The happy think a lifetime short, but to the unhappy one night can be an eternity.Lucian
- Directed by Billy Wilder and written by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler, based on a novel by James M. Cain.
- It was a hot afternoon, and I can still remember the smell of honeysuckle all along that street. How could I have known that murder can sometimes smell like honeysuckle?
- The living room was still stuffy from last night's cigars. The windows were closed and the sunshine coming in through the venetian blinds showed up the dust in the air. On the piano in a couple of fancy frames were Mr. Dietrichson and Lola, his daughter by his first wife. They had a bowl of those little red goldfish on the table behind the big Davenport. But to tell you the truth, Keyes, I wasn't a whole lot interested in goldfish right then, not in auto renewals, nor in Mr. Dietrichson and his daughter Lola. I was thinking about that dame upstairs and the way she had looked at me, and I wanted to see her again, close, without that silly staircase between us.
- Because, you know how it is Keyes, in this business you can't sleep for trying to figure out all the tricks they could pull on you. You're like the guy behind the roulette wheel, watching the customers to make sure they don't crook the house. And then one night, you get to thinking how you could crook the house yourself. And do it smart. Because you've got that wheel right under your hands. You know every notch in it by heart. And you figure all you need is a plant out front, a shill to put down the bet. And suddenly the doorbell rings and the whole setup is right there in the room with ya. (pause) Look, Keyes, I'm not trying to whitewash myself. I fought it, only I guess I didn't fight it hard enough. The stakes were $50,000 dollars, but they were the life of a man too, a man who'd never done me any dirt except he was married to a woman he didn't care anything about. And I did.
- Yes, I killed him. I killed him for money and for a woman. I didn't get the money and I didn't get the woman. Pretty, isn't it?'
- Murder is never perfect. It always comes apart sooner or later. When two people are involved, it's usually sooner. Now we know the Dietrichson dame is in it and the somebody else. Pretty soon, we'll know who that somebody else is. He'll show. He's got to show. Sometime, somewhere, they've got to meet. Their emotions are all kicked up. Whether it's love or hate, it doesn't matter. They can't keep away from each other.
- It sounds wonderful. Just strangers beside you. You don't know them and you don't hate them. You don't have to sit across the table and smile at him and that daughter of his every morning of your life...He thinks a lot more of her than he does of me.
- Phyllis: There's a speed limit in this state, Mr. Neff. Forty-five miles an hour.
- Walter: How fast was I going, officer?
- Phyllis: I'd say around ninety.
- Walter: Suppose you get down off your motorcycle and give me a ticket.
- Phyllis: Suppose I let you off with a warning this time.
- Walter: Suppose it doesn't take.
- Phyllis: Suppose I have to whack you over the knuckles.
- Walter: Suppose I bust out crying and put my head on your shoulder.
- Phyllis: Suppose you try putting it on my husband's shoulder.
- Walter: That tears it.
- Phyllis: I wonder if I know what you mean.
- Walter: I wonder if you wonder.
- Keyes: I'm the guy that has to sit here up to my neck in phony claims so they won't throw more money out the window than they take in at the door.
- Walter: Okay, turn the record over and let's hear the other side.
- Keyes: Well, I get darn sick of tryin' to pick up after a gang of fast-talking salesmen dumb enough to sell life insurance to a guy who sleeps in the same bed with four rattlesnakes. Walter, I've had twenty-six years of this and let me tell ya, I -
- Walter: And you loved every minute of it, Keyes. You love it, only you worry about it too darn much, you and your little man.
- Keyes: Now that's enough out of you, Walter. Now get outta here before I throw my desk at you. [looks in his pocket for a match]
- Walter: [takes his own match and lights Keyes' cigar] I love you, too.
- Walter: [voiceover] I really did, too, you old crab. Always yelling your head off, always sore at everybody. You never fooled me with your song and dance, not for a second. I kinda always knew that behind all the cigar ashes on your vest was a heart as big as a house.
- Walter: Look, baby. You can't get away with it. You want to knock him off, don't ya?
- Phyllis: That's a horrible thing to say.
- Walter: Whaddya think I was anyway? A guy that walks into a good-looking dame's front parlor and says, 'Good afternoon. I sell accident insurance on husbands. Have you got one that's been around too long? One you'd like to turn into a little hard cash? Just give me a smile and I'll help you collect?' Huh! Boy, what a dope you must think I am!
- Phyllis: I think you're rotten.
- Walter: I think you're swell. So long as I'm not your husband.
- Phyllis: Get out of here.
- Walter: You bet I'll get out of here, baby. I'll get out of here but quick.
- Phyllis: Because she's made you feel like a heel all of a sudden?
- Walter: It isn't the money any more. It's our necks. We're pulling out. Do you understand?
- Phyllis: Because of what Keyes can do? You're not fooling me, Walter. It's because of Lola. What you did to her father. You're afraid she might find out someday and you can't take it, can you?
- Walter: I said, 'Leave her out of this.'
- Phyllis: It's me I'm talking about. I don't want to be left out of it.
- Walter: Stop saying that. It's just that it hasn't worked out as we wanted. We can't go through with it, that's all.
- Phyllis: We have gone through with it, Walter. The tough part is all behind us. We just have to hold on now and not go soft inside. Stick close together the way we started out...I loved you, Walter, and I hated him. But I wasn't going to do anything about it. Not until I met you. You planned the whole thing. I only wanted him dead.
- Walter: Know why you couldn't figure this one, Keyes? I'll tell ya. 'Cause the guy you were looking for was too close. Right across the desk from ya.
- Keyes: Closer than that, Walter.
- Walter: I love you, too.
- From the Moment they met it was Murder!
- You Can't Kiss Away A Murder!
- Fred MacMurray - Walter Neff
- Barbara Stanwyck - Phyllis Dietrichson
- Edward G. Robinson - Barton Keyes
- Porter Hall - Mr. Jackson
- Jean Heather - Lola Dietrichson
- Tom Powers - Mr. Dietrichson
- Byron Barr - Nino Zachetti
- Richard Gaines - Edward S. Norton, Jr