Deadline at Dawn (1946) Script

Why, Sleepy Parsons.

Aren't you dead yet?

Here's to nothing.

Still on your twenty cigars a day?

Can your heart take it, Sleepy?

You drunk again?


Took you a long time to answer the door.

It's a great relief being divorced from you, Sleepy dear.

Give me the money and I'll go.

Do you think it'll rain and cool off?

Give me my money, Edna, and don't kid around.

What are you going do with all that cash? Take out a chorus girl?

It's gone.

Don't fool around. I'm not in the mood.

It must be that kid.

You owe me $1,400 and I need it bad.

You said you'd have the money here tonight.

A sailor took it. I brought it home from the restaurant.

Money's gone and that's it. He took all my cash and my checks.

But all you think is maybe he kissed me too.

No, don't flatter yourself.

All I think is I want my money.

I remember you, Edna, as you used to be before.

Long ago.

Now, give me the money and I'll go.

You get the money when the Police pick up sailor boy. That's all. Goodnight.

You'll never change, Edna. You're bad.

I loved you very much.

But you're bad.

Oh, no, don't sit down. Get out.

You're pulling some sort of trick.

But I'm just too tired to think.

You'll be the sorriest man in New York if you don't get out.

Do you hear me? Yes, I heard you.

You're a pest. And I'd like it if you never put your snout in my door again.

Do you hear that? I hear it.

Otherwise, I'll send my brother again.

And I don't think your heart can take another beating.


I hear you.

I hear you.

Phew. This heat is bad.

Yes. I'm sweating like a river.

Yeah, it gets bad in August.

But nature takes care of it.

Did you ever realize, everybody's got an air conditioning plant in his nose?

No, I didn't realize that.

I got a sound in my ears like a seashell.

Better try some more of this hot coffee. No, thanks.

It's very kind of you to let me sit here a few minutes and I'll ..

My advice is don't drink that stuff in this heat.

It's made a million widows, booze has .. no jokes.

Do you know what I think maybe I'll do?

Walk down the street and cool off down there.

I got seven hours until my bus leaves.

What's this? Money, and you dropped it.

Money? Take it. It won't bite.

Did I drop this? It came out with the handkerchief.

Hello, Ray.

Hello, Tom.

Well, so long, Ray. It was nice to have met you.

So long.


Don't forget this.

Gee, it shows you how un-concentrated you can get.

Non compos mentis, that's me.

No jokes.

Hello, mister.

I sell it you cheap.

Ten bananas will cost you 30 cents. Uh, no thanks.

If I can sell you my last bananas, I can go home.

Why you no buy? Oh, you want to go home?

I'd like to go home, yes.

How much for the whole bunch?

Two dollars.

Don't struggle, sailor. Just let them carry you along like a mother.

What's up? Where's everybody going? To the dogs. Ha-ha!

Upstairs, that's the place where the girls are.

Upstairs: "The Jungle".

Dance to the haunting strings of the rumba-bumba.

Fifty twirling girls. Upstairs.

Just a minute. Ex-servicemen in uniform are half price, brother.

All right. Upstairs, folks.

Why you waiting? What's half a dollar in your young life?

Upstairs. Upstairs, folks.

And dance with forty beautiful dancing partners. Forty lovely ..

I'm sorry, son, but you'll have to get another partner. I'm tired.

I don't think you understand. Meaning no disrespect.

It's late and I'm tired. Some refreshments?

Meaning no disrespect.


After all, you see, I ..

Don't misunderstand.

What's wrong here?

She tells me to find another partner.

I have so many tickets, you see?

She won't dance.

What's the big idea, hostess? He's hung on to me like a leech.

And the night before and the night before that.

Meaning no disrespect.

But that's what you're here for, ain't it?

This gentleman don't buy these tickets to stand and look himself in the mirror.

Why don't you ask him why he's wearing white gloves?

He's been giving me the itch all night.

A misunderstanding. He's got a rash on his hands.

Is that a fact? No.

It's a nervous condition. You got your nerve, Jack.

Don't come back with things like that. It's a misunderstanding.

Walk out to the office. Your money will be refunded to you.

Gee, that's terrible. He could pass that on.

Excuse me. It was not my intention to get fresh.

Go away. I'm tired.

You wouldn't care to dance?

Do you think it might rain and cool off?

Such things have been known to happen.

A lot of nice people dancing here, isn't there?

This is a post office, son. Full of second-class manners.

What did you want to do Miss Goth, when you were twelve years old?

Marry John Barrymore.

Look, do we have to talk? What are you? An author or something?

Conversation is very necessary, it seems to me. As my father says.

Why? Why?

What would life be without conversation?

They give the men in the service salt pills when it gets hot like this.

What for?

They say it balances up the system.

What system?

I don't know.

I guess I need some food to settle my stomach.

Another salami, please.

Mister, I want one pound of bacon.

One glass, iced tea with lemon. Let's not wait. My feet can't take it.

We can buy the stuff and make the sandwiches up at my place.

If you don't misunderstand, that is. Oh no, I understand.

We'll buy the meat here and the bread and make the sandwiches in your house.

Half pound of corned beef, please. No fat.

Half pound of corned beef. Hold the fat.

Quick. Hold the butter. Make it snappy.

Well, is your system balanced yet?

I'm losing respect for myself and that's the truth.

I don't have any confidence in myself, not for anything.

I even lost out with a certain girl of whom I cared a good deal.

Because you lacked confidence?

Yes .. people say I'm too slow.

She give you that bracelet? The girl?

No, my father did.

That's where the trouble started.

I come home on a pass and he isn't home.

He took a body to Altoona, Pennsylvania. A what?

My father's a mortician.

I thought that only happened in jokes.

No. Somebody's father has to be a mortician, don't he?

I guess my father's got one of the largest stocks of caskets.

In Dutchess and Putnam County.

That's where I'm from, near Poughkeepsie.

My father's a very honest man.

My stepmother don't like it, but that's how my father is.

Three or four haircuts ago. That's the last time I seen him.

Gee, here we are both getting blue this hour of the night.

I'm not blue.

I'm tired.

Oh, I hope you'll excuse me.

The time didn't occur to me.

Non compos mentis.

Oh, that's all right.

I'm beat out. It's this balmy weather.

[ Police siren ]

What's that?

That Colonel, is a ton of law.

A Police car.

You see, son.

It's okay to live in a cocoon like this if you expect to be a butterfly someday.

Otherwise ..

Are you unhappy too, Miss Goth?

Yes. I was too ambitious.

I had better stayed home and taken the commercial course.

Now, say goodnight. Drop in at The Jungle again.

That's very nice of you, Miss Goth.

But my pass is up, and I'm leaving on the 6 o'clock bus.

I'm very proud to wear this uniform. Why not?

And that's what worries me.

I'm sure they'll nab me before I get to Norfolk.


Norfolk, Virginia where the naval station is.

Is that where you were taking the 6 o'clock bus to?

Right to the terminal on the northeast corner of Tazewell and Monticello?

I was born in Norfolk.

You were? Yes, I was.

I was. I was.

What's your problem, son?

If you do something for me, I'll help you.

Go and see my mother in Norfolk. Tell her you saw me. She'll appreciate it.

All she's got down there is a porch and an old hound dog.

You saw me in a show, tell her. In a good leading part, dancing and singing.

Say I looked happy and I said I'll be home for a visit soon.

But that wouldn't be telling the truth, would it?

Oh, sure, of course. Why not?

A stickler for the truth.

You'd like to go there and tell her I'm a dance-hall girl?

That I'm ashamed to go home. That I'm sick with pride and depression.

Is that what you'd tell to an old lady with one daughter ..

And a son who's a belly gunner over Japan?

Just a minute.

Do you get out or do I throw you out?

I'm sorry. I ..

Would you do me a favour, Miss Goth?

It's not my intention to burden you with my problems.

But I have a lot of money here.

It's no good to me. You could use it.

Go back to Norfolk. Surprise your mother.

This is real money, son. I took it.

Let us pause for station identification.

You stole this money? I did and I didn't.

In my book, you do or you don't.

She made me so mad I didn't know what I was doing.

She and her brother run this Italian place where I went in to eat.

He comes over, the brother. Gives me a drink and asks if I care to play casino.

We played two hours. He was cheating like a skunk.

Then I was broke.

Why didn't you stop him if you saw him cheat?

I was embarrassed.

Then they closed up and the sister asked would I come home and fix her radio?

Because that's my rating in the Navy.

Up her house, she kept ..

Drinking and being disgusting in general.

But I fixed the radio.

By this time, I'd had a few drinks.

Which resulted in a real blackout for me.

As I turned around, she was fast asleep. Passed out?


I remember I demanded if she'd pay me for the radio, I would go.

Then I worked it out in my mind.

I'd take the money myself for fixing the radio.

And that's as far as I remember. Until when?

Until I was sat at a news-stand drinking black coffee.

Which the fellow gave to me.

Then this roll of bills fell out of my pocket.

So you see what I did in this uniform?

Fourteen hundred dollars and some checks.

She's probably still out. Put it back.

Suppose I'm caught? Her brother, he's got a face like the back of a hairbrush.

He knows where I'm from. Your only chance then, is put it back.

Don't go into prayer and fasting about it.

Might I leave my radio here?

You might not. I'd be asleep when you got back.

I wonder if you would help me, Miss Goth.

All you'd have to do is wait downstairs. No.

I should say not.

It's just because I'm in the uniform.

I'd take my medicine standing up if not for that.

You see, Miss Goth.

Suppose I was your brother? The belly gunner, Miss Goth?

What an operator.

Are there any more at home like you?

Which house? That one.

Opposite the place with the two lights.

That's a police station, that place with the two lights.

This is it, Miss Goth.

Call me June. It rhymes with moon.

I'll turn on the radio if anybody starts up after you.

Yes, thanks.

Come on. Come along now.

No. No, you don't, Pop. No, you don't.

You can't come in here.

Take my advice. Don't make the sergeant mad.

All I want is a place to lay my head down .. a cell.

Oh, move along. Don't you know. You got to commit a crime to get in a cell.

Nobody wants anything at a time like this.

I'll get a place though.

Did you put it back?

You've been very kind, Miss Goth.

I won't need your help anymore. What happened?

The woman is dead.

Here. Hold this.

I hear the whistle blowing.

Who did it? You?

You mean, you think I did it?

Didn't you? Don't look at me like that.

I think you'd better leave.


Well, this is New York.

Where "hello" means "goodbye."

What are you going to do?

I don't know.

Go for a walk or we'll go home. Make up your mind, now.

Hot, isn't it? Yes.

Oh, he won't hurt you.

He's just a puppy. A baby.

He wouldn't hurt a flea.

Make up your mind, now.

A baby.

Did you do it?

Miss Goth, please believe me. Someone has to believe me.

Oh sure, of course. Why not?

The Cops' windows look right into these windows.

But you wouldn't think of that.

Who did you want to be when you were 12 years old? Boob McNutt?

It can't be suicide. There's no weapon.

Strangled, is she?

Yes, that's how it looks .. strangled.

You're perspiring. Well, I ..

[ Buzzer ]

You'd better drop down on your bendified knees and pray.

Edna, it's the Babe. Babe Dooley.

Why don't you open the door for your Babe?

Edna, why don't you answer me?

I need a bottle, Edna.

Rain, rain, go away. Come again some other day.

Nobody loves a fat man.

Out at second.

Out at third.

Out of my mind.

He's gone. Yes.

We'd better wait in the dark a minute.

Do you hear anything? Only your breathing.

Is that what that is? Yes .. and mine.

Should I call the police and have it done with?

It's your problem, son, not mine.

You're much smarter than me. That's why I asked. What should I do?

Cut and run now.

Forget all this. Get on your bus. They'll catch me.

Her brother knew I came to fix the radio and I told him all about myself.

I'll be the first they look for. But what's the good ..?

At least they couldn't say I ran away.

I thought if we looked round the room .. Don't say "we". It's not my problem.

What do you think people do? Leave clues around?

Why are you mad all the time? This weather brings me to such a boil.

And so do you. You're such a helpless baby.

Oh, of course, here's a clue.

Mentholated cigarettes. Used by the millions.

Or this, a lipstick. Need I tell you?

Some matches in a book.

A dead white carnation.

This isn't her lipstick. It belongs to a blond, light.

A man did it, not a woman .. a man.

He came here by appointment to get the money.

Otherwise, she wouldn't have brought all this money home.

She let him in, so she must've known who he was.

Then she made him mad and he did it.

A man did it because a woman wouldn't strangle someone.

And it wasn't premeditated because he would bring a weapon if it was.

Does that sound right, Miss Goth? Continue.

I can't.

But he must've been very nervous when he left.

We have that clue, for sure. We have a nervous man.

We have that clue.

And what a clue.

He was nervous like every butcher, baker and candlestick-maker in the town.

Now, suppose we stick to the text.


The text.

It wasn't robbery.

All her jewellery is on her.

She lived alone, liked men.

Drank a lot.

It looks as if she put up a good fight.

This is the biggest city in the world. Somewhere in it, one man or woman ..

I'm sorry. It's no use.

So I guess, you're it.

This her key? Yes, I saw her put it there.

What are you looking at? You left and then you came back.


To leave me more alone?

But don't you see this is hopeless? Why not admit it?

Anyway, it's not my problem.

All right then, it is my problem.

My brother's a belly gunner. I decided to help you, but how?

Do what? Go where?

It's 2 o'clock and must find a murderer before you get on that 6 o'clock bus.

Or before a maid gets in to sweep up.

Well, tell me what to do.

Let's go downstairs. Outside.

I'll take the key.

I think I'll call you "June".

Now, concentrate.

On what? You're the man who did it.

You come downstairs, nervous as a cat.

Now, here you are.

What do you do? Where do you go?

Where'd I go?

Anywhere, away from the Police Station.

This way.

Here you are.

Here I am.

What do you do now? Well.

What I'd do is go right over and take an orangeade, because my throat's dry.

I'm not thirsty.

Neither am I.

Let's leave them.

Wait a minute. That's just what that certain party might do.

Would you settle a bet?

Not only will I settle bet, I'll lay you a bet.

You and your husband are looking for a cheap hotel.

My boyfriend bets we were the first to walk away without drinking our drinks.

Is that all? That happens six, eight times a day.

People got things on their mind in this borough.

Why, just an hour ago, a woman did it. A beautiful blond.

I near fell over when she stepped into a cab .. beautiful and lame.

Lame? How lame?

Just enough to make you want to treat her like a sister.



Drop in again. Don't drink our grape-ade next time.

She stepped into a cab right here. A beautiful blond, lame.

Shouldn't be hard to trace. Worth a try? What do you think? You're smarter.

I think it might be worth it. Wait a minute.

Say, my sister walked out on me a while ago.

Did you maybe drive her somewhere? A blond, limped a little?

Oh, that one.

What was she crying about? Don't you know life's too short for tears?

Where did you take her, philosopher?

Down town on 11th Street, in the Village, over a bakery.

Drive you down?

He knows where he took her. It's a bake-house, but it might be worth a try.

Then we'll go. Not "we". Me.

I can handle a woman alone. Every minute counts.

You've got to find a nervous man, Alex.

Isn't that your name, "Alex"? Alex Winkler, yes.

Are you coming back, June?

That's a chance you'll have to take.

Be careful.


Straight ahead.

Follow that cab, please.

That's not soda water in his gas tank.

Please don't lose him.

I'm a very stubborn man. You'd be amazed.

Thank you.

Is something wrong? Yes, yes. Something's wrong.

He's not in. Who?

She's dying .. and he's not in.

Who? My Snappy.

She swallowed a chicken bone. It stuck in her throat.

It's too late.

I see now.

It's too late.

My dearest friend in the whole world.

From a chicken bone.

You can't feed a cat chicken bones.

My dearest friend.

I'm a janitor in a house.

This is my companion.

She did everything but speak.

I'm not hog-sure, lady. But this looks like the corner.

Will you wait here? The night is young, and so am I.

Don't stop here if you're looking for a room.

We don't want girls here. No, that's right.

Girls want kitchen privileges and they wash their things in the sink.

A friend of yours, you say? Yes.

Then you ought to know where she lives. The number slipped my mind.

350. I'm the Super there too.

I'm the Super in four buildings on this block.

What about it? I don't get paid enough.

That's what about it.

Yes? Sorry, my hand slipped.

Is the baby asleep?

I asked you a civil question.

Yes, she is asleep.

I think you ought to go to bed. You have to open the store in the morning.

You're very considerate tonight. That still don't answer my question.

Well, what about it?

Don't I have the right to ask my wife where she was until two in the morning?

I told you I went uptown and took in a picture.

You took in a picture?

Where'd you get this sudden love for pictures?

Isn't it too hot to argue, Jerry? Sure. You can nag me all day.

If I open my mouth, it's an argument.

Jerry, please don't wake the baby up.

"Don't wake the baby."

How about where you left her for two, three hours?

Well, what do you want, Jerry? Mrs Daniels kept an eye on her.

Don't I try to be a good wife? Maybe your best ain't good enough.

Oh, Jerry, please. What are we fighting about?

Some people call it love.

I can't stand here and listen to this. Well, jump out the window, then.

Where are you going?

I think I'll go downstairs. And sit on the stoop and cool off.

Mrs Robinson?

No, don't turn around.

I know where you were tonight.

Where was I? You left a lipstick there.

Come in here a minute.

That's right. You wouldn't want him to know, would you?

Wouldn't want him to know what? You left a fine mess in that room.

I don't know you. What do you want?

You took a cab from the corner of 51st and Lexington.

Did I? Yes.

You get out of this place and leave me alone.

Helen? Helen, are you down there?

Do you want him to know? No.

Then go sit on the step.

Fix your hair.


I've got my eye on you, Helen.

I don't know who you are and I don't want to talk to you.

You'll have to come back there with me.

I don't know what you're talking about. Oh, no?

Is that why you tried to beat my brains out?

Don't you know Edna Bartelli is dead?

I don't know who Edna Bartelli is.

I went to a party with a man.

I don't want my husband to know. Please, he mustn't know.

What party? Where? In the fifties, near there.

Near where? Near where you said. Please.

Turn around.

Face the light.

No lipstick? I don't use lipstick.

Except when you go to parties? No, please.

Go upstairs and go to bed.

Don't leave the house tonight unless you want the police at your door.

I won't leave.

Good night.

Did you cool that bird brain off?

Edna Bartelli has been killed.

You took in a movie up town.

And you?

Where were you until one o'clock?

I'm taking you where I picked you up, right?


Beg your pardon? What?

You sigh like the end of summer. Troubles?




That's killed a lot of people in its day.


By the way, if it's not too personal, what was that all about down there?

Oh .. personal.

All right, I'll buy it back. Forget I asked.

Good night. Good night.

What's the matter, sonny? Nothing.

Statistics tell us everyone has troubles.

Was that your last dollar?



Forget it.

Good night.

Good night.

Who's that? Alex?


If you hear a peculiar noise, it's my skin creeping.

Anything happen?

That makes it no hits, no runs and two errors.

You look happy, character.

I'm glad you came back.

Because you didn't have to, but you did.

I could sure use that orangeade now.

Didn't she have an icebox? Let's see.

Are you hungry? No.


Let's melt some ice together.

Frozen joy.

[ Door knocks ]

Who is it? Gus Hoffman.

Is the sailor boy in there?

He's the one who drove me up.

What'd you tell him? Nothing. Personal, I said.

We're having a cold drink. Come in.

I heard your voice at the door. You must've been listening very close.

As close as I could put my ear.

This is Miss .. Miss Bartelli, Mr Hoffman.

Why were you listening at the door?

This young man seemed in trouble. I thought I could help him, that's why.

You can't hate me for trying, can you?

Did you mention the text to Mr Hoffman? Oh, no.

Mr Hoffman, take 100 percent for trying and say good night.


But between you and me and the lamppost, you are not Miss Bartelli.

What did you come up here for?

My dear young lady, you are in a sweat. Why?

And look at that boy.

Miss Bartelli is dead. In the next room.

Oh, I'm very sorry to hear that.

Excuse me for this intrusion in your hour of grief.

You don't understand, Mr Hoffman. She's been murdered.

Am I too presumptuous to ask if you informed the police?

It's more complicated than that.

I'm willing to listen.

My name is Alex Winkler.

My father is an undertaker near Poughkeepsie.

At 7 o'clock last night, I went into an Italian restaurant to get a bite to eat.

Dark Mystery. Very expensive.

What did you do Miss Goth, after you trailed the blond woman?

Came right back here.

The divine being made many loathsome creatures.

But none so low as a woman with a cold heart.

She held these letters for blackmail, even of her own brother.

A blind man can see how many boyfriends she had.

Evidently, the water tasted good so she jumped down the well.

But in the professor's opinion, we are wasting our time.


Why? We have no actual clue to follow. There's this check.

What check? Returned check for $1,000.

Marked no funds. Signed by a "Lester Brady".

That might give Mr Brady a motive. But we are only guessing.

And yet I can't believe the divine being would permit an innocent boy to suffer.

Ahh ..

What do you suggest we do?

Get out of here. Get your bus.

I can't leave, Gus. But it's only fair for you and June to go away.

You don't know what you want. First it's stay, then it's go.

Because it's getting hopeless, June. He's got a point, Miss Goth.

Why are you so anxious to get him out of here?

Because it's hopeless.

Well, I think we should try whatsisname, Lester Brady and his check.

Well, I am putty in your hands. Whatever you want, Miss Goth.

Call me June. June.

Blitzkrieg with hair on her head.

Two numbers here for Mr Brady, home and business.

Only business he'd be up this late is monkey business.

What's this? Someone phoned her at 10:38, or she called them.

Suppose I try this number first? Maybe they were here tonight?

May I see that?

This is my handwriting.

But don't remember writing it.


June, I think I murdered Miss Bartelli.

What does that mean? This paper proves it.

From ten to eleven, that whole hour was blank.

I didn't even know I stole the money.

I must've done it then.

Using the psychology of an outsider, that's nonsense.

It's possible, isn't it?

I can be wrong. I can be wrong four times out of five.

But you're the wrong-est guy I ever met.

You mean you think he did it? No, but he's such a character.

Shush. Let's not raise our voices.

We are not exactly mice.

You still think you did it? I don't know, and that's the truth.

Stop zigging when we should be zagging and zagging when we should be zigging.

Call that 10:38 number.

"When you hear the signal the time will be 3:10 and one quarter."

Meridian 71212.

[ Door knocks ]

That's upstairs, here. Right at the door.



Are you here, Edna?

Don't make a sound, madam. Who are you?

I'm Mrs Raymond.

Welcome to the city, Mrs Raymond. What are you doing here?

Miss Bartelli .. Was a friend of yours.

So you walked in and stole some of her letters.

Oh no. No, you don't understand. I .. I read the letters. I understand.

I'll take them back now. And the money too.

I want you to believe that the money was an accident.

Were you here earlier tonight? No, I wasn't.

Now .. now, what happened?

Who are you? Are you a detective? Maybe.

I know a cab driver's badge when I see one.

You'd better put that gun down, lady. Don't you come near me.


I tripped over my own feet.

She's gone.

You weren't afraid of her.

I'm not afraid of anything. Anything that's real, I mean.

I'm polite, as that's the way to be.

But I'm not afraid.

Now, if the mutual admiration society will adjourn for a minute.

What will we do about that woman? That's right. She's running loose.

She won't report it to the police. She's a criminal herself.

But she forgot these letters. She'll be back, you mean.

That's possible. They are honey. They draw flies.

And the town is full of flies. There is one across the street right now.

I hear the whistle blowing.

He's not a policeman or he'd be up here.

The thing is to find out who he is.

But not next to the station house.

What happens, Gus, if you and I ride off in your cab?

The human fly follows, and if he does, Alex goes to see Brady about the check.

And what if the fly follows us? Stop and swat him.

Just like that? Just like that.

June, I think our daddies had the better life, but Steve Brodie took a chance.

All right, Alex, it's your turn. Get Mr Brady on the phone.

Is this a gag?

"Don't get excited. It's not a gag."

You say you're in a uniform? A sailor?

Ahh ..

What did you say your name was?

"I didn't say."

Are you alone? "Yes."

Well, come right over to Room 1019. And bring the check with you.

[ Door knocks ]

Who is it? Nan.

What do you want? Let me in a minute.

I don't want you in here.

Let me in before you read it in the papers.

Don't flatter yourself, Lester. I didn't come here for the love of it.

You might like to know that Edna's been killed.

I've just come from there. She's lying dead on her floor.

And, furthermore, I have an idea who did it.

You have?

You. No!

That's all the love I'm giving away this morning.

Now, you sit there.

Put Val Bartelli on the phone.

Don't give him the check except as a last resort.

Pick his brains first.

Remember, Alex. Speech was given to man to hide his thoughts.

Best wishes.


I'm almost glad, in a way, this all happened.

Are you nuts or what? I mean it.

Oh, sure, of course. Why not?

These are her letters and papers. I'll mail it to myself at the garage.

If somebody calls for them tonight, we might have a weapon in our hands.

[ Lightning bolt ]

What's that?

It's a cooler for the city. Thunder.

Be indifferent when we go outside. Don't look around. My cab is just by the door.

Every minute brings Alex closer to his last hour of freedom, doesn't it?

We'll do the best we can.

He's such a baby.

But a sweet baby?


Golly-wolly, it's hot tonight.

Not since the old days ..

Is he there? Yes.

Don't lose him.

Oh, he's right behind us.

We'll shoot up on the west side, and catch him uptown.

I've changed my mind.

I'll make a sharp right turn down there.

There's a police booth to intimidate him.

Say, what's this all about? Don't get tough.

My fare asked to follow you. Who is your fare?

Ask him.

What are you following the lady for? It's a mistake.

What do you mean, "it's a mistake"?


What kind of a lounge lizard are you, following a helpless lady in the night?

Do you know this man? I can't see him in there.

Well, get out, kind sir. I won't.

There's a police booth down there. I don't want to get in trouble.

I work. I'm just a parasite on parasites.

What are you following her for?

You know him?

Meaning no disrespect.

My admiration, Miss Goth .. Let him go, Gus.

No disrespect, you understand?

I am Edward Hornick, 526 5th Avenue. Hornick Accordion Company.

I am foreign-born, but since last month, I am a citizen of your great country.

My citizenship papers.


No, don't go. Please. Come on, Gus.

No. Meaning no disrespect.

Quiet, Mr Hornick, quiet.

Take the American citizen home.

That poor rag of a man actually proposed to me tonight on the dance floor.

Why are you crying, June?

I don't know.

I thought this chase would lead to something.

What'll happen to that boy?

I don't know. He can't take care of himself.

It's hot and I feel unnerved.

Electric storms always unnerve me.

Life in this crazy city unnerves me too, but I pretend it doesn't.

Where's the logic to it? Where's the logic?

[ Thunder ]

The storm clouds have passed us.

Over Jersey now.

Statistics tell us we'll see the stars again.

Golly, the misery that walks around in this pretty, quiet night.


The logic you're looking for.

And the logic is that there is no logic.

The horror and terror you feel my dear, comes from being alive.

Die and there is no trouble. Live and you struggle.

At your age, I think it's beautiful to struggle for the human possibilities.

Not to say I hate the sun because it don't light my cigarette.

You're so young, June, you're a baby.

Love is waiting outside any door you open.

Some people say, "Love is a superstition."

Dismiss those people, those Miss Bartellis, from your mind.

They put poison-bottle labels on the sweetest facts of life.

You are twenty-three, June.

Believe in love and its possibilities the way I do at fifty-three.

What's wrong here? This man bothering you?

He's the only man in four years in New York who hasn't.

No place to park.

Let's face it, Val.

After all, you and I are partners in a $42,000 investment.

That's why I called you, Val. You own a 20 percent piece of my show.

But if it doesn't open Tuesday, you own a piece of dirt.

We got better grapes in the restaurant.

Why won't the show open Tuesday?

And who's this twist here? Oh, you know Mrs Raymond, don't you?

Her husband has pledged to put up the extra ten Gs to open the show.

But if he finds out his wife and I are friends, we're ruined.

If she cut off her head, she'd be very pretty.

Yeah. Frankly, what would you do in my place?

Why should her husband find out? Because your sister has some letters.

Uh, little notes that she wrote to me last spring.

And your sister says she'll show those to Mr Raymond.

Unless she gets a piece of the show herself.

People with wax heads should keep out of the sun.

I don't know anything about it, Lester. Wait a minute, Val.

I happen to know you tried to buy those letters back from Edna.

But you go and give her a bad check.

So why be surprised she got sore?

Don't go, Val.

Frankly, I don't know how to tell you this.

But we must get those letters.

Because .. right now, your sister.

Is lying dead in a room. Take it easy.


Mrs Raymond just came from there. You shut your mouth, you hear me?

Now, you play it again and play it sweet.

It's true, Val. I swear on my mother's life I didn't do it.

Who done it? Her?

When she got there, there were lots of people there. They tried to hold her up.

A sailor and a Cabbie and a dame. Who was there and what's their names?

The boy is coming here. What boy?

[ Phone ]

Stay where you are. Well, that must be him now.

Don't I know how to talk to a boy?


Who's this?

Come right up, sailor boy.

Put on your clothes, Lester.

Come in.

Uh, put the check on the table.

Going somewhere?

You want to be paid first, is that it? I want to make sure it belongs to you.

Let's face it, out of 7 million people you found me. It must belong to me.

Some grapes.

Frankly, you kids are the limit.

Frankly, I could put you behind bars for a trick like that.

In some states, they put you behind bars for passing bad checks.

I wouldn't hit you if you didn't hit me.

Where you get the check? In a cab.

Where? A cab.

Where'd you get it? Who's that?

Call me "sweetheart."

Shut that transom so it don't rain in.

Didn't you go home with my sister, Romeo? - Yes.

You killed her. No.

Val, don't make a fuss here! We can take him there to Edna's place, not here.

After all Val, let's face it. This is a hotel, a public place.

You go home to your husband. Go on. Do as he tells you.

Keep your mouth shut, too. He means keep your mouth shut.

Yes. Yes, I will.

But how can you love a boy you've just met?

How can a casual passing stranger change your entire life?

You'd be amazed.

My wife I met and loved in a minute.

In a dentist's office. With all the vitamins, too.

I love her to this day.

Although it's 16 years she's been gone.

No children? A girl.

She's married now.

Last year, I put her husband in a dry-cleaning establishment.

I had some savings.

I'd die for that girl.

Does she remember her mother? My daughter? Oh, very well.

She even remembers the man.

What man?

The man my wife ran off with.

[ Car horn ]

You won't believe it, the first 6 years, I shaved at night before I went to bed.

I thought she might come back.

There's no papers in there anywhere.

She was no lullaby.

But she had the brains .. like a man.

I'll take her inside.

Val, Val! Stop it. For Pete's sake. The Cops are right across the street.

I'll stop it. Do you have a priest? Val, stop!

[ Gunshot! ]

I hope nobody heard that.

I was in the deep water there a minute.

Drop that gun and don't turn around.

Is he hurt? He's punched black and blue.

Get some water.

Now you can turn around.

Who are you? Who likes to know?

A man with a gun in his hand. Don't move.

The human body bleeds very easy. Don't move.

Where is the body? I put my sister in her bed.

I'm a friend of his. Lester Brady.

Are you hurt?

Pretty weak. I can't deny that.

What did you beat that boy up for? He killed my sister.

Where is your eyes, you gangster?

That boy couldn't hurt a fly. Can't you see it in his face?

Wait a minute. There's been a murder committed here tonight. Let's face it.

And you had a motive, Mr Brady.

And you had a motive.

Why not call the Cops if you are so legitimate?

You think I need this gun to hold you here?

The man knows something, Lester.

We'll start with some gas-station courtesy.

What's Mr Raymond's wife's first name? Nan.

And what is the head-waiter's name in your restaurant ..

With who you were in cahoots and your sister found it out?


Put nothing in writing, that's the first law of life.

Time is on the wing, Gus. Don't waste it.

I read all the incriminating papers you are looking for.

And I bunked them away like a squirrel. Why?


But you can get those papers back. How?

We want until six o'clock to clear this young man.

Somewhere in this city, a murderer runs loose. You must help us find him.

Don't I see you talking to my sister in the restaurant some time ago?

Never seen her before tonight. What about my offer?


It's the Babe.

Are you home, Edna?

He was here before.

Edna .. it's late.

I can't get a drinkie anywhere.

Throw down a bottle, will you?

It's that drunk, Babe Dooley. The ball player.

Throw it down, Edna.

I'll have to come up there if you don't throw it down.

Hey, where do you think you are? On a picnic? Move on now.

Hey. It's the Babe. It's Babe Dooley.

Are you for me or against me?

Are you? Why, nothing's too good for the Babe.

Then go up there.

I can't navigate up stairs. My friend's ..

Are we going to cop the pennant this year, Babe?

Get me the bottle.

And we'll cop the house!

He's coming up here. The Cop.

What are you going to do?

Be careful, Val. Shut your face, Lester.

[ Door knocks ]

What's cooking down there? It's Babe Dooley.

He says a friend lives here. I'm her brother. She don't like this.

It gives a bad name in the neighborhood. Well, all he wants is a drink.

Here, give him this. But far away.

I'm sorry to make any trouble. Excused.

Edna! Edna!

There's a fat ball player who some night will die in the street.

Okay, you got until 6am.

We start with some clues.

Mentholated cigarettes. Who smokes them?

Who chews gum? Who rides in subways?

What about a man in evening clothes?

He was here tonight. Would your sister know him?

A man in evening clothes? Sure, about fifty thousand.

Statistics tell us that a white carnation goes with a tuxedo coat.

Do you know a man who wears white carnations?

Why? Because he was here tonight.

Who said? This says.

Did you find this here? On the table.

What time is it now? Uh, ten minutes past four.

I know where the sick pigeon is tonight.

You come with me, Lester.

I have a 10 o'clock rehearsal. I'd better get sleep.

Sleep rots away the brain, don't it?

We'll all go. You'll stay here.

No .. we'll all go.

All right.

Gee, time takes so long, and it goes so fast.

The sun comes up soon, don't it? Too soon.







Police! Police! Police!

What are you thinking, June?

Tired, son?

Well, I'm in trouble and sick at heart. I know that.

But nothing can happen to me.

I was dead once. Didn't I tell you that? No.

Drowned in a river when I was twelve.

The doctor declared me dead, but they revived me after two hours.

The next day I played two games of handball.

Then I fell down in a faint and had to stay in bed six weeks.

So nothing more can happen to me.

The night air goes to your head like dope, don't it.

Mr Bartelli, you hit me in a very unfair manner before.

I'm sorry about your sister but I'm apt to punch you on the nose ..

Before 6 o'clock. That's the truth.


What's Val Bartelli doing here? And who's the gang with him?

Did you tell him it's a private party? Couldn't stop him. You know how he is.

Uh, whiskey and soda. No dice.

It's much too late for drinks.

Sandwiches? No.

Anybody want some sandwiches?

Now get some mineral water and a few lemonades, waiter. Please.

What a pleasant surprise, Val. Who's all the people here this late?

Oh, it's a private party for a retiring police captain.

This boy is leaving on his ship. I'm showing him some sights.

Oh, fine. Don't tell Sleepy we're here.

Oh sure, Val. Sure.

All Cops .. delicious.

That means we'll have to wait. For what? Until school opens?

Why not turn him over to the Cops?

And if he didn't do it? He done it.

Wait. You'd better wait, Val. He'll see you if you stand.

No, he's blind as a bat.


Gee. Don't waste your pity.

This girl has got a head.

If I can get him outside a minute.

The party will be breaking up soon.

Blind. Breaks your heart, don't it?

The city is full of men like that.

Nerves and worry.

Living on cigars and bicarbonate of soda.

Wrung out by sleepless nights.

He'll sleep good in a box.

Mr Bartelli, the bed bugs will never forgive you.

Your skin is made of iron.

Don't make a fuss in here.

What's the plot? I'm supposed to baby him along all night?

Why not be patient, Val? Do you feel better?


What would you like to do? Because I suggest you do it.


That's right, we'll wait.

It's not your nature to wait. Not yours and not your sister's.

Take, break, smash and kill. You and your sister alike.

What do you know about my sister?

You forget. I read her intimate correspondence.

Highly perfumed.

The perfume. This is Miss Bartelli's perfume on me.

The bottle spilled, remember?

Suppose I stand at the piano and don't make a sound.

He gets a good whiff.

What will that prove? Nothing if he's innocent.

But if he's guilty, we'll see it with our eyes.

This girl has got a head.

Friends who have been so kind as to make this gathering possible.

The hour grows late .. and we must part.

Parting is such sweet sorrow, as the poet said.

And yet it would be amiss of me not to say a few words before ..

We won't get home until morning.

I have heard myself referred to tonight as "a credit to the force."

We all had the pleasure of a visit, along about one in the morning ..

From Inspector Urquhart.

And his spouse. Bless her.

In brief, as I am trying to say it.

You have made my cup to overflow this evening.

And it would be amiss of me, as previous stated.

If I didn't acknowledge this single honour you have bestowed upon me.

From the bottom of my heart, and I know Mrs Bender, here at my side.

Concurs in this sentiment.

Who's that?

Is that ..?

Who is that?

Is someone standing here?


Who is it?

Edna is dead and you killed her.


What's that?

Shush. Don't you hear the Captain talking?

Don't run.


Who's that? You know who it is.


Val, I just heard. A woman whispered. You just heard? What you just heard?

Edna .. she ..

No, don't hit me. Don't hit me.

I didn't do anything.

I can't take it, Val. Please don't hit me.

I loved her. I always loved her. If I get burned to ashes, I love her.

Let him alone! You can see he didn't do it. Let him alone.

Which one of you spoiled the Captain's party?

You're sure of that? Yes.

You're not lying? No, sir.

Let's go back a bit.

You said Miss Bartelli kept teasing you all night to give her a hug?

Yes, sir. But you wouldn't?

No, sir, I wouldn't. Why?

I guess she didn't appeal to me in that sort of way.

You don't say, son.

She puts her arms around you and you say no?

You expect us to believe that baloney?

I expect you to believe it, yes. Why would I lie?

I never had a time like this since my aunt won a car in a raffle ..

And the whole family had a fight.

[ Phone rings ]



They don't want Bartelli.

In Narcotics, a long time ago, they say.

You got no call to keep me here.

Phoned your lawyer, didn't you?

Lieutenant Kane is outside to see you.

The Homicide Squad is out in the hall.

You're going to see the foundations of the building now.

It's very sweet of you, June.

Gee, look at the time.

What is Captain Sterling going to say when I don't report for duty?

What will my father say when he hears about this?

Listen to the murderer. How he talks.

I'll you on the nose. Remember that.

June, there's something I've got to tell you. No matter what happens.

I don't know how I existed before I met you. And that's the truth.

You'll have to go back to your seat, sister.

So that means Babe Dooley's in the case with both feet.

I don't think he done it.

This gets more complicated every minute. Lieutenant.

What of the girl?

Oh, she's airtight. She never left the dance hall until one o'clock.

Why did she go to the apartment with the boy?

It seems her brother's a belly gunner. Sympathy.

What about Bartelli?

We can't hold him for Sleepy Parsons' death.

It was obviously heart failure.

Do you think he might have tapped his sister?

I doubt it, but I'm open to conviction. I don't like him.

How about the Cabbie?

We went through him one, two, three. Clean record.

I think we're wasting our time. Why?

Because the boy done it. But you can't break him down.

Maybe he's innocent. Maybe he ain't.

Ready for work, Smiley? Say when, Lieutenant.


[ Radio: music ]

What's the radio for? Turn it off.

I hear the whistle blowing.

Hello, Bartelli. Still making book?

I never had no interest in that, Lieutenant.

Are you the boy that killed her? I did not.

Stand up! What'd you say? What? What's that?

I said I did not. Get up!

You're taking orders around here. Get out of that chair.

No, I'm too tired. I won't get up.

You're in line for a grave in Potter's Field.

Don't yell at me, please. My friends here will tell you I'm all right.

Your friends?

Put them out in the hall with the mops and brooms.

Now you're alone .. no friends.

A murderer has no friends. Are you ready to sign a confession?

I'm ready to lay down and sleep for a year. And that's the truth.

Do you realize the position you're in?

Do you know what it's like to fry in the electric chair?

You better stop this. Stop talking like that.

Just a minute, detective.

You're getting pretty rough there. Ah, kids like this make my blood boil.

Now, let's calm down, detective.

We're in the United States.

Officer .. bring this lad some cold water.

What's happening in there now?

Now the other one steps in.

Sympathetic. Soothing the troubled waters.

And Alex tells him everything.

But what can he tell him?

About the blank hour in his life.

But he didn't do it, Gus.

I know he didn't.

Do you want these others to leave?

Oh no, they don't annoy me.

I mean, I'm annoyed anyway.

I don't get it, Lieutenant. Why are you coddling this guy? He don't deserve it.

I don't see any reason to lose your head. Do you?

Did you enlist, or were you drafted, lad?

I enlisted the day after Pearl Harbour. The president spoke on the radio.

You didn't kill that woman, did you? No, sir, I didn't.

Who do you think did? I honestly don't know.

We thought it was her husband. But I don't know.

But you didn't?

No, sir, but .. But what?

Well, sometimes you just wish you had a sore toe or something.

So you could sit down and not worry about things.

That's the mood I was in last night. No place to go. Disgusted.

Then she kept offering me these drinks.

I don't have any sales resistance, as my father said.

After a few drinks, well ..

Non compos mentis.

Non compos mentis. Yes, sir.

I didn't know where I was for a while. Like swimming underwater in the dark.

Next thing I know the money was in my pocket and I'd run away.

You were unaware of what you had done. I was unaware.

But the money was in your pocket? That's right.

You want to help us find the killer, don't you?

I certainly do.

Did you do it?

I mean, when you were non compos mentis.

And didn't know that you took the money.

Is it possible?

Be sincere.

Yes, sir, it's possible.

I might have done it and not know I did.

Did Miss Bartelli drink a lot? More than I could count.

And I'm not dumb. No, you're not dumb.

No, he's not dumb. What's he doing in there?

Shush, shush.

So you think it's possible you did it.

When you were fuzzy in the head?

Be sincere.

Yes sir .. it's possible.

You've pinned the tail on the donkey, lad.

That's all we want to know. But, it's only possible, I said.

That's a technical distinction. Out of my hands.

Book him on a murder charge. Lieutenant.

Tell my lawyer to go back to sleep when he gets here.

Gus. Yes?

Do you know what that means?

Yes, I know what it means.

The boy is innocent.

In a minute, he'll be free.

Look at me, June.

Your face is very beautiful when it's sad.

A certain party is guilty.

All night he's been sawing off the branch he's sitting on.

Who is it? Do you want to come in with me?


The murderer of Edna Bartelli has just confessed to Captain Dill at Homicide.

Who? A man.

A man I never heard of.

What are you keeping my wife waiting for?

What's your hurry? We have a baby at home.

No one appreciates babies more than me.

Does my smoking bother you? No.

[ Door knocks ]

Come in.

Oh, hello, Kane.

Ever see them before?

Nope. Uhuh.

Just walked in and confessed like a baby doll.

Make fun, that's right, make fun!

Why did you want to kill her? That's my business.

Not now it isn't. It's our business now.

I killed her, that's enough!

Now why don't you let my wife go home?

She's exhausted.

Do you love your wife?

Yes. Where did you get the gun?

I don't care to answer that.

Now let my wife go home. Do you hear me?

Did you ever rob a house before?

What did you do with her rings? Ate them with mustard.

Now, I ask you one thing. Let my wife go home. I told you I did it.

This gun you shot her with. You bought it?

I bought it. What's the diff'?

The diff' is she wasn't robbed. And she was strangled, not shot.

Yes, Jerry, that's so. She wasn't shot. How do you know?

Shut your mouth. How do you know, Mrs Robinson?

She knows because she did it.

No, no, no.

Mrs Robinson, how do you know she wasn't shot?

Because she was there.

My daughter is innocent.

She's protecting me. He's protecting her.

She followed me to the apartment. Too late.

Sit down.

Jerry met Miss Bartelli in the course of his dry-cleaning business.

Met and was conquered.

My grandchild was about to be born.

At that time, I visited with the lady and begged her to cut it out.

She refused. Jerry's romance continued after the child was born.

Naturally, my daughter was very unhappy.

I visited Miss Bartelli a second time.


Last night, I visited the lady again.

The lady was very abusive.

At the best, I am not a happy man.

But the years bring you discipline.

She made me break that discipline. I took her ..

Sit down, Bartelli.

0h, anything can happen in this heat. And it happened.

And yet I felt calm and satisfied, as if I did the right thing.

That woman's heart was made of ice. She made people suffer.

People I love.

Maybe you won't believe it, but .. I murdered her for love.

Statistics tell us ..

Oh, I forgot what they tell us.

Then I picked up the boy. Innocence personified.

I tried to chase him away. He wouldn't go. So I had to tag along.

Every hour it got more involved.

Myself I could have saved a dozen times.

But not at that boy's expense.

Between you and me and the lamppost, Captain ..

Happiness is no laughing matter.

No. No. No.

No. Don't cry, Helen.

Jerry, take her home.

You earned the right tonight.

Cherish her .. cherish anyone who loves the unselfish way she lives.

Yeah, yeah.

We'll be back this afternoon.

Better lock him up.

Release the boy now. He has a bus to catch.

June, he's a very fine character. He'll give you real incentive.

Pack your bag. Move closer to him.

Go back to Norfolk together.

Take a later bus. Yes.

Push through the daily shell shock of life together.

Go ahead.

Imagine, at my age, to have to learn to play a harp.

Mr Bartelli.

It's terrible what happened, all of it. So no hard feelings.

What's the matter? Afraid you hurt him?

I didn't hit him enough. I should have hit him more.

It'll have to wait, character. We've got a bus to catch.

To Norfolk? Uhuh.