Tension (1949) Movie Script

I'm Collier Bonnabel.
I'm a cop.
I'm a lieutenant detective
in, uh, Homicide.
That's a fancy name for murder.
We get plenty of tough cases.
Solved most of them, sure. But how?
I only know one way, one thing
that breaks them wide open.
I work on people, on suspects.
Play up to them.
Play up to their strengths,
pour it on their weaknesses.
Romance them or ignore them.
Kiss them. Press them.
But whatever way...
...keep stretching them.
everybody's got a breaking point.
And when they get stretched so tight,
they can't take it any longer:
This is the corner of St. Anne's and 13th.
That's an all-night drug store.
Never closes.
You know, in a town as big as this,
there are only four or five of them.
Oh, that's Warren Quimby.
He's the night manager.
Lives in an apartment
right over the drug store.
You know, these stores have everything:
Raisins and radios,
paregoric and phonographs...
...vitamin capsules and cap pistols.
They'll serve you a cup of coffee...
...sell you a pack of cigarettes
or a postage stamp...
...and in a pinch,
they'll even fill a prescription for you.
It's kind of tough on Quimby,
working nights.
Twelve hours a night, five nights a week.
But it pays well.
That's why Quimby took it.
You see, he didn't mind
the temporary hardships...
...because he knew where he was going.
He was planning.
Planning for the day when he would be able
to do more and better...
...for himself...
...and his wife.
Hello. Uh, Mel-West Theatre?
Could you please tell me
what time the second feature's over?
- Want a cup of coffee or something?
- No.
- You sure?
- Sure.
Look, you can tell me
to mind my own business...
Okay, Freddie. Mind your own business.
I don't like to see anybody
get kicked around, especially a nice guy.
Thanks, Freddie.
Uh, why don't you
get back to the counter, huh?
- Is she worth it, Mr. Quimby?
- Ha-ha-ha.
Uh, go on back to the counter, will you?
But the way she treats you all the time,
and you take it...
She's here.
Claire, darling.
I was worried about you.
Nothing to worry about.
Did you enjoy the show?
- It was all right.
Somebody wants some pills.
- Could I buy you...?
- Drift.
Something else, Mrs. Quimby?
Still with that Mrs. Quimby business,
eh, junior?
Don't start that again, please.
Claire's my name. Call me Claire.
But you're the manager's wife,
Mrs. Quimby.
That makes me poison?
Look, I got a good job here with plenty
of golden hours, so don't stink me up.
- Ha, okay, junior. I'll have some dessert.
- What kind?
I'll leave that up to you.
- Something sweet.
- Pie?
Yeah, pie's all right.
- Seen Barney Deager lately?
- No, I haven't seen him.
Not that you would tell me.
Thank you.
Stunning, isn't it?
On her.
It'd look better on you.
- Think so, huh?
- Yeah.
- Thanks, that's nice.
- And I got something nice to talk about.
- So?
- Yeah.
Wanna hear more?
- Where you parked?
- Around the corner. Gray sedan.
- Junior.
Tell Mr. Quimby I've gone
to the apartment.
All right, Mrs. Quimby.
Thanks, junior.
Thank you for...
Mr. Quimby.
- Yes?
- We're short of coffee.
- She say where she was going?
She's gone up to the apartment.
I'm not kidding about that coffee,
Mr. Quimby.
Hey, hey, morning paper.
Get your morning paper.
Read all about it.
- Mr. Quimby.
I'll be a little late tonight
but Charlie will be here.
- Fine.
- Hold the light.
- Looks like a nice day.
- Yeah.
Yeah. It was a beautiful morning.
Most people look forward to the morning
as the beginning of the new day.
As a hope, promise of good things
about to happen.
But to Warren, it only meant:
Would Claire be there?
There was always the fear.
The fear that he'd open the door
and find the room empty.
Everything was all right. She was here.
And there was nothing he wouldn't do
to keep her here.
He'd work...
...do without things he wanted.
Anything to keep her happy.
Anything to hold on to her.
- What's the matter?
- It's just your breakfast.
- It's a wonderful morning.
- Mm-hm.
- How do you feel, huh?
- I feel awful.
- Hey, you burned the toast again, baby.
- Oh, I'm sorry, darling.
- You should have scraped it off.
- Here.
That's all right. I'll eat it this way.
Claire, darling, I got a surprise for you.
- Did you get a raise?
- Better than that.
Hey, what's better than money?
What is it?
I'm not gonna tell you.
This you gotta see.
- Oh, come on. Give.
- Ha-ha. Come on. Get dressed.
- A new car. You got a new car.
- No, even better. You'll see.
- Come on. Come on. Hurry up.
- Warren.
Come here.
You're cute.
What are you stopping here for?
- Isn't that a beauty?
- Are you kidding?
Gee, it would be wonderful to live out here,
darling. Fresh air, room to entertain.
- It's great for kids.
- You wanna know something?
I think it's a miserable spot.
It's 30 minutes from nowhere.
I thought this was what you wanted.
What do you think I took the night shift for?
Saving and doing without
so we'd have enough money to do this.
We still don't have enough.
- The FHA even approved the loan.
- Fine.
Let them live here.
Ha-ha, come on, darling.
At least look at it.
You'll love it, you know.
It's got everything you want.
It's got a big living room.
It's got a real dining room.
It's got full size baths,
a wonderful kitchen out in back there.
You know, it's even got a garbage disposal.
You coming?
It's a nice scent. I like this.
Well, don't like it too much.
That's the $25 size.
Oh, be a big man.
You took a bottle of that
home last week.
I could take this too and not tell you.
Nobody would know.
Company's insured.
Don't even say things like that.
Big guy would spend this on me
in one evening.
What's with you anyway?
Now, look, you be sure to tell your mother
to read the directions carefully, huh?
- She can read English, can't she?
- You kidding?
Oh. It's a beautiful car, Barney.
- You're a big man.
- You been true to me?
I haven't budged from the apartment.
I haven't budged.
- That one been bothering you?
- No.
- Well, can we go?
- Yeah, in a minute.
- Hurry up.
- All right.
- Junior, tell him I've gone upstairs.
All right, Mrs. Quimby.
Had she gone with Barney Deager?
Or was she upstairs in the apartment?
He didn't expect to find her,
but he hoped, prayed.
If she wasn't there...
...what would he do then?
Now he knew.
Maybe he'd always known.
Couldn't lie to himself any longer.
He'd have to live a life without her.
But for Warren...
...that was the end of the road.
- Mr. Quimby, if she isn't in the ap...
- Shut...
Not now, Freddie.
He couldn't give her up.
Not even now, not even knowing.
Not without a fight.
But how do you fight?
Where do you begin?
- What are you doing?
- I'm leaving.
I'm through.
I got what I'm looking for
and I'm gonna grab it.
- Barney Deager?
- Yeah, a real guy.
Don't do this.
I'm asking you, don't do it.
There's nothing to talk about.
It was different in San Diego.
You were cute in your uniform.
You were full of laughs then.
Well, you're all laughed out now.
Look, Warren.
I been waiting a long time
to carry these bags out of here.
Okay. Okay. Okay.
You... You've been waiting a long time?
Well, go ahead.
I'm not gonna try to stop you.
But once you go, don't come back.
You hear me? Don't come back!
Hey, Mr. Quimby.
It's a beautiful day out. Come on.
I hate to see you
eat your heart out like this.
I don't like it either.
But what can I do?
I can't let go, Freddie.
Can you understand that?
Can you?
I thought... I thought maybe if I...
If I went down there, uh...
Down to Deager's place in Malibu...
Maybe if I talked to her...
...and try to talk sense to her...
Well, after all, she's my wife. She...
What's the use?
She wouldn't listen, and if she would,
Deager would start.
I'll go with you.
Ha-ha, no, no, that wouldn't do any good.
It would just start trouble...
...and there's enough of that now.
No, I'll go down there myself.
Claire will have to listen to me.
I'll make her listen. Deager or no Deager.
Hi, Warren.
I wanna talk to my wife.
Want me to introduce you?
Hey, Claire.
Here's a guy who wants to talk to you.
Go ahead. Talk.
- Why don't you go home?
- Claire, please.
- Warren, why don't you grow up?
- Don't act that way.
- I've gotta talk to you.
- What's there to talk about?
Let go of my arm, Warren.
Doc, you're hurting her.
- Claire, listen to me. I...
- Let go of my arm, Warren.
Hey, you're hurting the lady.
Why don't you stop
and get out of here like a nice fella?
- I'm not leaving here. Not without her.
- Is that the way you want it?
- You know how I want it.
- Okay, Warren, so go on, huh?
Listen, Deager...
All right.
Now, get going.
And don't come back.
You four-eyed punk.
He hadn't figured it this way.
Not to get Claire back was one thing...
...but to take a beating,
and in front of his wife...
...was more shame
than Warren Quimby could stand.
This is what started it all.
That seems better, doesn't it?
Yeah. Yeah, that's fine.
That'll be five dollars.
Would you be interested
in a pair of those?
No. No, I don't think so.
They're prescribed lenses,
same as you have there...
...except that they're
much more convenient.
They're molded
to the contour of your eye.
They're very simple to insert and remove.
Give the appearance
of no glasses at all.
- Really change your looks.
- No, I don't think so.
They're still at it, trying to find out
who owns Germany...
...who owns the A-bombs.
Floods, cyclones, earthquakes, riots.
They're loaded.
Look at this one.
A 64-year-old guy in Pennsylvania...
...found with a bullet in his head.
And I'll bet they never get the guy
that did it. Never.
Do you know
that the Giants won three in a row?
Have you any idea how many
unsolved murders there are every year?
Not much juice in these oranges.
A guy commits a murder, see?
Blows, leaves no traces, no clues, nothing.
Just commits the murder and disappears.
Drives the cops daffy.
She wouldn't come back, would she?
What happened?
He beat me up.
Beat you up.
No guy could do that to me.
I'd kill him.
I mean it, Mr. Quimby. I'd kill him.
Kill him? Yeah.
But how do you do that
and not get caught?
You become a different person. That's it.
You wipe out Warren Quimby
and in his place you put someone else.
I've had people come in here
who've worn glasses all their lives.
They get these remarkable lenses,
they throw their glasses away.
And believe me, sir...
...they get a whole new, fresh viewpoint.
Their personality changes.
How long does all this take?
Oh, we'll make a cast today...
...and in a week, no more,
you'll get your lenses.
"Paul Thomas. John... "
"Sothern. "
Sothern. James Sothern.
Jerome Sothern. Je... Paul.
Paul. Paul.
No Paul Sothern.
I'm glad to know you, Mr. Sothern.
Where do I live?
Yeah, where the devil do I live?
That's fine. That's just fine.
Of course, I'll require some references.
- It's customary.
- Yeah, I understand.
I've just been transferred out here.
I'm away five days a week on the road.
I only spend weekends here.
Not much wear and tear
on your apartment.
Of course, you'll...
You'll sign a lease, Mister...
Sothern. Paul Sothern.
Of course.
I'll draw up the papers
and have them ready Saturday.
- All right. Swell.
- Fine.
Oh, I'm terribly sorry.
It's all right.
- Sorry, ha.
- It's all right.
- Oh!
Oh, I'm sor...
Well, I... I guess I better get down.
Yeah. Yeah.
Gee, I'm sorry.
That's all right.
- You must be the new tenant.
- Yeah. Yeah, I am.
I'm Mary Chanler. We're neighbors.
Paul Sothern.
- How do you do, Miss Chanler?
- Hello.
I didn't mean to spoil your picture.
- I was coming around the corner there.
- I just fool around with it.
- I'm not really a photographer.
- Oh.
- I cashier over in the village.
- Uh-huh.
- Oh, Mr. Sothern.
- Yeah?
You forgot something.
- Your suitcase.
Oh. Thanks.
- Sure.
- Thanks.
You really oughtn't use
those flash bulbs because...
Well, I said I was sorry.
No, no, I didn't mean that.
I mean, there's plenty of light, you see...
...and you might even try using a filter.
You know, you know a lot about this.
Well, I just fool around with it like you.
I'm a salesman.
La Femme Beauty Preparations.
I'm on the road most of the week.
- Oh, Mr. Sothern...
- Yeah?
Welcome to the Westwood Apartments.
It had worked.
No one questioned he was Paul Sothern.
He was a man with a new face,
new clothes, new name, new job...
...new apartment, and new neighbors.
Now, he could kill Barney Deager.
And Paul Sothern could then vanish
as completely as he'd appeared.
For five days a week, however,
Warren Quimby retained his own identity.
He lived in the old apartment upstairs,
worked the night shift...
...and kept perfecting his plan.
Get me Malibu... Never mind.
How soon can I get this?
Let's see. That'll be about half an hour.
- I'll be back.
- All right. Thank you.
Mr. Deager's residence.
This is Paul Sothern.
- Sothern.
- Paul Sothern.
- Yes, Mr. Sothern?
I want you to tell Mr. Deager that
he's not gonna get away with what he did.
- Tell him I'll get him for it.
- What did you say, Mr. Sothern?
- Probably some drunk I took a poke at.
- What's the matter?
- Nothing. Forget it. Whose trick?
- Yours.
You know anybody named Sothern?
Hey, Narco, if that man Sothern
phones again, let me talk to him.
Yes, Mr. Deager.
Hey. Popcorn. Two of them.
How about some peanuts, Paul?
Well, how about some peanuts?
Oh, yeah, sure, sure.
Uh. Uh, two peanuts.
Malibu 5818, please.
Hey, mister.
- Hmm?
You like?
Yeah, it looks like my Aunt Agatha.
It does, huh?
Well, it happens to be only me.
Do you see it?
- Hmm?
- What?
- That faraway island.
I see it.
It's beautiful, but you're not on it.
I've been looking for it all my life.
You don't know how to look.
Let me show you.
See it?
You see, it's easy. There we are.
- We happy?
- Only on weekends.
The rest of the week you traipse around
from island to island selling cosmetics.
- Ha-ha, out there too? Ha-ha.
- Yeah.
I gotta cut that out.
Be sure that you do.
- How long is it that we've been out there?
- Oh, let's see.
- Ten years, 20.
- And you still love me?
I still love you.
We could make it real.
Yeah. Real.
If this were an island.
...and me...
It's the right girl with the wrong guy.
Sorry. Wrong guy.
It can be real, Paul.
It can be real.
But nothing could be real in Warren's life...
...as long as Barney Deager lived.
He was through with waiting.
He would put Paul Sothern
to work now.
Right now.
Only one thing:
He would have to be sure that
Warren Quimby would never be suspected.
He would have to prove
there was no bad blood...
...between himself and Barney Deager.
Warren, you better get out of here.
You've gotta talk to me.
Listen to what I have to say.
We'll be ready to eat in a few minutes.
Okay, Warren, say it. Say it
and get it over with once and for all.
- Don't break up our life this way.
- What life?
We could have had a nice home.
I had a good job. I made a good living. I...
Look, Warren,
we've been through this all before.
- Think it over.
- We had our chance.
It didn't work out. That's the way it is.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
Come back. You'll see. I'll...
I'll never bring up what's happened.
You can have anything you want.
- I've got everything I want.
Okay, Warren? Anything else?
I guess that's it.
- There's no way to force you.
- That's right.
You know what you want.
You always did.
You know, I don't have to tell you...
...but if you ever change you mind
the door's open.
I know. I know.
A man doesn't give up his wife
without a try, Deager.
- Can't blame me.
- Sure. Sure.
Funny guy.
He's not a bad little guy at all.
Fine trip, for nothing.
I thought we were gonna beat
his brains in.
The least you could've let me do
is hang one at him myself. Just one.
I got nothing against him.
It wasn't his fault.
The trouble with you, Mr. Quimby, you keep
turning that other cheek until you're dizzy.
Freddie was his eyewitness to the fact...
...that he was a generous
and forgiving husband.
His last problem was solved.
This was the night.
Having parked his car on a side road,
he hit the highway.
He would get to Barney Deager's place
through a series of hitchhikes.
Finally, he was ready to use Paul Sothern
for the reason he'd created him.
Finally, he was ready to commit
the perfect crime.
Thanks a lot. Good night.
That's right.
Yeah, it's me. Quimby.
Warren Quimby, the four-eyed punk.
I came down here to kill you. I could kill
you and I could get away with it too.
Had it all planned out just like this. I'd kill
you and end this whole rotten business.
But that's crazy.
I must have been crazy.
She's not worth it.
If it hadn't been you,
it'd have been some other guy.
That's your worry now.
Yeah. Yeah, sure.
That's your lookout now.
And just to make sure,
I'll get the divorce.
Come on, Deager. Throw me out like
you did the last time. Come on. Come on.
Where is she?
Gone to the movies, huh?
Is that what she told you?
What do you want, Quimby?
Me? Nothing.
You and me are even now.
She's all yours.
Is that you, Mr. Sothern?
- Yeah. Hello. Hello.
Mary's not in.
- Well, where is she?
- Out.
When's she coming back?
- She waited for you all day.
- I know, but where did she go?
I don't know but she'll be back.
Now, listen, Mrs. Andrews,
and listen good.
When she comes back,
you tell her to wait right here.
I won't be gone long. Tell her
I'm coming back. I'm coming back for good.
Yeah. I'm gonna stay here.
I'm gonna move in all my things.
No more road.
I'm gonna be here from now on.
Oh, good.
No, no, no, no. Don't...
Don't tell her anything like that.
I'm wanna tell her myself.
Hey, just tell her to wait.
All right. She'll wait.
And Mrs. Andrews.
Somebody's gonna break a lease
with you. Either Mary or me, okay?
All right.
I came back, Warren.
I came back to you.
This is where I belong.
You always knew it, didn't you?
Oh, I don't blame you, baby.
But Warren, if you'll take me back, I'll...
It'll be like it was before. Remember?
In San Diego, you and me?
All right, Warren. Deager's dead.
The house boy gave me a break.
Let me get my bags out
before the police arrived.
So don't worry. He'll cover for me.
He'll say that I was a day guest.
You think all you had to do
was come right back here.
Come running back to me,
a nice and comfortable dope.
Oh, no, Claire. Not anymore.
You go find yourself another
Barney Deager. You're good at that.
Do anything you like
but you're not staying here.
- I'm not?
- No.
- You're into this up to your neck.
- It's your neck.
- Stop arguing...
- I had nothing to do with it.
- Save that for the cops.
- I got nothing to hide. I'll tell the truth.
And what's the truth?
You gonna tell them
you hated Barney Deager?
That you hated Barney Deager
so much you could've killed him?
Tell them
that he kicked you off the place?
That he beat you up.
Tell them that he stole your wife.
Nobody had more reason to kill him
than you, Warren.
I'll tell you what you're gonna tell them.
You're gonna tell them
that he and you and I were...
Mr. Quimby?
Sorry to disturb you at this hour.
I'm Collier Bonnabel,
lieutenant, Homicide Division.
My partner, Lieutenant Gonsales.
- How do you do?
- How do you do?
- Mind if we come in?
- Yeah, yeah. Sure, sure.
- Mrs. Quimby at home?
- Yeah, she is.
- Good. We'd, uh, like to talk to her.
- To both of you.
- Sit down.
- Thank you.
- You, uh, knew Barney Deager, didn't you?
- Yeah.
Know him long?
Gentlemen, this is my wife.
Claire, this is Lieutenant Bonnabel.
- How do you do?
- How do you do?
- Gonsales.
- How do you do?
They're from the police.
You left the Deager place
before the police arrived.
Mrs. Quimby,
you shouldn't have done that.
You shouldn't have left.
It makes us come after you.
Couldn't stand the sight, eh?
Well, women always seem to react
that way.
Makes a bad impression though,
your running away like that.
I know, I'm sorry.
- How long did you say you knew Deager?
Oh, uh, two years, maybe three.
How long was it, honey?
Two or three years?
Two or three years.
- See him often?
Yeah. Yeah. Often.
I mean, socially.
That's what my husband meant,
Close friends, eh?
All summer
I've been going there to swim.
Both of you?
My husband sleeps during the day.
- I work nights.
- Yeah.
- But you've been out to Deager's place.
- Yeah, yeah, sure.
- What kind of a fellow would you say?
He was a liquor salesman.
- Big car and big bankroll. He was...
- He was full of laughs.
He's full of lead now.
Uh, may I use your phone?
- Yes, it's right out there.
Thank you.
I'd better call in.
- Yeah.
- What were you doing down there today?
- I went out there to swim.
And then I went to Santa Monica
to see a movie.
Later, I went back
to pick up my bathing suit...
...and he was dead.
There's questions we'll have to ask...
...but the important thing right now is...
And maybe you can help me.
Either of you have any idea
why Deager was murdered?
Who'd wanna do it?
- No, I... I haven't any idea.
He was such a big good-natured man.
Well, maybe you know a man
by the name of, um...
- Say, Blackie?
- What?
What was that fellow's name?
- Sothern. Paul Sothern.
I'm checking on him now.
- That's it. Paul Sothern. You know him?
- Yes.
- No.
Yes. You do dear.
Remember that day out at Barney's?
This Sothern fellow, he called up
and threatened Barney. Remember?
I wasn't there.
I know, but I told you about it.
Yeah. Yeah, that's right.
Well, all we have to do now
is find Paul Sothern.
That's a cinch after what I just got
from downtown.
- Ha, there is no Paul Sothern.
- Get a load of this.
Not in the phone directories,
has no car ownership.
He's not on any payroll
or hotel registry.
No hospital cards on him, no charge
accounts, never took out any insurance.
He doesn't take milk from a milkman.
Doesn't have a newspaper delivered.
And he's got no police record.
All we've gotta do is to find him.
Blackie, you worry too much.
We'll find him.
They always make one mistake.
All we gotta do is look for that one mistake.
Find it and we've got Paul Sothern.
Well, it beats pounding the pavements.
Thanks a lot, folks.
Much obliged.
- Sorry we had to trouble you.
- Oh, that's all right, lieutenant.
Feel free to ask anything at any time.
- Listen, lieutenant, I was...
- We'd like to help, wouldn't we?
- Barney Deager was a good friend of ours.
- Yeah.
So we wanna do all we can, lieutenant.
- Yeah.
- Good night.
Good night.
What's with you anyway?
You want the cops to move in here
and live with us?
If you haven't got enough brains
to agree with me, keep your mouth shut.
From here on in, I'm answering
all the questions, got it?
Well, Booboo, what about it?
The slug's from a. 38, all right.
My guess is Smith and Wesson.
I'll put them through the routine.
If the murder gun's ever been
through here before, we get a break.
- We get the serial number.
- Good. When can I call you?
- Oh, like, tomorrow night.
- Okay, fine.
- How are your arch supports, Booboo?
- I threw them away.
- Ha, I wish I could.
- Oh, you poor cops.
- She ever been in this theatre?
- Sure, I've seen her.
You know her name?
Her name?
How would I know?
- A lot of people come in here.
- How about him?
Yeah. That's the guy
she comes in here with sometimes.
A big flashily dressed fellow.
Drives one of these new fancy convertibles.
- Sort of a green, uh...
No, it's black.
- They, uh, come in here often?
- Well, I think so. I...
- Saturday night?
Can you remember
if the girl was in here Saturday night?
- Let me think. I, uh... Saturday night.
Saturday night.
- Yeah.
That's our giveaway night.
Bicycles, dishes, footballs.
I really don't remember.
So many people...
- It's all right. Thanks very much.
How about some of that popcorn, huh?
- That's all right.
- Thanks.
Give me a Coke, will you?
Come on.
- What round?
- End of fourth.
- A dive?
- My cousin is a good boy.
I told the other cops everything I know.
Tell us too, huh?
How long did you work
for Mr. Deager, son?
Since I got out of the service,
about three years.
Good boss?
- He was good to me.
- Fine.
Kept you pretty busy,
did a lot of entertaining, didn't he?
- On and off.
- Knew a lot of women, didn't he?
- Some.
- What about Mrs. Quimby?
Hey, why don't you answer
the man's question?
She was a day guest.
What makes that different
from the other guests?
She only came out to swim.
- Is he all right?
- Fine.
- Yeah, he's all right.
Go on, huh? Yeah.
Narco, tell me about Paul Sothern.
I told you...
- Take it easy.
I told the other cops everything.
Even about him.
I'd never even seen him.
He called on the phone.
- I told them and they put it down in a book.
- That's right. We got it all here.
Now, what was it
you told the other cops?
- Go ahead, kid.
- He said, "This is Paul Sothern. "
- I said "Yes, Mr. Sothern?"
- He says, "Tell Mr. Deager...
...he's not gonna get away
with what he did. I'll get him. "
So I said,
"What did you say, Mr., uh, Sothern?"
And, uh, he hung up just like that.
- Isn't that right?
- That's right.
- Aren't you fighting in the semi wind-up?
- Yeah.
Well, go on out there and fight it.
Now, Narco, you went into the next room
and told all this to Mr. Deager, right?
Certainly. Then the boss said, uh,
"It's nothing. Forget about it.
It's just probably some drunk
that I took a punch at. " Uh...
- And that's right, isn't it?
- That's right.
Narco, you're a good boy.
With got a good memory.
What color's your tie?
Keep your chin up.
What's the color of your tie?
You ought to remember that.
It's, uh... It's, uh...
It's green. All right, Narco. Now tell me,
who was there when Paul Sothern called?
- Me, and, uh, the boss and Mrs. Quimby.
- What time was it?
- It was, uh...
- The time.
- Ten o'clock.
Day or night?
- Night.
- Night, huh? Day guest, huh?
What was Mrs. Quimby
doing there at night?
Yeah, yeah, I read it last night.
It's crummy.
Hi, Collie.
What's new? This way.
Give me that chair.
Where are you going?
- My boy needs coaching.
I wanted to talk to you.
- Back from Europe?
I hear you're drinking
all of Barney Deager's booze.
Only the imported stuff.
- Caught the killer yet?
I couldn't catch a head cold if I was
beside an open transom. Right here.
There we have it.
Don't let this place bother you.
It's a newspaperman's hangout.
Artie. How are you?
- Hello, Collie.
- Hi, Agnes.
- What's for the lady?
- Uh, better make it ginger ale.
- Bourbon, please.
- Bourbon.
- Uh-oh, I had to open my big mouth.
- What's the matter?
- We've got company. A newshound.
Hi, Collie.
- How are you?
- Fine.
What's doing?
- My cousin.
- Yeah, yeah. And she just got into town.
- Lieutenant, what are you working on?
- Irish whiskey.
Still looking for Paul Sothern, eh?
Ha, why don't you give up?
I will, the minute I find him.
But remember,
that Sothern tip is off the record.
- Cigarette?
- No, thank you. I don't smoke.
Excuse me.
- There ain't no such guy.
- Look.
- Okay, so there is. What about the dame?
- Goodbye now.
- When are you gonna haul in the dame?
- What dame, Artie? What dame?
The dame what plugged Deager,
that dame.
I'll do it first thing in the morning.
Nice to have seen you, Artie.
A guy was killed. So he's looking
for a drunk that the guy socked.
This drunk was supposed to have
threatened the guy. Then killed him.
Now I ask you, cousin.
Does that make sense?
A barroom brawl, yeah.
There could be a little brawl
right here in a minute, Artie.
But then a murder?
When a guy like Deager gets knocked off,
look for a dame.
Ah, as simple as that, huh?
Tell me, Artie, what did she do it with?
Oh, her nail file.
- You haven't even found the gun yet.
- "You haven't even found the gun yet. "
- You explain it to him, cousin.
- Ha-ha, go back to the society page.
- I'm sorry.
- Sorry for what?
- The gentleman of the press.
- You called him over.
- I just waved hello to him.
- Oh, look, lieutenant, I'm a big girl.
- About the dame...
- Yeah?
Me, maybe?
- Oh, now, listen...
No, you listen to me.
Why did you bring me here?
Hey, now, wait a minute...
- I'll tell you why.
You bring me here,
buy me a couple of drinks, think I'll talk.
That's the way it's usually done.
What do you wanna know, lieutenant?
- Nothing?
- Uh-huh, nothing.
Look, we've checked you.
You're story's straight. You're in the clear.
We've checked all the leads.
Everybody's in the clear.
The Deager case
is right back where it started:
no place. Hey, Agnes.
They want me to go back
over the same ground.
You know, double check.
I'm double-checking you.
That's why we're here.
But like I said, your story checks.
You're in the clear.
Look, if you remember, when we
came in here, I ordered ginger ale for you...
...not liquor.
You did.
According to the rules, our meeting
in a place like this is highly irregular.
But I couldn't drag you down
to police headquarters. Not you.
What for?
A routine double-check?
What's wrong with this?
What's wrong combining
a little business with a little...
Hey, um, Agnes.
Oh, excuse me.
Can you tell me where
Missing Persons is?
- Right behind you, lady.
- Thank you.
Is there anything you think
you'd like to add to these particulars?
Something that might help us
in locating him?
I... I feel funny coming here like this.
- But I can't help worrying.
You did the right thing.
- You see...
Well, that's what we're here for.
Do you have a picture of him?
A photograph from Mr. Sothern?
Well, that's fine, Miss Chanler.
We'll send it to the lab and have it
processed and give it wide circulation.
- Thank you.
You'll hear from us.
Hello, is Collie there?
Somebody's looking for Paul Sothern.
Brought his picture.
What? Wait a minute.
Okay, teacher, shoot.
Mary Chanler. Uh-huh.
10355 South Kirk.
Yeah, I got it. Go ahead.
Only saw him weekends, out on the road.
Yeah. Yes, I'll let you know.
Oh, Schiavone. Get me some
blow-ups of that photograph, will you?
Yeah, thanks.
Where are you going?
- Just got back from Robbery Detail.
Good for you.
The lab says that the bullet filings...
...belonged to serial number C55661.
What's that gotta do
with Robbery Detail?
Robbery reports the serial number
C55661 was a. 38 Smith and Wesson...
...registered three years ago
to the Golden Rule Loan Company.
- A pawnbroker outfit.
- So?
Fourteen months ago,
they sold the gun to Barney Deager.
Big shot with the Southwestern Liquor
Syndicate, 8714 South Spring Street, City.
- Oh, Blackie. Blackie, that's great.
- Ha-ha, thanks, boss.
Hey, where are you going?
- Huh? Oh, uh...
- Missing Persons just called.
- What?
Paul Sothern had a dame.
Did he ever write you from out of town?
- No.
Did you ever meet any friends?
I don't know.
I don't know what to say anymore.
All right.
- What kind of a car?
- I don't know.
Well, was he from this city?
Look... Look, I don't understand this.
What's wrong?
Nothing's wrong, Miss Chanler.
We're from Missing Persons.
You came to us for help
and we're trying to help you.
We can't get very far
with the information you've given us.
All we know is what he looks like
and you saw him only on weekends.
Now, he told you
that he was a salesman on the road...
...for La Femme Beauty
Preparation Corporation.
He was.
That's a lie, Miss Chanler.
- What?
- I'm sorry.
La Femme Beauty Preparations Corporation
has no local office. No salesmen.
But... That's not possible. Look.
He gave me all of this.
This you could get almost any place.
Any place cosmetics are sold.
Look, we're trying to help you.
We'd like to find him,
but you've got to help us.
Can you tell us anything about him?
Anything? What was he like?
Well, he was...
He was very sweet and... I can't.
All right, Miss Chanler,
we'll do our best to find him for you.
Paul Sothern.
He's Warren Quimby.
You need to rest.
Wanna bet?
Not with you, I don't.
Get me Campus and Country
in Westwood.
Blackie, your beautiful Latin soul wouldn't
revolt at the thought of a slight frame?
As long as it's not on me, amigo.
- Call Traffic.
- Yeah.
Tell him we wanna borrow
the personal effects of a dead driver.
Campus and Country?
I wanna speak to a Miss Mary Chandler.
- Lieutenant, Miss Chanler's out here.
- Okay, send her right in.
- How's it look?
- Professional.
When they kick you out of Homicide,
get a job in Missing Persons.
Don't worry.
Miss Chanler, sorry to have
brought you all the way down here.
- That's all right.
- In a case like this...
...we can't afford to
pass up any chances.
There's been an accident,
an automobile wreck.
Of course we can't be sure, but...
Whenever you feel ready, Miss Chanler.
This stuff checks
with Paul Sothern's height and weight.
Of course we haven't got
any positive identification on him yet.
Do you, uh, recognize anything,
Miss Chanler?
Hey, look. This has "AER" on it.
That couldn't be Paul's.
We ought to check these things
more carefully.
- Yeah, I'm sorry.
- If we'd noticed this...
...we wouldn't have put you to all this.
- We certainly wouldn't.
- We're sorry.
- It's all right.
Thanks for coming down anyway.
Oh, Miss Chanler...
- Uh, did you drive down?
- Yes, I did.
Could you drop me
at St. Anne's and 13th?
My car's getting a valve grind,
and won't be ready.
- Surely, I'll be glad to.
- Thanks.
- I appreciate the lift.
- Oh, that's all right.
Bet you're pretty tired out after all this.
A little.
Could I buy you
the best cup of coffee in town?
I could stand some.
- Hi, lieutenant. What'll you have?
- Hi, Freddie. Two cups of coffee.
- A piece of pie or something?
- No, thanks. Just coffee.
- Apple pie.
- Yeah.
Good evening, doc.
Hello, lieutenant.
Say, doc. Come on over.
Join us in a cup of coffee.
Sit down, doc.
Mr. Quimby, Miss Chanler.
- How do you do, Miss Chanler?
- Good evening.
Freddie, another cup of coffee
for the doc, on me.
No, thanks. I'll just sit here.
I'm pretty busy.
Oh. How's your wife, doc?
- Fine.
- She's a great little gal, your wife.
Cute as a button.
Uh, she, uh, isn't around, is she?
I was just telling Miss Chanler that you
people make the best cup of coffee in town.
- That's good, isn't it?
- It's really good.
You know, I can't decide
whether it's the taste or the aroma.
Which is it, doc?
Oh. I'm sorry. I clouded up your glasses.
Here. Let me.
- That's all right.
- Well, here. Use my handkerchief.
Go ahead, doc. Use it.
Okay, doc?
Oh, say, doc. Now, to get back
to Ms. Chanler here.
She just had a really tough break.
Fella she knew, neighbor,
lived right next door to her...
...suddenly disappeared.
- That's too bad.
- Yeah.
We're trying to help her find him.
You know, in our business,
you come across a lot of screwy things.
Some you accept, some keep you awake.
Now this fella of Miss Chanler's,
what do you think his name was?
- Paul Sothern.
They were in love. From what she tells me,
they figured on getting married.
Now, that's what gives me
the heebie-jeebies.
What would prompt a guy
to vanish from the face of the earth...
...to leave no trace
and not even be man enough...
...to let the girl he's supposed
to be in love with know?
He didn't tell her a thing, did he?
this is a pretty personal thing.
I resent you're discussing it
in front of a stranger.
I'm sorry but...
- But for your information...
...and for Mr. Quimby's, I want you
to know I have complete trust in Paul.
Whatever he's doing or wherever he is...
...I know he's doing the right thing
and the best thing for both of us.
And you do make wonderful coffee.
Hey, Miss Chanler.
She seems pretty upset.
Though, why she should be
about a heel like that, I can't figure.
- Good night, doc.
- Good night, lieutenant.
Well, Quimby was pretty good.
With all the squeeze,
he hadn't cracked...
...even in front of the girl he loved.
Yeah, the tension was working
but nobody was ready to break.
Needed more pressure.
She was a smart baby and tough.
But I thought I knew what would work
on her, all the way down the line.
- Nice layout, huh?
- Yeah.
Wish it were mine.
It's Paul Sothern's.
- Oh, did you find him?
- No, just this place, but, uh...
He doesn't seem to be using it.
I figured if I gave it a good going-over...
...I might get a better idea
of what he was like.
You know, what kind of fellow he was?
How he lives.
You know what I mean.
That's why I called you.
I figured a woman could tell better
about that.
- Don't you think?
- Yeah, I guess so.
He was, um, a very neat kind of a guy.
Not many clothes.
But he dressed well.
It's new.
La Femme number seven.
Is that good?
- I use it myself.
- Huh.
Must belong to Sothern's gal.
- Oh?
- Yeah.
She doesn't seem
to know much about him though.
I don't think she's holding out on us.
She's the one that brought his picture.
She lives right next door.
What do you think of that guy?
Know him?
That help?
- Warren's Paul Sothern?
- Yeah.
It's kind of hard to believe,
isn't it, honey?
- Why that four-eyed little pill pusher.
- Come off it.
- That lying, chea...
Hold it, Claire.
Oh, Miss Chanler.
Would you mind...?
- Please.
- You've caused me enough trouble?
I'm sorry, but I just wanted to tell you
that we haven't been able to find him yet.
Oh. This is Miss Claire, one of the
department secretaries. Miss Chanler.
Miss Chanler
and Paul Sothern were neighbors.
I can tell you why he's missing.
- Been a murder. He's mixed up in it.
- No.
- Sorry.
- No. Not Paul.
I know what this means to you.
I'm really sorry.
- You're wrong. I know you're wrong.
But I...
You know, I never have that kind of luck.
A dame as nuts about me
as she is about Paul Sothern.
- So that's Warren's girl, huh?
- Uh-huh.
Sweet, breathless.
So he had a girl all that time. Hmm?
Nice layout.
But he kept me over a drug store
in a rat trap.
He made a big stink
over a $25-bottle of perfume.
Take it easy. Take it easy.
You're talking to me, Claire.
That's like talking to an old friend.
I know you from way back.
- So?
- So.
I got a file goes back
further than you'd like to remember...
...and up to where you wish
you could forget.
And that includes San Diego.
I like that part about San Diego.
- That makes good reading, Claire.
- Yeah?
I never pulled anything like this.
- The lying, cheating, thieving...
- Relax, baby. Simmer down.
The guy did you a favor.
Look at it that way.
All this. The apartment, that girl.
It makes it look
as if he walked out on you.
Yeah. Leaves you in the clear.
It's the way you want it to be,
isn't it?
You've done your duty.
You tried to cover up for the guy.
You tried hard.
Maybe you had to,
but you don't have to anymore.
And when this is all over,
I know just the place to forget it.
- Uh-huh?
- Uh-huh.
I go down there all the time.
You ever been down there?
You'd love it.
Would I?
Well, let's get out of here.
Gotta go lock up a man for murder.
If you'll notice, I've changed the four grams
of the main ingredients to six grams.
Now, take care of that for me, will you?
Yes. Yes, I certainly will, doctor.
- Yes?
- That's all right. I'm in no hurry. I'll wait.
Some cigars.
- Couple of these Las Palmas.
- Two for a quarter, sir. Thank you.
Matches, please?
I'd, uh, like to see something
in cosmetics, please.
Yes, ma'am.
You shouldn't be here. You're just
gonna get yourself in a lot of trouble.
How can I help? Let me help.
Mary, please.
Do as I ask...
...and keep away from me.
- Don't shut me out, Paul. Let me help you.
- There's nothing you can do but wait.
I've done nothing wrong.
Oh, I know that. I know it.
It's just that I'm so frightened, Paul.
They're in your apartment right now.
The police. And Paul, it's all my fault.
I gave them the picture.
I was trying to find you, Paul.
Paul, I... I keep calling you Paul.
- Otherwise, I'd have to call you Mr. Quimby.
- Warren.
Oh, Warren, what are we going to do?
Mary, I don't wanna see you
get messed up in a thing like this.
Go home, wait. Wait for me. I'll...
Don't turn around.
Oh, they're here.
You've only got a second. Please go.
Warren, they say you're a murderer.
You've gotta get out of here.
It's gonna be all right.
- Freddie?
- Yeah?
I have to leave. Close up the place
and call the district manager. Tell him. Huh?
Sorry, folks, you'll have to leave.
We're locking up.
First time since the place has been open.
We're locking up.
I almost locked you in.
Coffee, Quimby?
It's not as good as yours, but coffee.
Here have some.
Look, Quimby,
why don't we wind this thing up, huh?
I've been telling you all night,
I didn't do it.
Oh, get off the turntable, Quimby.
You sound like a stuck needle,
it's monotonous.
It don't give us any information.
You didn't do it, huh? All right, you listen
to this and tell me who did do it.
"And then after you parked the car,
then what?
Answer: Then I went down to the beach
to plead with her to come back.
Deager beat me up,
threw me off the place. "
You recognize that, Quimby?
It's your own statement.
Nobody forced you to make it, right?
what did you do after that, Mr. Quimby?
Answer: Couldn't get it out of my mind.
I was never so angry in my whole life.
I'd do anything to get even with them.
I couldn't think of anything else. "
Then it goes on to tell how you got
the idea to change your appearance.
Use those lenses,
change your address, change your name...
...right down to where you
went to the beach to kill him.
Yeah, but I didn't.
I told you. When I got there...
...all of a sudden murder seemed like
a crazy idea. I couldn't kill him.
I wasn't angry anymore.
For the first time the whole thing
was clear to me.
I didn't have to do anything.
They had each other,
that's what they deserved.
I even told Deager so.
- Then I left.
- Yeah. Yeah, that's all here.
What are we supposed to do now?
Go check with Deager?
That's the way it happened.
The whole thing.
- It's the truth.
- Truth.
The truth, huh?
I got something else here
that's the truth.
Your wife's sworn statement.
Somehow, your story
and her story don't seem to match.
I'll read you part of it.
Mrs. Quimby were you present when
Paul Sothern threatened Barney Deager?
Answer: Yes.
Question: Tell us about it.
Answer: It happened over the phone
on more than one occasion.
Question: Mrs. Quimby,
do you know who Paul Sothern is?
Answer: Yes, I know. Paul Sothern
is my husband, Warren Quimby.
Why did he do it? Why did he do it?
Poor Warren. "
I guess that's enough.
It was difficult for her to go on.
She kind of broke down.
Now, look, Quimby,
you're an intelligent guy.
Educated, professional man.
How does it all add up to you?
Deager's dead. Shot by his own gun.
He didn't do it.
No matter where we look, we keep
coming up with the same answer.
The only one who wanted to kill Deager
was Paul Sothern and that's you, Quimby.
Look, doc, everything fits.
Now, where's the gun?
Where's the gun, Quimby?
- Where's the gun?
- Why don't you ask my wife?
- Aw...
Barney Deager was her friend, not mine.
She was at his house, not me.
Why don't you ask her?
Maybe she'll tell you that too.
Go on, ask her. Ask her. Ask her!
- Hi.
- Long night?
- Yeah.
We waited.
Sorry, baby. It couldn't be helped.
Hey, Irish.
Always like to make the customer
feel at home.
That's good. That's good Irish.
- Uh, bourbon for you?
- Hmm, you remember good.
There you are.
Well, here's to...
- To us.
- To us.
- I'll go make you some breakfast.
- No, no, no, baby. Come here.
Sit down.
I just wanna look at you.
Like this?
You got a good lawyer?
You're gonna need one.
You gonna need a good lawyer.
Why, officer, what have I done?
How did a smart chick like you get
mixed up with a guy like Quimby?
He's blown his top. Like a pig,
he's squealing all over the place.
That he did everything.
Everything, that is, except the murder.
When he comes to that,
he keeps saying, "Ask her, ask her.
She was Deager's friend.
Stayed at Deager's.
Do you wanna know who killed Deager?
Ask her. "
So? So he's blown his top.
So where does the lawyer come in?
He blasted so loud and so long
they let him out.
- They let him out?
- Had to. Not enough to hold him.
- Sweeten your drink?
- No. No, thank you.
Well, in or out, it's okay by me.
I'd be just as glad to be off the case.
Off the case?
Why, Collie, what do you mean?
Honey, it figures.
D.A. can't go into court
with insufficient evidence.
The chief doesn't want any part
of a bum rap, you know, false arrest.
So your ever loving gets sprung.
They take Gonsales and me off,
throw the works to a new team.
They'll go all the way back. Start at the
bottom. Fresh like it was a brand-new case.
So let them.
We'll be in Acapulco anyway.
Yeah, fine. That's great.
That's exactly what we need.
The police are looking for you,
questions they wanna ask.
And where are you?
On the lam in Acapulco, with me along.
One lawyer wouldn't be enough.
What are we gonna do?
Let's get loaded.
- Let's be serious, please, Collie.
- I am serious. Hey, what is this thing?
- Collie. Collie, I don't wanna stay.
- I don't want you to stay.
You and me on the warm sands
in Acapulco, that's what I want.
Why do you keep this? It's busted.
- Yeah, I know I gotta get it fixed.
- Ha-ha, think you can?
Collie, you mustn't give up.
You're gonna get a break, you'll see.
You'll get a break and you'll nail Warren,
he'll get just what he deserves.
And there won't be any D.A.
Won't be any new team,
no chief, no lawyers, no Warren.
There'll just be you and me.
You're gonna get a break.
You'll find a way, I know.
Yeah, sure.
I'll find a way.
Got a Ouija board...
...a nice big fat crystal ball I can use
to see where he stashed the gun?
- Collie, I've got something...
- The gun. The murder gun.
One rotten, little gun and the whole thing
falls right into place.
Without it, we've got nothing, baby.
- Nothing.
- Yeah.
Collie, I... I hate to see you like this.
Worried and tired.
You ought to get some rest.
Get some rest, baby.
Get some rest.
Can I help you?
- I'm looking for Mrs. Andrew.
- She's out.
I want up to Mr. Sothern's.
You got a key?
The apartment's open.
Lieutenant Bonnabel asked me
to check things.
- I'll go with you.
- That won't be necessary.
What are you looking for?
What are you trying to find?
Get out.
Get out.
I said to get out.
Oh, Paul. Paul.
- Keep away from this.
- Tell me where the gun is. Tell me.
- No. No.
- Tell me.
All right, Quimby.
- Lay off.
I know the gun's here. I know it is.
I was looking for it.
- He broke in, he tried to kill me.
- It's all right now.
I was looking for it
and he tried to stop me.
- He did, huh?
- Yeah.
Well, you go right ahead
and finish what you were doing.
Nobody will stop you.
Go ahead, Claire.
Go on.
It's here.
- Stay where you are.
- Get it.
Bring it over here.
- Read me the serial number.
The serial number.
It's right there on the butt.
Well, that wraps that up.
Good. Good.
The gun wasn't there. I never had it.
I never saw it.
And you know it. You know it.
Yeah, sure, I know it.
You let me down, baby. And I thought
you were such a smart girl too.
Okay, Blackie.
What is it?
What is this?
This apartment, the furniture,
the couch, that chair...
...the whole works.
Since we were here last night,
everything's been completely changed.
- No.
- Everything new, but exactly as it was.
Not one thing is the same as when the doc
occupied this apartment.
No matter where you planted the gun,
you trap yourself.
- Oh, Collie, you can't do this, not to us.
- Sorry, baby.
It was a good try, Claire.
You almost made it.
- Lieutenant?
- Yeah?
You didn't change anything.
Everything in this room is the same.
You didn't change anything.
No. That would've been
a lot of work, wouldn't it?