Shakedown (1950) Movie Script

Let's go.
Information desk.
Yes, Sir, I'll take care of it.
Hey, you changed your hairdo.
I like it.
Well, thank you.
He's been trying to get a
job here as a photographer.
I'd like to see a fellow
like that get a job here.
Well, that's funny.
I was thinking the same thing.
I'm sorry, Mr. Early, you
may as well stop trying.
You see, we can't hire a photographer
who hasn't had newspaper experience.
And I can't get experience
without being hired.
Look, Ms. Bennett, I can't
afford to stop trying.
This is good.
I think we can use it.
Come with me.
Well, when did this come in?
David, look at this.
How did you get it?
Well, I just happened to be passing by.
It's good, we can use it.
That's what I thought.
All right, whatever your name is,
you've just sold a picture.
Well, thanks, Ms. Bennet,
but you see, the picture's not for sale.
What I want is a job.
Put me on for a week on a trial basis.
Start me as of today
and you own this picture
because I took it on your time.
Look, young fellow,
I like to see ambition,
but you can't pull that sort
of thing on the newspaper.
No, you'll have to forgive me.
You see, I have no newspaper experience.
You've got it all
figured out, haven't you?
We could use another man.
All right, put him on for a week.
Thanks, Mr. Glover!
Take Skinner outta the
dog house and put him in.
Well, you got your wish.
I feel like Aladdin.
You know the guy with a lamp,
rub it and the porter shows up
with a rent money or a light lunch.
Incidentally, Ms. Bennet,
what's this dog house business?
Oh, I was afraid you would ask me.
It's lost and found dogs.
It's not much of a job but
you might get some experience.
I can't tell ya how
much I appreciate this.
It's only for a week, but-
- Gets my toe in the door.
Who knows what it might lead to.
You're the new man?
That's right.
Well, I'm one of the
old ones, Brett Thurman.
If there's anything you need
that you can't find, give a shout.
I hate street accidents.
I can't stand the sight of blood.
You can tell, I took this
one with my eyes shut.
To me a picture's a picture.
How did it go?
I'm not sure.
Pretty bad, huh?
Well, no, they're not bad but...
But you can't use any?
No, but...
I didn't think you could.
Why did you take so many?
This may be
the last chance I have.
I wanna make it count.
I can understand that.
Everybody feels like that the first day,
but after awhile you're-
- After awhile I may not be here.
I don't have any days to waste.
Could you have dinner with me tonight?
Well, I-
- You're not free?
Well, yes, I'm free
but I was just thinking
if you'd like an advance in your pay,
I think I could arrange it.
Well, that won't be necessary.
Do you have any objection
to having dinner with me?
No, not at all,
if you can stand my cooking.
I'll take a chance.
This is the address.
That's very nice of you.
You want some more coffee?
Who's this, your landlord?
He's nothing of the
kind, he's a dentist,
and a very good one from Portland.
His picture's there because I love him
and I expect to marry him.
Well, he practices in Portland
and I have a standing offer of a job
with "The Portland Herald."
That'll be a mistake.
Dentists should be seen twice a year.
Not that one.
I go up to Portland to
see him every weekend
I can get away from the paper.
He must think a lot of your bridge work.
I love him.
Then you're gonna work
after you're married?
Until I'm bogged down in babies.
I don't think I'd want my wife to work.
I don't think you've
thought about it very much.
Yeah, I guess you're right.
You still haven't told me
when you're gonna be married.
Well, I'm not sure, maybe
in a couple of months.
Whenever I'm ready to leave here.
Couple of months.
That doesn't give me much time.
I guess it's time for you to go.
This is the kind of living
room I'd like to have.
You oughta see the place I live in.
You'd fit my whole
apartment into your bedroom.
Wink those long lashes of yours
and you'd knock over a tripod.
Ellen, can you be honest with me?
Of course, why not?
You invited me here tonight.
I don't know, Jack.
I suppose I felt sorry for you.
nobody has ever been this
nice to me as you have.
You're spoiling me for
the rest of the world.
You'll get along.
Incidentally, that's a
very bad habit you have,
leaving your latch key under the doormat.
I think you'd better go.
Goodnight, Ellen.
That guy is flirtin'
with the undertaker.
Stay with him for awhile,
the romance might be interesting.
The door's jammed, I can't get out!
What's your name?
Help me!
I'm sinkin' in the mud.
What's your name?
Joe Downing.
Pull me out will ya?
Stick your head out the window, Joe.
I can't get through without help.
You'll have to pull me.
All right, now reach your arms up
and look up towards the sky.
- Help me, will ya?
- Thanks, Joe.
Hey, where are ya goin'?
I'll drown!
- Help!
- There's a guy
- in trouble down there.
- Help!
See if you can help him.
I gotta call an ambulance. Help!
"Daily Record."
That shot was really a beautiful piece
of newspaper photography.
It was like, I just
happened to be passing by.
It was more than luck.
What do you mean?
It was lucky you were
around at the time,
but just being there doesn't get the shot.
Oh, don't undersell a lot.
Just pray that it holds out.
Luck's mighty important in this racket.
But unreliable.
After awhile you won't
have to depend on that.
You'll develop contacts who phone
and tip you off to things.
Yeah, I guess you're right.
See you later.
- So long.
- Good luck.
Another good picture.
How'd you happen to get it?
Well, I was just passing by.
Yeah, the next time you
just happen to be passing by,
suppose you call the desk so we can get
a story to go with it before
you bring your picture in.
This morning we had the
only picture in town,
but we didn't have a story.
What we're trying to do in this paper
is to put out the best sheet we can.
We're trying to do this together.
We're not competing with each other.
I understand.
Tell Thurman to come in will ya, please?
City desk.
City desk.
Yeah, he's around some place.
Yeah, I'll give him
the message right away.
Yeah, got it.
Anything doing, Early?
Not a thing, Thurman.
Not a thing.
Outta the way, bud.
I don't care if you're the mayor.
There's people trapped up there
and you ain't helpin' us get 'em out.
Hold it!
Go ahead, jump!
You just
happened to be passing by.
Well, maybe you're right.
He's certainly lucky enough.
He's also alert and he has
one other qualification
for the assignment.
He's here.
Yes, that's important.
None of the others will be back in time?
No a one.
All right, tell him
to come in and see me.
Good afternoon, Mr. Aladdin.
No matter what you may hear,
I did not set that building on fire.
Is David still riding you?
You mustn't mind him.
His bark is much worse than his bite.
Please, I wish you
wouldn't use that expression.
Jack, you've got an assignment.
Lost and found dogs?
No, a real assignment,
and you better hurry in and see David
before he changes his mind.
I'll be around to see ya tonight.
No, you can't do that.
I have to go to-
- Leave the key under the mat.
You hear of Nick Palmer?
Yes, Sir.
He's managed to squirm out
of several well earned prison sentences.
He's being booked together,
he'll probably wriggle right out.
Your job is to go down there
and get a picture of him.
Sounds easy.
Anything particular you'd
like in a way of angle, Sir?
I'd like to see his face.
Well, sure, but-
- Listen, all the papers in town
will be covering the criminal
court's building just in case,
but Palmer doesn't cooperate
with photographers.
The stuff in the
morgue is five years old,
and that's only with his
hat covering his face
or the back of his head.
We'd like to get more.
I'll get it, Sir.
Early, you don't seem to...
Thank you, Sir.
Yes, Sir?
Are you from the south?
No, Sir.
Then cut out the "Sir."
Nick didn't get here yet did he?
What are you gonna
do, kid, take a picture?
I'm gonna get an exclusive.
Oh, you are, huh?
Well, how about sharing it with us?
Here he comes!
Don't try it, boy, unless
Nick Palmer gives you an okay.
No, that's fine.
Isn't this Nick's car?
I don't think I know you.
Well, that's easily fixed.
Jack Early of "The Daily Record."
I was happier the way it was before.
Is it people in general you don't like
or just me in particular?
It can't be me.
You don't know me well
enough to dislike me.
Must be people in general, huh?
Go away.
On the other hand you seem to dislike
me enough for us to be
old friends, Miss, uh?
It's Missus, Mrs. Nick Palmer.
Now, please go away.
Nick's wife.
Now I'm really impressed with Nick.
Nick's gonna pose for
me when he comes out.
I change my mind.
Don't go away.
I want to be here when you
get Nick to pose for you.
You think he won't?
Listen, sweetheart,
I have a way of getting people
to do what I want 'em to.
This is your chance.
Here he comes.
Will ya pose for me, Mr. Palmer?
Hey, don't point that things at me.
It might go off and hurt someone.
It'll be a bonus for me if I get
an exclusive of you, Mr. Palmer.
You must be new around here.
You know, Mr. Palmer,
if you keep on acting the way you do,
the public will get an
impression that you're a crook.
If I don't get this picture,
my paper will dig up that old one
of you covering up your face.
After all, you're a businessman.
Hiding behind your fedora like that,
who's gonna have confidence
in your perfectly respectable enterprise?
Now why not try it my way?
Just give me a couple of seconds
and tomorrow morning you'll be delivered
with the milk looking like
George Washington, I promise you.
You know, I don't know whether
you're a bright young man or a liar.
People that lie to me aren't very bright.
I know it.
You check me by what
appears in tomorrow's paper.
I will.
What about my picture?
All right, make it fast.
Thanks, Mr. Palmer.
That fast enough?
You know, I like bright young men.
You know where I live?
Be there four o'clock tomorrow and see me.
I'll be there, Nick.
I'll be readin' the papers, too.
Did you get it?
- How did you do it?
- Hey, did he pose for ya?
We're all set then.
This does it, Ellen.
You won't need this for a minute.
Your boy came through.
He got Palmer's face, all right.
Yes, my boy came through.
If I didn't know it was impossible,
I'd almost say he got
Palmer to pose for him.
Well, however he managed to get it,
I think he's proved himself.
Which means you'd like
to keep him, is that it?
We'd be fools if we didn't.
Oh, I don't know,
Ellen, I just don't know.
Everything he's done to me
has boosted circulation,
but I don't like him.
Maybe that's because
you don't understand him.
He's told me a little about himself.
The usual story, one
meaningless job after the other.
He's never really had a
chance to aim at anything.
But he's got such a
terrible driving ambition.
But that's a virtue isn't it?
The feeling I get from Early
is that he'd stop at nothing,
and that's not a virtue.
All he needs is a chance
and then he'll settle down.
You don't like him?
But he's a good man and we can use him.
Yeah, maybe you're right.
I'll think it over.
I really will think it over.
Ellen, you going to Portland this weekend?
Well, no, I'm a bit busy.
What's that?
I have a lotta work
I wanna straighten out.
I guess that was my first frustration.
You're not listening.
I'm sorry.
I'm a little tired.
No, you're not.
You're annoyed at yourself.
I don't know what you mean.
You canceled a dentist appointment.
I couldn't make it this weekend,
I have too much work to do.
And you left the key under the mat.
Hey, wait a minute.
Walk, do not run to the nearest exit.
Early, what are you doing there?
Oh, there was a report that
a lady slipped in the bathtub.
Oh! Hello?
Yes, David.
No, of course, I'm perfectly all right.
You did?
Why, of course I'll tell him.
See you Monday.
What for?
You're on the staff, permanently.
Thanks, Ellen.
You earned it.
I know I owe this to you.
Nonsense, it was all your own doing.
I'll always be grateful to you, Ellen.
Jack, you need have
no feeling of gratitude
toward me or anyone else.
My feeling for you goes a
lot deeper than gratitude.
2:30 in the afternoon.
That's nice.
That's the way people should live.
For a moment I was afraid
you wouldn't approve.
Would you like some coffee?
Thanks, no.
You invited me to come and see ya,
I thought now would be a good time.
I thought I told you four
o'clock would be a good time.
I know, but I wanted to see ya
while you were still
impressed with the fact
that I made ya look good like I said.
All right, we are impressed,
like you said.
It was so flattering
the boss accused me of being your son.
Well, just what do you expect
to get out of impressing me?
Well, I have a way of just happening
to pass by at important
moments and taking pictures.
At the office they call it
luck or journalistic instinct.
I let 'em call it whatever they like.
What do you call it?
I see.
Well, just where do I enter your planning?
Well, I thought sometimes there might
be something interesting happening
that you know about in advance,
and you can tip me off.
And then sometimes there could
be favors I could do for you.
That's what I would
call pretty good planning.
Are you interested in money?
Fascinated by money and
by what money can buy.
Do you ever hear of Harry Colton?
Who hasn't?
He's a one man crime wave.
You've heard of him?
Could I have some of
that coffee you offered?
I'll get it.
Colton is what I call a criminal type.
Used to be one of my collectors,
but he developed molasses
fingers, so I closed him out.
Then he went off the deep end.
He could be dangerous.
Might even develop into a menace.
Bound to kill somebody someday.
Might even be a policeman.
Well, I'm a photographer,
I may be in a rut but at
least it isn't fix feet deep.
I advised Colton to leave town,
but he didn't take my advice.
I don't like to use violence
even against violence.
That's where you come in.
You'd like to see him framed, is that?
I'd like
to see him embarrassed.
I happen to know of a pretty big project
that Colton is contemplating right now.
A robbery.
If it comes off, there'll
be no stopping him.
If he's caught the police
will dispose of him for me.
What do you want me to do about it?
You're going to take a picture
of him committing that robbery
and print it in your paper.
Wouldn't it be simpler
just to tip off the police?
That wouldn't be very bright.
The word would get around
that there was a tip off.
Now, if you'd caught him with your camera,
it would do the trick and
look like an accident.
You just happened to be passing by.
It'll be worth a couple of grand to me.
1,000 now and 1,000 when the picture
comes out in your paper.
I'm in.
Told you he was a smart boy.
I'll go get your down payment right now.
I'd go for this setup.
Nick has everything I like,
including you.
Well, if you're as
bright as Nick thinks,
you can get everything you like.
Including you?
That's not being bright.
How come you married the daily double?
He's not your type.
I don't like to be talked to this way.
Sorry, I'm just a growing boy.
Well, if you want to continue growing,
keep your mind on your camera.
Maybe I can't.
Come here.
Sit down.
Now, I wanna explain this very carefully.
This is the Grand Avenue entrance
to the Golden State Department Store.
Daring daylight robbery
at one of the world's
largest department stores.
The three bandits made their way
to the store's vault at
the point of guns concealed
from everyone except those of whom
the weapons were directed.
After emptying the vault of its cash,
the bulk of which was in
bills and small denominations,
the three coolly ordered one of the clerks
to wrap the money in packages.
This done, they then bound and gagged
the several employees who had
contact with 'em and stole-
- Ms. Bennett, please.
Hello, Ellen?
These is your old friend, Aladdin.
I've been rubbing that lamp again.
I just happened to pass by the
Golden State this afternoon
getting a few shots of
the afternoon shoppers.
Now, wait a minute, relax!
I'll bring 'em right over to your office.
Department store each day.
The culprits were hasty in the case
of Walter Poole of Oakland, California,
floor Manager for the Golden State.
Poole struggled free of his bonds soon
after the robbers left and gave chase,
only to lose them in the
crowd outside the entrance.
There are no fingerprints to aid
the police in hunting the bandits.
But some of the currency taken
was in large denominations.
The insurance company when
contacted by this commentator,
asked me to announce that a reward
of $5,000 will be paid
for information leading
to the capture of the bandits.
In all, preliminary
guesses put the total loss
in the neighborhood of $200,000.
This theft takes its place in
San Francisco crime animals
as one of the most-
You are Aladdin.
This is really remarkable.
I didn't get their faces.
I think that
would be too much to ask
unless you had known about in advance.
I've asked David to give you
a byline on this picture and he's agreed.
When the paper hits the
streets, Jack, you'll be famous.
I'll endorse only the best cold dreams.
I don't think I'll be able
to keep our date for dinner.
Well, I'll be working
late tonight anyhow.
I'm sorry, Ellen.
That's all right.
I understand.
Yeah, this could make
a lotta trouble for us, but it ain't.
You're right and I'll
explain to ya why it ain't.
Don't explain nothin',
I'll show you why.
Let's burn this one too,
if that's your idea of fun.
Hey, you sure don't know
much about photography.
As long as I have a negative
I can make as many of those as I want.
Okay, you wanna sell it to me, is that it?
Wrong again.
The negative's not for sale.
It's a kind of a life insurance policy
if you know what I mean.
If anything happens to
me the negative goes
to my newspaper and of course the cops.
Okay, that's your protection from me,
now what's my protection from you?
You buy your protection from me.
I know that, how much?
Too much.
Not for a man that picked up such
a big bargain at the
department store today.
Well, how do I know you're honest?
Maybe you'll turn in the negative
after I give you the dough.
Why would I do that?
They'll just make me exchange
the 25,000 for a gold medal
and a pat on the back.
Give it to him, Roy.
The money, the money.
Count it carefully.
If you make a mistake, I'll be back.
In small bills, how do you carry it?
Put it in here.
Aren't you worried you
might lose it on the way home?
No, I'm not afraid.
If I lose it, I'll just have
to come back here for more.
Well, I'll say goodbye now.
I don't like to overstay my welcome.
Wait a minute.
You know, there's nothing in our deal
that says I can't do this.
Look, Mac?
I wanna do a little shopping.
Shirts, ties, shoes, a suit or two.
See this suit?
Two pair of pants.
My wife hates it.
But then again, she hates
everything, especially me.
All day long I wheel this
load around blocking traffic
and what does she do?
Plays Canasta.
Tell me more.
What did you say?
My butler let you in?
No, the old crow downstairs.
I gave her a couple of bucks.
Sure smells in here.
It didn't before you got here.
You're not very neat, Harry.
With your take you can
afford a vacuum cleaner.
We checked them all.
It's not here.
Of course it's not here.
As far as you're concerned,
that negative's buried in Fort Knox.
Well, it was a try.
Never get the brass ring
unless you race for it.
You're a philosopher.
Like it?
Now, I suggest you beat it.
Answer me one thing.
How'd you happen to
get that picture of us?
I don't just happen to do anything.
You mean you were tipped off?
Of course.
Well, there are ways of
finding out who tipped you off-
- One way of finding out is to ask me.
Ask me.
All right, who?
Nick Palmer.
Now, if you boys will run along,
I have a little house cleaning to do.
I'm moving tomorrow and I have to pack.
Thinking of moving in with Nick Palmer?
I wouldn't advise it.
He's not safe company anymore.
Anybody that puts the finger on me
is living on borrowed time.
I'm not interested in Nick's
future or the lack of it.
Oh, Colton?
You know, I think you owe me
something for that information.
Yeah? How much?
Well, let's say this evens it out.
Take good care of that negative.
Well, say, Early, there's something
I'd like to talk to you about.
Anytime, Thurman, anytime at all.
Well, what about right now?
Anytime but now that is.
You wanted to see me?
Oh, yes, Early.
Sit down.
You know, I just figured
out that your income
is probably larger than your salary.
What do you mean?
Well, that robbery
exclusive made you a bonus.
Thanks a lot.
This is going toward a new car.
I might as well tell you
I hired you reluctantly.
I didn't like you.
And now?
I like your work.
You're good for the paper.
You're getting to be an
important man around here.
Well, thanks again.
As I was saying, I
didn't want to hire you.
It was Ellen who talked me into it.
Then I'll thank her.
Ellen's a wonderful girl.
Yes, I know.
It's not only that she's one
of the most capable people around here,
but as a person she's very fine.
You don't have to sell Ellen to me.
I'm not trying to.
I just wanna make sure
that you appreciate her as well as I do.
I don't know quite how to tell you this.
After all, you are my boss.
Speak freely.
Well, I don't think that
what you've been saying
is really any of your business at all.
I guess you're right.
Thanks for the check.
Mr. Early is here.
Tell him we're busy.
I told him you were
just about to have dinner
but he said it was very important.
All right.
Well, let's go into dinner anyway.
Oh, you're too clever for me, darling.
I like the way you people eat.
What was so important?
Remember I told you I wanted to make up
for not coming through
on that Colton deal?
Remember I told you
that if anything came up I'd call you?
Well, something has come up.
I got a tip from the paper.
They're gunning for you.
Gunning for me?
They're always gunning for me.
They're gonna close
up one of your places,
the Bay View Club.
When is this supposed to happen?
It's starting tonight.
Thanks, Jack.
Well, don't you think
you oughta get down there
and get everybody on their toes?
No, I'll just make a phone call.
You had your dinner?
You're perfectly welcome
to join us if you're free.
As a matter of fact I am.
Thank you.
I started at the bottom
but to follow my progress
you'd have to dig a hole.
You're a bright boy, you'll get along.
What's the matter?
You in a hurry?
No, but don't you think you
oughta make that phone call?
Yeah, think I will.
Excuse me.
Nita, I wanna-
- I hope you've enjoyed
Nick's hospitality.
Nita, I wanna talk to ya.
You have been very nice and
very quiet all during dinner.
I find I like you better that way.
I've said this so many
times without meaning it.
Look, Nita, you've got to believe me.
This isn't just conversation.
This is the real thing.
Look, why don't you...
Don't bother to apologize.
Just get out.
Nita, listen to me-
- Please, just go.
You're afraid of Nick.
That's it, isn't it?
I love Nick.
You don't seem to be able to understand.
Don't hand me that.
What can Nick mean to you?
A pair of dice that reads seven?
First class on The Queen
Elizabeth, Miami in the winter?
Yes, this you can understand.
But he means much more than that to me,
and this you will never understand.
You're afraid of him.
I'm sorry I'm late, El.
Don't be angry.
But you're two hours late.
I know and I'm very sorry.
Why didn't you call me?
Ellen, please.
You look so tired, Jack.
I am.
I've been out in the jungle hunting.
You're an idiot, you know?
You ruined my stew.
Does that mean I have to marry ya?
I refuse.
I wouldn't marry you if you
were the last man on earth.
Unless you asked me.
Matrimony is a state I don't recognize.
It's not love, it's pots and pans
and a conversational fist
fight every Saturday night
with a paycheck as the purse.
Say, something's missing in here.
From the chest?
That's right, the dentist.
What did you do with his picture?
I felt guilty looking at it.
You didn't throw it away?
It's in the drawer.
Never throw old beau's away, Ellen.
Save them all and make a quilt.
Come on, sit down.
I'll be right with you.
You must be half starved by now.
You haven't eaten yet, have you?
Oh, no, no.
- Carlton?
- Yeah?
Look, when Jack Early gets here, tell...
I've been waiting for you, Jack.
I got your message at the paper.
At least, I guess it was from you.
Of course it was me.
Who'd you think it was?
Oh, I couldn't be sure,
you didn't leave your name.
Think I should've?
I guess not.
What's it all about, Nick?
Something important has come up.
Could be very profitable to you.
What is it?
This could mean real money to ya.
That's the kind I like.
Maybe 5,000.
Come here.
I gotta leave.
Walk out with me.
I can't explain everything
to ya right now,
but come to my apartment tonight.
I may be working, I can't
be sure when I can get away.
You can leave before nine can't ya?
I think so.
Be sure you get there before nine.
What's so special about nine?
I got a call.
I don't know what it's about
but it seemed important.
Borrowed time.
So, I've got to leave at nine sharp.
Of course, tonight.
I mean tonight.
Didn't you understand I
was talking about tonight?
Yes, yes, I'll be there.
All right.
Borrowed time.
But Nick, darling, I can
be ready in 10 minutes.
I'm afraid I can't wait.
I never thought Early would
be late when it came to money.
He's done a beautiful
job of messing me up.
No, I'm afraid you better take a cab.
Well, all right, dear.
Are you trying to me that it's no good?
No, my question
is, is it too good?
Look, the police have my story.
They questioned me again this morning.
I've told it over and over again.
I had an appointment with Nick.
He never did tell me
what it was all about.
I was late.
I tried to catch him in the garage.
When I got there the car was smoking.
A couple of seconds
later the bomb went off.
Composition, lighting, focus.
All perfect.
you may not believe this
but I'm allergic to bombs.
If I even suspect that I'm
in the same room with one,
I can't help it.
I just have to leave.
Funny, I feel the same way
when I'm in the room with a liar.
However you got it,
it was just about the greatest
news photo ever snapped.
"Life" and "Time" are re-printing.
"Our Future Syndicate's" got
a beautiful contract for you.
From now on you're out of the snake pit.
Only special assignments.
Mother told me there'd
be moments like this.
Don't kid me, Early.
You never had a mother.
You were put together
in some machine shop.
You can think but you can't feel.
Stepping all over people and climbing
all over them to get to the top.
You're no good.
You're no good at all.
And you're green with envy, Glover.
You've got no guts.
You don't hate me because
of any photographs I took.
You hate me because of Ellen.
You're in love with her.
You've been in love with her for years
but ya hadn't gotten nerve enough
to come out from behind your desk.
Run away, Glover.
The truth hurts.
David, how was he?
Oh, he's as good he ever was.
He'll be out in a few days.
Did he sign the contract?
Didn't you talk about it?
Well, sort of.
I'll discuss it with him when he gets out.
Did you tell him what's involved?
No, I didn't.
And I'd rather that you didn't either.
I have to be going, Ellen.
I'll see you later.
Hello, baby.
I wondered when you'd be around.
Oh, I came the first moment I could.
I rubbed that lamp a
little too hard this time.
It blew up in my kisser.
It's a miracle you weren't killed.
How do you feel?
Great. Sit down.
Jack, that Palmer picture's
causing so much talk.
I spent the entire morning turning
down magazine offers for you.
I've had offers?
At least 10.
I love being able to tell
them to go jump in the lake.
Hey, wait a minute.
Our publisher was terribly impressed.
If those offers are on the level-
- He told David to sign you
to a feature contract matching
the best of the offers.
I don't want a contract.
I think I can do better
now playing the field.
Well, there's a little
more to it than that.
They had quite a talk.
He sort of implied that
if David didn't get you,
he might lose his job.
Well, it's too bad for
David because I'm not signing.
I'm not signing with anyone.
The way I figure it, I can cash in more
on that picture if I freelance.
But David gave you your first break.
I earned what I got.
I don't need to feel grateful to anybody.
Darling, it's only a one year contract.
I can't spare the time.
Jack, I hate to ask you this,
but for me?
Jack, as a matter of decency?
There's another word that
goes with it, integrity.
Look, Ellen, I've known a lotta guys
that talk about decency and integrity.
I knew a guy once, a wonderful old man,
a genius with a camera.
He used to take pictures
of trees and clouds
and children playing in
the sands at Ocean Beach.
He tried to show me the beauty he saw
in people in the world.
He was a great man, Ellen,
and there were others.
Guys with paint brushes,
guys with typewriters.
I even knew one who had a butcher shop,
and you know what?
They all starved to death.
Decency and integrity
are fancy words, Ellen,
but they never kept anybody well fed.
And I've got quite an appetite.
Yes, I'll see him.
Nita, I just wanted to
tell you how sorry I am.
Thanks for sending all
those messages of sympathy.
I guess I know better than most
what Nick meant to you,
and I can appreciate better than most
what you meant to Nick.
That's the nicest speech
I've heard all week.
Nita, if there's anything I
can do, money or anything...
Nick didn't exactly leave me penniless.
I'm trying to offer my friendship, Nita.
He didn't keep me friendless, either.
I'm no longer with the paper.
And I find myself a big time photographer
all because of that picture of...
It was miracle that I happened
to take a picture of Nick at that moment.
I read all about it in the papers.
I had an appointment
with Nick and I was late.
I know.
I feel like a ghoul.
I feel guilty somehow.
There's no need for you to feel guilty.
It's not as if you were
responsible for Nick's death.
I have several assignments
that will take me out of the country.
When I get back I want...
I want you to call on me if
you need help for anything.
All right, Jack.
If I ever need you, I call for help.
Thank you.
Goodbye, Jack.
Hello, you got her?
She's there?
Okay, hold on.
All right, fellas.
Good evening, Mr. Early.
Glad to have you back.
Thanks, Ted.
It's good to be back.
I saw your pictures of China and look,
they were simply terrible.
No, I mean wonderful.
You know what I mean.
I know what you mean, darling.
Thank you.
Good evening.
You look wonderful.
Thank you.
And thank you for the bracelet.
But you're not wearing it.
It doesn't go very well
with what I'm wearing tonight,
but it is very nice.
And very expensive.
- Nita?
- Yes?
What do I have to do to make
you understand how I feel
about ya, rob a bank?
I think you made yourself clear.
Then why don't
you do something about it?
I am.
Good evening, Mrs.
Palmer, nice to see you.
Oh, good evening, Mrs. Spencer.
- Mr. Spencer.
- Good evening.
Oh, what beautiful pearls.
Thank you.
Very few people recognize natural pearls
as quickly as you do.
You get to know the
things you love best,
and pearls have always been
a great favorite of mine.
Oh, I wanted...
Excuse me.
Hello, Early.
Oh, hello.
Why didn't you return my call?
I got tied up.
It's a big spread,
my magazine was, Early.
A room by room layout of
the Worthington mansion,
and coverage of a big charity
ball to be held there.
I'd do a layout of a flea party
and a borrow-y flat bus if
there's enough money in it,
but you won't pay the fair.
We're offering you our top rates.
The top's too low.
Are pearls expensive?
The Worthington's are one
of the most important
families in the country.
At that ball will be a concentration
of the wealthiest families in the country.
Yeah, I know, great contacts.
I mean wealthy in a way you don't know.
Why, just the jewelry
that'll be worn that night
will represent millions of dollars.
That's wealthy in a way I don't know.
And you can arrange a
schedule that suits yourself,
so long as the layout of
the house is done in time,
you'll run it with the
coverage of the ball.
The Worthington's will
be very cooperative.
Any other photographers?
Exclusive coverage by Jack Early.
- All right.
- Wonderful!
Hi, Chuck.
Well, look who's here!
Yeah, he's changed.
Hello, Glover.
Well, Mr. Early.
I see you're
still wearing that vest.
Would you like me to tell
you why I'm still here?
Not particularly.
Maybe some other time.
Where's Ellen?
She's away for the weekend.
I believe she mentioned Portland.
Yes, Portland.
Nice place.
Nice people.
But she'll be back Monday?
She'll be back Monday,
- but I'm afraid-
- Bye, Glover.
Mr. Early, I'm sorry I can't show you
the rest of the house myself.
I hadn't expected you today.
Oh, I guess I shouldn't
have come on Sunday.
I can come back tomorrow.
Perhaps one
of the servants can show
you through the house?
That would be fine.
Oh, Mrs. Worthington,
if it's all right with you,
I'd like to wander around alone
and sorta get the feel of the place.
That sounds very sensible.
I'll tell everyone you're to
have free run of the house.
Thank you.
- Would you excuse me?
- Of course.
I've been trying to reach you.
I wanted to see you long before this
but I've been so busy.
Forgive me?
Jack, I'm very tired.
Please, Ellen.
Trains always tire me and
I haven't eaten since noon.
Have dinner with me, Ellen.
No, I think I'll just
take what I can find here
and fall right into bed.
Please, Ellen.
I must talk to you.
It's a matter of life or death.
It's been so long since
we've seen each other.
I've missed you, Ellen.
I didn't miss you at all.
What was this life or death matter
you wanted to speak to me about?
I just wanted to talk to you, Ellen.
It's been so long.
I've missed you enormously, Ellen.
I found Europe as empty as a paper bag.
Nothing but cafes, cathedrals, hotels.
And people selling each
other their crown jewels.
Well, I guess you're tired.
Maybe we oughta save
this for some other time.
As long as you're here,
there are a few things I'd like to say.
I spent the weekend in Portland.
Yes, I know.
How is your dentist?
It's all over.
It has been for some time.
I just went up there to
make it official and clean.
You remember my telling you that David
would lose his job if you
didn't sign that contract?
Yes, but he didn't lose
it, he's still there.
He told the publisher if
you remained on the paper,
he'd quit anyway.
He said that people like you were bad
for the whole profession of journalism.
Our publisher agreed with him.
David said you were a
ruthless opportunist.
With no feeling for anyone but yourself.
He said that you would
inevitably get into trouble
you couldn't get out of and
that you'd probably drag
a lot of people down with you.
Are you trying to tell me
that Glover doesn't like me?
I knew that the first day I met him.
I'm trying to tell
you that David is right.
I'm telling you in the slight
hope that you might listen
to him and think about it.
I don't believe in that kinda thing.
David makes a lotta sense, Jack.
You'd do well to listen to him.
Sure, he makes sense.
He's trying to poison your mind against me
because he's in love with you.
Oh, Jack.
You'd better go.
I might as well.
And Jack?
Please, don't come here anymore.
You'll change your mind.
We've been too close.
What do you want?
The world on a platter,
the Italian Riviera,
gin rummy and a bottle or a pint.
In other words, money.
Yeah, you know what
you're gonna get from us.
Beat it.
Take it easy, Harry.
This time I'm giving, not taking.
Pay attention to me and
the first thing you know,
you can throw away your gun.
Exhibit A, the Worthington estate.
Bedrooms, grounds, the works.
Exhibit B, floor plan of the ballroom
showing the disposition
of the armed guards.
I don't go in for this and you know it.
Exhibit C, six especially
engraved invitations.
They'll roll out the red carpet
for you and your boys, Harry.
And you can use it to wrap
up the million dollars
worth of jewelry that'll
come staggering in on it.
I thought that would interest you.
Incidentally, there's a wall safe
in that panel in the library
if you have time for it.
Okay, I'm interested.
What's the deal on this?
Well, since I'm only planning it
and you're carrying it
out, I won't be greedy.
Let's say 25%,
for you and your boys.
You think we're worth it?
Go on, get outta here
before I throw ya out.
I think I can persuade
you to change your mind.
When you change the
deal I'll change my mind.
What do you mean, change the deal?
Make it 50/50 instead of 75/25.
All right, 50/50.
What about that one?
We won't be needing this one now.
I've got some more groundwork to do.
Study those pictures very carefully.
I'll check with ya later.
This looks like a pushover, Harry.
Everything's laid in our laps.
There's only one thing
I don't like about it.
- Harry, maybe I should-
- Nothin' doin'.
I'd take a chance on that
negative he's got getting
into the wrong hands but...
knocking off a newspaper man
just isn't being done this season.
Get me the number of the Bay View Club.
Come in.
Oh, Jack darling.
The pearls are beautiful.
I was beginning to think
this bout would end on a draw.
Listen, baby,
I'm coming into an awful lot
of money in the next few days,
so get your passport in order.
Get visas for Italy, England and France.
We'll have a lot of fun together.
You can show me the real Paris.
We'll visit your hometown, Chat, uh, Chat-
- Chateauroux.
I can never say it the way you do.
What's the matter, darling?
It's been some time since Nick's death.
Time enough for the
police to close the case.
Time enough for everyone
to have forgotten Nick.
I haven't forgotten him.
That's why I've waited as long as I have.
Nita, I wanna marry you.
Don't say no, Nita.
Don't make up your mind tonight.
Think it over.
I'll think it over.
I'll let you know, Jack.
Night, Mr. Early.
I'm Harry Colton.
I know.
Nick and me weren't friends.
I know.
But he was a kind of a guy.
Well, we're not alike,
you know what I mean.
Look, Colton, suppose you tell me
what this is all about.
Well, it's like I said,
I wasn't in love with Nick
and Nick wasn't in love with me.
So, we can put this down as a grudge.
I'm here to tell you who killed him.
Go on.
A photographer.
You know who I mean.
Is this an idea of yours
or have you any proof?
Proof is for lawyers.
He did it, that's all there is to it.
Tell me something.
How do you happen to know, Early?
Is it because of that hold
up picture on the papers?
No, the one that wasn't in the papers.
Early got our faces that day.
He just happened to be passing by.
Came to see us and I still feel
that visit in my pocket book.
So, that's the way it was.
But he said...
Oh, if I were sure I'd...
Hey, wait a minute.
I don't want what I told
ya to get ya into trouble.
Now, Nick was smart about these things.
Oh, Nick, Nick.
I still can't figure out why
he wanted to get rid of Nick.
I can.
I can.
Take it easy, Mrs. Palmer.
I'd like to fix it myself
because of what he did to me,
but it's gotta be done right.
Colton, you can help me.
You knew about such things.
Well, Early came to
me with a deal today.
Will you help me?
That's what I'm talkin' about.
But it'll have to be timed.
We'll have to work out
everything very carefully.
Now, there's this ball at
the Worthington mansion.
Near the ballroom is a library.
This should be the library.
Yes, it is.
Now I'd like one
of the two of you standing
at the top of the staircase
about to make an entrance.
Mrs. Palmer's in the library.
I wanted to
give you my answer, Jack.
You have about 15 minutes.
What are you talking about?
You wouldn't understand.
It has nothing to do with big
cars and expensive jewels.
Nita, you're crazy, I didn't-
- You didn't what?
Nita, I love you.
There's nothing I wouldn't do for you,
nothing I haven't done for you.
You and I are the only
ones who didn't forget Nick.
Me, because I loved him,
and you because you killed him.
Nita, I didn't kill Nick.
Are you outta your mind?
If you kill me you'll be caught
and it'll be all for nothing.
I didn't kill Nick.
Colton's men brought me.
And he'll pick me up right there
after Colton's business is finished.
- Colton?
- Yes, Colton.
We timed you right into your own plan.
It was Colton that killed Nick.
Don't you see, Nita?
You're being tricked, don't you see?
Yes, I see.
I can prove I didn't do it.
I can prove it.
Go ahead, prove it.
Let me make a call.
I can have something brought out here
that'll prove it wasn't me.
I can get it here in 10 minutes.
Let me call.
All right, go ahead, but
don't do anything silly.
Oh, oh, excuse me.
Yes, I know.
Listen to me, this
is terribly important.
I'm at the Worthington
estate in Burlingham.
I want you to get into a cab
and bring me that picture
that's on the mantelpiece.
You know, the dentist?
Please, don't ask any questions, Ellen,
just believe me when I tell ya
it's a matter of life or death.
I'm sorry, Jack.
We're having a birthday
party here for David.
Please, Ellen, I've
got to have that picture.
I hid something behind it.
If you don't get into a cab and-
- Jack, you're being silly.
Don't you understand?
My days of catering to
your whims are over.
Ellen, for the love of...
If you ever cared anything about me.
I'm sorry, Jack, I just can't.
No, no!
Jack! No!
What's going on?
Here it is, and it's a honey.
Where's that new kid, the
one who covered the ball?
It's a good picture.
Yes, Sir?
Let's hear your lead in.
"Shortly before midnight last night"
at the Worthington charity ball,
Jack Early, world renowned photographer,
in a magnificent display of courage foiled
a robbery attempt and went to his death,
"photographing his own murderer
in the act as he died."
All right, you were there.
Thanks, Mr. Glover!
It's a great picture.
And I bet for the first time
he really just happened to be passing by.