.
We're on our way to Buckingham Palace.
What is it?
About every third day, I get hungry.
Always have to stop and eat something.
You haven't got a razor, have you?
Never mind. I'll have to stop at my place,
anyway. This suit's beginning to crawl.
I think I've got another one
under the mattress.
- I'm a little beat for this kind of work.
- You know, I think you're nuts.
You go barging around
without a clear idea of what you're doing.
Everybody bats you down,
smacks you over the head...
fills you full of stuff...
and you keep right on hitting
between tackle and end.
I don't think you even know
which side you're on.
I don't know which side anybody's on.
I don't even know who's playing today.
you must believe in Father.
- He's no match for anybody.
- Take it easy.
Randall probably picked up a scent
leading from Marriott to Helen.
He may not have reached your father.
Anyway, we'll know soon.
Skip the water and make that with scotch.
He must be in his workshop.
- What are you going to do?
- I don't know. I was frightened.
- I am frightened.
- The police been here?
- Yes. What's it all about?
- We don't know yet.
Did they talk to your wife?
No. She's not been here
since yesterday morning. I thought...
- Has she been with you?
- What did they have to say?
They seemed interested principally
in our beach house.
It was rented to Mr. Marriott
indirectly through my bank.
That probably held up Randall
a couple of days.
- Okay. Let's have a look at it.
- Don't go to the beach house.
- Yeah, why not?
- Because it must stop.
- The whole thing's gone too far.
- Or maybe it's coming too close?
I don't say you killed Marriott, but you
could've for a good, old-fashioned motive.
Look, pop, the cops are moving now.
They're going to tag somebody.
As long as I'm on the payroll,
let's understand each other.
I don't work by push buttons.
I stop and I go
but I've got to have reasons.
Forgive me, Mr. Marlowe.
Forgive me, please.
It's unnecessary for me to say
I'm an old man. You can see that.
I only have two interests in life:
My jade and my wife.
And, of course, my daughter here.
But my wife's the most important.
- Do you find her beautiful?
- Why not?
She is beautiful, isn't she? And desirable.
Maybe you think it's improper for an
old man to have a young, desirable wife.
I've played a little game with myself.
I pretended that she would have
become my wife...
even if I'd been unable to give her wealth.
I've enjoyed pretending that.
It's given me great happiness.
Pride, of course.
But now I'm losing her. I don't know why.
I don't understand what's happened.
But I'm losing her.
Ironic that it should be
because of my jade.
Because of that, a man has died.
A paltry, foppish man of no consequence,
who's better dead.
Nevertheless, he's dead
because of my necklace.
I don't know why. But it must stop.
It must stop, Mr. Marlowe! It must stop!
What do you want me to do about it?
You must go no further.
The matter must be closed.
I'll pay you well.
Now this is beginning to make sense
in a screwy sort of way.
I get dragged in, get money shoved at me.
I get pushed out, get money shoved at me.
Everybody pushes me in,
everybody pushes me out.
Nobody wants me to do anything.
Okay. Put a check in the mail.
I cost a lot not to do anything.
I get restless. Throw in a trip to Mexico.
I'll be right back, Father.
- Have you got a key to the beach house?
- But you said...
I bowed out. I stopped. He thinks it's over.
That doesn't stop anything.
These things don't work like that.
Okay, so I go hide under the covers.
Do the police stop?
Does Helen stop? Do you stop?
- What do you mean, "Does Helen stop?"
- I don't know.
If I always knew what I meant,
I'd be a genius.
But I know this. A cancer doesn't
stop growing just because you ask it to.
You're vicious. You take some
horrible sort of satisfaction...
in seeing people torn apart!
They're headed for it, anyway.
You're headed for it.
What you're hanging on to will smack you.
If I fold now, it smacks you later.
I stick, it smacks you sooner.
Maybe that's why I'm sticking.
I don't know, I'd stick anyway.
Because a guy who hired me got killed.
I don't want my kids to think
I had to hit a guy times to kill him.
I could bust in,
but a key would make it simpler.
- Is that you?
- Is what me?
That nice, expensive smell.
Quite a lad.
- Someone's been here.
That's the first thing Randall does
after a man's murdered.
Mess up his house.
- Does that prove something?
Might have found my name
in the classified section.
That's what he said he did.
Or maybe somebody phoned him
and told him about me.
But you didn't have anything to do
with all this until he came to see you.
- Or did you?
- I don't know.
There are a lot of things I don't know.
Some things I'll never know.
- The only man who can tell me is dead.
Yeah. All I can do is keep guessing.
Let's get out of here
and go guess someplace else.
All I can do about you is guess.
You've only told me you went to the
canyon because you like your father.
I could guess
you thought he might kill Marriott.
But when you found me out there
in the dirt, you thought I was your father.
- Please, let's go. I'm awfully tired.
You know, that's a cute nose,
even if it is crooked.
It isn't really crooked. It has a bump
where I got hit by a baseball.
I was playing shortstop
for the th grade, and...
I'm a pretty good guesser.
Your father really loves Helen.
I can see that.
Marriott did hurt him.
When I appeared, you were afraid
I might become another Marriott...
so you tried to buy me off.
That didn't work,
and I began to suspect your father.
A real tough guesser might say
that when he couldn't buy me off either...
you decided to be nice to me.
I don't always guess right.
I may be wrong.
- I think I am wrong.
- Sometimes I hate men.
All men: Old men, young men...
beautiful young men who use rose water...
who are private detectives!
I'm sorry, darling. I couldn't help laughing.
You should know by now
that men play rough.
They soften you up, throw you off guard,
and then belt you one.
That was a dirty trick. But maybe
it'll teach you not to overplay a good hand.
It's not that she doesn't like you.
She hates men.
That was only the first half of the speech.
The rest of it goes like this:
I hate their women, too,
especially the big-league blondes.
Beautiful, expensive babes
who know what they've got.
All bubble bath and dewy morning
and inside, blue-steel cold!
Cold like that, only not that clean.
Your slip shows, dear.
I'll tell him you're here and all right.
- How long have you been here?
- Since yesterday...
Smart. The cops won't be back.
It's a good place to hide.
You're good at throwing lambs
to the wolves, aren't you?
Or did you just happen to leave
before the cops dropped in?
Look, I'd like to get a few things straight.
You hired me to get your necklace.
You were going to help me, so you
stand me up in a crummy rum joint...
and tell Amthor pick me up
and shake the necklace out of me.
- I'm sorry. I thought you had it.
- What gave you that idea?
Please don't blame me.
You could've had it.
- Was it bad?
- It almost made me mad.
How long have you really known Amthor?
- I don't lie very well, do I?
It's a long story and not very pretty.
I got lots of time, and I'm not squeamish.
Amthor is blackmailing me.
I more or less figured that.
How does it work?
My husband is . He's in love with me.
I'm fond of him. I'm grateful.
He's been understanding, but...
I've gone out with other men.
- I find men very attractive.
- I imagine they meet you halfway.
When I first knew Marriott, I didn't realize
how close he was to Amthor.
And it took me a while
to discover just how insidious Amthor is...
- because he did me a lot of good.
- What kind of good?
He treated my centers of speech.
Really, there's something to it.
- I have a psychological impediment.
- He did a swell job.
You talk as good as I do now.
His system is partly mumbo-jumbo
and partly the real thing.
He flatters you. He gets into your past.
You talk and talk and...
That's the awful way he works:
Uncovering a basis for blackmail.
Finally, he asked for the jade.
I agreed. I had no choice.
He knew too much about me.
He threatened to go to my husband.
Sounds like quite a past.
A younger man
than my husband might accept it...
or get drunk or divorce me...
but he's not young.
I think it would kill him.
I couldn't risk it, so I agreed.
Before I could turn the jade
over to Amthor, it was stolen.
The man who took it made it clear...
that if I called the police,
my husband would know everything.
That makes it an outfit
that knew Amthor's methods...
or an outfit tipped off
by somebody close to him.
Somebody who knew what he knew.
- Could've been Marriott.
- I think it was.
If he had thought Amthor suspected him,
he might have taken you for protection.
- Could be.
- I'm sure of it.
I'm sure Amthor decided
to kill him out there.
He may even have counted on you
taking the blame.
It's rough, but I'll buy it up to there.
He'd hand your past to your husband
on a platter if you didn't fork over the jade.
You decided to play ball, but the jade
was stolen with Marriott's help.
Amthor caught on and killed him.
What happens now?
I want you to help me kill Amthor.
It's the only way I'll ever have peace.
Once these things get started,
they go on and on.
He'll never be satisfied
even if he gets the jade.
Why me? Because I'm handy
and know how to use a gun?
Or just because I wear pants?
Don't say that. Please, I need you so.
I haven't been good, nor halfway good.
I haven't even been very smart,
but I need help...
I need you.
All right. Got anything worked out?
But I can't find him.
That's probably my fault.
The cops had a half nelson on me.
I tossed them Sonderborg.
Amthor may have skipped.
Even if we find him, we've got to be good
to sell a butcher a steak.
He works at this stuff.
Make it simple.
Tell him you're ready to sell,
that you've got the jade.
He won't expect you to have it on you.
He'll need time to get the money.
You name a spot to meet later.
- For instance?
- What if he sends a stooge?
- We don't play that way. We just wait.
Okay, he comes. Then what?
That's my part.
- All right. I'll dig him up.
- In the morning.
I'd better get a little work done
How would you like
not having to earn a living?
Wouldn't bother me. Got any ideas?
When will you be back?
He's slippery. It may not be easy.
I better not come out till tomorrow night.
I went in the way I knew about.It was simpler...and I had a psychological trickto try out on foxy grandpa.I thought it would give him a bang.I thought it would kill him.He wasn't hurt much.He was just snapped...the way a pretty girlwould snap a stalk of celery.Only, for this job,you'd have to be a big man...with a big pair of hands.
I got to find her now. I got to go away.
Sounds like a good idea.
You might get unpopular
with the police here, breaking guys' necks.
I know you didn't mean to kill him.
You just shook him too hard.
You don't know your own strength.
Relax, or I won't be able to help you.
- You find her?
- Is that your girl?
That's your girl, isn't it?
That's Velma. It says,
"Always, Velma," doesn't it?
I don't like nobody to kid with me.
Nobody's kidding with you.
Somebody's kidding with me.
I thought it was a phony.
I had to make sure.
That was meant to nip up anybody
who was looking for Velma.
She wasn't like that.
I'll tell you how she was.
Okay, she was as cute as a cap pistol.
She's still cute!
Do you want to see her
before you go away?
You mean you find her now?
Yeah, I find her. Just now.
- She's okay?
- Depends on what you got in mind.
- She's doing all right?
- That depends, too.
Did you tip the johns off on her?
I wouldn't want Velma to serve no stretch.
You two mixed up in something together?
You tipped the johns off. They got her.
Listen to me, and stop dancing with me.
The johns haven't got her.
She's got herself.
She wants to talk to you.
Of course, things have changed a little
in eight years.
I'd like to pay you some more
for finding her.
Here. Grab yourself a hamburger
and lay low.
See you here tomorrow
as soon as it gets dark.
- You got that?
- What do you do?
- I wait here. Then I come up.
When do you come up?
You open the window.
I open the curtains. You'll see the light.
I've got to get set, so don't jump the gun.
I'll leave the door open.
That was like lighting a stick of dynamiteand telling it not to go off.But I had to know one more thing.I had to know how the jade figured.
I was afraid something had happened.
Did you find Amthor?
He's gone undercover.
He'll be here around : .
Let's get set. What's the program?
Pull the curtains and turn on the lights.
You told Amthor
you'd have it for him, didn't you?
Don't you like it?
I don't know.
I've never seen a necklace
worth $ before.
Where'd you get it?
Lower left-hand drawer
of my dressing table.
It was never stolen?
There wasn't any holdup?
You faked the whole thing.
I wasn't going to let him get it.
It would have just whetted his appetite.
I'm not going to let him get it now.
We'll just let him look at it.
He'll start quibbling...
Last time, he tossed his gun at me.
Maybe he'll shoot it.
He'll never get that far.
Let's not talk about it now.
It's really quite simple.
And then this is yours.
You're much too nice
to be a grubby detective all your life.
You told Marriott
this thing had been stolen. Why?
It had to look real. They had to believe
it actually had been stolen.
I had to pretend to buy it back.
- Marriott fell for that?
- Yes. Why not?
I didn't really like him.
He wasn't any good.
does something to my stomach.
You still think Amthor killed him?
No, you can't mean that.
I think the picture was a little different.
Marriott was scared because he'd agreed
to help you kill a nosy detective...
the one Mrs. Florian phoned him about.
He had to help you to protect his interest.
You knew that.
You belonged to him, and to Amthor...
and to Mrs. Florian, in her modest way.
You supported them.
They didn't want me cutting in, either.
You wouldn't be worth blackmailing
if I'd found you for Moose.
He might even have hurt you.
And if Marriott hadn't been scared silly...
he'd have realized you were pushing
us both in the corner. Nifty thinking.
One of us would get out of the car.
Didn't matter which.
Either way, you had us separated.
Then you'd tag us one at a time
and get Amthor later.
It might have worked, too,
if it hadn't been for Ann.
But my head's pretty hard, and killing
a man with a sap is no work for a lady.
It's all true.
Suddenly, I was trapped.
Everybody was closing in on me.
- I didn't know what I was doing!
- You almost did it anyway.
- I almost ended up as dead as Marriott.
- I didn't know what you'd do!
I can't go back now.
I'm so close to peace, so close.
But I can't face it alone.
Don't desert me now.
Sorry. It won't work twice.
It's a good technique,
but it won't work twice.
I don't count the first time,
eight years ago.
You were just learning.
Moose was in love with you.
I don't know what you talked him into.
Was it murder or something serious?
You almost had me, sister,
because you almost told me the truth.
Sure, Amthor's blackmailing you,
but you didn't give me the right reason.
It wasn't just men.
Pop understood the men.
That was part of the setup:
An understanding grandpa.
It was the clink coming up.
It's no good understanding the clink.
You still don't get silk sheets.
Don't do that.
I've kept forgetting to tell you...
that you shouldn't kiss a girl
when you're wearing that gun.
It leaves a bruise.
I'll try to remember that.
I could like you.
I could like you a lot.
It's too bad it has to be like this.
Your sense of timing, dear,
gets worse and worse.
I'm to blame. I insisted on coming.
I was worried.
Why didn't you tell me
you were in such serious trouble?
I wanted to spare you.
I might have been able
to help prevent all this.
Now, of course, it's too late.
Mr. Amthor's coming.
I think, perhaps, you'd better do it quickly.
Get his gun.
This'll be the first time I've killed anyone
I knew so little and liked so well.
What's your first name?
Philip, for short.
Philip Marlowe. A name for a duke.
And you're just a nice mug.
I've got a name for a duchess:
Mrs. Lewin Lockridge Grayle.
Just a couple of mugs.
We could have got along.
What's stopping us now?
I can handle Moose. He's in love with you.
He broke Amthor's neck
because he's in love with you.
Then that leaves only you.
I don't want to do anything
about you now. I know enough.
You know too much.
It's gone too far...
and I'm so tired.
Let's have the police.
Don't you realize he saved your life?
Why must he suffer for that?
Why must he suffer more?
The cops like to solve murders
done with my gun.
She's dead. Isn't that enough?
She was evil, all evil.
What difference can it possibly make
who killed her?
You don't call me. I hear it, so I come up.
I'd like to talk to Velma now.
It didn't work out
the way I planned, Moose.
You got a refund coming.
She ain't hardly changed.
Just like always...
only more fancy.
Cute as lace pants... always.
I wasn't going to bother her none
if she done all right.
It was the only thing I could do.
You must try and understand.
I couldn't let her go.
I loved her too much.
You shouldn't have killed her.
- You shouldn't have killed Velma.
- Moose, listen to me!
That old black pit opened up again,right on schedule.It was blacker than the others, and deeper.I didn't expect to hit bottom.I thought I was full of lead.
That's all I know.
On account of I don't see so well
with my eyeballs scorched.
I heard the shots. I didn't fire them.
Don't know who got hit.
It wasn't the kid, was it? It wasn't Ann?
He'll be back in a minute.
How soon do I get
to take these wrappings off, Nulty?
A couple months, if you live that long.
- You mean I'm sprung?
- Get out of here and out of my hair.
I'll have the statement
for you to sign tomorrow.
Who backed me up?
Who got shot? I heard three.
Yeah. And Grayle.
He didn't go down right away.
They fought for the gun.
Grayle got the third slug himself.
The kid's okay, then.
She thought it over
and came around to back me up, right?
I didn't say.
She here now?
No. Okay, Nulty. See that he gets home.
You give going-away presents here?
She gave it to you, didn't she?
She was going to,
but I didn't finish the job.
Anyway, I tried it on.
It's wrong for my complexion.
What am I supposed to do with it?
Give it to your girlfriend.
Give it back to China.
Strangle yourself with it! I don't care.
What do you know about that redhead,
pitching for me.
- How'd she take it about the old man?
- I wouldn't know.
Cute figure, huh?
- I didn't notice.
- You must be low on vitamins.
- She had more than a figure, too.
- Watch your step.
Not a beautiful face, but a good face.
A face like a Sunday school picnic.
- You know what kind of a face that is?
- I wouldn't know.
It's too bad I had to push her around.
I wonder how she figured me.
Not much, probably.
Maybe she thought
I liked that blonde chewing on my face.
Probably thought there was more.
I'd like to tell her.
No, there wouldn't be
much percentage in that, would there?
I wouldn't know. Hey, cab.
Watch your head.
- South Kingsley.
She made swell coffee, anyway.
I haven't kissed anybody in a long time.
Would it be all right if I kissed you, Nulty?