The Woman in the Window (1944) Script

The Biblical injunction 'Thou shalt not kill' is one that requires qualification... view of our broader knowledge of impulses behind homicide.

The various legal categories such as first and second degree murder, the various degrees of homicide, manslaughter, are civilized recognitions of impulses of various degrees of culpability.

The man who kills in self defense, for instance, must not be judged... the same standards applied to the man who kills for gain.

So, what are you doing tonight?

I'm having dinner with Lalor and Barkstane at the club.

Well, I just don't want you to stay cooped up every night working all the time.

I won't, I promise you. I'll get out.

All right, dear. I should think you would after classes all day.

But once you get your nose into a book...

Mama, they're going. Yes, dear.

Goodbye, darling. I'm so sorry you're not going with us.

So am I, but you have a good time. Don't you worry about me.

Will you miss me?

Every minute of the day. Every second of the night.

Mama. Bye, sweetie.

Kiss Daddy goodbye.

Goodbye, you little brats.

So long, Pops. So long.

And mind Mother. Both of you.

Yes sir. Watch Vicky.

Yes, I will, dear.

New York Telegram, World Post. Get your papers.

Frank. What?


Flirting with our sweetheart? Hello, Michael.

How are you, Frank? Glad to see you, Richard.

Who is she? Haven't the faintest idea.

But we've decided she's our dream girl just from that picture.

That's right. We saw her first.

Well, it's an extraordinary portrait.

Extraordinary woman too, I bet.

Well, what's the program now, huh?

Stork Club? Billy Rose's?

Well, I hate to disappoint you, gentlemen, but the program as far as I'm concerned... one cigar, another drink and early to bed.

I have a lecture at 9:00 tomorrow morning, and I expect to deliver it without sport.

Do you mean to sit there and tell us that on the first night...

...of your summer bachelorhood, you're not even going to a burlesque show?

No, but if one of the young ladies wishes to come over here...

...and perform about there.

I'll only be too happy to watch.

Incredible. Absolutely shameful.

It's outraging tradition.

Well, look, I'm a middle-aged man. We all are.

We are three old crocks. That sort of shenanigan is out for us.

Just a minute.

I don't know if I like being described as an old crock.

No, Michael, he's right, I'm afraid.

And it's a darn good thing too. Men our age...

I didn't say that. I didn't say it was a good thing.

'Cause I don't know that it is.

All I know is that I hate it.

I hate this solidity, the stodginess I am beginning to feel.

To me it's the end of the brightness of life, the end of spirit and adventure.

Don't talk like that.

Men of our years have no business playing around...

...with any adventure that they can avoid.

We're like athletes who are out of condition.

We can't handle that sort of thing anymore.

Life ends at 40?

In the district attorney's office, we see what happens to middle-aged men who try to act like colts.

And I'm not joking when I tell you that I've seen genuine, actual tragedy...

...issuing directly out of pure carelessness, out of the merest trifles.

Casual impulse, an idle flirtation, one drink too many.

How many is that?

Third, isn't it? Great Scott, he's lost count already.

He's a strictly two-drink man, always has been for years.

I'm sorry if I sound stuffy.

But trouble starts, too, from little things, often from some forgotten natural tendency.

Yes, but I have a date for an idle flirtation with Lana Turner...

...that we worked out.

Tomorrow night?

Very good. Why don't we make it every night?

The three of us, unless we've got something better to do.

Fine, that's a good idea.

I think I'll roll along with you. Splendid.

Maybe Lana can dig up Rita Hayworth for you.

Well, what about me?

Do you think it quite safe to leave me alone... this somewhat rebellious state of mind?

No, no. You'll be all right, I'm sure.

Just you run along to bed like a good fellow and forget the whole matter.

He's much too old for the sort of thing we have in mind, isn't he?

Now, be good.

Dick, I really would like... Oh, stop worrying.

You know, I don't agree with a word you've said.

But the disagreement is purely academic.

You know, that's exactly my complaint.

The flesh is still strong but the spirit grows weaker by the hour.


You know, even if the spirit of adventure should rise up before me and beckon, even in the form of that alluring young woman in the window next door.

I'm afraid that all I'll do is clutch my coat a little tighter, mutter something idiotic and run like the devil.

Not before you got her number, I hope.


Good night.

You're safe, I guess. Good night, Dick.

Oh, thank you.

Would you be good enough to remind me when it's 10:30?

Yes, sir.

Sometimes I'm inclined to lose track of time.

I'll remind you, sir.

Thank you, sir.

It's 10:30, Professor Wanley.

It's 10:30, sir.

Would you mind putting it back in the library?

Yes, sir. Thank you.

My hat, please.

I... I couldn't have drunk that much.

You did pose for it, didn't you?

Well, then my admiration for the artist is definite.

It's not only a good painting, it's also you.

You know that so quickly?

I don't know it. I only know that if I were a painter and had done this of you.

I would be very happy about it.

Is it yours? No. I wish it were.

Then I wouldn't have to come over here every so often to watch people's faces.

Is that what you do? Now and then, when I'm lonely.

Tonight? I was alone.

I don't like to be.

Well, did you watch my face?

Oh, yes.

Did I react properly? Normally?

Well, there are two general reactions.

One is a kind of solemn stare for the painting.

And the other?

The other is a long, low whistle.

What was mine?

I'm not sure.

But I suspect, in another moment or two, you might have given a long, low, solemn whistle.

Well, that rather embarrasses me.

Oh, it shouldn't.

I regard it as an unusually sincere compliment...

...because you don't look to me like a man much given to whistling.

Oh, no, no. It's not that exactly, but if my admiration was that obvious, I'm afraid you might misunderstand...

May I help you? Could you?

I'm not married, I have no designs on you, and one drink is all I'd care for.

Is that right? That's right.

Thank you very much.

What's so funny?

Well, I had dinner with a couple of friends tonight.

We discussed your portrait with great admiration, I might say.

I'm thinking of their faces tomorrow night when I tell them about this.

Sitting and chatting over a drink with the charming young lady herself.

Would you like to see some more of his work?

I would indeed.

I'd like it very much.

Then, when you've finished your drink, you can take me home...

...and I'll show them to you.

They're just sketches but quite good, I think.

They're of me, of course.

A little late, isn't it?

Is that late? 11:00?

I don't think I should.

You don't think you should? What do you mean?

I was warned.

You mean, you're afraid? Of me?

No, no, no. It's not that, but...

I was warned against the siren call of adventure... my age.

I should never have stopped to talk with you.

I should never, never have come here to drink with you.


Come in.

May I have your hat? Yes, thank you.

Make yourself at home.

I'll be right back.

Clemens, who did the one in the window, did these.

Just sketches, but nice, I think.


Let's have another.

I should say no, I know, but I haven't the slightest intention of saying it.

I should say not.

This is much too pleasant to break up.

Ouch. Did you cut yourself?

No, but the wire broke.

Have you something to cut it with?

Scissors all right? Yes, I think that will do.

Who are you?

My name is... Frank.

Frank, God. Listen.

I told you, if you ever...

Stop that, you fool. Fool, huh?

Frank. Frank. Stop.

Stop. Frank.


Is he...


What are we going to do?

I don't know.

Call the police, I suppose.

What was his name?


Frank Howard.

That's what he told me.

Don't you think it was?

I don't know.

I don't think so, but I don't know.

He never told me anything else.

Where he lived, what he did, anything.

I saw him two or three times a week, perhaps.

He never took me out to dinner or a show or anything.

What... What are you...

Where's the telephone?

In the bedroom.


Operator, get me...

Operator. Operator.

You say nobody has ever seen you with him?

We've never been out together.

When you met him?

That was on a train.


Who knows at all about you and him?

Unless he told someone, which I doubt, nobody.

You've never mentioned him to anybody?

Not his name.

Not even the name he gave me.

Do you think there's something we can do?

I was just wondering.

I was wondering if anybody could have seen him coming in here tonight.

I'm sure not.

He wouldn't even get out of the cab if there was anyone around.

Do you think there's something we can do?

Do you? I don't want to go to jail.

Try to keep calm. Please.

Let's think about it a minute. Let's see if there is anything.

They'll never believe us, you know.

No, I'm afraid they won't, but even if they did, we wouldn't be much better off.

They'll say we can make up any kind of story we wanted to.

Who else saw it?

They'll make it some kind of murder, I know they will.


I have no feeling about him.

He was trying to kill me, there's no question about that.

If I hadn't killed him, he'd have killed me.

If you hadn't given me the scissors, I'd be dead.

But whatever they believe.

I'm ruined, my whole life.

You were thinking of something.

What was it?

I was wondering if we had the nerve for something, something pretty dangerous...

...that would shut the door on us completely if we were caught.

Anything you say.

I don't want to go to jail. I don't.

It's this.

If nobody knows about you, if nobody saw him coming in here tonight, how could either of us be connected with it...

...if his body were found miles and miles away from here?

But how?

I'd have to go and get my car.

I'll park it directly in front of the door.

And then we'll pick our moment.

You'll watch while I carry it out and put it in the back.

And then I'll dump it somewhere in the country.

It'll be found of course, sooner or later, but maybe not for a week.

You mean, you'll go for your car while I wait here?

Would you be afraid? Not of that.

If you got out of here, why should you ever come back?

I like you. I think you're all right, but I don't even know your name.

And I don't think there's a man in the world...

...that wouldn't get out of a mess like this if he could.

Oh, we mustn't quarrel.

If we do that, we're lost, both of us.

Why can't I go with you?


I'm hoping we can get ourselves out of this completely.

But there's one condition.

I won't tell you my name, what I do, or take you to get the car, because then you'd know where I live.

But if we're successful tonight, it'll be of no importance to you.

I'll tell you what I'll do.

You leave something here.

Leave your vest with me.

That would be a clue if you didn't come back.

Well, that's fair enough.

There's almost no blood outside, fortunately.

Have you a dark blanket we can wrap him in?

I have one.

The trouble is, I have no idea what the police can do with clues.

A great deal, I'm sure.

I've read of things little short of miraculous by the city police, as well as the FBI, from a piece of cloth or even a button.


I'll have to take the subway, so I probably won't be able to make it much under three quarters of an hour.

Maybe an hour.

But even if I'm longer than that, don't worry.

Don't get panicky and call the police, because I promise you I'll be back. I won't fail you.


Now, look outside, will you? Yes.


Keep your nerve. We'll make it.

I'd like my car, please.

Yes, sir.

Hey, Charlie. Yeah?

Professor Wanley's car. Right away.

Kind of late for you, isn't it? Yes, later than I expected.

Hey, you know Mr. Warne in your building?


4:00 Sunday morning, he got in.

Better get them brakes adjusted, first chance you get. They're pretty loose.

I will.

Pull over to the curb.

Don't you ever turn your lights on at night?

I'm sorry, I thought the garage man turned them on.

Let's see your driver's license.

Wanley, huh? What's that, Polish?

No, it's American. Do you have any other identification?

I have a letter here from the board of education.

Professor, huh? Assistant.

Okay, but watch those lights from now on.


Everything all right? Everything is just as you left it.

The name on the mail box is Reed, Alice Reed, in case you have to come again.

Well, if we're lucky, I don't think there'll be any occasion for that.

Is that the blanket? Yes.

First, I imagine we've got to get rid of the more obvious means of identification.

I've already done that.

You searched him? It had to be done, didn't it?

No letters or anything with a name on it?

No. But...


He told me Frank Howard. That's all I know.

All right, tie it all up...

...and tomorrow get on one of the ferries, not during a rush hour, and drop it overboard.

And be very careful that you aren't seen. The money, too?

You might as well keep it. I don't see how that can be traced.

What about the watch? Do exactly as I tell you. Please.

Otherwise we might as well give ourselves up now.

We can't afford to overlook one detail.

We've got to think of everything in advance.

Remember that. I will.

How about this rug?

There's only a little spot. I can get that out myself.

Well, do it very thoroughly, will you?

I've read of laboratory tests that make the fine signs of blood...

...that the naked eye could never see.

I can clean it.

And the scissors, you better boil them.

Something might be left on the neck of them.

All right. Is there anything else that we forgot?

His hat.

Help me with the table.

Now, when I leave here, I want you to go over the whole place thoroughly.

Wash these glasses, put them back on the shelf.

Get rid of these bottles. Clean everything thoroughly.

There mustn't be one sign left that you had any visitor tonight.

Him, me or anybody else.

Give me that paper.

I'll give you the blanket back as soon as I've got him in the car.

They'll examine it very carefully too.

I'll clean everything. I won't go to bed until I've cleaned every single place.

Now, put out the lights.

Go out and see.

All clear.

Thank you.

I won't see you again, I suppose.

For both our sakes, I hope this ends the whole thing completely and forever.

All right then, goodbye.


Hey, come back here.

What was it? A dime? Never mind. Here's another.

Well, it couldn't have gone far.

That's all right. If you find it later, you can have it.

Thanks. Hey, this is a penny.

Sorry. That's okay.

Well, thanks for the dime if I find it.

Excellent port, that. Yes.

William, check please. Yes, sir.

This is mine tonight. Thank you.

Did Frank say what kept him?

Something important, I imagine. He sounded excited.

Well, I can't quite picture Frank excited.

Here you are, sir. Must have left mine.

Thank you, sir.

Coffee in the lounge. Very well, sir.

He was talking from the police commissioner's office.

Ah, there he is.

Well, shall we go back?

No, I'm not going to eat now. I'm gonna have a drink.

How are you, Richard? Fine, thank you. Account for yourself.

Come inside, you'll be interested in this.

Oh, Collins, get me an Old Fashioned, will you?

Yes, sir.

Let's go over here. Hot news?


But confidential for the moment. Claude Mazard has disappeared.

Claude Mazard? Yes.

But how do you mean disappeared?

Exactly what the word means.

He left Washington yesterday afternoon, and he arrived at Penn Station last night...

...and from there he's literally disappeared.


Is that the promoter? My dear Richard, don't be vulgar.

When a promoter has promoted a colossus like World Enterprises Incorporated, he's no longer a promoter, he's a financier.

Oh, yes, yes, of course. I remember now. We're gonna wait until...

No, not for me. I've got an Old Fashioned coming.

Going to wait until midnight on the odd chance he shows up.

But if he hasn't checked in by then, we'll give it to the papers and then watch the fireworks.

The market? And how.

What did he look like? Or rather, I mean...

What sort of fellow was he? A true perfect nuisance.

He was a patient of mine for a while. For what?

Nerves, blood pressure.

He had the most ungovernable temper I've ever known.

He had no idea how pleased I was when he called me a quack and stomped out.

Well, just because a man doesn't show up for a day.

I see no reason to assume that he's been murdered.

I didn't say he was murdered.

Mr. Lalor. Oh, Mr. Lalor. Yes.

Telephone, Mr. Lalor. Thank you. Excuse me.

I... I don't know why I said that.

I suppose it's because of his whole manner.

The way he talked seemed to indicate murder, Violence of some kind. It did. That's what he's suspicious of, too.

He has an uncanny instinct for things like that.

The old head goes up like a bird-dog's.

Yes, I can imagine he'd be pretty terrifying...

...once he got the scent.

You bet.

12:00 and the midnight news from station WPQ...

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...that heart burn, acid stomach, or an upset digestive system...

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But why suffer when Castola Rex, Mother Nature's own helping hand, is available at your nearest drug store?

Try it today and everyday. Now for the news.

The police have just announced...

...the mysterious disappearance of Claude Mazard,...

...founder of the fabulous public utilities empire of World Enterprises Incorporated,...

...under circumstances indicating foul play.

At the same time, World Enterprises Incorporated...

...have offered a reward of $10,000...

...for any information as to his whereabouts, dead or alive.

After checking a briefcase... Pennsylvania Station about 10:30 last night...

I was practicing woodcraft in the woods...

...just off the Bronx River Parkway extension...

...when I found Mr. Mazard's remains.

No, I was not scared. A Boy Scout is never scared.

If I get the reward, I will send my younger brother to some good college...

...and I will go to Harvard.

I think we can be pretty confident about this one.

Looks easy to you? Well, not exactly easy, but not too tough.

Plenty of clues, eh? Some.

And the circumstances add up, so far.

For instance, he wasn't killed in the woods, of course.

He was killed somewhere else...

...and the body taken to the spot where it was found.

How do you know that? We got the tire marks of a parked car.

That's as good as a fingerprint, so far as the car's concerned.

But how do you know it was the murderer's car?

Footprints in the same soft ground leading from the car and back to it.

Deep prints when he was going into the wood, carrying something heavy. Lighter coming back, without his burden.

Not much question as to that, is there?

No, I suppose not.

We got photographs and plaster casts of everything.

While that doesn't help us to name a man, once we've lined up on a suspect, there'll be a positive check on him.

Especially the shoe prints.

How's that?

Well, the print of new shoes isn't of much use, but these were well-worn shoes, and from the print of a worn shoe, we can learn a great deal about the wearer's weight, height, length of stride, any peculiarity of gait he may have.

Could you tell that from these? Yes.

The man weighs in the neighborhood of 160 pounds, wears an eight shoe and is probably of moderate circumstances.

You're rather guessing at that last, aren't you?


The shoes have been half-soled.

We have a number of bits of evidence like that.

But the trouble with them, as you say, is they don't offer leads.

They only offer checks, like the kind of suit he wore.

Do you know that too? Yes, and his blood.

The keen-eyed Inspector Jackson...

...found some on a wire fence over which the body was dropped.

He probably scratched his hand lifting it over.

Yes, but a trace like that on a barbed wire fence, could that be enough to be of any use?

Did I say a barbed wire fence?

Didn't you? No.

Well, what other kind could a man more naturally scratch his hand on?

It was a barbed wire fence, of course.

I was only trying to impress you fellows with my keenness.

Can't a man get any credit around here at all?

Then in that case, I'll give you an opportunity to impress the whole city.

Does this suggest anything to you?

Yes. It suggests very strongly...

...that you're eaten up with envy.

You see my name on the front page of every paper, so you make a desperate effort to elbow your way into my case... insinuating that you are the guilty man.

But it's no use, my boy. You scratched yourself for nothing.

Did you ever see such selfishness?

Did you put anything on it? Yes, some antiseptic.

How did you do it? Last night, I cut it on a tin can.

Well, watch it. So I will.

Would you like to hear exactly how the police figure it happened?

Yes. You bet we would.

Well, come in the lounge.

Oh, thanks. Good night.

Good night, sir.

Coffee and cigars inside, Boris. Yes, sir.

William, check in the lounge. Very well, Mr. Lalor.

We got a line on a woman this afternoon.

Frank? Yes?

Hello, Mark.

May I see you for a moment? Certainly.

I'll join you in a minute.

Great stuff knowing a district attorney. Get all the inside dope.


Frank's a very smart man. Yes.

You're a bit off your feet, aren't you? Just a bit, I suppose.

Haven't been sleeping very well.

Missing the family, eh? Yes, very much.

Yes, well, I think you could do with a few pills.

You're not the absent-minded-professor type, are you?

I've tried not to be.

Two a day is all right. Should pep you up considerably.

But I'd hate to think of you wandering foggily into the bathroom, popping them into your mouth like salted peanuts.

Poison? No, not in the technical sense.

It's a gland concentrate.

Too much would hit the old heart like a sledgehammer.


Well, a matter of 20 or 30 minutes and... Bang.

What's that? Prescription for Richard.

It not only kills you if you take enough of it, it leaves no trace.

'Just a case of heart disease,' that's all they could say.

I suppose there's no way of telling how many of your patients...'ve disposed of in that way.

None whatever, so forget it.

You said they've located the woman.

Not quite. The police theory this afternoon was this.

Mazard, a bachelor, had a sweetheart.

His business associates are quite sure of that.

But who she is or where she lives, they don't know.

Pretty nervous man in romance, it seems.

At any rate, when he reached Penn Station, he went to call on her.

Either a man was already there or he came during Mazard's visit.

And this man the lady preferred over Mazard.

Why do they think that?

Well, otherwise, if her true love had been killed, she would have most likely done something to bring the killer to justice.

This is just a theory, of course? I said that.

So they fought and Mazard was killed, probably with a pair of scissors.

That's the medical examiner's belief, anyway.

Then in a panic, they loaded the body into a car, his or hers, and took it to the place where it was found.

Now these two people, this man and this woman, sit hating and fearing each other, each wondering how long it'll be before the other is caught...

...and blabs out the whole story.

Always a woman, eh? Wait, I'm not through.

That, I said, was the theory this afternoon.

And what is it now?

Well, now it's anybody's guess. Something came up just as I left the office...

...that pulls the rug right out from under that theory.


It seems that Mazard's associates, always afraid he'd get into trouble with his temper, had engaged a man, a bodyguard, to follow him secretly at all times.

On that night, too? That we don't know.

We don't know because he's disappeared as well.

Then there's your murderer, isn't it? Could be, but not necessarily.

Then why hasn't he shown up?

It's not that simple. He could have murdered Mazard, yes.

He might have tried to blackmail him and killed him in the fight.

Or he might have witnessed the killing...

...and is getting ready to blackmail the killers.

But even if he's 100% innocent, he still won't walk in and talk.

Why not?

Because he's hot. He's a known crook with a blackmailing record.

That's why he was thrown off the force, for shaking people down.

He's wanted for at least two other raps.

We'll get that gentleman when we run him down and not before.

Nice fellow to pick for a bodyguard.

Oh, don't ask me why. Wall Street geniuses do anything.

He's tough and strong, and I suppose that's all they thought of it.

Anyway, I'm going up tomorrow morning... have a look over this place where they dumped the body.

Either of you fellows like to go with me?

Sorry, I wish I could, but I'm operating in the morning.

Richard? Oh, I'm afraid that...

Oh, you go with him.

You've got no classes tomorrow, you told me so.

Yes, I know, but...

He'll go. I'm his physician, I order him to.

It'll give you something to think about. What time?

I'll pick you up at your apartment at 9:30. Very well, I'll be ready.

Good. We'll try to show you how the law operates to nail a man.


This is quite an adventure for me.

Anything new? Nothing very important.

Fred. Yes, sir.

We're picking up Jackson at the toll gate. Right, sir.

District attorney's office.

Any luck?

Fellows is not on duty. We'll check at his home this afternoon.

Inspector Jackson, Professor Wanley.

How do you do, Inspector? Pleased to meet you, sir.

Excuse my left hand, I have a little cut.

Oh, yes. How's it coming? All right, it's nothing.

How did you say you did it?

I was opening a can in the kitchen the other night and the can opener slipped.

What was in the can? Poison ivy?

I'm... I'm afraid that was pure stupidity.

The next day I was looking for a lost golf ball...

...and evidently I got into some poison ivy.

You must have scratched it. That's a pretty bad infection.

Well, it's an awful nuisance, I know that.

Is this your case, Inspector? For the moment.

They're all his cases, all the tough ones.

Inspector Jackson is head of the homicide bureau.


Anything new since I left?

Well, we picked up that woman this morning.

Good. What's she got to say for herself?

Well, we'll see her when we get there. They're bringing her up.

Inspector. Good morning, Captain.

You know Mr. Lalor, don't you? You bet.

Very glad to see you, Mr. Lalor. Glad to see you, Captain.

And this is Professor Wanley. That's right.

Captain Kennedy. Pleased to meet you, Captain.

Pleased to meet you, Professor. Is that woman here yet?

Beck has her in the car.

Well, let's go over this layout first. Then we'll get to her.

All right, Inspector. Over here.

Now, here is where he parked his car.

The tire tracks are gone, of course, but we have casts and photographs.

They're Goodrich 716s, between 15,000 and 20,000 miles, standard equipment on two or three popular make of cars.

The motorcycle officer on duty remembers seeing a Cadillac at the traffic signal.

That may be worth keeping in mind. Did he see who was in it?

Yes, the driver, a man. But he doubts very much if he could identify him.

So I don't think that's gonna lead us anywhere.

Well, anyway, he got the body here. Where'd he take it?

I'll show you.

We got casts of his shoes going and coming.

Richard. What?

You're going to be the guide?

Am I going right?

As straight as an arrow. Professor, eh?

Say, you think we'd better look into this, Mr. Lalor?

Well, that's very funny. I wasn't even thinking where I was going. I...

I was just thinking what the Inspector said.

That's all right, Richard, don't get excited.

We rarely arrest people just for knowing where the body was.

I don't imagine our killer was very familiar with this spot, because the fence was too near the road for his purposes.

At any rate, he couldn't go much further without a great deal of difficulty.

So he just dumped it over down there.

Now, there isn't anything in particular to see...

...except you wanna keep the whole setting in mind.

He tore his coat, probably his sleeve, as he lifted it over, because we picked up a couple of shreds of woolen fiber.

Couldn't have been from Mazard's clothes?

No, different material.

And we got a sample of blood from this barb.

He certainly didn't pick himself an easy job.

Mazard weighed close to 200 pounds, you know.

Yes, it must have been pretty tough going.

Yes, especially at night.

Well, yes, it may have been at night. I suppose so.

But I was thinking of it as early morning, along about daylight.

Well, I thought the paper said night.

Anything else, sir?

I can't think of anything else. You, Richard?

Well, why ask me?

I'm simply bowled over by the amount of information...

...the police have got out of such apparently insignificant details.

Well, it's hardly spectacular. Really police routine, so far.

But there is one thing we have in our department...

...that is really worthwhile, Professor.

What's that? Patience.

I imagine so.

Wanna see the woman? Might as well.

What's that for?

Oh, I had one of the men put that there this morning... you wouldn't brush against that bush.

It's poison ivy. Very thoughtful, Captain.

Well, too late to do me any good. That's right.

Looks as if you have a little more explaining to do, Richard.

Closing in on me, huh?

If you'll only confess, Professor, we could wrap up this whole case before noon.

Well, not me. I'm afraid you'll have to work for this one, Inspector.

There you go, you've never any consideration for us poor cops.

Let's have the woman. Yes, sir.

All right? All right.

If you don't mind, I'll go and sit in the car for a little while.

I'm not feeling very well.

What's the matter, Richard? It's not serious, is it?

Oh, no, no, no, not at all. You go on, I'll be all right.

Well, if you need me...

No, no, you go right ahead.

Well, that's all.

We can go now.

Well, goodbye, Professor. Hope you'll be feeling better soon.

Thank you.

Well, what do you think?

The woman?

You think she's the one?

I don't know.

She's got something on her conscience.

But what woman hasn't?

Yes. Where did they find her?

Second-class hotel off Broadway.

I don't know. She seems a bit dingy to me for Mazard.

He'd do better than that, I'm sure.


Bottom of the barrel.

It's the bodyguard who is hot now, anyway.



How did you find...

Have you seen the early editions?

No. Your picture's in The Times.


Will you tell me what you mean?


'Dr. George Felix Reynolds, president of Gotham College, 'yesterday announced the promotion of Dr. Richard Wanley...

'to head of the Department of Psychology.'


Oh, of course, I wasn't expecting it before.

Did I frighten you?

A bit.

Is everything all right?

I suppose so.

You've heard nothing from anybody?

Have you?


Not so far.

Oh, I'm not worrying now.

I'm sure we're out of it.

Aren't you?

I hope so.

And I'm not going to bother you, believe me.

Oh, it's quite all right.

I'm rather glad that I've heard from you.

Good night and thank you.

Good night.


Yes? Miss Reed?...

Who is this? Open up.

I wanna have a little talk with you...

...about our friend Mr. Mazard.

I don't know you and I don't know your friend Mr. Mazard, so beat it.

Listen, you don't want me to get tough, do you?

I don't care how tough you get. You're not coming in here at this hour.

I'm not kidding, lady.

Either you open this door, or I'm going to the police.

Well, will you say what you've got to say and get out of here?


If you didn't hear it, it was on the radio tonight.

Another reward for $10,000 for any information leading to the arrest...

...of the murderer of Claude Mazard.

You didn't hear it?

And if I had, it wouldn't have meant one thing to me.

Now, if you're gonna start claiming you never knew him, you can save your breath.

Because I've been tailing him for months, and I've tailed him here many a time.

He's been here.

But not under that name.

I never knew anything about who he was until I saw his picture in the paper, after he was killed.

So you're the one that's wasting your breath.

Well, let's see if I am.

Don't mind my looking around a little, do you?

You bet I do.

I know nothing whatever about the death of Mr. Mazard, And you've got no right to... Listen.

Take it easy, will you?

It's been in the papers that they're looking for some woman he knew.

And I'm telling you you're the only one.

But have you been to them and explained to them... you had nothing to do with it?

Of course not. It's not me they're looking for.

Oh, come now, Miss Reed.

What are you looking for?

I can't tell you till I find it.

I'd settle for some blood...

...or a photograph.

Or a confession.

Or some hairs.

Any little thing like that.

Some brown, some black.

Mr. Mazard's was brown.


All wiped clean, huh?

Pretty good housekeeper, I guess.

Yes, sir, clean as a whistle.

Not a finger mark anywhere.

Not even where you'd think they'd be naturally.

Could be, you know.

Those little stabs.


That ain't Claude Mazard, and it ain't Alice Reed.

And you had it hid, too.

What's his first name?



Oh, I'm getting warm, all right. No question about that in my mind.

All right. What do you want?

Now you're talking.

I don't want to make trouble for anybody.

I can, of course, but I don't want to.

But the way I figure it, you just don't want the police nosing around in any of your business.

Isn't that right?

Who does? That's what I mean.

So I'll tell you how we can fix it.

There's a $10,000 reward out for just the kind of information I've got.

But I don't see it that way.

The way I see it, if I got $5,000 from you, that'd be the end of it, so far as I'm concerned.

Are you nuts? From you and the guy I mean.

I haven't got $5,000 and there isn't any guy to get it from, so you may as well go right along to the police...

...and tell them whatever you wish.

Now, you don't want me to do a thing like that, Miss Reed.

Mr. Mazard was a very rich man, and you can't tell me you didn't get something off him.

And don't forget, you'll be a lot better off dealing with me than you would with the homicide squad.

You don't want to go to the chair, do you?

I want you out of here.

That's all I want.

I've a pin and bracelet he gave me worth more than $1,000.

Will you take them and get out of here?

No, ma'am. Nothing like that.

Nothing but cash.

Five grand.


As a matter of fact, you're simply bluffing.

If you can get $10,000 from the police, why would you be satisfied with $5,000 from me?

What if I told you to just get out of here and go whistle for it?

You want to take a chance on that?

You see, honey, you did it, you and this guy.

Otherwise, you wouldn't even be talking to me about it.

If you had been in the clear, you would have called the cops...

...the minute I walked in. I know that.

So you gotta look at it my way, don't you see?

I have to think it over.

I have to have some time.

That's okay, I'm not pushing you.

Take tonight and tomorrow. Think it over, see if I am right.

See the guy, explain it to him.

And I'll be back here tomorrow night at 8:30 for the dough.


But don't try to run away or pull any tricks like that, because I'll be keeping an eye on things pretty close.

Good night, and don't fret.

You get the money and that'll be the end of the whole thing.

Something's happened. I've got to see you right away.

What else did he find?

Your pencil.

I kept it because...

Because I wasn't sure of you then.

I wanted something.

Oh, well, it's done now.

Are you angry with me? About the man?

No, I can't think of anything else you could have done.

I don't expect you to pay all the money.

I have a little and I can raise a little more on that bracelet, and some other things Mr. Mazard gave me.

You're very fair, Alice. Quite generous.

It's worth it to get rid of him.

Well, paying him $5,000 isn't getting rid of him.

That's just the first installment.

If we pay him once, it'll go on as long as we live.

But we've got to, haven't we?

If we don't, he'll set the cops on us. I'm sure of it.

So am I. That's what blackmail means.

You pay or the blow falls.

What can we do?

There are only three ways to deal with a blackmailer.

You can pay him and pay him and pay him until you're penniless.

Or you can call the police yourself...

...and let your secret be known to the world.

Or you can kill him.

Good evening. Good evening.

Will this take long?

I have it ready in powders.

Will that be all right? Yes, I suppose so.

Same dosage.

You needn't wrap it.

How much? Three and a quarter.

If you got any children, you better not leave that laying around loose.

I won't.

Up. Down.



Were you followed? Do you know?

I don't think so. Did you look?

Yes, but there wasn't anybody, I'm sure.

Is it the police? Now, please, Alice.

If you want to play, you must do your homework first.

If you do your homework first then you can go...


Down. Up.

I give you my word of honor...

...that there isn't a thing to say the police know we're alive.

Believe me, please. I'm all right, go on.

There's $5,000 in that package, but if you run into any kind of difficulty, don't let him have but part of it.

Tell him that's all you could get today, that he'll have to come back sometime tomorrow evening for the rest.

Do you understand? I understand.

What about the...

That's in there, too. It's a powder.

But you needn't worry about his seeing it because it dissolves almost instantly.

How much? You'll find a note about that in there.

I don't know what else we can do, Alice.

But if you don't think you can go through with it, we'll try and think out another plan.

There's nothing else we can do.

I know that.

How soon does it work?

It takes effect, I'm told, in 20 or 25 minutes.

So you better make sure he's out of your apartment.

All right.

You better go now.

Wish me luck.

Good luck.

If you lose your nerve, don't get frightened.

We'll find another way.

I won't lose my nerve.


Miss Reed? Yes?

It's me, open up.

Who else you got here? Nobody.

I didn't know but what you might have got some cute idea.


Pretty dolled up, huh? Is that for me?

I'm glad if you like it, of course. It's okay.

That Mazard knew how to pick 'em, all right.

Will you sit down for a minute?

Sure, but make it short, will you?

$5,000 is a lot of money. Uh-oh.

It's a lot for me anyhow and I haven't been able to raise it on such short notice.

And what am I supposed to do about that?

I only want you to be reasonable, that's all.

I want you to give me a little more time.

How much have you got?


That's what I thought. What do you mean?

That's the kind of a figure, I'd say, if I had some other idea in mind.

Not too little, not too big.

Don't you believe me? Stop kidding.

Let's have it.

Come on.

I can get the rest by tomorrow night, if it's all right with you.

Who told you to say all this?


Nobody, huh?

Is it all right?

You're pretty cute, you know that?

Is it all right?

Well, what else can I do if you haven't got it?

I think I need a drink.

Would you like one? I don't mind. What d'you got?

I'm going to have a scotch and soda. Make it two.

Where's the boyfriend all this time?

There isn't any boyfriend.

I told you that. Isn't he kicking in?

You don't believe a thing I say, do you?

I'm just naturally what they call a cynic, honey.

What kind of a guy is he, anyway, shoving a nice kid like you out in front?

What's the use of my trying to tell you anything?

So all right.

If everything's so kosher, what are you giving me this dough for?

Just because you like me?

I'm giving it to you because I don't want to be mixed up in this thing in any way.

Not because I had anything to do with it. Oh, indeed.

But because in my position, you can't tell what they'll try to hang on me.

How would you like to get out of this whole thing?

What do you mean? Exactly what I'm saying.

Get out of it, completely.


Go away with me.

Think about it for a minute.

I don't have to think about it.

I'm not such a bad guy, you know.

I didn't say you were.

But what's more important, outside of this boyfriend that you haven't got.

I'm the only person in the whole world who knows you even knew Mazard.

Think about it that way for a minute.

From Havana, it'll be a cinch to make South America.

And that's all there is to it.

Lf I thought... Lf you thought what?

If you thought what?

Have you any more money than that?

Keep it. Why?

Take a look in the mirror, beautiful, and if you're thinking of somebody else, don't be a sucker.

In a jam like this, you've got to look out for yourself first.

I suppose so.

Do you think he'd think of you if he had an out?

When would we leave? The sooner the better.

Tomorrow morning?

Tonight would be better.

Would it make a great deal of difference?

Not if it's positive for tomorrow morning.

I'll have to do some phoning.

I can't have some people I know running around to the police...

...and getting excited about a disappearance.

Yeah, you'll have to watch that.

I'll have to think of some kind of explanation.

Is it a deal then?

I guess so.

I guess it is.

All right, give me a kiss.

You're not still worried, are you?

Oh, I suppose not.

You leave it to me, we'll do all right.

Apparently, I'll have to.

I don't seem to have any other choice.

Don't you want your drink?

I don't think so.

I'll put some more ice in it.

I suppose I could say I was going to the coast.

Well, here we go.

Do you really want me to drink this?

Why not?

It's all settled, isn't it? That's what I thought.

What do you mean? You take it.

I've got mine. You take this one, I'll take yours.

Go ahead. What's the matter?

Nothing. All right, then.

Drink it.

Drink it.

What do you take me for, some kid? I don't know what you mean.

And all this time I've been trying to give you a break, trying to get you out of this jam.

I've got a good mind to break your neck.

You're crazy. I don't know what you're talking about.

No, then why wouldn't you drink it?

Now, let's have the rest of it.

There isn't anymore. Will you stop acting like I'm a school kid?

Get the rest of that dough and get it quick.

Come on.

Not under the mattress.

You amateurs.

What else you got here?

How could you lie to Pappy like that?

How did you think you could get away with it?

Will you go now?

Will you go? Sure.

But first, because you've been such a smart little double-crosser.

I'm going to give you another little job to do.

I'm going to let you dig up some more dough for Pappy.

Another five grand by tomorrow night.

How do you like that?

It's no use.

I can't do it.

I think you can.

You try anyway.

And I'll be around again tomorrow night, just to see what luck you have.

So long.


He's gone.

Gone? How?

I see.


I don't know, I'm not sure.

I haven't much more collateral.

I'm sorry.

But I don't know what else I could have done.

I was so scared.

I'm sure you did all you could.

We're just not very skillful at that sort of thing.

What can we do now?

I don't know, I haven't any idea.

I'm afraid I'm too tired to think about it anymore tonight.

Too tired.



Who's that? It's Flinn, sir. I think he got him.

Did you get him?

Looks like it.

Is that him? Yes, sir.

Some fellow saw him in this neighborhood last night, and I was patrolling along in the car when I spotted him back there.

So I called him to halt, and what does he do but start shooting.

Let's take a look.

He's our man, all right.

Did he come out of one of these houses? Did you see?

If he did, I didn't see him. He was just walking along when...


He's done a lot for himself, huh?

What I can't figure is what he started shooting for.

He just didn't like the idea of burning, I guess.


That's very funny.

I was beginning to get an entirely different idea about this.

All right folks, break it up. Break it up.

It's all over, break it up.

Operator, is Morning Side 5354 out of order?

I've been ringing it.

Will you try it, please? Will you? It's very important.

It's 10:30, Professor Wanley.

It's 10:30, sir.

Oh, yes. Yes, thank you.

I fell asleep. Are you all right, sir?

Oh, yes, quite.

Good night, Collins. Good night, sir.

My hat, please.

Here you are, sir.

Charlie? Yes, Professor.

I can't tell you how happy I am to see you alive and in such good health.

Oh, thank you, Professor.

Taxi, Professor? No.

No, thanks.

Good night, Ted. Good night, sir.

Pardon me, will you give me a light?


Oh, no. Thank you, indeed.

Not for a million dollars.