The Case Against Mrs. Ames (1936) Script

Well, the papers are certainly playing up that Ames case.

Why don't they hang the dame? Get it over with?

They probably will. The trial ends tomorrow.

[ Radio: ]

"The News Of The World."

"Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday night at this hour."

"Brings you The News Of The World."

"Dramatized and re-enacted for you by the staff of The Weekly News magazine."

"Tomorrow, in the Superior Court of California at San Francisco."

"Hope Ames, beautiful widow of Perry Ames."

"On trial for the murder of her multimillionaire husband."

"Will face for the last time, the twelve solemn jurors."

"Who hold her fate in their hands."

"What are the thoughts tonight of Hope Ames?"

"As she waits in her lonely cell."

"Do they race back through the years to those carefree days?"

"When her defiance of convention and tradition .."

"Shocked the social aristocracy of San Francisco."

"And made frontpage news."

"Or do they go back to the day of that memorable scene when .."

"As an independent, wilful young girl."

"She dared to confront and defy the imperious dowager .."

"Mrs Livingstone Ames, her future mother-in-law."

"Hope Johnson, if you marry my son against my will."

"I shall never accept you in my home."

"Nor acknowledge you as my daughter-in-law."

"Mrs Ames."

"This is one thing you can't control."

"You may disdain the social life of San Francisco."

"And the financial policies of your bank."

"But you can't dictate to me."

"One month later."

"The social foundation of San Francisco is rocked."

"Mrs Livingstone Ames does not appear at the wedding of her son."

"Hope - do you take Perry to be your lawful wedded husband?"

"To have and to hold, in sickness and health."

"Until death do you part."

"Until death do you part."

"Prophetic words, those. For on the night of April 12th .."

"While his son Bobby, heir to the Ames' millions, lies sleeping in his nursery."

"Perry Ames lies dead."

"A smoking gun beside him."

"You .. you'll have to come along, Mrs Ames."

"I didn't do it."

"I didn't do it."

"I didn't do it!"

"The wheels of the law turned."

"Day after day, week after week."

"Hope Ames, the central figure in the case that has stirred the nation."

"Remains cold, unshaken. Inhumanly passive."

"Will Hope Ames be convicted?"

"Tomorrow, twelve men will tell."

Good morning, Hope. Good morning, Lawrence.

How is Bobby? Oh, he's fine.

Your mother-in-law is taking excellent care of him.

You look worried, Lawrence. I am.

Thompson was taken to the hospital last night with a nervous breakdown.

That's fine. I'm on trial for my life and the D. A. gets a nervous breakdown.

It won't be postponed?

No. The case will probably go to the jury around noon.

Logan will conclude for the State. Logan?

He's Macey's assistant.

The toughest Prosecutor in the D.A.s office. Don't let him rattle you.

He'll do anything to get a conviction. You'll be a match for him, Lawrence.

Yes, but better be prepared for a tough time. Macey was at least a gentleman.

Logan makes no pretence at that.

He doesn't care how he wins as long as he wins.

Did you get it? Yeah.

I hate to think what that guy Logan is going to do to her today.

Regarding your last answer.

Do you expect me to believe ..

I don't expect you to be believe anything, Mr Logan.

I'm talking for the benefit of the jury.

That's not all your doing for the benefit of the jury, Mrs Ames.

I object to this line of cross-examination, Your Honour.

The Prosecutor is insulting the defendant.

Objection sustained. The statement of the District Attorney is stricken out.

The jury is instructed to disregard it.


Mrs Ames, I apologize for that last remark.

But you are quite right when you state that I don't believe anything you say.

Strike that out.

The jury is instructed to disregard Mr Logan's statement.

Be a little more careful, Mr Logan.

Mrs Ames.

Owing to the fact that your husband was wearing gloves at the time of his death.

And owing to the absence of fingerprints on the murder weapon.

It was your theory at the coroner's inquest that Mr Ames committed suicide.

Is that correct? Yes.

The experts testified.

But because of the absence of powder marks around the wound.

The weapon must have been discharged at a distance of not less than eight feet.

And therefore, could not have been self-inflicted.

Is that not so? I ..

I guess so.

Don't guess, Mrs Ames. Just answer yes or no.

Mr Logan, I'd like to know the purpose of this line of questioning.

Merely to remove from the minds of the jurors ..

The possibility that Perry Ames' death might have been a suicide.

It is your defence, therefore.

That your husband was murdered by a party or parties unknown.


You testified that you were at your dressing table in your room here.

When you heard the shot fired here.


It wasn't usual for a shot to be fired late at night in your house, was it?

No. It startled you?


And you rushed into your husband's room to see what the trouble was?


Your Honor, I already testified to this. Oh, I realize all that, Mrs Ames.

So I beg to impose on your generosity.

Due to the sudden illness of the District Attorney.

I haven't had much time to study the record of what has gone before.

So I do hope you'll be patient with me.

Thank you.

When you saw your husband lying there.

You ran from the room to call the servants? - Yes.

Through this door here.

To the hall. Yes.

According to your statement to the investigating detectives.

This door to the hall was locked.

You had to turn the key to open it? Yes.

And your servants had not heard the shot?

That's what they testified. Do you doubt their testimony?


Thank you, Mrs Ames.

Bailiff, would you mind holding this gun and helping with a little experiment?

Make sure it isn't loaded and stand right over here.

Oh, I'd also like your assistance, Mr Clerk.

Your Honor, I must object to all this.

Mr Logan is obviously wasting our time with irrelevant methods.

The point is well taken. Mr Logan ..

Just what do you intend to prove by all this?

That Mrs Hope Ames killed her husband.

As a matter of fact, I'm willing to stake my whole case ..

On the outcome of this experiment.

Does the Prosecutor mean the experiment will prove or disprove the State's case?

That's exactly what I mean.

Under those circumstances Your Honor, the defence withdraws its objection.

You may proceed, Mr Logan.

Thank you, counsellor. If you please, Mr Clerk.

This is a stop watch. You start it by pressing this.

Mr Bailiff, when I give the signal, you pull the trigger.

At the sound of the click, you start the watch.

Is that clear? Yes, sir.

According to measurements.

The dressing table in Mrs Ames' room.

Is 27 feet distant from where the body was found.

You stipulated that, Mr Waterson? Yes.

I estimate this distance to be at least 27 feet.

Do you agree, Mr Waterson? Yes.

Alright, Mr Bailiff.

Stop the watch.

Seven seconds.

And I walked slowly.

I did not rush as Mrs Ames testified she had done.

Now time this, when I pull the trigger.

Stop the watch.

Five seconds.

Five from seven leaves two.

Thank you, gentleman.

Well now, Mrs Ames.

After you heard the shot.

You saw no-one leave your husband's room?

No-one. Mrs Ames.

You have granted me a certain latitude in this experiment.

I'm going to grant you a similar latitude.

You may tell the jury.

And in your own words.

Just how it is possible.

For an unknown murderer to shoot your husband.

Wipe the butt of the gun.

And make his escape through the door to the sitting-room, the one possible exit.

All in the incredibly short space of two seconds.

And without your seeing him!

And if you're unable to answer.

I can explain how you had plenty of time to wipe your fingerprints from the gun.

And before you summoned the servants.

Your Honour. I object.

I demand that the entire speech be stricken from the record.

There has been no evidence that fingerprints were erased from the gun.

I'm glad you brought that up, counsellor.

She's going to be the most beautiful dame that was ever hanged in this state.

What a picture it will make.

Plainly marked, as you can see for yourselves.

There is indisputable evidence the gun was wiped.

But not entirely clean.

For there is the impression of the heel of a palm on it.

May I ask why, since this exhibit is so important to the Assistant Prosecutor.

Why it was not presented a week ago?

The point is well taken, counsellor.

The reason is that I was not in charge of the case then.

And now Mrs Ames, if you care to answer.

The defendant does not have to answer.

That's right, Mrs Ames. You don't have to answer.

But I want to answer, Your Honor.

Mrs Ames, I beg you ..

Mr Logan gave the impression with the jury that I'm guilty.

Please, Mrs Ames .. Has Mr Waterson got the witness or I?

Your witness, Mr Logan.

Proceed, gentlemen.

Now, may I answer in my own way? Yes.

Gentlemen of the jury.

When the State's experts testified that fingerprints were wiped from the gun.

I believe they were telling the truth.

I do not believe.

I cannot conceive that they would give false testimony when a life is at stake.

My life.

I ask you to believe me when I say ..

That I have but the vaguest recollection of what happened.

When I found my husband lying there, dead.

Seconds may have passed.

Hours may have passed.

It might all be a nightmare, even now.

I don't know.

Try to put yourself in my position, gentlemen.

If you'd heard a shot and gone to a room to find your wife lying there, dead.

Could you have remembered everything that happened?

I repeat.

I don't know how long I stayed in that room.

I was stunned, horrified, and panic-stricken.

It seems so ridiculous to me that moments like that can be judged by ..

Stopwatches and men with yardsticks.

I demand the witness answer the questions and stop summing up the case.

If I remember Mr Logan, it was your suggestion that I answer in my own way.

Continue, Mrs Ames.

I can quite understand why Mr Logan had difficulty in accepting this.

He deals with criminals to whom guns and weapons are an everyday occurrence.

Guns have played no part in my life.

As they have in Mr Logan's.

I realized that these circumstances would be considered damning in my case.

I might have prepared an elaborate defence.

I too might have rehearsed experiments to prove certain points.

Yet .. knowing all this.

I stand before you.

With no other explanation than the one I've just given you.


Credit me with average intelligence.

I had no reason to kill my husband.

He was the last person on earth I should wish harm.

I loved him, and I'm fighting now, not only for my own life.

But I'm fighting to keep my son's name clean.

The son of the man they are trying to make you believe I killed.


If you don't believe me.

If the truth fails me.

Then there is nothing more I can say or ..

Or do.

My only defence.

Is the truth.

An appreciation of a fine performance by a fine actress, Your Honor.

Continue with the witness. Is there anything further?

The State rests.

The defence rests.

By the look of the jury they'll be back in a few minutes.

Ah ..

It's a quarter to 12 now.

No jury ever rendered a verdict before lunch when the state was paying for it.

You are instructed that in considering your verdict in this case ..

You must not be influenced by any fashion or prejudice.

You will consider only the evidence as presented in court.

I appreciate this mass demonstration of enthusiasm over my fine victory.

I'm only sorry there isn't enough Scotch to go around.

How about a statement before you go to lunch, Matt?

What do you think the verdict will be?

Fine newspapermen you are.

Here. I'll dictate your stories for you.

The spectacular murder trial of Hope Ames, wealthy socialite ..

Charged with killing her husband .. ended today.

Immediately after lunch, the jury returned to the courtroom.

Their faces alight, with the nobility of men who have performed a good deed.

Beautiful Hope Ames, with tears streaming from her beautiful eyes.

Threw her beautiful arms around the neck of her attorney .. Lawrence Waterson.

And pressed her beautiful lips against his cheek.

Matt Logan, the Assistant District Attorney.

The boy who fought his way up from the streets.

And who has a brilliant political future ..

Sat there .. defeated.

The Superior Court of the County of San Francisco, State of California.

The people of the State of California, plaintiff.

Versus Hope Ames, defendant.

We, the jury in the above-entitled action.

Find the defendant .. not guilty.

Order, please!

I knew you'd get off alright. My dear.

Logan .. you should have saved that little experiment.

I guess you're cornered, Matt.

Ah you dumb slugs. You could have had your paper on the street an hour ago.

I'll give you something to print.

I want to tell you jurors something.

Mr Prosecutor, I warn you.

Instead of judging this case on its merits and by the rules of evidence.

You betrayed your fellow citizens, being swayed by the beauty of the defendant.

Your verdict is the greatest travesty of justice in my entire career.

Gentlemen, you have freed a murderess.

Mr Logan, you are in contempt of court.

And I shall stay in contempt of court until I tell these people what I think.

Mrs Ames, you are a murderess.

Set free by these stupid men to kill again when and where you choose.

Bailiff, take the Prosecutor into custody. Arrest him.

I fine you $500 for contempt of court.

Or that you be imprisoned in the county jail one day for each $2 of fine unpaid.

Good afternoon, Mrs Ames.

Parsons. I've come for Bobby. Where is he?

He's plays in the garden.

Thanks. Excuse me.

But Mrs Livingstone Ames asks if you'll see her first.

She's in the library.

You lost no time getting here.

I came here straight from the court.

Let me congratulate you on the outcome of the trial.

Thank you. But it wasn't altogether unexpected, was it.

Oh where is he? I can't wait to see him.

That's why I asked you to come in here first.

I want to speak to you about Bobby.

Why, is anything the matter? Nothing is the matter with Bobby.

Well what is it then?

I want you to sign these.

What are they?

Adoption papers giving me full charge of my grandson.

Adoption papers?

Do you think I'd let you have Bobby?

I advise you to sign. But what are you thinking about?

I'm thinking of Bobby's future, just as I expect you to do.

This is ridiculous.

I think you might have spared me this today.

Can't you realize what I've been through with this trial?


And I should think you would want to avoid another.

What does that mean?

It means that I am going to have custody of Bobby, peaceably or otherwise.

And what makes you think that any court or any law would let you have my son?

Because you're not a fit mother for him.

Your chances of getting Bobby on those grounds are very slight.

You are forgetting your reputation.

You are a woman involved in a murder scandal.

There is no more murder scandal. I was set free today.

Because my lawyers defended you.

But in the eyes of the world you're still a woman who murdered ..

Stop that!

There is no use in our talking.

There never will be any use in it.

But I'm never going to let you have Bobby.

I'm going to get him now.

I shouldn't try to see him if I were you.

And I shouldn't try and stop me if I were you.





Bobby darling. Are you hurt?

No, I'm not.

Oh, I'm so glad. That was a nasty spill, wasn't it.

Why, Bobby.

Look what you did to my racer. Why, mother didn't do that, darling.

You did so. You made me do it by chasing me.

And it's all smashed up.

Well don't you care about that, darling. We'll buy you another one.

I don't want another one. I want this one.

Listen, Bobby.

We're both going home together now.

And we're never going to be separated any more. What do you say to that?

I don't want to go home with you.


You mustn't say that, darling.

Why don't you want to come home with me?

Tell me, darling.

Remember how we promised never to have any secrets from each other?

Remember that?

Then tell me, darling.

It's because of what you did to my daddy.

Bobby, what are you talking about?

I loved my daddy.

But of course you did. You always will.

But don't you love your mother, too?

No, I don't!

You're bad! You killed my daddy. Bobby!

You're bad! You killed my daddy.

Grandma! I want my grandma.

How could you? How could you do a thing like that?

I warned you not to see him.

How could you make a baby believe such things about his own mother?

Bobby, you mustn't believe those bad, wicked things about your mother.

They're not true.

You know I love you, darling. Won't you come home with me?

Grandma, grandma. Don't let her take me.

No dear. She isn't going to take you away.

You're going to stay right here with grandma.

Matilda. Matilda.

She's here .. she's here.

Hope, my dear. All your troubles are over.

I fixed that Matt Logan. But .. fixed him.

His address for some time to come will be the county jail.

And what's more, he's out of a job.

All I did was remind Macey how much money I spent on his last campaign.

He was so anxious to please, that he discharged Logan.

That Macey was smiling, alright.

He knew that Logan might run against him in the next election.

That was a good way to get rid of a dangerous political enemy.

Aside from that .. nothing.

Dear, dear, dear ..

What's the matter, my dear?

Bobby refused to come home with me.

Refused to come home? Yes, but it wasn't his fault.

She's poisoned his mind against me.

She's made him believe I killed Perry. Why, the old she-Judas.

She said she was going to take Bobby away from me. Peaceably or otherwise.

Uncle, what am I going to do? Don't you worry, my dear.

I'll get Lawrence over here right away. He'll take care of everything.

Hiya, Tom. How's the ex-Assistant District Attorney taking it?

As sore as a boil. Did you raise that $500 fine?

Yeah. All but $499 and 50 cents of it.

Who you got him in with, Tom? Nobody.

He's not very popular with the boys he put in here, huh?

Too popular. They're all begging for him.

Especially Dutch RigenhŽimer who's going up to the big house tomorrow morning.

For that strangle-murder that Matt pinned on him.

Tom .. I'll get you a season's pass to the Palace ..

If you throw him in a cell with RigenhŽimer for just five minutes.

Five minutes!

Why, the Dutchman will beat his head off.

Yeah, but what a picture it will make.

I can see it now.

RigenhŽimer tearing his arms out and beat him to death them.

A chance for a poetic justice story. Come on, Tom. Be a sport.

You can do it. You're head jailer.

I thought you snakes were pals of his.

We are. But with me, a story is a story.

With me, a picture is a picture.

And with me, a skunk is a skunk.

We can't help it, Tom.

I guess it's the heel blood that's in us.

Come on, before you smell up the office.

Third cell to the right. Thanks, Tom.

Hiya, Matt. How's the new boarder?

How's that $500?

To tell you the truth pal, it looks like your career has been nipped in the bud.

What about Laurette?

She says she's down to her last Pekingese.

She said she's going to do her best to raise the dough.

I don't think you guys even tried to get me out of here.

We did Matt, honest. I was even going to sell that picture I was asking $300 for.

What picture?

The one I snapped at the Garvin funeral.

When a beer truck overturned the hearse and spilled the stiff into the gutter.

What do you think the News Syndicate offers me for it?

Twenty-five bucks!

"Twenty-five bucks?" I says to them. Keep it, you pikers.

You'd probably offer Rembrandt twenty-five bucks for Whistler's mother.

Ty round the courthouse?

Yeah, we contacted everybody but the mayor.

They all say the same thing. They like you personally, but politically .. nah.

Politically, they think I'm dead, huh?

Well, from out here, you don't look exactly like Presidential timbre.

Oh, I feel that you've offended somebody in the higher places.


Definitely. The chill is on you, Mr Logan.

Well, when I get out of here, I'll show them if I'm politically dead or not.

I'm going to crack a story that will make this town think a cyclone hit it.

With pictures? With everything.

How'd you like to know Macey never had any intention of winning the Ames' case.

He could have dug up enough evidence to have hanged her three times.

It's why he handily got a nervous breakdown on the last day of the trial.

To make me the patsy!

Say, this isn't a case of sour grapes, is it?


If Macey really wanted to hang Hope Ames.

Do you think he would have allowed the jury to be composed of nothing but men?

It is strange there wasn't a couple of women.

I'll say it's strange.

But even after I performed a miracle.

I trapped her in a net of circumstantial evidence that was almost a confession.

What happens?

What happened? She puts on an act.

Starts parading up and down in front of those popeyed jurors.

Putting on the charm and personality, and kills me dead.

You can't blame the dame for trying to save her neck.

No, I blame Macey for tossing the case in my lap after he purposely threw it.

Just because he's afraid of her uncle.

Who backs Macey and every cheap, two-dollar politician in town.

You scavengers want some news? Well, here's some.

And you can quote me with pictures.

When I get out of this cage, I'm going to blast that Ames' case right open.

I was right when I told the lily-livered jurors they'd freed a murderess.

And believe me, when I get through with Hope Ames ..

I'm going to prove that compared with her .. Bluebeard was a sissy.

Hold it, Matt. It's a "Patrick Henry".

Be seeing you. I got to get this hot take on the fire.

So long, Matt.

Hey, you garbage collectors. Come back here.

You ain't going to ask us to kill the story?

No, but I don't want you to kill the bottle. Now come on, give it to me.

So long, Matt. So long.

Oh, I almost forgot to give you this present I have for you.

Oh thanks, Sid.

Oh Lawrence, I'm so glad you came.

Did uncle Gordon tell you about Bobby? Yes. It's rather a delicate situation.

There must be something you can do, Lawrence.

No .. I advise signing of the adoption papers.

You don't mean .. give up Bobby without a fight?

You can't mean that? But I do.

Under the circumstances, it is the sane and sensible thing.

But this woman has no right to my child.

In a way she has. It is due to the trust fund.

There are several things that make it risky for you to bring this to a crisis.

Mrs Livingstone Ames is a formidable opponent.

She has tremendous influence.

And after all, at the present time, you are still under a cloud.

But how can I be? The jury acquitted me.

What I am trying to say is ..

That Logan has put you back on trial again in the court of public opinion.

He intends to keep this scandal alive.

There must be some way to stop this man talking.

You might just as well try to stop Niagara.

He's making the public think.

I don't care what the public thinks. I don't care what anybody thinks.

As long as I can keep Bobby.

As long as he still believes in my innocence.

Oh Lawrence, you've got to help me.

Hope, I can't.


I am executor of your husband's estate and the custodian of Bobby's trust fund.

I defended you once.

Against my better judgment.

Against your better judgment?

Yes, and now I must do the thing that is right.

What exactly do you mean by "right"?

Come Hope. Do you think you're the proper person to bring up Perry's son?

In view of the circumstances surrounding the murder.

But Lawrence, you ..

You make it sound as though ..

As though there were some doubt in your mind as to my innocence.

There is no doubt at all.

I know that you murdered Perry.

I knew it all along.

But you're defence of me?

It didn't fool me any more than it fooled you.

Or any more than it fooled Logan.

I think ..

You had better go.

I'm sorry, Hope.

Though I wish you'd try to understand my position.




Matilda. Yes, ma'am?

Order the roadster right away. Very well, ma'am.

And get your hat and coat. Very well.

Come along, Matt. Go away.

I don't want another bath.

You're out!

A dame just paid your fine.


Good old Laurette.

I knew she wouldn't let me down.

Where is she, Tom?

This will kill her. She's bailed out the wrong Logan.

Come with me, Mr Logan.

Ah, the murderess. Get into the car please.

Oh no, you're not taking me for any ride, Girlie.

Get in, you tramp!

Mr Logan, I got you out of jail because I want to talk to you.


Call me up sometime.

Sit down, you cur.

Ooh. Down to 3-letter words now, huh?

This is no laughing matter, Mr Logan. You better listen to what I have to say.

Not while I'm drunk on your sofa.

You want to talk to me, you've got to get as cockeyed as I have.

Because I've no intention of getting as serious or as sober as you are.

Let's get out of here.

Well, I've seen some plain and fancy guzzling in my time.

But I've never seen an elbow raised as often as yours with less effect.

Evidently, you've never seen a civilized person drink.

I don't know where you put it.

Do you want another one?

Is that an invitation or a challenge?

I'll show you I'm no sissy.

Let's stop this.

I've brought you here to make you a business proposition.

You are not thinking of going into Vaudeville?

I want to retain you to find out who killed my husband.

I'm a quaint choice for that job.

If that's what you wanted, I guess our evening is over.

Let me finish.

You still claim that I murdered my husband.

I want to engage you prove it.

Then I must be drunker than I thought I was.

Listen, there isn't enough money in the world to keep me quiet about this case.

I'm not trying to bribe you. No?

What's your name for it? Listen.

You have a reputation as the shrewdest man in the District Attorney's office.

I'm gambling on this.

That when you're trying to find evidence to prove that I killed my husband.

You'll come across evidence to prove I didn't.

Then, when I prove that you did?

I'll give you twenty-five thousand dollars.

Why go to so much trouble, when we both know it?

I'm serious. You're cockeyed ..

That's my offer.

Twenty-five thousand dollars? Uhuh.

Put it in writing.


Don't you think you've had about enough?

I know my capacity.

Trouble is, I always get drunk before I reach it.

"I promise to pay .."

Mrs Ames.

This is the first time I ..

I ever got paid for something ..

That it going to be for nothing.

Mr Logan.

Mr Logan!

Matilda. I'm right here, honey lamb.

Did you think I'd leave you alone with that beast?

Help me with him.

I'll call Griggsby to throw him out. That's what I'll do.

We're putting him to bed. That scoundrel!

Go ahead girls, go ahead. Now, you've got me drunk.

Go ahead and drag me. We'll drag you.

Straight ahead.

Griggsby. Madam?

I brought a guest home last night. Yes, madam. I've already seen it.

Well, will you tell "it" to come down to breakfast.

Begging your pardon, madam. It's already ordered its breakfast.

This is what Mr Logan quaintly terms a "Kentucky breakfast".

Bring him some seltzer and tomato juice.

Yes, madam.

[ Door knocks ]

Come in.

Ah Briggsy, my good fellow. What's your name?

Begging your pardon, sir. It's "Griggsby".

Oh, then you don't mind if I call you Griggsby, do you?

Not at all, sir.

Where is the Bourbon? Madam's orders, sir.

You tell madam I resent her hijacking my breakfast.

What is this?

Blood or tomato juice? Tomato juice, sir.

Say .. do you think that's a gentle hint for me to sober up.

I wouldn't say that, sir.

Well, I can see that this is going to be a clash of two strong wills.

If I can't get the kind of breakfast I want, I'll go on a hunger strike.

Yes, sir.

Now Griggsby, look at that.

How long will it take to mend that?

I'll send it to the tailors at once, sir.

Do you think that Madame has an extra negligee or something?

That I could wear in the meantime?

Begging your pardon, sir.

Do you think you can find something here more suitable than madam's negligees?


These belonged to the late Mr Ames? Yes, sir.

And this room I slept in was his?

Yes, sir. Nice girl.

Tell me, Griggsby, what's a well-dressed man about town wearing this season?

Well sir, the best authorities agree on ..

Unfinished tweed with patch pockets for the morning stroll.

Then a more conservative double-breasted serge until luncheon.

For luncheon, something more formal, such as striped trousers.

Yeah? Well this one will have to do for all day.

I can't be taking my pants off every fifteen minutes.

I've a murder to solve. Now, sir?

Ask Mrs Ames to come up here.

She's waiting for you downstairs, sir.

You tell her I'm waiting for her up here.

Very well, sir.

[ Door knocks ] Come in.

I was forced to borrow some of your husband's things.

That's quite alright.

Now Mrs Ames, I'm what is vulgarly known as a fast worker.

So if it's alright with you, I'll dig into this case at once.

That's just what I want you to do.

Show me the exact spot where you found the body.


Good .. now the exact position in which you found him.

You're not asking me to lie on the floor, are you?

It is necessary for me to know the exact position in which the body was lying.

I'll call Griggsby.

Do you mind getting me the topcoat, hat and gloves your husband wore that night?

Not at all.

Seems a shame that a man who had so many clothes got so little use out of them.

Why, I beg your pardon, madam. I thought Mr Logan rang.

Beg your pardon Griggsby, but you're a bit of a cad making a remark like that.

However, as long as you brought it.

Give Griggsby the clothes your husband was wearing the night he was shot.

Go on. Put on that hat and coat.

He didn't have on his hat and coat. They were on the chair here.

That's funny. I seem to remember reading in the record ..

That you stated that he had on his hat and coat, as well as his gloves.

Yes, I .. I did say that.

Why do you say now they were both on the chair?

I was confused in court. I made a mistake and saw no reason to correct it.

Does it make a difference? It may make $25,000 worth.

Griggsby, put on those gloves.

You mean the late Mr Ames' gloves, sir?

Go ahead. They won't bite.

Do what Mr Logan tells you, Griggsby.

It gives me a sort of eerie feeling, sir.

Mrs Ames hasn't any qualms about these clothes.

Why should you?

Place them where you found Mr Ames.

Come back here, Griggsby.

Lie down.

Face this direction.

Point you right hand towards the dresser.

And let your left hand drop at your side.

That's about it. Where is the gun?


That checks. Ames was lefthanded.

In all crimes, I look for the unnatural thing.

There is no perfect crime because there is no perfect lie.

There is something unnatural about this picture.

You know what it is? Unnatural?

Most unnatural. Let me show you.

Ups-a-daisy, Griggsby.

You make a lovely corpse.

Thank you, sir.

I want you to take these clothes, go into the other room and put them on.

When I call you, come back and take off your clothes.

All of them, sir?

I'll tell you when to stop.

And what do you think you're going to prove by this silly demonstration?

That you lied.

That you shot your husband.

Rubbed your fingerprints off the gun and put the gloves back on his dead hands.

To explain the absence of fingerprints and make it look like a suicide.

And what caused that amazing deduction?

Because you said your husband was wearing gloves.

But no overcoat.

Is that so unusual?

Have you ever seen a man take off his overcoat ..

Without first removing his gloves?

I've never been interested enough to notice.

Well, that's the mistake you made. Not noticing those things.

And fingers are clumsy in gloves. They always take off their gloves first.

Which is exactly what your husband did that night.

And you think that's an infallible rule?

I'll show you how infallible it is.


The gloves were enough, Griggsby. Thank you. You may go now.

Yes, sir.

I'll take my check now.

You idiot!

Do you think I'd offer you $25,000 to prove me guilty if I were?

Certainly. Why?

To keep my mouth shut.

Because I've got you cold.

You're just a common blackmailer. Get out of here.

Just a minute.

I knew your proposition was a phony.

But I promised myself I'd get you and I did.

And if you think that fluff uncle of yours will keep this out of the paper.

Just let him try it.

Girly, your bribe is going to backfire me right into the D. A's office.

You won't dare give this story to the papers.



Fletcher? Give me the city desk.

I'll run you right out of town.

You sure you're not running ahead of me? Get out now. Get out!

Uncle Gordon .. Griggsby!

You're a pretty good shot. With everything.

What are you doing here? Boo!

Boo, eh ..

Whoever paid that man's fine and got him out of jail will have to reckon with me.

Then I'm afraid I'll have to reckon with you.


Are you crazy?

No. I'm desperate, uncle. Desperate.

Don't you understand? I've got to prove to Bobby that I didn't kill his father.

I thought Logan could help me.

I've made such a mess of things.

This puts me in a very awkward position, professionally.

To go back in to court and prosecute her, rather than defending her.

You must do it, Lawrence.

I know, but it's not going to be much fun for me.

You fell in love with Hope during the trial.

I saw it coming on. Oh, let's not go into that again.

I've stayed in the background long enough.

I've told you time and time again, there is nothing between Hope Ames and myself.

There had better not be, or ..

One night .. Mrs Ames was giving a party.

And little Bobby was sick.

She was always giving a party. That's important, Jeanette. Don't leave it out.

She was always giving a party. Yes, sir.

You want me to start over? No, no. Go ahead.

Before, Bobby was crying for his mother.

And when I tell Mrs Ames he was sick.

All she say is ..

"Oh, never mind about that. Make me more cocktails."

Now you have it, Jeanette.

You all know what you must say? Certainly, sir.

You'll all make very good witnesses if you are as good as your here today.

Cora, give each one of them the list of questions and answers.

There must be no mistake about this. Don't worry, Lawrence.

I'll give them a final rehearsal tonight.

They'll be letter-perfect when I've finished with them.

Come. We have no time to waste.

During the time you worked for Mrs Ames, did you see her neglect her son?

Oui, Monsieur.

Tell the court in your own words about this neglect.

One night in London, Mrs Ames was giving a party.

She was always giving a party.

Poor little Bobby was sick.

Very sick. And when I tell Mrs Ames about him.

All she say is ..

"Oh never mind about him. Make more cocktails."

Was she intoxicated?

Oh, she was always intoxicated. That's all.

You may take the witness, counsellor.

The defence does not wish to cross-examine the witness.

But you must. She lied.

Cross-examining the maid will only make her testimony important.

But you must.

Mrs Ames, you are paying me for my advice.

Your Honor, I wish to dismiss my attorney.

Are you sure it is to your best interest, Mrs Ames?

If you will permit, I wish to defend my own case and cross-examine the witness.

It's evident that Mrs Livingstone Ames is paying my attorney more than I am.

Your Honor. I object. This is slander.

That is no concern of this court, Mr Harris.

You may conduct your own case, Mrs Ames.

You will hear from me, Mrs Ames.

And if she does, you'll hear from me, young fellow.

Quiet, quiet!

She'll never be able to defend herself.

I'm glad to see you looking so prosperous, Jeanette.

Thank you, Madame.

You are working now for Mrs Livingstone Ames?


Tell me.

Does Mrs Ames pay you a larger salary for being her personal maid than I did?

Oh, very little. That's odd.

From the expensive bag you carry, I'd say he was paying you a great deal more.

May I see it?

Why, this gold clasp must cost more than you make in a month. Isn't that so?

I didn't buy it.

You're not up to your old tricks, are you Jeanette?

I did not steal it.

Mrs Livingstone Ames. She gave it to me.

Just one more question, Jeanette.

Did Mrs Ames give you that costly bag ..

Because she became so attached to you during the short time you're with her ..

Or because she wanted you to lie about my neglecting my son?

I object.

The objection is sustained, unless you wish to charge the witness with perjury.

I don't think that will be necessary, Your Honor.

Since we're all convinced now, that she is lying.

Objection sustained. Strike that from the record.

This is a court of law, Mrs Ames.

If you wish to continue with your own defence, you must follow its procedure.

I'll try and do better, Your Honor.

That will be all, Jeanette.

Your Honor, I call the defendant to the stand under section 2055 of the code.

Mrs Ames.

Your maid stated, when she worked for you in London, you always gave parties.

Is that true? I gave lovely parties.

Preparations for these parties required much thought.

And take up a great deal of your time, don't they?

Of course. You know how keen Perry was for everything to be just right.

Then the time it took to prepare these parties ..

I imagine kept you from being as much with your son as you would have liked.

I was with him as much as I liked.

Then you do admit Mrs Ames, that the little time you had left for your son ..

After preparing these parties and attending them.

Was all that you desired to be with him?

I tried to divide my time evenly between my husband and my son.

A wife's first duty is to keep her husband interested.

And these friends I entertained did interest him.

Then you do admit neglecting your boy? Certainly not.

My boy was in the charge of a nurse who could take care of him.

But the only person who could take care of his father was myself.

Then by placing your son in the care of a governess, you weren't neglecting him?

And that any outsider could give him the mother-love and the attention he needed?

The attention, yes.

But he always had my love.

You did all this entertaining ..

Just for your husband's sake?

No. I enjoyed the parties, too. What young girl wouldn't?

My son was well and happy, and my husband was amused.

Do you think it becoming for a woman of your social position ..

As mother of one of the richest boys in the world ..

To entertain the type of people that you did?

I entertained the most brilliant and talented artists of two continents.

Who have made their names instead of inheriting them.

Just one more question, Mrs Ames.

It was your own idea, to transfer your residence from San Francisco to London?

It certainly was.

Do you admit that the reason for making the change was that ..

You preferred your son brought up in the gay and bohemian atmosphere of London ..

Instead of his home in San Francisco where he could play with his friends?

And be with the relatives who loved him.

I would have gone anywhere to get away from my mother-in-law.

Who was constantly interfering and making trouble.

That is the main reason why I moved from San Francisco to London, Mr Waterson.

And I'm sorry I ever returned.

That will be all, Mrs Ames.

I should think so, Lawrence.

Evening Standard! Extra paper!

Read all about the Ames' case.

Here, boy.

Is it the Logan story?

No, thank goodness. It's about my dismissing Maitland Harris.

What a day .. what a day.

Thanks for everything, Laurette.

The pleasure was all mine, Mattie boy.

I'll pay you back next week.


Did you get it? No. Not even the car.

Matt Logan with Hope Ames? That don't make sense.

Hey, taxi!

Get over little uncle. Don't you dare call me "uncle".

Get out of this car you communist.

Give that back.

Well, well, well. "Hope Ames to defend self."

"Dismisses counsel."

"First round in fight for custody of child."

I could have told you from the beginning that Harris was a phony.

It serves you right for firing me, doesn't it uncle.

Drive over to the kerb, Hammond, while we disinfect the car.

Well, uncle. This is about where you get out.

I'll have you arrested. What, again?

Don't let him annoy you, uncle. Please get out!

Well, I don't think it's a very warm welcome for one who brings news.

I'm not interested.

Oh uncle, I do wish you'd speak to your niece about her bad manners.

At least you might thank me for not having that story printed. Yet.


Before I go, would you like to know why I didn't give that story to the papers?



Couldn't we drop you some place?

Yes. Right here.

Hope. If you think this shyster has anything important enough to listen to.

Listen to him, but I won't. I'm getting out!

Here, let me help you, uncle. But uncle ..

I'll be at my club.


Turn right at the next corner and go out to Bayshore Highway to the Gypsy Inn.

Yes, sir.

Go through the first stop signal you can so we can shake this taxi following us.

Yes, sir.

Is everything just as you ordered, Mr Logan?

You were pretty sure of yourself.

Very cozy, Armand.

No thanks. I'll pour the wine, thank you.

What is this news you have?

Remember the last time we had champagne together?

Stop acting like Philo Vance and tell me why you brought me here.

I thought a charming start and wine will be the best way to get into the subject.

But if I'm out of character, I'll get right to the point.

Since our delightful meeting.

I discover your husband was a gilt-edged chiseller and an all-American heel.

That's why I didn't give the story to the papers.

You are not surprised?

I am not.


You knew all along? I had my suspicions.

Well, I'll confirm them. He had little pals all over town.

One on Bush Street, one on Nob Hill.

And I haven't checked Chinatown yet. How did you find this out?

This parking ticket I found in his pocket.

See that number? Yes.

It's the phone number of a bubble-dancer around town, by the name of "Laurette".

I've squared so many raps with her, we've become old friends.

You saw us today in my cab. Yes, I saw her.

What interested me was this.

Why Laurette's number happens to be in your husband's pocket.

So, with my characteristic astuteness I let her take me to lunch ..

Give me the lowdown on your husband, and all his little playmates.

And believe me, he was strictly a phony.

And I don't blame you for killing him. He had it coming to him.

That's why I didn't do anything to hurt you in your fight for your boy.

Well, why don't you investigate these women?

One of them might have killed him.

Why didn't you think of that when fighting for your life?

I did.

But I also thought of Bobby.

He thought the world of Perry.

I didn't want him to know what kind of a man his father was.

And you didn't want to tell the jury the one thing that would have convicted you.

You know, it is the oldest story in the world.

The husband cheats. The jealous wife shoots.

There is one flaw in your reasoning.

I wasn't jealous .. because for the past year I haven't loved my husband.

Would you like some?

You don't believe me? Certainly not.

Well, why am I sitting here trying to convince you?

Why don't you try and find out the truth?

You mean you're asking me to come back on the job?

Will you? Sure.

If you pay me to run round with a lot of girls who've nothing to do with murder.

It's my money. Well, then. Let's have some.

You can't investigate the girls that ran around with your husband on buttermilk.

Armand, check please.

Now I can pay back Laurette.

You seem to be very successful with women.

Well, in a modest way. Just suits and ties and things like that.

But you know, I've never really had the time to take it up seriously.

Hey, lady.

Get it?

Perfect. That purse in front of her puss makes it look like she's trying to hide.

Matt, don't let them use the picture. They mustn't.

I'll handle them. They're pals of mine.

I'm depending on you. I'm going to depend on you, too.

Why don't you swallow that stuff?

"Frantic mother, worried about child."

"Spends her nights with man who branded her a murderess."

What a headline that will be. And what pictures.

Say, I thought you was going to pin that murder on her.

I am.

But sometimes you get more information with romance, than with a rubber hose.

Yeah? Well, romancing us ain't going to get you nothing.

What's the inside?

How would you guys like to know ..

That I'm about 48 hours off from repeating my former boss, George Macey.

And proving that Hope Ames killed her husband.

And listen.

You guys will read it in The Express if you don't give me the picture you took.

Think he's on the level, Sid?

Sure, he's got a copper's badge pinned right into his heart.


A friendship is a terrible thing.

Checkers Bar. Yes, sir.

In your complaint you stated that your daughter-in-law is unfit to raise a son.

Will you tell the court, in your own words, why you believe this.

When Perry, my beloved son, married.

It was his one desire to settle down and have children.

My daughter-in-law had no such ideas.

It was obvious she married for money.

Instead of with the idea of becoming a good wife and mother.

What led you to this belief?

Her every action.

She would fly into a tantrum every time I spoke to her about having a child.

Quiet .. quiet.

What changed your daughter-in-law's mind?

Five .. million .. dollars.

Explain that, please.

That was the amount I promised to place in a trust fund if she had a child.

How long after you made this proposition was the baby born?

Within a year.

Did she give the baby the affection every normal mother gives a child?

Indeed not.

She hated Bobby as she hated my own son who she killed.

They're lies! All lies.

Filthy, vicious lies. Please, Mrs Ames.

But Your Honor, I .. Mrs Ames, please.

The court is concerned only with the case now before us.

Mrs Ames was acquitted of the charge of killing her husband.

You will make no further reference to that.

Strike the last statement from the record.

Striking it from the record won't strike it from my son's memory.

Please be seated, Mrs Ames.

You will have an opportunity to cross-examine the witness.

I don't want to cross-examine her.

I want to destroy her for poisoning my baby's mind.

For making him hate me!

For trying to steal him from me.

Quiet, quiet!

Mrs Ames.

Either provide yourself with counsel.

Or control yourself and conduct your case in accordance with court procedure.

The court is adjourned until ten o'clock tomorrow morning.

I was so afraid you'd miss it. So was I.

Rousting your husband's ex-playmates around took longer than I thought.

Will they do what I want them to?

Even more. I used a little, gentle blackmail on those babies.

You cad.

There is another reason I asked you to meet me here.

You wanted privacy?

Because this is the one place we won't run into those newspaper mugs.

Besides, a little fresh air won't hurt you.

I'm afraid there isn't much in here. Can we find some? Out on deck.

Matt would jump overboard if he knew we'd trailed him here.

Let's get a box seat for this show.

Matt, you promised me some news.


I might as well hit it right on the nose.

You are in for another disappointment. Oh, Matt.

I'm sorry.

But you told me on the phone you found a girl who threatened to kill Perry.

I did. I even made her admit it. And she would have, too.

If somebody hadn't beaten her to it.

You believe her and not me. I believe a hospital record.

The night your husband was killed, that girl was having her tonsils out.

Or something.

So it's back to me, I guess?

Well, Matt. What am I going to do?

I'd give a million dollars if sentiment could change the facts.

I knew how you'd feel.

That's why I hated to tell you.

There is nothing more I can do, unless you want me to investigate the servants.

Or uncle Gordon, or ..

Lawrence Waterson. They're the only ones left.

Lawrence Waterson least of all, because ..

Why "least of all"? Because he believes me guilty!

Waterson believes you guilty? Yes.

How do you know?

He told me so, the day I was acquitted.

What made him tell you? I don't know.

There's something funny about this.

It's anything but funny to me. Now, wait a minute.


Can you remember his exact words?

Well, I don't remember .. Please. What did he tell you? Think.

He said.

"I know you killed Perry."

"I knew it from the first."

He told you that after defending you? Yes.

Hope, this is the first clue I've run across that doesn't point to you.

Why didn't you tell me before?

Matt, Lawrence couldn't have anything to do with it. He was Perry's best friend.

He is trustee to the estate. Yeah, that's just the point.

You can't suspect him because he believes me guilty. You believed it too.

Well, that's different.

How is it different? Well, well because it's different.

Well, he was defending you. I tried to hang you.

Matt, you must tell me what you're thinking.

I'm thinking what a stupid, bull-headed fool I've been to overlook Waterson.

A fine investigator I am.

I couldn't even get a job as a house detective.


Will you do me a great big favor?


Kick me.


Because I'm a stubborn, mule-headed chump and I can't very well kick myself.

Matt Logan, this is a pleasure I've been looking forward to a long, long time.

You didn't by any chance play fullback for Notre Dame, did you?


Get it? On the upbeat.

Good. If he don't come through with that story he promised, we'll fix him plenty.

Come on, let's go.

Come on.

She's brought Bobby here again, the old buzzard.

She'll be sorry.

Where's the man that sits up there, Grandma?

He'll be there in a moment.

Everybody rise.

The Superior Court of the State of California ..

In and for the County of San Francisco is now in session.

The Honorable John Davis, Judge presiding. Be seated.

Your Honor. Mrs Ames?

I would like to make a request. What is it please?

That the courtroom be cleared of all spectators, the press and my son.

Have you a good and sufficient reason? Yes, Your Honor.

I do not what either my son or the public ..

To hear the testimony of the witnesses I am forced to produce.

Very well, Mrs Ames.

All persons in the courtroom.

Other than the parties, witnesses and counsel, will immediately withdraw.

Everybody out.

What has she up her sleeve? I wish I knew.

Come on, everybody out. This is a closed session.

Well, this is where it gets opened in a big way.

Raise your right hand please.

I'm sorry, Chino.

Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give ..

Shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So help you, God?

I do.

What's your name? Laurette La Rue.

But everybody calls me "Snooks".

Where do you live? The Saint Martin apartments.

But I have a private phone:

Powell 47632.

Occupation? Fan and bubble dancer.

Take the stand.

You are acquainted with Perry Ames? Yes.

Would you tell the court how you met my husband.

And just what your relations with him were?

I object Your Honor.

Objection overruled. Continue Miss La Rue.

That's telling them, Judgy.

I met Perry Ames when I was dancing at the Purple Paradise.

That was before the raid, of course.

He told me his name was Phillips.

And seemed very interested in furthering my artistic career.

Before I knew it, he'd sent me so many orchids I looked like a well-kept grave.

Just a minute. Did my husband tell you he was married?

Of course he didn't.

Anyone can see by looking at me, I'm not about to get involved with married men.

You are right.

Go on.

Well, I saw quite a lot of him.

And then one day he gave me a red roadster for my birthday.

The next month the finance people took it back.

When I mentioned this little oversight, he got perfectly furious.

He kicked poor, dear little Chino all the way across the room.

Blackened my eye, and then took a powder.

Miss La Rue, what do you mean by that phrase "took a powder"?

Your Honor, it means to make a sudden departure without a word of warning.

Which proved to me he was no gentleman.

But a cheap, lying chiseller and not fit company for a lady.

Hold your tongue, girl! You are speaking of my son.

Your Honor, I demand that this testimony be stricken from the record as ..

Incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial.

The character of the late Perry Ames has nothing whatever to do with this case.

And these witnesses should not be allowed to desecrate his memory.

Your point is well taken, counsellor.

What do you hope to prove by this testimony, Mrs Ames?

That Mrs Livingstone Ames was not able to bring up her own child properly.

And therefore is not a fit person to be entrusted with the bringing up of mine.

My son is in his grave where you put him, Hope Johnson.

And I won't have you degrading his character.

Mrs Ames, I sustain the objection of the plaintiff's attorney.

This testimony has nothing to do with the case.

Strike all of Miss La Rue's testimony from the record.

Thank you, Miss La Rue.

You ladies are excused.

Your highness, I think you're giving this kid a raw deal.

Her husband was a heel from way back.

Come on, ladies. That way out.

Goodbye, Griggsy ..

Were the girls any help?

The judge threw out their testimony. It was a good idea, but it didn't work.

I knew you wouldn't get it by Waterson, but it did help stall.

Is it true what they say about the case ending today?

Things look that way.

Hope, you've got to keep stalling. But Matt, I can't.

You've got to. I'm on to something hot, but I need time.


Well, never mind. I won't give you false hope. But you've got to delay the trial.

Now, who's left to put on the stand? Griggsby.

Okay. Griggsby, you're going to get sick.

That should delay.

I'd be glad to feign illness, sir. You'd never get away with it.

Waterson would have so many doctors, they'd have to examine you in a stadium.

Wait a minute.

Say, Doc. Will you mix me a concoction of Acidex and MBK?

Enough to make a person sick. And I mean sick. Just as soon as they take it.

I think I understand, Mr Logan.

Now, each question Lawrence pumped at me.

Made me feel guilty of everything from bigamy to mayhem.

Perhaps you would like me to prevaricate, Mrs Ames?

When I take my place in the witness box this afternoon?

I'm afraid that wouldn't do any good, Griggsby.

Here's your delay.

Dump it in a glass of water and slip it to Griggsby while he's on the stand.

What will it do to me, sir? Make you sick, but it won't kill you.

Only you'll wish it had. But Matt ..

Now Griggsby, you've got to take this powder.

Otherwise madam will lose Bobby. We've got to have time, you understand.

Gordon, I'm depending on you to slip this into the water.

Griggsby, I'm depending on you to ask for it.


Three hours later, when you returned to the room.

Was Bobby still asleep in my arms?

Or was he playing in the street as his nurse testified?

The witness will please answer.

Yes .. sir ..

Do you remember, Griggsby?

Yes, sir .. no .. uh ..

Begging your pardon ..

You must withdraw this witness Mrs Ames. He doesn't seem to be sure of anything.

And it appears to the court as though you were deliberately delaying.

I'll be alright, sir.

Begging your pardon, sir, if ..

If I can have a glass of water. Very well.

Thank you, Madam.

But Your Honor .. in all fairness, I ..

I ..

I wish to prove by this witness.

A most vital piece of ..

Piece .. piece ..

There, Hope. Now, you're going to be alright.

Just take a deep breath, please.

There. That's fine.

Mrs Ames is quite ill.

A slight case of ptomaine poisoning, I should say.

It will be impossible for her to continue today.

I am adjourning the case until tomorrow morning at ten.

Thank you, Your Honor. Get her home, and to bed.

Would you like another sip of water, Madam?

No thank you, Griggsby. Yes, Madam.

What do you expect to find in the safe-box, Matt?

I don't know. But if I'm going to find anything I've got to find it now.

The trial ends tomorrow. Spring it, Soupy.

I can't Mr Logan. You know I'm a three-time loser.

Why you sent me up twice yourself. And I bailed you out this time.

So shut up and open that safe, or I'll yank my bail.

And you'll do 14 years for that Oakland job.

Oh, please, Mr Logan. You think I'm bluffing? You're crazy.

Are you nuts? Do you want to get us pinched too?

Operator. Police Headquarters.

Alright, boss.

I'll do it .. but it ain't honest.

It will be the only job you ever did in your life that is. Now hurry up.

[ Whistle ]

Ames was killed on July 14th, wasn't he? Yeah. So what?

Here is a check made out for $25,000 to Cora Lamont, Waterson's secretary.

Cashed the day after Ames was murdered. What are you driving at?

It is unnatural for a man to give his secretary 25 grand.

Look at this.

Waterson has deposited over $300,000 in this Canadian bank in the past year.

He never made money that fast. Uhuh.

I get it now.

Ames caught Waterson stealing. That's why he was killed.

That's what it looks like, but it will be another thing to prove it. Come on.

Hey, Matt.

Look at this.

How do you like that?

Waterson marries his secretary in Tijuana a week after the murder.

Now we're getting some place. She must have blackmailed him into it.


Get in there.

Come right in, sister. Make yourself comfortable.

You've some explaining to do. You think we'd better take her down?

No. Never mind the handcuffs, Lieutenant. She'll behave.

Come on.

Sit down.

Cora .. you're in a tough spot.

Being an accessory to a murder is no joke in this state.

Waterson is going to the gallows for the murder of Perry Ames. You go with him.

Unless you turn State's Evidence right now.

You can't drag Lawrence and me into this.

I was going to give you a chance to come clean the easy way.

"Mrs" Waterson.

I thought that would strike home. Now start talking!

You know he killed Ames, and you know why.

You don't scare me. What if we are married?

I haven't got much time, Matt. You won't need it. Get pen and paper.

Mrs Waterson is going to talk.

When in a hurry, there's only one thing to do with a dame like you. Sit down.

My heart bled for the poor little darling.

From the day he was born.

That will be all, Mrs Wade.

You may take the witness, Mrs Ames.

The witness is waiting, Mrs Ames.

No cross-examination, Your Honor.

Has counsel for the plaintiff witnesses to call? Any more testimony to present?

None, Your Honor.

And you, Mrs Ames.

None, Your Honor.

Then I request Your Honor, to render his decision in this case in our favor.

The court wishes to examine the witness.

Bobby Ames. Who, me?

Come up here, young man.


Yes. That's enough.

How old are you, Bobby?

Six, going on seven.

Do you know why you are here in this court?

Oh yes, Nurse and Grandma talk about it every night.

Do you know the difference between the truth and a lie?

Yes, sir.

Now, Bobby.

I'm going to ask you a question.

Before you answer me, make sure that what you answer is the truth.

Will you do that for me?

Yes, sir.

Has everything you've heard in this court about your mother .. been true?

That's right, Bobby.

Think carefully before you answer.

Was it the truth?

It was the truth, sir.

You are sure about that, Bobby?

Yes, sir.

Thank you.

You are a fine little man.

All your life I've told you.

That to tell a lie is to commit a sin. Haven't I?


Then why did you lie just now?

It was a lie, wasn't it?

Your Honor, I object. Mrs Ames is intimidating her son.

Your Honor, please.

Please let me ask him one more question. Just one.

It's nothing to do with this case. Very well.


Do you still think I killed your father?

Yes, I do.

Your Honor, I have a warrant for the arrest of Lawrence Waterson.

0n the charge of murdering Perry Ames.

This court is in recess.

I have here a written confession from his wife and accomplice, Cora Lamont.

Did you get it? Yeah.

Just as he was passing the second floor.

Come see me in the morning, Matt.

Clear the room.

Everybody out.

Come on, out.

Why don't you go over and give your mother a great big kiss?

And tell her how sorry you are, you little heel.

You're a big heel, too. You thought she killed my Daddy.

Why not go and give her a great big hug and kiss, and tell her you are sorry?

That's a great idea.

We are both sorry. Aren't we Bobby?