Murder by Contract (1958) Script

Mr moon? Yes?

My name's Claude.

So?

I have an appointment with you.

Who made it?

Mr brink.

Come in.

Sit down.

What do you want? A job.

You'd like to work for me?

Yes, sir. I'd like to work for you.

Do you know what business I'm in?

No, sir.

Mr brink didn't tell you? No, sir.

Didn't you ask him? No, sir.

Why do you keep calling me "sir"?

I respect you.

I'm a retired real estate broker.

I don't do anything anymore.

I sit in my room, read, look at television, and smoke cigars.

I'd still like to work for you.

Doing what?

I wanna be a contractor.

Have you done it before?

No, sir.

You can only make a mistake once in this job.

Well, I'm different.

What do you mean, you're different?

I don't make mistakes.

Then how come you're out of a job?

I'm not. I've got a steady job. I make a nice income.

Pension. Fringe benefits.

So?

So, I want to improve myself.

I want to buy a certain house on the Ohio river.

With my salary, it'd take about 23 years.

I can't wait. I want to work for you.

Mr brink was kidding. I'm a retired real estate broker.

Yes, sir. Goodbye.

Goodbye, sir. I appreciate your talking to me.

Do you have a phone? Yes, sir.

Write it down.

I never put anything down on paper.

Smart boy.

The number's op 7-2468.

7-2468. I'll call you.

Thank you.

Maybe tomorrow, next week, or next month.

If you're not in, I won't call back.

Goodbye, sir.


Mr brink? Moon.

He just left. I don't know what to make of him. He's...

Too smart.

You think so, huh?

All right, maybe we can use him.

Let's see if he passes the examination first.

Let him sit home and sweat for two weeks.


Hey.


Hello?

Yes, sir, this is Claude.

Yes, sir.

Yes, sir, I'll be there in ten minutes.

Moon: You look relaxed.

I feel relaxed.

What have you been doing the past two weeks?

Waiting for your call.

How'd you know I'd call?

You need me.

Didn't you get restless?

If I get restless, I exercise.

My girl lives in Cleveland.

Well, this is not Cleveland.

I don't like pigs.

I do.

Human nature.

Did you bring your gun?

I don't have a gun.

Knife?

I don't even carry a room key.

You're a smart boy.

Your first contract.

Thank you.

You're not gonna count it?

It wouldn't pay you to cheat me.

You're smart, smart.

I'll call you, Claude. Goodbye.

Goodbye, sir.

I'll let you know the name and the address.

Thank you very much.


Tannoy: Dr walders wanted in surgery. Dr walders, surgery.

Who's there? It's me, Claude.

I thought I told you never to come here again, Claude.

I know that, sir.

You got your pay, didn't you?

Same as always.

You get paid whether you work or not. Why'd you come?

Mr brink sent me. For what?

Claude: Yes, mr brink. Yes, sir.

Los Angeles?

Why, no, sir, I've never been there.

Yes, sir. Bye-bye.

Attention, please. The coronado limited now arriving on...

George: Well, it's on time, anyway.

Marc: Why didn't he fly out? Takes 10 hours, instead of wastin' three days on a train.

You're nervous. Don't stay up so late.

The trial is on the 18th. All we got is two weeks.

All it takes is one little minute.

That's all it takes in the gas chamber.

Sssssss!

Don't be so pessimistic. It's not your job.

He's gotta fill the contract, not us.

We're just messenger boys.

Federal trial! A guy's gotta be crazy to fill a contract like that.

You think the chief would send a crazy man 3,000 miles?

Well, if he ain't crazy, he's greedy, and that's just as bad.

Well, so he's greedy.

So what?

He's makin' five grand on the job.

Five grand?

Yeah, but how long can a guy like that live?

Boy, while it lasts, it's pretty gorgeous.

Marc, would you take a job like that? I mean, really, would ya?

Wouldn't you? Me?

No, I'm not that ambitious.


Come on, let's go meet him.


Guess you'd like to freshen up.

Not especially. I feel fine, just fine.

You hungry?

Had a fine breakfast on the train about an hour ago.

Better get you back to the hotel. We got a lot to talk about.

It's a shame to get cooped up in a room on a fine day like this.

I'd like to drive around a bit, see the sights.

I seen the sights.

Claude: Well, I haven't.

Look, man...

We'd like to get this over with, you know. It's no picnic.

My name's Claude.

I'm George. He's Marc.

Pleased to meet you boys.

Now that we've said hello, let's see how fast we can say goodbye, huh?

Listen, pal, we don't wanna rush ya, but we're anxious to get it done with. You know, the trial's on the 18th.

Well, I don't do rush contracts.

I may be on this an hour, a day, or a week.

A week?

My deal with the chief is I call the time.

Whatever you say, Claude. Whatever you say.

Where do we go?

I'd like to see the pacific ocean. Do you mind?

George: We got you a nice, quiet room.


Marc: I don't like it, George. I tell ya, I don't like it.

George: All these contractors are oddballs. They gotta be.

Marc: Odd? This guy's weird.

He don't even ask who the target is.

Well, wait till he finds out. He won't be so relaxed.

Tomorrow, he wants to go deep-sea fishin'.

So, tomorrow we'll take him deep-sea fishin'.

Claude, you don't wanna really go deep-sea fishin', do ya?

My pa always told me that when a guy's got somethin' mighty important to do, he better take time to plan.

And I can't think of any better way to plan than sittin' behind a fishin' pole.

Sitting gives a man Patience to think. There's too many doers in the world.

Not enough people take time to think.

He wants to go deep-sea fishin'.

You filled many contracts, Claude?

That's a silly question to ask me, Georgie boy.

Now, if I told you, that'd be two of us that knew.

That's two too many.

Now, be a good boy and dry my back.

Monday, he went swimmin'.

Tuesday, he went fishin...

Yesterday, he went to the zoo.

And not one word about the target.

He ain't even asked who it is.

I tell ya, I don't like it, George. I don't like it at all.

You're repeating yourself.

Marc: I'm gonna tell him now.

Well, good morning.

Why aren't you guys out in that fine, fresh air?

What's the schedule today?

The circus is in town.

We could go down and feed peanuts to the elephants.

Have you boys ever killed anybody?

Well?

I thought not.

It's not easy, you know.

Oh, you read in the paper about some wife doing away with her husband, child murderer, knifing in a tavern brawl...

These are crimes of passion.

Crazy people off their rocker.

Then there's the trigger-happy hoodlum, the kid that kills a gas station attendant because he can't open the cash register fast enough.

That's another type of crazy person.

Both types eventually get caught.

They don't plan.

They can't.

Even if they did, it'd be no use.

The only type of killing that's safe is when a stranger kills a stranger.

No motive.

Nothing to link the victim to the executioner.

Now, why would a stranger kill a stranger?

Because somebody's willing to pay.

It's business.

Same as any other business.

You murder the competition.

Instead of price-cutting, throat-cutting.

Same thing.

There are a lot of people around that would like to see lots of other people die a fast death.

Only they can't see to it themselves.

They got conscience, religion, families.

They're afraid of punishment, here or hereafter.

Me?

I can't be bothered with any of that nonsense.

I look at it like a good business.

The risk is high, but so's the profit.

You're a real Superman, ain't ya?

Let him talk, Marc.

I like when he talks. It's educational.

I wasn't born this way.

I trained myself.

I eliminate personal feeling.

You were born like everybody else. Flesh and blood. You gotta feel!

I feel hot. I feel cold.

I get sleepy, and I get hungry.

Today is the eighth. We got ten days, that's all. Ten days!

Plenty of time.

You want the money, don't you? Don't you want the money?

I wanna do a good job.

When you do a good job, the money comes.

But when? When are you gonna do it?

You haven't even seen the target.

I'll tell you when.

Now, both you guys get outta here. You're beginning to irritate me.


Is that how you bring all your orders?

Isn't this what you ordered, sir?

Take a look at that coffee cup.

There's lipstick on that coffee cup.

I don't like to drink coffee out of a cup some lousy pig left their trademark on.

You call yourself a waiter?

I'm sorry, sir. You're sorry.

Sure, you're sorry.

You're sorry you gotta work for a livin'.

You're sorry maybe you're alive altogether.

If you're in a bind, don't bug me with it.

Get out of it yourself! What's your name?

Harry.

Why are you scared, Harry?

I'm not scared, sir.

Wanna bet you are?

You're too scared to add yourself up.

That's why you're doin' such a lousy job of bringin' me a cup with lipstick to sweeten the coffee.

'Cause you're too far gone to care anymore.

Why are you miserable?

'Cause you haven't got any dough?

And why haven't you got any dough?

Because you're too scared to go out and get it yourself.

You want it to come to you.

Well, nothing comes to you, Harry, nothin'.

Except one thing, death.

Death comes to ya. Comes to everybody.

Only everybody thinks they'll live forever.

There's a laugh.

They think they'll live forever.

The way I see it, Harry, everybody lives off everybody else.

Who do you live off? Guys like me?

Where would you be if it wasn't for guys like me? Out of a job?

Look at this.

Whose job is this? Somebody else's?

Only it never gets done, just like that coffee cup with lipstick.

Full of lipstick, full of disease! And you get paid to carry it around.

Well, for my money, you can get me a clean cup!

Now, go out of here and get it! Yes, sir.

Wait a minute.

I'll sign the tab.

Yes, sir.

Here. This is for you.

Five dollars for me?

Don't you want it?

Thank you, sir.

Claude: You know, I'm beginnin' to like it out here.

Sunshine every day, reminds me of Miami.

When were you in Miami?

Was I in Miami?

You just said it reminded you of Miami.

You oughta be a lawyer. Oh!

Ain't you driven around enough?

Ah, sure is nice.

Hey, Claude, if we turn right at the next block, I can take you up coldwater canyon and show you the house.

Whose house?

The hit's. You wanna see the location, don't you?

Sure, George, sure.

Hey, you should've turned right there.

Not today. It's too nice today.

Can't be bothered with stuff like that.

Sure is nice.

George: He must be a genius in his own field.

He's a genius, and I'm dying.

The guy's poison. Gimme a light.

Haven't got a light.

What are we gonna do, George?

If we could just call long distance.

We can't call long distance. You know that.

Marc: We're sittin' on a real volcano. It could blow up any minute.

He's out there drivin' golf balls.

I could drive a nail in his head.

He doesn't even care. Real genius, like I said.

We gotta be seen trailin' around after him, like we're on a vacation or somethin'.

He's finished. At last.


Cards? Yeah.

Pinochle? What pinochle?

Casino.

I'm going out. I'll be back in a couple of hours.

You mind a little company?

That's not in my contract.

Everything is in your contract until you fill your contract.

He's right, Claude.

Okay, let's go to the movies.


Where did he go? You were sittin' right next to him.

Why didn't you watch him?

Suppose they pick him up?

Who's gonna pick him up? He didn't do anything.

It's our job to see he doesn't get out of our sight.

Why didn't you keep an eye on him?

He slipped out like a cat. Just like a cat.

We'll be a couple of dead cats if we don't find him.

Well, let's get outta here and look for him.

Where are you gonna look?

I don't know, but let's go.

We're not gonna find him sittin' here.

Where have you been?

Watching you two guys.

What do you mean?

I waited outside the theatre.

I followed you everywhere you went.

What for?

I wanted to make sure you didn't have a tail on you.

I know I'm clean. I know nobody followed me from the east.

But I wasn't sure of you two.

That's why you were stallin'?

Today is the 14th. I feel like a calendar.

We got four days, that's all. Four days!

Tomorrow you can show me the hit.


What's the name of the target?

Billie Williams.

Lives in that little house halfway up the other hill.

Claude: A lot of men moving around down there.

George: Fuzz.

What? Fuzz.

Cops. Detectives.

Where you been all your life? You talk like a citizen.

Well, you'll have to bear with me. I'm just learning the trade.

Honest, Claude, you never served time before?

Nope.

Not even reform school?

No.

Well, what you been doin' with yourself all your life?

Studied. Built myself up. Went through high school.

Commercial course.

Today, I'm an expert comptometer operator.

You got a big career ahead of ya.

Yeah, $76.20 a week before taxes.

Billie Williams is there now.

Claude: Can't see him.

There's a woman standing in the way. Who's that, his wife?

Marc: No, it's her.

What? The target is a woman.

Are you kidding? I thought you said Billy Williams.

George: That's right, Claude. Billie Williams.

She was a piano part of a trio before she was sponsored by you-know-who.

Where you goin'?

Look, I'm gonna call New York, renegotiate this whole deal.

Marc: Claude. Claude, I wouldn't do that if I was you.

Why didn't they tell me it was a woman?

Why didn't they tell me?

Tell ya? They don't have to tell you nothin'.

How are they supposed to know you was chicken?

Tryin' to make me mad, huh? But you're not gonna succeed.

I'm not scared, and you know it.

He's not chicken, Marc. He's not chicken.

He's a good boy.

He just doesn't like to damage a woman.

It's not a matter of sex. It's a matter of money.

If I'd have known it was a woman, I'd have asked double.

I don't like women.

They don't stand still.

When they move, it's hard to figure out why or wherefore.

They're not dependable.

It's tough to kill somebody who's not dependable.

I'll do it, but I want more money.

I'm not authorised to pay ya a penny more than expenses.

Then I'll do what I said. I'll call the chief myself.

Don't do that, Claude.

Please, don't. No, no, I wouldn't do that, Superman.

Why not?

He might not agree.

Well, if he doesn't agree, the deal's off.

The deal's off?

The deal's off, you're dead.

Come on, let's get goin'. I got lots to do.


Miss wiley?

Well, well! Come in, stranger.

Think I'm drunk, don'tcha?

Are you? Yes, I am.

I'm drunk, and I'm mad, and I'm sore at my landlord, and I'm sore at the world.

Here, handsome, gonna help me paint?

Or are you just gonna stand there and decorate the premises?

Hey, your name Joe?

My name's Bartholomew. Jj Bartholomew.

I'm with the federal star insurance company.

Funny, you look just like Joe.

You're cute. A little too cute, if you know what I mean.

But I don't need any insurance right today.

Can't afford it. Got no job. And I'm drunk and I'm mad.

I could afford a magazine, maybe.

Got any magazines to sell? Or a vacuum cleaner?

You could demonstrate a vacuum cleaner for me any old time.

You've got it the wrong way around. I'm gonna pay you.

Now, wait a little minute.

For some facts, information.

Huh?

Information.

Oh, information!

I got lots of information. That's about all I got.

You remember that what's-her-name starlet?

Got caught with the wrong brand of cigarettes in the headlines about two years ago?

Well, I used to work for her as a personal maid.

One morning, I come into her boudoir and you know what she...

Miss wiley.

Yeah, honey?

I'm not interested in her.

Who then? Me?

Billie Williams.

Why?

Well, my insurance company's got a policy issued to her. $100,000.

So, we'd like some information.

Well, I'll tell you one thing.

Please do.

She's scared.

Scared? Why? She's scared.

She fired me two days ago without notice. Oh, she gave me a bonus.

What hurts is, she don't trust me.

Wanted nothin' but cops around her house.

And what does she do all day?

Nothin'.

That's impossible.

'Course it is, but it's a fact.

She's an expert at doing nothin'.

What does she do all morning?

TV.

Turns it on the minute she wakes up, like some people reach for a cigarette.

And then what?

Then nothing.

Watches TV, does her eyes, reads the newspaper, listensto TV at the same time.

Now, there's a disgusting habit.

What does she eat for lunch?

Soup with matzo balls.

The cops bring it by squad car, sirens screaming all the way from Beverly Hills.

Then, a chicken sandwich with the crust cut off.

Me, I get to do that. Some privilege, huh?

Anything else you could tell me about Billie Williams?

What does she do all afternoon?

TV, else piano.

Tinkles on the piano. She used to be in show business.

Pictures all over the walls. Famous names.

"With love to Billie."

Love? Who gets love?

Well, thank you.

You've really been a great help. This is for your trouble.

Hundred dollars!


No!


Thank you.


Nobody home. I told ya.

I don't understand it. He's always on time.

He goofed! Your Superman goofed.

Remote control.

How did he know she had remote control on the TV set?

Not even any wires.

He's supposed to know. He's Superman.

I have come to the conclusion, as follows:

Superman ain't quite right in the head.

Ssh! Who's gonna hear me? You?

I'm scared of him. He's unpredictable.

I'm too mad to be scared.

Three days.

Three little days.

Today's the 15th, tomorrow's the 16th, the day after's the 17th...

He'll come through!

I got faith in that brain of his.

The trial starts the morning of the 18th.

If Billie Williams ever gets to that witness stand...

Don't even think about it.

We should wire the chief.

No.

One single reason why not.

I don't trust western union.

Then we'll call him direct.

You'll get your head blown off direct.

I'd be better off. I wouldn't have this worry.

They sent a loony to do the job!

It wasn't his fault.

It was a good idea.

A brilliant idea.

High-voltage electricity in a TV set, she turns on the set, boom!

It was very clever.

Clever, very clever. I admit it.

So clever which, it so happened, it didn't work out!

High-voltage electricity kills. It killed Joe Dutch in 40 seconds.

Joe Dutch was strapped in a chair by the state of New York.

Same idea. The idea was a bust!

It wasn't his fault!

Look, boy, you and me, we don't pretend to be supermen.

Me, I don't even claim to be mighty mouse.

But this, this is one job I could do all by myself.

Huh? Foreign make. You can't trace it.

Shoots soft bullets.

They spread when they hit. One shot kills.

You are not the contractor.

I'm willing to loan it to Claude. Free of charge.

You know he doesn't like guns.

Who? Who likes guns?

I don't like guns. Depends on which end you're talkin' about.

He has told you several times he don't like guns.

Superman! He can't stand the noise!

Shut up! He might hear ya.

He's not even here, and you're scared of him?

I guess I am.

Which is it?

Two loonies they send me!

How did you get in?

Skeleton key. Very handy.

Well, Superman?

Look, Claude...

Don't feel too bad. It was a great idea.

I mean, how was you to know the remote control...

They use it to eliminate commercials. It's unfair.

Nobody knew. Did I know it? Did you know it?

You and me, we're meatheads. But he... he's Superman.

Shut up.

Tomorrow's the 16th. I said shut up, please.

Sixteen plus two equals eighteen.

You got forty-eight hours to finish the contract.

Forty-eight hours!

How you gonna do it? Tell me how!

Marc, Marc, leave him alone. Can't you see he's tryin' to work it out?

Oh, I know that. He's got to.

After all, he's got that little house on the Ohio river.

He's gotta get that out of escrow.

Am I right, Superman? Leave him alone, will you, Marc?

Let him talk. Keep on talking, Marc.

Want a little advice? Will you listen?

I got no brains, that I know.

But one thing I got is an interest.

If this job isn't finished to complete satisfaction, I got no future.

No future whatsoever.

So, if this job was entrusted to me...

Marc, stop it.

Go ahead. What would you do?

I would take a gun.

I would shoot my way into that house, and finish the job once and for all.

Course, that don't take brains.

That just takes nerves and guts!

Which I don't believe you got!

You got no use for a gun?

They're illegal.

And I never use anything illegal.

I'm a law-abidin" citizen.

I brush my teeth three times a day, and I never drive above local speed limits.

Funny.

Not that I don't appreciate your thought, Marc. I do.

I watched that house for five hours today, and things are bad. Very, very bad.

They've doubled, maybe tripled, the guards around that place.

You can't get within 500 yards without bein' searched and questioned.

And I was searched and questioned.

Marc: You?

Fortunately, I don't carry a weapon.

I'm just a tourist, a dumb citizen, as you say.

And that's not the worst of it.

That girl's scared.

She's so scared, she won't go in the garden.

She just goes from the bed to the piano, from the piano to the bed.

If I could only get her to come to the door for a period of three seconds.

George, you're gonna drive me to a toy shop.

Marc: What? I hear right? Or am I goin' bats?

He said, "a toy shop."

Marc: What?

A toy shop.

He's gonna buy a cap pistol, and bang, bang.

Scare her to death.

I like you, George.

You got a sense of humour. You're real clever.

That's the first signs of intelligence.

George: What do you think?

Marc: I hold to my first opinion.

He's fresh-fried out of a nut factory.

George: Maybe he's crazy, but what's the difference?

He's still very clever.

All right, now, straighten your right arm.

Get your left foot back about six inches behind your right, at right angles.

Now relax. Relax.

You can't hit anything unless you relax.

Look, Claude. Clear up somethin' for my stupid head first.

How are you gonna hit her if she won't even come to the window?

Look, will you relax now? You can't hit anything unless you relax.

Let it fly. Go ahead.

Pull back.

Well, here. Try another one.

Let's see how you do here.

Go ahead.

That's a little better.


Claude: Good. Very good.

Now, I want you to go in there and take the steel tips off the arrows.

I don't wanna hurt anybody.


You didn't buy anything.

Nope.

It's five o'clock. It's gettin' late.

We can't do anything until tomorrow, and tomorrow's the 17th!

Well, what's your plan?

How can I plan with all that noise going on?

What noise? Your mouth.

D'you ever handle a gun, George?

I ain't talkin'.

How many men can a bullet kill?

One. Maybe two, if they're standing close together.

How about a hand grenade?

Five, six.

Say a high-explosive shell, a three-inch mortar?

I don't know. I don't even wanna know.

Take a guess.

Well, maybe a dozen, if they're standing close together.

How about a big Navy gun? Oh, say a six, eight, eleven-inch?

I don't know, but it's really gruesome. I saw that english picture once...

How about an airplane bomb?

Hundred. Thousand.

Hydrogen bomb?

That's really murder. Maybe a million.

Fall on Los Angeles, wipe out the whole smog.

And what do they do to the guy that, er...

Throws a grenade, fires a mortar shell, aims a Navy gun, drops the airplane bomb, or presses a button that sends a missile 5,000 miles with a hydrogen warhead?

What do they do to him?

You're talkin' about soldiers.

Well, do they, er... Do they arrest them?

No.

Put 'em on trial?

What for?

Do they give 'em the gas chamber, electrocute 'em or hang 'em?

Well...

The soldier's doin' his duty.

And what if he refuses?

Well, court-martial.

They kill him for refusing to kill, right?

Well, it's logical, isn't it?

Look at this place.

Weapons for sale. A warehouse full of murder.

And me, because I've got a business contract to kill one person, they label me a goon, a murderer.

Funny. Ironic, isn't it?

I could go in there and pose as a purchasing agent for a film company.

We have need for a genuine anti-tank gun with live ammunition.

That's great, Claude. That's great.

But... It's got a range of 2,000 yards.

We could haul it up the hill on a trailer hitch, point it at the house, fire two or three rounds at the corner of the house where she lives.

Wait a minute. Marc! Come here. Marc!

This boy's got it made.

A real genius, like I said. Einstein's personal brain.

All right, let's hear it.

Go on, tell him, Claude.

With a tripod and telescopic sight.

Wait a minute. Claude, you said we were gonna get a genuine piece of artillery, an anti-tank gun on caterpillar wheels.

Well, unfortunately, to get that weapon, you have to have a licence.

And to have a licence, you have to be a civilised country.

Now, are you a civilised country?

Me?

I didn't even graduate third grade.

All right, at least you're takin' my advice. You're gettin' a gun now.

How do you expect to hit the target if you can't get the target to come to the door?

I'm gonna let George take care of that for me.

Aren't you, George?

How?

With your little bow and arrow.

Claude: Now, you don't know me, but I saw your photo in the papers, and I wondered if you and I couldn't get together for a little date.

Sure, buddy, where do you want me to pick you up?

Who was it?

Just a crank. Who are you?

My name's mayflower. James William mayflower.

I never saw you before.

I came on the night shift. You were sleeping then.

How do I know you're telling me the truth?

Well, I have my badge here.

You can buy that badge in any drugstore.

Lady, I resent your attitude.

I had to take three examinations for the privilege of buying this.

Now, you go back to sleep. I'm here to protect you.

If I had wanted to kill you, I could've done it hours ago.

I'm sorry, officer. It's just that I'm so scared sometimes.

I can't breathe!

They tried to kill me, do you know that?

Well, I heard about it.

They, er... blew up your television set, didn't they?

Yes.

Look, lady, if you're so afraid, why don't you request they put you in custody?

What do you mean by that?

Central jail, under lock and key. No!

Why not? You'd be safe there.

Why do you think I'm going through all of this?

Why do you think I agreed to be a witness?

I want to keep out of jail.

You go back to sleep. No-one's gonna hurt you.

In 24 hours, the trial will start, and then it'll be all over.

All your troubles, believe me.

I believe you. I have to believe you. What else can I do?

A house full of men staring at me.

You'd think they'd never seen a woman before.

Maybe they haven't.

I want a woman in here.

You fired my maid. You fired my cook.

Two cops in the kitchen. The meals taste like glue!

I want decent meals! And I want some service!

I'm gonna take that stand, not you.

It's my life I'm taking a chance on, not yours!

Now, I want a woman in here! Do you hear me? A woman!

Now, get on that phone!

It won't do you no good.

Call up. Please tell them what I said.

Hi, honey. Listen, give me central division, will you, please?

Sergeant?

Sergeant, this is mayflower. I'm over here on the Williams beef.

Yeah.

Yeah, well, miss Williams has a complaint.

Says she wants a woman in her room.

I don't know, sergeant, she says men are too...

Sex crazy. That's what! Tell him "sex crazy"!

Sex crazy.

Ser... sergeant...

Listen, er... she's been in here a long time.

She's nervous. That's all it is.

He says he'll send a maid over right away.

Let's hope I live to see her.

Well, if you don't, I won't.

It can't work. It can't. She'll never come to the door.

You'll sit here forever.

Maybe so. But I got one thing in my favour.

I'll be surprised. What?

The human female is descended from the monkey, and the monkey's about the most curious animal in the world.

Anything goes on, it just can't stand it not to know about it.

Same thing with a woman.

Not this dame. She's too scared.

Yeah, with the top of her head.

But we're gonna get her before she wakes up, so she acts automatically, without thinking.

Wakes up and rushes right to that door.

And rushes right back. Great, Claude.

All I need is one and a half seconds.

Just enough time to squeeze the trigger.

I'm gonna zero in.

You all set, George?

Sure. Where do I aim?

Over there into that brush, up in the hills.

Wait a minute. W ait.

There's fuzz all over that hill. They got shotguns every 50 yards.

The more, the better. Are you all set?

How long do I wait?

You don't. You go to work at exactly eight A.M.

Suppose he goofs?

Well, then I just turn this gun around and put a bullet in his head.

Marc: That, I like.

Some joke. I'm not joking.

You mean it? You really mean it?

You enjoy life, George?

At times, yes. At times, no.

You like food, cigars, fat women?

How do you know I favour fat women?

Oh, I know about you, and I know about him.

I know about people. I make a study of them. Psychology.

I like you, George, don't goof. It would really hurt my feelings.

What time?

Same as Marc, exactly eight A.M.

Just light enough to see, and early enough to wake her up...

For about ten seconds.


My name's wexley.

Are you the new maid?

Bunco squad. Ssh, be careful.

If she knows you're not a maid, she's gonna let out a scream.

I've heard the sound of female screams quite a bit in my young life.

Doesn't bother me anymore.

What time have you got?

7:59 exactly.

Listen, be nice to her, will you, even if it hurts?

She's got to get up on that stand tomorrow. It's a nervous situation.

Well, she's all yours.


You nervous, boy?

No, but I like to make sure.

I don't like collecting money on false pretences.

Where did you develop such a big conscience?

I went to church regularly.

I don't like your jokes, Superman.

Well, George does. Don't you, George?

I just spoke to shingles.

Wait a minute, you didn't tell him...

Don't have to tell him nothin'. He runs off at the mouth.

Well, come on, come on, what'd he say?

He was told by a nurse who works at the Georgia street receiving hospital, who got it from a cop who was there.

What? What'd he say?

When they wheeled out her body, it was covered with a sheet.

Maybe she was just wounded.

Covered with a sheet, face and all.

Now, you see, Superman?

A gun does a job. A gun works.

And you didn't want to use a gun. You were afraid.

Hey, get your house outta escrow now.

What's the matter? You unhappy?

I shoulda stayed.

I shoulda stayed, and checked the whole thing myself.

George: Look, Claude, I know shingles.

He's a liar, but he wouldn't lie to me.

A cop tells a nurse, a nurse tells shingles, shingles tells you.

An awful lot of the facts can get lost in a chain like that.

Suppose he didn't hit the target?

Don't even think about a thing like that.

"Billie Williams, former jazz pianist and reputed ex-girlfriend of big smiley, "now under indictment for income tax fraud, "was shot to death early today in her home."

That's enough. George, get those papers back.

Some poor citizen's lookin' for 'em.

As long as you're up, huh?

I don't believe it.

What? Nothin'.

Get me a train ticket, will you?

Ah, there's plenty of time.

Next train goes at ten o'clock.

Well, that's five hours from now.

What do I do for the next five hours?

Relax, man.

How does a guy find relaxation in this lousy town?

I can't believe it. I tell you, I just can't believe it. That's all.

What are you yappin' about?

It's hard for me to believe you turned out to be human.

Well, don't be too sure.

Immelman, gross, farber and mcguire. Mr mcguire's office. Good afternoon.

Yes, mrs Clark.

Can do. I'll make a note of it.

Oh, surely.

Surely.

Oh?

But, mrs Clark, I wear indelible.

Well, I'l try.

L... I'll do it for you.

Wipe your feet and come in.

Hello. Hello.

It's little me.

Were you raised in a barn? Close the door.

My name's Mary.

Don't give me your life history, honey. It'd break my heart.

I never discuss my personal affairs.

You will. Women always do.

Well, don't you like me?

What's to like? I like you, yeah. Satisfied?

No, you don't. Your tone is not Sincere.

You're disappointed. I'm truly sorry.

And I so wanted you to have a good opinion of me.

I have no opinions whatsoever. You can check in a half-hour.

I like people to like me.

Why don't you?

Well, I'll tell you why. First place, take that lipstick off your mouth.

Well, I have. I mean, I tried. Look, nothing comes off. You see?

And, in the second place, you're two hours late.

Have to catch a train at ten-thirty.

Well, I work until five.

Had to go home and change, and I had a previous appointment.

I had to bring a birthday present to my mother's uncle.

I don't care to hear about it.

Where are we going for dinner?

Any place you like, as long as it's quick.

You're not the politest person in the world.

Okay. I'll be polite.

Have a drink.

Drink? Well... Free of charge.

Guess a person can always use a drink.

You got a clean glass?

There's one, all wrapped up.

I like this hotel. It's nice.

Very sanitary, and all that.

You don't mind? No, just hurry up.

Don't get the wrong impression. I'm not an alcoholic.

I'm just nervous.

All day long.

Ever since what happened this morning.

There's been fuzz all over town.

Why? What happened?

Well, don't you read the local newspapers?

You mean about the, er... girl? The girl piano player?

Yeah. Awful.

She was the girlfriend of one of the real biggies.

Is that so? Mmm.

Ooh, what a narrow escape. Makes me shudder.

You don't call being shot and killed instantly a narrow escape, do you?

That's just what they gave out to the papers, to avoid further trouble.

Billie Williams wasn't hurt, just hysterical.

And I don't blame her one little bit.

They carried her out under a sheet. I saw it on the front page.

That was a policewoman.

She made the mistake of trying on Billie's négligée right in front of Billie's door.

Now, isn't that a howl?

And, you know, when a member of the force gets killed, well, they just go crazy.

I mean, they go all out, and then everybody's in trouble.

They'll arrest a person for just looking the wrong way.

How do you know?

They just do, that's all.

Well, they go crazy when one of their own cops gets killed.

I mean, how do you know the story in the paper was false?

I happen to know.

Look, you make a statement, but you don't care to prove it.

Now, you made it up, didn't you? It's a lie?

What difference does it make?

It makes a lot of difference!

Why?

Look, I don't mean to get sore. I...

I'm just curious, that's all. Have a drink.

Well, my mother's uncle.

The one that had the birthday. He's on the da's staff.

High up. Very high up.

A nice, sweet old man. We see a lot of him.

He told me.

He said it like this. He said, and I quote, "Billie Williams is shot dead, true, "but she's nevertheless going to appear very much alive

"on the morning of the 18th at ten A.M. exactly."

And that's what the man said. And you implied I was a liar.

Miss, I... I'd like you to go home now.

But what about dinner?

I have to make a ten-thirty train. Please.

On.

All right. If I'm not wanted.

No, I won't go. It's insulting!

Get out! Here's your cab fare.

But why? I wanna know why.

I'm not in the mood. Now, go on home like a good little girl.

All right, I'll go, but I won't be pushed.

Oh, everybody pushes me around.

Everybody. Everybody!

Look, I got nothing against you personally.

It's just I developed a little headache, and I've gotta catch a train.

Look, don't be so emotional. It doesn't pay.

You've gotta look at life. Dollars and cents.

Cold, objective facts.

By which I mean face facts, little girl. Business is business.

You've been paid, so come on. Go home.

You know, you're attractive.

I don't say that to everyone.

Please, don't think I'm the kinda girl that says that to everyone.

I don't.

Oh, I know. Lipstick.

I'll leave you my office phone, and next time you're in town, you call me.

All right, I'll do that.

Now, remember, you promised.

I won't forget, sweetheart.

You call me. Bye-bye.

Hey, you're up early.

Where are you going, Claude?

Home.

You're upset. Naturally, we're all upset.

But you can't leave now. It's not fair to us.

I tried. I tried twice.

I don't mind telling you, Claude.

You disappoint me.

It can't be done. The contract's a jinx.

Jinx?

If you don't complete this job, you're the one who's jinxed.

And we're jinxed right along with ya.

You can't force me to work against a jinx. If I do, I'm dead.

Who's gonna force ya?

But if you don't fulfil your part of the contract, we're go...

What were you saying, George?

Nothin'. He wasn't sayin' nothin'. He's disappointed, that's all.

Well, what do you mean?

Like he said, I'm disappointed.

Sure, because Claude's right, George.

You can't work against a jinx.

Hey, what time's your train leave?

Well, I could get the 7:42. It's a coach.

Well, you don't have much time.

We'll drive you down to union station.

No, don't bother. I'll take a cab.

No, no, we'll drive you.

We wouldn't want the chief to think that we goofed on our job.

Come on, George, get his bag.


Union station?


Look, Claude, we felt it would be better if we, er...

Kinda hid you away for a couple, three days, you know.

Well, the chief's gonna be pretty sore.

He's already sore.

How do you know?

We spoke to him.

How? On the phone.

Well, what'd he say?

He said to get rid.

Of me? Of you.

Unless you change your mind and finish the job.

Marc: What? He didn't say... George: I say.

No.

No chance.

Look, Claude, I...

Look, I won't work against the jinx, and that's it.

All right. It's settled. Come on, we'll show you to your room.

What is this place?

It's a movie studio.

Not much business.


He's sick.

Stay where you are.

Superman.

Get up, Superman!


Guns are bad luck, Marc. You better take this with you.

Where you're goin', kid, you'll need it.

George! George!

I'm your pal, George! I need you. We'll do it together!

We'll finish this contract, George! You and me!


Tell mr brink to get back from Europe.

Tell him to call me right back.

If he doesn't, I'll fill my contract with him.

Man: Would you give your number, sir, please?

Beachwood 7-4400. Room 505.


Hello? Brink: Who's this?

This is Claude.

I said, this is Claude!

What do you want?

Why didn't you tell me it was a woman?

So what?

Well, a woman'll cost you more money.

Ten grand.

Wire me ten grand, care of western union.

Ten grand?

That's right. One followed by four zeros.

I'll send it care of the boys.

The boys are dead.


Nice little house.

Yeah, it is.

You buying it or selling it?

No, I've been hired to do the landscaping on it.

Oh?

Any questions, I'd be glad to assist.

Yeah, what are these squares outside the house here?

Drains. Holes with steel grating.

What are they for?

Drainage. Rainwater.

Doesn't rain much in Los Angeles, but when it does, boy, watch out.

You from out of town?

Yeah.

Me, I am native-born, like the gophers.

Joke.

Claude: What are these parallel lines here?

Clerk: Nothing to worry about. They belong to the county.

Culvert, big pipe to carry off the water.

How big?

Two feet. About big enough for a man.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

You bet. Pay the cashier on your way out.


Who are you?

I'm the relief officer. I'm new.

Never seen you before.

Does music bug you like it does all the other cops?

If you wanna play, play.


Stop walking around. You're making me nervous.

If I sit, I get nervous. How long is that piece?

You'll see when I finish it.

Why do you want to testify against brink?

That's a funny question for a cop to ask.

Even a cop would hesitate to do what you're doing.

It's brink or me!

Once he's gone, I'll be safe.

Turn around. Keep playing.

Keep playing!


You'll never get away with it. Even if you kill me.

They'll get you before you get out of here.

That's the relief. Give me a break, and I'll give you one.

Get out of here, and I won't scream.

Officer: You, down there! You don't have a chance!

Come on out! We'll give you a break!