The Big Heat (1953) Script

Mr. Lagana.

I know it's late. Wake him up.

Tell him it's Tom Duncan's widow.

I'm sorry, but there's an important call on the private line.

A woman who says she's Tom Duncan's widow.

Widow? That's what she said.

Yes? This is Lagana.

I'm glad you called me, Mrs. Duncan.

I appreciate it.

Yes, of course, we'll get together.

But now I suggest you call the police immediately.

Call Vince.

Mr. Lagana wants Vince Stone.

It's his girl. She says he's playing cards.

This is not a social call, Debby. Tell Vince I want him. Right away.

Sure, Mr. Lagana. I always like to tell Vince you're calling.

I like to see him jump.


It's him.

I'll pass a deal.

Why don't you shut the door and see if anybody needs a drink?

I don't know about your politicians, but I'm so bored I need one.


Debby! Shut the door.

Yes, Mike?

I didn't know it was the private line or I'd have answered it myself.


When did it happen?

I'll see to it.

Sorry you had to come from headquarters, Sergeant.

From out of bed, you mean.

A cop kills himself, they want a full report. Know him?

Just to say hello to. He was in charge of the Record Bureau.

Single contact wound. Powder burn on his temple and right hand.

Suicide, no question. Tell the wagon boys they can have him.

No note or anything, Gus? Nothing.

Better make a list of all this stuff for the report.

I'm going upstairs to have a talk with Mrs. Duncan.

Please, come in.

Mrs. Duncan? I won't keep you long.

You needn't apologize. I know this is necessary.

Please, sit down. Thank you.

My name is David Bannion. I knew your husband slightly.

Tom had many friends.

Would you mind telling me what happened?

When I first heard the shot...

I was too surprised to move for a few seconds.

Then, I ran downstairs.

When I found him, he was dead.

I'm sorry I have to ask you these questions... but they want a full report downtown.

Of course.

When a policeman kills himself, the department gets worried.

That depends on the circumstances.

There weren't any circumstances.

Everything Tom ever did... was clean and wholesome.

That's the kind of man he was.

Do you know why he took his life?

It must have been his health.

Several times... the past few months, he complained... about a pain along his left side.

When I suggested he see the police surgeon... he'd make excuses.

I think he was afraid to...

Then he didn't see a doctor?

Not that he ever told me.

You've been most helpful.

If there's anything you need, get in touch with us.

Thank you, Mr. Bannion.

Goodbye, Mrs. Duncan.

What's with dinner?

How about putting the paper down and helping?

All right.

Is that steak? Medium-rare.

How you manage steaks on my salary... Downtown they just don't believe me.

Tell them you married an heiress.

Next year, when Joyce starts kindergarten... you'll have to kiss the steaks goodbye until she finishes college.

Unless you become police commissioner in the meantime.

That's inevitable.


Okay, Commissioner, you get the stringy end of the steak.

Did Joyce go to bed all right?

Just the usual tug of war.

She had to go to the bathroom a few times, hear three stories... and have a glass of water before she finally went to sleep.

She's angelic all day, but at night she's a holy terror.

That's the way I usually describe you.

That's what the book says, "Be patient, but firm."

The book.

Very scientific and calm.

The trouble is, the authors have never met our daughter.

It's very simple. She's madly in love with me, that's all.

That's the conflict between the two of you.

You're both in love with the same wonderful guy.

Right? Wrong.

We're just used to you.

How is it?

It's good steak. Thanks.

You want some beer? I'll take a sip of yours.

That's what I mean, it's the perfect marriage.

We share the same scotch, the same cigarette, the same can of beer.

Among other things.

You know something?

I'm going to drink mine and take a sip of yours.

That'll be something different for a change.

They'll wake Joyce.


He's having dinner.

It's Sergeant Kahn.

Hello, Marty.

Who says Duncan didn't kill himself? I saw the body, Marty.

There's no question about it being suicide.

What's her name?

I'll go see her.

Is Lucy Chapman around?

The last stool on the other end.

Lucy Chapman?

Yeah. I'm Bannion, Homicide.

With this band playing, you need megaphones to talk at the bar.

We can sit in a booth.

What is this information you have?

This story is all wrong, Mr. Bannion.

Tom wouldn't kill himself.

He wasn't worried about his health, not for a single minute.

No? Then what was he worried about? Nothing at all.

Not after his wife agreed to divorce him.

Duncan told you about a divorce? He talked about nothing else.

When was this? Night before last. My night off.

What will it be, folks?

You don't have to order anything. I'll have a beer.

What about you? Only when I'm working.

How'd you get to know Duncan? Well, I met him a year ago.

Last May 11, down in Lakeside.

Tom owned a summer place there.

I liked him right away.

He was a real wonderful guy, Mr. Bannion. Nice and gentle.

$0.35, mister. Pay now.

Thank you.

Tom used to come to the club every night.

His wife traveled a lot.

Sometimes, when she was away, I used to go to the house.

We'd go swimming and then lie around in the sun.

That sounds very cozy.

It wasn't that way, Mr. Bannion! Sure.

Please, you have to believe that. Understand how things were with Tom.

How he was caught between us.

Between me and that leech he was married to.

What's your pitch, Lucy? Trying to use us for a shakedown?



Sure, I understand. You're covering up for a cop's widow!

You don't want anything that will change her story.

I want to find out facts. In the pig's eye, you want facts!

The only difference between us... is that I work at being a B-girl and she has a wedding ring.

That'll be all. Maybe for you.

I can still talk to the newspapers!

And talk yourself into a lot of trouble. So what?

At least I'll show she's a liar!

Tom had no reason to kill himself!

The fact is, he did kill himself and that's positive.

Can I have a brandy?

She claims she saw your husband a few nights ago. Wednesday night.

And there was nothing wrong with his health.

What are you trying to say?

Just trying to check up on her story and find out why your husband took his life.

Maybe I've been trying too hard to keep our dirty family linen... from being washed in public.

I suppose that woman told you about their relationship?

She said your husband was in good health and very cheerful, Mrs. Duncan.

And that you'd agreed to divorce him.

She's a liar. Tom never wanted a divorce... and he wasn't a well man!

I have no choice now... except to tell you about Tom and myself.

In the years we were married, there were four Lucy Chapmans.

Four that I found out about.

Tom was vain.

He had to prove to himself that he was still attractive to women.

Maybe he did boast to that woman that he was in good health.

What would you expect him to do?

I wish this visit hadn't been necessary.

There's a chance Lucy might try a little blackmail.

She knows you own that house at Lakeside.

She probably thinks you're wealthy.

A wealthy policeman would be a novelty.

Thank you for your patience, Mr. Bannion.

There's one small thing I'd like to clear up, so there'll be no loose ends.

Of course.

Would you mind telling me about the house at Lakeside?

When it was bought, its price, small details like that?

I'd mind very much.

For Tom's sake, I resent the implication of your questions!

Look, there was no implication.

Lucy may run to the newspapers... and it's my job to offset any insinuations she may make.

And it's my job, with Tom dead and defenseless... to preserve his good name the best way I can.

Good night.

Good night.

Here you are, sir.

Trouble automatically catches up with girls like her.

It looks like a sex crime to me. You said she wasn't attacked.

That's not unusual in this type of case.

I'd say pretty definitely it was psychopathic.

You saw those cigarette burns on her body.

Yeah, I saw them.

Every single one of them.

What's that name again?

Miss Chapman. Lucy Chapman.

The Lieutenant's been buzzing you every 10 minutes.

He didn't say what for.

Sit down, Dave.

I had a call from upstairs.

What did you bother Mrs. Duncan about? Just routine.

The first time was, not the second visit.

Did she complain?

Somebody did.

It was bad judgment to bother a cop's widow about her husband's love life.

Good or bad, it was my judgment.

You're missing the point. I get the pressure calls from upstairs.

I'm the one who has to explain.

You don't keep this office long by stepping on a lot of corns.

You want me to go upstairs and explain?

Not you. You're a corn-stepper by instinct.

All I'm asking you to do, and I'm not even ordering it... is to stop bothering Mrs. Duncan.

I don't want to jam you up, but I may have to see her again.


You any doubt Duncan killed himself?

None at all, but I just got back from the county morgue.

The barfly? I read the teletype about your identification.

Lucy used to be Duncan's girlfriend. And the Army's and Navy's.

Maybe so, but she talks to me just once and like that, she's dead.

That's County Homicide's headache. Let's worry about this office.

We're spilling over with unfinished business.

Lucy was probably trying to shake down some sucker who wouldn't shake.

When barflies get killed, it's for any of a dozen crummy reasons.

Let the Sheriff's Office sort out this jigsaw.

Meanwhile, we'll stop pestering the widow.


Are you still asking?

No more. I'm telling you.

First I know, Lucy's quitting at about 2:00 in the morning.

She asks me to be paid off.

Did she say why? I don't ask.

All any of these dames owe me is a night's work, one night at a time.

They come and go like flies. Only this fly got strangled.

These things happen, Sergeant.

Outside of my place, some of these babes keep pretty shady company.

They know nobody cares much what happens to them.

Did she have any close girlfriends? They don't stay long enough.

Where'd she live?

If I ask for an address, they lie. It's not worth the bother.

They're floaters.

Not much more than an empty suitcase between them and the gutter.

You ought to be doing radio commercials.

How to talk a lot and say nothing. I'd be tickled to help if I could.


When I get some answers, I'll be back.

Glad to see you anytime, Sergeant.

It's Tierney.

Tell him it's important.

Sorry to bother you. Bannion just left here.

No, sir, I just gave him a lot of double-talk. He said he'd be back again.

Yes, sir, I will.

Okay, buster, who'd you call?

My mother.

Would you rather answer the questions downtown?

Don't scare me, Sergeant.

After five minutes downtown, you'll be answering the questions.

Get your coat. Sure.

Only somebody will want to know why you're butting into a county case.

Why you don't stop annoying people, especially after you've been told once.

You get your news fast.

Special carrier pigeon. Do we still go downtown?

No, not today. When we do, I'll have enough answers to close this joint up.

Tell that to your mother.

That's the most beautiful castle in the whole world.

It's a police station, Daddy, just like yours.

Hello, little bossy. Where's big bossy?

Here. Hello, darling.

What a lovely suit. Expecting company or something?

AI and Marge are coming to dinner. Come, Daddy, help me build the roof.

You'd better shower and get some cocktails ready.

You look down in the dumps.

It's nothing much.

Is it a case? I told you it's nothing.

You have to use a different tone if I'm to believe that.

All right, I'll bring home an affidavit tomorrow. I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

It's all right. You're entitled to let off steam.

It's just a letdown.

I guess it's a kind of an occupational disease with cops.

You know that girl who phoned, Lucy Chapman?

She's a case now. County Homicide.

I'm sorry.

It's all right.

Daddy will help you build even a bigger one.

Let's go see who's phoning us.

Can I talk? Of course.


Yes, it is.

Who is this?

He wants you.

Who is it?

I don't know.

Dave Bannion. Listen, slob.

Stop minding other people's business if you want to stay alive.

Some big people are getting annoyed.

Who is this?

What did he say to you?

You can fill in the four-letter words better than I can.

Honey, I'll try to be back before Al and Marge leave.

But you don't even know who called.

It's just another part of a scheme to make me crawl back in my shell.

I don't know who called, but I know where to go to find out.

Just a moment. Who do you want to see? Mike Lagana.

Sorry, I didn't recognize you. How many men on this detail, Officer?

Three of us on the day and night shift and four after midnight.

Ten cops to watch over Mike Lagana.

$100 a day of the taxpayers' money.

Mr. Lagana kind of runs things. I guess that's no secret.

No, that's no secret at all.

You like this detail? I do what I'm told.

That's what we're all supposed to do.

Good evening, sir. I'm with the police.

Mr. Lagana in? I'll see, sir.

It's a little drafty outside.

Please, wait.

This way, Officer.

I promised my daughter her father wouldn't be seen or heard tonight.

What's your name again? The butler missed it.

Dave Bannion. I'm from Homicide.

I think I've heard of you.

My mother.

A great old lady.

They broke the mold when they made her.

She died last May.

She lived here with me.

Had her own suite of rooms, her own bath, everything.

Never got over being surprised about my success.

But you didn't come here to listen to me. What is it this time?

The benefit dance? The pension fund drive?

I came about a murder.

You came here to my home about a murder?

A girl named Lucy Chapman was murdered last night or this morning.

First she was tortured, then strangled.

Who runs your department? Lieutenant Wilks.

Wilks? Yes.

It was an old-fashioned killing, Prohibition-kind.

That's why I thought you... I don't care what you thought!

I'm glad to help you boys when I can.

But I got an office for that.

This is my home and I don't like dirt tracked into it.

I see.

And I've violated your immaculate home, is that it?

That's exactly it.

Tomorrow morning, I'll see you don't get the chance to do it again.

What will you do?

Make another phone call or have somebody else do it?

I've seen some dummies in my time, but you're in a class by yourself.

I'm stupid because I want answers about a murder?

Shut up and get out.

We don't talk about those things in this house, do we?

No, it's too elegant, too respectable.

Nice kids. Party. Painting of Mama up there on the wall.

No place for a stinking cop!

It's for a hoodlum who built this house out of 20 years of corruption and murder.

I'll tell you something.

You couldn't plant enough flowers around here to kill the smell!

I warned you to get out. Cops have homes, too.

Sometimes there isn't enough money to pay the rent... because a cop gets fired by your cockroaches for trying to do an honest job.

George! What? Do you think I live under a rock?

Your creeps have no compunction phoning my house... giving me orders, talking to my wife like she was...

Yes, sir? Get rid of him.

Let's go, mister. Take your hand off, George.

It comes off when we get to your car.

Better not, George.

You want to pinch-hit for your boy, Lagana?

You thought you could walk into Lagana's house and slug his guard?

You're no rookie. You know better.

Don't take the rap for me. I'll stand up for what I do.

Big fancy words. I'm in no mood for them.

I'm getting the squeeze from upstairs.

What should I do when some cop-hater phones my home and insults my wife?

Are you trying to tell me Lagana phoned your house?

I'm saying nothing dirty happens in this city without Lagana's okay.

I'm not interested in your theories, not when they affect my job!

You're begging to go back into uniform, pounding a beat out in the sticks.

That Lucy Chapman killing is a county squeal.

It's the Sheriff's headache, not ours.

I told you that once and I'm telling you again.

I won't tell you a third time.

That'll be all, Sergeant.

Let the pans soak. I'll scour them when we come back.

The movie doesn't start for about an hour.

Do you mind if I put my two cents in? No, honey, I don't mind.

I've been thinking about Lieutenant Wilks.

That leaning tower of jelly.

You know how long he and his wife have looked forward to retirement?

We've done it ourselves when we've looked that far ahead.

Wilks only has a few more years to go. He's worried about his pension.

If I had any sense, I'd have turned in my badge.

Your big trouble is that you attack yourself from all sides... like Jersey mosquitoes.

You don't want to quit, not for one minute.

What am I supposed to do?

Hold on to my job by just stringing along, afraid to look anywhere... because I might see what they don't want me to see?

If you do, you're going to have trouble from me.

Keep leading with your chin and don't compromise.

That's what I wanted to hear you say. Thanks, Inspector.


If I tell you something, you won't laugh?

No, I won't laugh.

I love you.

You see, I'm not laughing.

Let's stay home.

We're having company.

I can't sleep.

Nonsense, Miss Bannion, you trot right back to bed.

According to the book, you should lead her to B-E-D... with great kindness and firmness.

You try it. I'll drive over to get the sitter...


Tell her not to bring half the high school along to keep her company this time.

Little girls like you should be sleeping right about now.

Tell me a story.

In bed, darling, in bed.

Which story, Daddy?

- How about the Three Little Kittens? "That lost their mittens."

Commissioner, I need the car keys.

Nothing at all. I'll be back in a minute.

All right.

Go on, Daddy. In bed, first, darling.

There we go.

"The three little kittens that lost their mittens." Go on.

"The three little kittens They lost their mittens

"And they began to cry

"They had a terrible time

"And their mother came home and said 'You kittens, you've lost your mittens"'

Stay in bed, darling!


- Bannion's here, Commissioner. Have him come right in.

I have a lot of work waiting for me in my office.

Let it wait. Your presence will make Bannion more comfortable.

I didn't get to speak to you at the funeral, Sergeant... to tell you how hard your tragedy has hit us all.

Sit down, will you?

I've put an around-the-clock detail at your in-laws' house.

The report says that's where your child is staying.

That's right. Yes, it pays to play it safe.

How is the little girl?

She thinks her mother went on a trip.

Is there anything we can do... maybe a loan from the fund to tide you over this period?

Don't hesitate.

Find out who planted dynamite in my car.

That's item one on the department's agenda.

I've ordered Wilks to shove everything else aside.

I want this case broken, if it takes 100 men to do it.

We're checking back on every homicide you've handled.

Why? I beg your pardon?

I asked why you're checking the files.

You've made a lot of enemies, Bannion.

Relatives and friends of killers you've sent to the chair.

The motive was revenge. That's obvious.

Is that how it looks to you, Lieutenant?

It's worth exploring.

I'm only an appointed official.

I lack the training and experience you men have... but I'm certain the answer is in one of these old homicides.

Wilks has eight men on it, full-time. Don't worry, there'll be a payoff.


It's natural to be impatient, but these things take time.

Sometimes, they take forever. That's no way to talk.

There isn't a man in this department wouldn't give a month's pay to solve this.

What about you, Commissioner? How much would you give?

Just what are you inferring?

What would you give besides phony stories to the press, a pat on the back... and kind words for me?

Let's go down to my office and talk. You've got to ease up.

Take a few days off. I'll keep you informed.

You frightened excuse for a cop. Just a minute, Bannion.

Why don't you wait for his orders down in your office?

He'll phone you as soon as he gets his orders from Lagana.

I don't want to exert the authority of my office.

I prefer remembering how you've been through a lot.

I'm going to give you good reason to never forget it.

You're suspended!

You'd better check with Lagana first. He might not approve.

I'll have your badge and gun. Now.

You can have it... permanently.

One moment.

I asked for your gun, too.

That doesn't belong to the department. It's mine, bought and paid for.

I'm warning you officially.

Don't try to use it.

I won't.

Not until I catch up with the people who murdered my wife.

Hold on a minute.

Take this along too, will you?

Is the carriage for the truck? No, it's...

They'll bill you quarterly on the storage charges.

I was just leaving.

Let the cab go. I'll give you a lift. I prefer the cab, thank you.


I just left Wilks.

He said any off-the-record help you need is yours.

He feels lousy about what happened.

Put this carriage in the cab, please.

Wilks gave me a list of mechanics with records... from the bomb squad.

I have a list. Wilks didn't know that.

Tell him to stop bleeding for me. It'll run over his pension.

You're way off base, Dave. You don't really know Wilks.

I don't want to know him.

I've had a bellyful of the department and Wilks... and you.


I wish you'd see Father Masterson. Why?

Because you're on a hate binge.

You've decided people are all scared rabbits and you spit on them.

I got to lock up.

No man's an island, Dave.

You can't set yourself against the world and get away with it.

Get out.

Is that you, Vince?

Yeah. Larry's with me.

You weren't expecting somebody else, were you?

You'll do. It's better than drinking alone.

Hi, Larry. Hi, Debby.

What have you been doing all day?


Some career, huh?

Six days a week, she shops. On the seventh, she rests. All tired out.

On her, it looks good.

Thanks, friend. Go pour yourself a drink.

That's nice perfume.

Something new. It attracts mosquitoes and repels men.

It doesn't work that way with me. It's not supposed to.

That's His Highness. I forgot to tell you he was stopping off.

She forgot.

Do you ever go to the circus, Larry?

You should. And take Vince.

A man with a big hat holds up the hoop... cracks the whip and the animals jump through.

Hup, Vince! Hup, Larry!

Putting on a vaudeville act?

Just impersonations. How's your daughter, Mr. Lagana?

She was going out formal tonight.

Can you imagine that?

She wanted me to wait to okay her dress.

I told her, what I thought didn't matter. Just impress that football player.

Sometimes the father means more than football players.

They come and go, but Dad's around for keeps.

I hope Angela feels that way about me. I bet she does.

Check the kitchen, will you?


Now it's Debby. Hup, Debby!

She's a young girl, Vince. Don't let her drink so much.

If she keeps it up, she's out on her ear. She has no claim-check on me.

When that happens, give me a ring. I'm a rebound man from way back.

I don't like gutter talk. Sorry.


I'm tired of hearing you sound off and then apologize.

Vince gave you two simple contracts and you loused up both of them.

Shut up and listen!

Throwing the Chapman girl out on a county road... brought us all the advertising we didn't want.

And killing Mrs. Bannion. How stupid can you get?

How did I know she'd be using the car?

Prisons are bulging with dummies who wonder how they got there.

I can't afford people who make mistakes. Do I make myself clear?


Vince and I have things to talk about.

I got an appointment in half an hour with Mrs. Duncan.

She's raised her salary to $500 a week.

Are we going to pay it?

You sound like Larry.

As long as that letter her husband left stays in her safe deposit box... we'll pay what she asks.

What about Bannion? Running around in circles.

You sure? I'm positive.

But if you want insurance, we can take care of him now.

Vince, you worry me.

We've stirred up enough headlines. The election's too close.

Things are changing in this country. A man who can't see that, hasn't got eyes.

Never get the people steamed up.

They start doing things. Grand juries, election investigations... deportation proceedings.

I don't want to end up in the same ditch with the Lucky Lucianos.

Is Slim Farrow around?

Not anymore.

Where can I reach him? Spring Rock Cemetery, six feet under.

He died three days ago. Bad ticker.

He owed you some money?

No. I was hoping to get some information.

Then it makes no difference.

Slim wouldn't give information to his own minister, if he had a minister.

Maybe you can help me.

My wife was murdered 10 days ago. Someone planted dynamite in our car.

You Bannion the cop? That's right.

Was Slim mixed up in that? That's what I'm trying to find out.

Sorry, I can't help you.

Did he have any visitors? Did he get any phone calls?

All I know about Slim is that he's dead.

Did he have a set spot to work, a place where he kept his tools?

All the tools are mine. There's nothing for you, mister.

Nothing at all.

Do you mind if I walk around the yard, talk to your men?

I have to mind. When it comes to my bread and butter, I stay careful.

It doesn't matter to you that Slim might have been mixed up in a murder?

Sure it matters. But what can I do? I don't know anything.

You're a liar.

You can't insult me. I said I don't know anything and that's how it stands.

I've been meeting your kind every day now for 10 years.

Scared rabbits that never see a thing.

You wouldn't stick out your big fat neck for anybody.

That's the truth. But it's my big fat neck.

If you're through talking, I'll get back to work.

I ought to...

That won't change my story. Cops are paid to take risks. I'm not.

You see, I've got a wife and kids, too.

Mr. Bannion!

Mr. Atkins might come outside. He isn't a mean man.

Not many people would hire someone like me.

It's just that he's frightened. I am, too.

But there was a man came to see Slim about two weeks ago.

They had a long talk out in the yard.

Do you remember what he looked like? Well, I'm not much good at those things.

He was about your height... and he wore rather fancy clothes, you know, colorful.

Would you be able to recognize him again?

Yes. He came right into the office and asked me where Slim was.

How about phone calls? A few.

A man named Larry left a message once, just about the same time.

No last name?


He just said to tell Slim to call him at a place...

A most peculiar name.

Something like a monastery.

You know, where people go off alone, to think.

The Retreat?

That's it. He said to call him at The Retreat.

I'm very grateful, Miss...

Parker. Selma Parker.

Miss Parker. You've been most helpful.

I'm glad.

Good luck, Mr. Bannion. Thank you.

Shall we say good night to Daddy and put baby to bed now?


Good night, darling.

Good night, Daddy. Sleep tight, honey.

Thanks, Marge.

Good night, Joyce. Good night.

Do me a favor, will you?

Call this number at exactly 9:30 on the dot and ask for Larry.

Larry who? That's what I'm trying to find out.

Larry's all I know.

Is it a lead?

I'm hoping.

I got my fingers crossed.

Thanks, Al.

A beer.



Larry who?

You must be kidding, mister!

What am I supposed to do, page Larry anybody?

Keep your hands off! I won't tell you again!

I'm sorry, Mr. Stone.

When I say, "Don't pick up the dice so fast," I mean it!

I'll roll them again, if you like. Go ahead.

Honey, that guy's way out of line. Reds, don't fight!


Sit down, junior! Get your boyfriend out of here!

Come on, Reds. Let's go home. You're not scaring me!

Please, Reds, come on!

Where you going, thief? This isn't your business, Bannion.

All right, thief, suppose you tell me what my business is.

Go on, tell me.

You like working girls over, don't you?

Don't make a mistake, Bannion. Don't play hero with me.

Maybe you're the one that worked over Lucy Chapman.

Take it easy, Sergeant. I don't know what you're talking about.

Here, baby.

This is for you. Get yourself something nice.

No hard feelings. Does that square it, Sergeant?

Get out of here while you can still walk. Sure.

You, too.

Are you going to be all right? Yes.

Thanks, mister.


I'd like to buy you a drink.

With Vince Stone's money? I'd choke on it.

Do you get your kicks out of insulting people?

Aren't you Vince Stone's girl?

The way you ask it, it sounds like dirty words.

That was the general idea.

Everybody's walking out on me tonight.

What are you after? I don't know. You, I think.

Did Vince Stone chase you after me?

You saw him leave me in the bar like an old beer or something.

Come on. Let's find out. I mean, if it's you I'm after.

I'm staying at the Marland Hotel. Okay.

You make up your mind in a hurry. Yes.

Marland Hotel.

Say, I like this. Early nothing.

There's just scotch. Is that all right? Fine.

Water? Good.

How come you sat still when Stone burned that girl?

I'll tell you.

The last time I butted in, Vince worked me over.

Is that how it is being his girl? Most times it's a lot of fun, expensive fun.

What do you have against him?

I don't like thieves.

You'll never get anywhere in this town not liking Vince.

I'm not trying to get anywhere. That's obvious.

That's some improvement.

You know, it's funny... sometimes I feel about Vince the way you looked at him tonight.

He can be a pretty good guy and other times he can be...

But why kick? You got to take the bad with the good.

Is the good good enough?

Clothes, travel, expensive excitement. What's wrong with that?

Nothing, if you don't care where his money comes from.

The main thing is to have the money. I've been rich and poor.

Believe me, rich is better!

Did you think I was an heiress or something before I met Vince?

I didn't think about you at all. Thank you.

I didn't know you, how could I? That's better.

Can I have a refill?

Do you know Larry at The Retreat? Larry who?


I forget his last name.

He's about my size, wears flashy clothes. I know lots of Larrys.

This one was a friend of Vince Stone's. I don't know all his friends, fortunately.

You know Mike Lagana, don't you? Just to say hello and goodbye to.

When Vince talks business, I go out and get my legs waxed.

I don't like to hear things.

Why don't you stop the cross-examination? I didn't come up here to talk out of school.

Why did you come up?

Why don't we call it "research," or something?

Or to needle Stone?

You're about as romantic as a pair of handcuffs.

Didn't you ever tell a girl pretty things?

She's got hair like the west wind, eyes like limpid pools... skin like velvet?

I'll put you in a cab.

Did I say something wrong?


I must've broken one of the house rules.

Do you really want me to go?

I wouldn't touch anything of Vince Stone's with a 10-foot pole.

That's a rotten thing to say.

Everybody winning? Hello, Debby.

How are you doing, Vince? Okay.

Where have you been?

The Gaiety Club. Late show.

Deal me out a while, boys.

How was the show? The usual routines, not too bad.

Why didn't you come straight home?

The way you ran out, I didn't think you cared.

What do you mean, "ran out"?

It wasn't a stroll.

With the elections so close, I can't afford trouble with a crazy ex-cop.

He's not so crazy.

I've got a hot flash for you. He hates your guts.

How would you know?

I was there, remember? I'm the girl you left at the bar.

I phoned The Retreat.

Tierney said you offered to buy Bannion a drink.

Tierney wouldn't know a gag unless it hit him right in the face.

He said you followed Bannion outside.

I went out looking for you.

You made better time getting away than they make in the Olympics.

That's a real pretty kisser. Isn't it?

I thought you and Bannion played footsie while my back was turned.

You ought to trade Tierney in. Get yourself a more reliable stool pigeon.

Maybe I got myself a better stoolie.

How was the Gaiety Club? No!

My arm, Vince! My arm!

You like cops, do you?

Don't, Vince, please!

Where'd you go with him? My arm!

I asked you a question! Where?

I only saw him on the street. Only on the street!

I suggest we call it a night. I suggest you shut your mouth!

Where'd you go with Bannion? Nowhere.

Nowhere! He dropped me off at the Gaiety.

The Gaiety!

Oh, you pig! You lying pig!

My face! My face!

I'll fix you and your pretty face!

She's scalded! She had it coming!

Don't just stand there. Get her to a doctor!

You'll have to make a police report. That's why we're sending you.

Go on, get moving! I'll try.

Shut the door!


Yes, Vince?

How do you know she didn't tell Bannion anything?

Debby isn't your problem anymore. She's ours.

I want insurance.

But I don't want her found off any county highway.

I don't want her found at all.

Who is it? Debby Marsh!

Who's with you? I'm alone. I've been hurt.

Put it out! Please!

Vince threw hot coffee in my face.

I'm going to be scarred. The whole side of my face will be scarred.

Where's Stone now?

I don't know. They made Higgins take me to the doctor.

Higgins, the police commissioner?


After the doctor put on the bandages, I ran out.

Can I stay with you, please? Can I stay?

I'll get you a room on this floor. Who else was with Stone?

Gillen, from the city council.

George Fuller, Vince's lawyer, and Larry Gordon.

I told the doctor I didn't care what he had to do or about the pain... only I didn't want my face scarred.

Who's Larry Gordon?

You don't care what happened to me. You don't care about anything or anybody.

I was followed when I came here with you. That's why I got this.

Gil, this is Dave Bannion.

I'm going to need another room on this floor.

Yes. It's for a friend of mine.

I don't want it registered.

Yes, that's right. I don't want anybody to know she's here.


You'll be safe here.

Do you want a shot of scotch?


Gordon is the Larry you asked about.

Vince imported him from Chicago a few months ago.


Tomorrow I'll have another doctor look you over.

I guess a scar isn't so bad, not if it's only on one side.

I can always go through life sideways.

Gordon lives at the Wilton Apartments.

Is Mrs. Davenport at home?

You've got the wrong apartment.

I told you it was...

Get up!

You must be nuts.

Come on, get up.

What about Slim Farrow?

You're punchy!

Go on, pick it up. I won't kill you, not right away.

You got a wrong steer. If I knew what you was talking about...

What did Slim do for you?

I swear on my mother's...

What did he do for you?

When I let go, start talking.

If you don't, I'll finish the job.


He told me to get you. Vince Stone. I hired Slim.

What about Lucy Chapman?

Stone was scared Duncan told her things.

Was Duncan on the take?

Yeah, for years.

Why didn't they shut up Mrs. Duncan?

I don't know!

Did she go on the payroll?

I think so. I'm not sure.

What's she got on them?

I don't know. I just take orders.

You'll give me a break, won't you? I told you what I know!

I'm through with you, but your friends aren't.

I'm going to spread the word that you talked.

You're out of business, thief.

We caught up with Larry before he got to the airport.

He was in such a hurry, it took a couple of slugs to stop him.

What's left of him is on the way to the river.

Debby? What about her?

She doesn't worry me.

But Bannion does.

Larry must have talked a lot to run that quickly.

When you use second-raters like Gordon, it's trouble. I've told you that before.

If you had okayed getting rid of Bannion, he wouldn't be a problem now.

When Duncan wanted out, I asked you to let me handle him.

But, no! You thought talking to him might keep him in line.

So what happens? He knocks himself off!

Don't make me the fall guy, Mike.

I'm no Larry Gordon.

The reformers would be delighted to hear us accusing each other.

All right, we both made mistakes. The point is, correct them.

Bannion on the bottom of the river with Larry and there's no more problem.

May be a bigger one.

If he knows anything, he's put it on paper.

Anything happens to him, it becomes public property.

The Duncan setup all over again.

That's a gamble we've got to take.

We don't.

Take something Bannion values more than himself and we keep him quiet.

As soon as you're set, have Higgins call off the police guard... at the Eldridge Street house.


Yes, Mrs. Duncan.

He's at my door. What'll I do?

He knows I'm at home. My car's in the garage.

I'll take care of it. You just stall him.

Yes, I understand.

Oh, Mr. Bannion! I'm so sorry I kept you waiting.

The furniture's the same. Nothing's been changed.

You haven't started living high yet, have you?

What are you talking about?

Your husband was on Lagana's payroll. Now you are.

He must've put down all the facts and figures in writing for Lagana... to hold still for blackmail.

What did you do with it?

I haven't the faintest idea what you're talking about.

But if you want to look around, please go right ahead.

No, it wouldn't be here. You're much smarter than Lucy Chapman.

Thank you.

You told Lagana about Lucy.

You have a horrid mind. Poor Lucy.

You were delighted. You were even happy when your husband blew his brains out.

We were getting along very well until the soul-struggling began.

You want to know something ridiculous?

It was after his affair with Lucy Chapman that he wanted to turn over a new leaf.

Our city is being strangled by thieves and you protect Lagana and Stone... for the sake of a soft, plush life.

The coming years are going to be just fine, Mr. Bannion.

There aren't going to be any coming years for you.

None at all.

I don't threaten easily.

If anything happens to you, the evidence comes out.

That's the way you arranged it, didn't you, bright lady?

You got it all put away someplace. That's how you kept Lagana over a barrel.

But I'm not Lagana. With you dead, the big heat follows.

The big heat for Lagana, for Stone and for all the rest of the lice.

Mr. Lagana is an excellent life insurance agent.

What's the trouble?

Nothing, Officer.

This is Police Sergeant Bannion.

Sorry, Sergeant. We got a call there was trouble.

Sergeant Bannion... I'm sorry, it's ex-sergeant, isn't it?

He'll be leaving with you, Officer.

It's me, Bannion.

How about a little light in here?

I've got to get used to being seen sometime, I guess.

I've been feeling like something that's been shut up... because nobody wants to look at it.

Aren't you supposed to take one of these before meals?

Here you are.

You want some water?

Just sitting here thinking is rough... when you've spent most of your life not thinking.

Now eat your soup.

What was your wife like, Dave?

Twenty-seven years old, light hair...

gray eyes.

That's a police description.

Did she like to cook? Like to be surprised? What kind of things made her laugh?

I'm sorry. You don't want to talk about her.

Certainly not with me.

Not with anyone.

Did you find Larry? What?

Yes, I found him.


I ran into a brick wall, Bertha Duncan.

The cop's widow?

He left her a million-dollar trust fund.

Wrote down everything there was to know about the syndicate.

Vince must hate her insides.

He never could take losing or being pressured.

He's got to take it.

If she dies, the letter goes to the newspapers.

I almost killed her an hour ago.

I should have.

I don't believe you could.

If you had, there wouldn't be much difference between you and Stone.

It must be for me. I told them downstairs I was up here.


Yes, Marge? The relief detail didn't show up.

I called the police station. They said they weren't coming anymore.

Keep the door locked until Al gets home. I'll be there in an hour.

Keep that for company.

Okay, Mac. Get 'em up high.

Go upstairs, nice and easy now.

Hold it, Mark! Hold it!

Nice going. This is my brother-in-law.

What is this?

Al said to stop everybody.

You're doing fine, Mark. Get back downstairs.

Sorry, Mac.


It's okay.

Is Joyce all right? Sure.

Marge has her inside. I got the boys over just in case.

This is my brother-in-law.

Bill Rutherford, Harry Shoenstein, Hank O'Connell.

How are you?

I guess civilian life hasn't slowed Mark down so much.

Are you kidding? It hasn't slowed him down at all.

When trouble comes, it'll be from hoodlums who know their business.

I'm afraid they won't be stopped... by amateurs whose hearts happen to be in the right place.

Do we look like the cast from some Maypole dance?

I've been places those creeps wouldn't go unless they rode in a 50-ton tank.

I went in on foot...

The story of how he won the Medal of Honor or something.

All right, big wit!

Anybody comes through that door and touches that kid will wind up dead!

Harry "Schoenhopper," the angry poet!

Seriously, Bannion, we can handle things.

I was never so sure of anything in my life.

Do you know where the trouble's coming from?

I'd feel easier if all of you stayed here.

Daddy! There's my girl. Hello, sweetheart!

How are you?

Will you tell me a story, Daddy? Why, sure. Which story, darling?

- The Three Little Kittens. "That lost their mittens."

We just heard the precinct detail was called off.

You're sticking your neck way out. It's a fine night for it.

Hello, Dave.

Aren't you throwing your pension down into the sewer?

I got my wife's okay.

In fact, Gertie used language I didn't think she knew.

It's the first time in years I've breathed good, clean air.

You don't have to stay. Al has some of his Army friends upstairs.

If we stick around, it'll make it official.

Thanks. Dave.

Where are you going now?

Nowhere special. Do you want company?


A report came in this afternoon about your barging in on Mrs. Duncan.

You're not going there again?


I'm Vince Stone's girl, Debby Marsh. May I see you for a moment?

I was just leaving, but please come in. Thank you.

Were you in an accident?

Yes. I'm sorry.

You have a nice home. Thank you.

Did Mr. Stone send you? No.

I've been thinking, about you and me, how much alike we are.

The mink-coated girls.

I don't understand you.

What are you here for, Miss Marsh?

Debby. We should use first names, Bertha.

We're sisters under the mink.

You're not making any sense, Miss Marsh.

I'd better call Mr. Stone and have him pick you up.

You're not well.

I've never felt better in my life.

It'll burn for a long time, Vince.

It doesn't look bad now, but in the morning your face will be like mine.

Look at it. It isn't pretty, is it?

You'll walk through side streets and alleys so people won't stare at you.

But you're lucky. It won't be for long.

Bertha Duncan is dead!

No more insurance for you and Lagana. The lid's off the garbage can. And I did it!



I killed Mrs. Duncan.

This is an emergency!

Get an ambulance to 257 Flower Street. The penthouse.


Go on, shoot!


Get up.

Get up.

We'll take your gun, Dave.

You can have him, too.

There's one charge against him, to start with.

Over there.

We went to the Duncan house. I'm sorry you got there first.

I didn't.

Did you call it in? We wanted to catch up with you first.

Put a cover on Lagana, Higgins and every other thief in town.

Duncan left a confession. It'll come out now. The lice will try to run.

There's no use moving her.

You can close your file on the Bertha Duncan killing.



Am I going to die?

If I said you'd live another 100 years, you'd call me a liar.

I don't want to die.

I must look awful.

Vince shouldn't have ruined my looks. It was a rotten thing to do.

Dave. Yes?

I'm going to die.

No, Debby.

Remember how angry you got... when I asked you about your wife?

I wasn't angry.

You and Katie would have gotten along fine.

What was she like?

A real Irish blow-top. But she always got over it fast.

She raised the roof with me for missing dinner... or leaving the bathroom a mess.

A few minutes later, she'd come in with a drink in her hand... for me, just as though nothing had happened.

Katie was a sampler.

She used to take sips of my drink and puffs on my cigarette.

Sometimes she used to taste the food off my plate.

We got a big kick out of that.

I like her.

I like her a lot.

Sometimes when I came home from work... she'd have the baby dressed up like a little princess.

One of the most important parts of the day was when I came in... and saw her looking like something just stepped down off a birthday cake.

I guess it's that way with most families.

How about some coffee, Hugo? Coming right up, Sarge!

Homicide, Bannion.

Got it.

They have a hit-and-run over on South Street.

Keep the coffee hot, Hugo.