Wife Wanted (1946) Movie Script

I've turned down two
parts in the last week.
Because they weren't right for you.
That's happened several times lately.
Is it going to become a habit?
Of course not.
The right part will come along.
Meanwhile, take it easy.
You can coast for a while can't you?
- I've saved some money.
Look. It isn't easy just sitting
around waiting for you to call me.
That reminds me.
You ever hear of Jeff Caldwell?
I've seen his Ads.
But frankly.
At the moment, I'm not in the market
nor in the mood to buy real-estate.
Listen. He phoned me this morning.
He's looking for a partner to put
some money in the business.
He prefers a woman. Someone
who knows everyone in Hollywood.
Is that a new way of saying I'm...?
- No. Now wait a minute.
Now, a lot of picture people have
made a lot of money in real-estate.
Now Jeff's a live-wire.
And I've a hunch you two will mop up.
If I don't have to give
up pictures entirely...
You leave pictures to me.
I'll phone him right away.
Thanks, Phil. Tell Miss Raymond
I'll be happy to talk to her.
Say tomorrow at four?
Carole Raymond.
Sincerely yours, Jeffrey Caldwell.
The guy who put the sin in sincerely.
And you had this chop
book for five grand.
He won't know it until he wakes up.
Then it will be too late to yelp.
By the way.
This Miss Raymond
who is barging in here.
It couldn't be the Carole Raymond
of the pictures, could it?
Nobody else.
She'll bring in a lot of money.
And a lot of headaches.
- Don't be silly.
One other thing.
I'm giving you more responsibility for
running the friendship club next door.
Do I rate congratulations
or condolences?
I can be identified with
it in some cases but...
As a general rule it's not good
for these real-estate deals.
You wouldn't be fixing it for little
Nola Reed to take the rap...
If that phony club ever
backfires would you, Jeff?
I can't understand it.
Always suspicious.
I've seen enough of matrimonial
and friendship clubs...
To be suspicious of everything, darling.
Oh, by the way.
Start checking on Agnes.
See how she's doing.
As a matter of fact you might
bring her whole list up to date.
And you first met her
at a friendship club?
I never would have believed it.
She was so sweet.
Anyway, they robbed me of
every cent I had in the world.
Young lady, this should
be a lesson to you.
Do you realize the man you met
at that social club... and married...
Is a murderer?
You might have been his next victim.
Hello. Is this Agnes?
But you don't know me.
But they gave me your phone number
down at the Harbor Social Club.
I know you're just gorgeous
and your voice is so sweet.
"How's about getting acquainted?"
Why sure, honey.
Come right on over.
Just knock three times and then twice.
Gee, I love to hear you talk.
What a fascinating voice.
Say, what's your name?
My name is Hector.
That's cute.
I used to have a dog named Hector.
Say, don't waste any time getting over.
You hear, Heck?
I told you. I don't even
want to talk to you.
Take it easy, Miss Sheldon.
Just dropped in to say we miss you
over at the friendship club lately.
You've got your nerve.
After introducing me to...
That creature.
Now get out of here
before I call the police.
Maybe you'd like me to show them
this picture when they get here?
Oh no.
Where did that picture come from?
It's a filthy horrible trick.
If it makes the front pages everybody
will agree it's quite a trick, honey.
Anyone who knows me will take
my work that never happened.
But it did.
We got hold of a picture
of him and one of you.
And then turned them over to
our very talented photographer.
What an imagination he's got.
How much?
A piece of art like this is worth say...
Five hundred.
Naturally, we'll keep the negative.
Just in case you decide to make a fuss.
Isn't it wonderful?
And to think.
This came from meeting at the
friendship club just one week ago.
Oh well. I'm always breaking my
own track record, sweetheart.
But when I see anything I want.
I get it.
There's nothing slow
about Arthur J Mayfield.
Oh, I love you so.
Say that again, darling.
I said there's nothing slow
about Arthur J Mayfield.
That's what you think
you big, half-witted jerk.
Get it all?
Every word of it, baby.
You're a genius making
that sap repeat his name.
Make a duplicate record for our files.
We'll take this one down to his office
tomorrow and serenade him with it.
How big a tap will he go for?
- Oh, a couple of thousand at least.
I've seen his wife.
It probably never occurred to him that a
telephone conversation can be recorded.
Nothing occurs to those guys.
That's why they haunt
the friendship clubs.
And that makes us partners,
Miss Raymond. Fifty-fifty.
Frankly, $15,000 is peanuts.
But your name and your contacts will be
extremely valuable for the new firm.
So now I start selling real-estate?
And start making a real fortune.
Your office will be next door.
By the way, I'm anxious to
have you meet Lee Kirby.
Who's he? A prospect?
No. One of my associates.
He is in New York now.
Won't he be startled to see you've taken
on a completely inexperienced partner?
Oh no. Lee trusts my
judgement absolutely.
He's a grand guy.
Well, partner.
Let's shake hands on the deal.
Good afternoon Miss Nola, dearie.
Nice to see you.
- Likewise I'm sure.
Nice going, Agnes.
Here's your share. Fifty percent.
You must be good for a few hundred more.
You're not kidding. Va-va-voom.
You know our rules. Never take a check.
Take it back and make the chump cash it.
But I thought...
- No buts. You heard me.
Listen. If you can't make him come
across with more than that...
I won't give you another sucker.
Listen, Jeff. Women are poison.
They're alright in their place but their
place isn't inside a business like ours.
I don't like Nola handling
the friendship club for us.
You never knew how to handle women, Lee.
- Nobody knows how to handle women.
Look. I come back and find you've
made a movie actress a full partner.
Isn't that being a little stupid?
- No.
You're being a bit stupid if you can't
see how we can use Carole Raymond.
She's already dug up two of her
playmates and they've invested $30,000.
If that's being stupid I want
some more of the same.
Sure. In real-estate.
Wait until she tumbles to our
friendship club racket next door.
She'll squawk louder
than the other suckers.
Just let me lead the parade
the way I always do.
All you have to do is fall
in line and keep in step.
I already paved the way.
She admires me tremendously
for being a philanthropist.
Jeffrey Caldwell. The real-estate man
who simply loves to make people happy.
Good morning. Did you lose something?
I'm just straightening things up.
Thank you but I don't
really need a secretary.
I don't happen to be a secretary to you.
But I'm associated with Mr Caldwell.
Then we're all together. How nice.
It has been. Up to now.
I think I see what you mean.
Lee, I'm happy that everything
went off so well in New York.
I beg your pardon.
- Come right in, Carole.
Thank you.
I present Mr Lee Kirby.
Miss Carole Raymond.
How do you do.
I've told Lee he should meet
a real real-estate salesman.
She's got everything.
- I can see that.
Jeff told me about the new
business you bring in, Miss Raymond.
Pure luck. I just happened to know
people who wanted to invest and...
Jeff had the properties.
- It's grand to have you with us now.
Sooner or later I hope we can
focus on something together.
I have to run along so I'll see
you both later. Goodbye.
Thank you, Mr Kirby.
- So long.
Well, I...
Seem to have made a hit with everybody
except the young lady next door.
Just who is she, Jeff? Your secretary?
Oh, you've met Nola?
She is all wrapped up
in the friendship club.
She resents the time
I put in on other things.
What connection has she
with the real-estate part?
None. Outside of her natural
interest in my success.
My interest is in real-estate.
I'm going to stick to it.
And I suggest you tell Miss Reed
to stick to her friendship club.
Why, what's wrong with the club?
- Nothing.
Nothing at all, I'm sure.
But I'll have no part of it.
Particularly if Walter Desmond
is a sample of its membership.
Oh, Desmond.
He just happened to
blunder in there first.
Not a bad fellow at all.
Just got off on the wrong foot.
He certainly did with me.
You know, I think you'd
better put Mr Kirby on him.
Maybe he can make him
concentrate on real-estate.
Listen, Carole. It's a cinch
you'll run into lots of that.
Fellows reaching for you before they
are reaching for their fountain pens.
But you can handle them alright.
Look... Desmond has got a bankroll.
He is interested in my place
out at the Palisades.
It's a $40,000 deal.
Don't fade out on me now.
If I only thought he was just in
love with me I could handle him.
But you know, I've a feeling
he's trying to pump me.
You see.
He's trying to find out
something that puzzles him.
You can't tell him something
you know nothing about.
Anyway, he wants to look
at the property tonight.
Take him out there. Close the deal.
Then you can say goodbye.
- Well, alright.
But I'd better watch myself
going round the curves.
It's quite a setting there.
Mountains. Moonlight. The ocean.
Wish me luck.
- I do, Carole.
Loads of luck.
Here's the house, Mr Desmond.
Jeff said there was an outside switch
somewhere on the right side of the door.
There it is.
Here's the key.
Would you open it please?
Thank you.
I've not been here before so I guess we
have to just sort-of stumble around.
Here are the lights.
This is the hall.
There's the staircase leading
to the upper part of the house.
This is the living room. Shall we go in?
A good size room you see.
Right there is the fireplace.
That door there leads out to the patio.
This house was rather famous
for the view of the Palisades.
It's lovely.
Hey, what's this?
'Let me be host as you two drink
a toast to the closing of the deal'.
'Jeffrey Caldwell'.
It's almost a poem.
What a thoughtful touch.
Yes, isn't it.
A laugh to Jeffrey is just one...
Touch after another, isn't it.
That sounds like a puzzle.
What do you think of the place?
I like the place, Carole.
I like it very much.
But only as a setting for you.
Carole, I believe in shortcuts.
I've been crazy about you from
the moment Jeff introduced us.
Let's stick to business
please, Mr Desmond.
I work for a living.
A woman as lovely as you are
shouldn't work at anything.
Except perhaps, making herself happy.
I'm in love with you.
- Mr Desmond.
Oh, it's like that.
Carole, how much do you think you and
your crooked partner have taken me for?
What do you mean?
We tried to sell you a house.
Nothing crooked in that.
Stop acting.
You're a come-on for Jeff Caldwell.
I know it and you know it.
Here's what you want from me.
A certified cashier's check for $40,000.
I had it all prepared for you.
Given the circumstances...
- I don't understand.
Oh no?
Cute of you to plant a bottle of
champagne. Hardly worthy of you.
I've no idea what you're
trying to tell me.
You haven't?
There was nothing crooked
about that Arizona oil deal?
That swindle cost me just $50,000.
How about the girl from the friendship
club who tried to blackmail me?
I suppose that wasn't a
part of your frame-up?
I don't know what you're talking about,
if you believe me or not, Mr Desmond.
Carole, why pretend?
I wanted you.
And I didn't care what it cost me.
Can't you understand that?
I'm going to call Jeff Caldwell
and tell him to come down here.
To explain a few things.
It doesn't really matter
very much now, does it?
Mr Desmond, I wasn't able to...
Please. Will you try Mr Caldwell again?
I've got to see him.
- Sorry Miss. I've been telling you...
He hasn't been in his room all evening.
Is there any message?
No. Never mind.
Nice going.
'Club man in suicide leap'.
Has anybody called?
- No.
But Carole Raymond waits to see you.
Good morning, Carole.
How did it go last night?
- Jeff.
Jeff, where have you been? I've been...
Tell me exactly what happened.
- I have told you.
All I know is, when I couldn't get you
I came back and Desmond was gone.
Looked over the rail.
His body's on the rocks.
An accident.
You say he only had two glasses of wine?
- He certainly wasn't drunk.
I just can't understand it, Jeff.
I can't understand it.
He must have been drinking earlier.
The police will discover it.
Anyway, you let me handle this.
There's nothing to it.
Oh yes there is.
Something I haven't mentioned.
Oh? What's that?
Jeff. Just what was going on
between you and Desmond?
He claims he was robbed by this office
and accused me of being in on the deal.
I'll mention that fact
during the investigation.
No you're not.
You're going to say exactly
what I tell you to say.
Or I might suggest to the D. A. that
you pushed him over the cliff.
Who do you suppose believes that?
Maybe nobody.
But movie producers won't fight to sign
you up after such a scandal, will they?
You know, I think you
would put me on the spot.
[ Telephone ]
Oh yes, Mr Toland.
I'll tell him right away.
The District Attorney wants
to see you immediately.
"Okay. I'll take care of it."
As I say, just sit tight
and let me handle it.
The whole thing will blow over and
we're back where we started.
Oh no.
I'm getting out.
- I'm sorry?
But you're my partner. I couldn't bear
to take your name off the door just now.
Listen, Jeff.
I don't care what you did before, but I
won't be mixed up in your crooked deals.
Let's be realistic.
Since you joined us I've put
over quite a few crooked deals.
As my partner, you are
already mixed up in them.
Now I can handle them and keep
you out of it providing you play ball.
If you don't, you're ruined.
No matter what happens.
Jeff, all I want is my $15,000.
I'll step out.
And the money I brought
into this office was honest.
And I'll promote you for doing it.
From now on my dear, you're also
a partner in the friendship club.
You've talents I can use in
that line very, very profitably.
I wouldn't be in the same
county as that dirty racket.
And you'll be in the county
jail trying to explain...
Why you were with Walter Desmond
a few minutes before he died.
The DA called. I'm going there now.
- Yes. And I go with you.
I'll tell him the truth.
Tell him just how rotten
the Caldwell enterprise is.
Yes? What is it?
That's what I'm wondering.
There's a newspaper man on the
phone who insists on talking to you.
Tell him I'll call back.
Try to remember, Jeff.
She drives men to suicide.
Do what I tell you.
Get in touch with me tomorrow.
Don't force me to get in touch with you.
And then the police found
the body on the rocks.
All broken.
Terrible, isn't it?
When you called, I couldn't believe it.
What was he doing at your
place at that time of night?
That's just the thing
I can't understand.
As I said, he called at the
office yesterday afternoon.
He said he wanted to look the
place over. I gave him the keys.
Why he waited until last night
to go out is beyond me.
He was a pretty heavy
drinker, Mr Toland.
Yes, yes. I know.
We found an empty champagne
bottle and several glasses.
But only one of them had been used.
We tried to find out if he
had been expecting a visitor.
Or if someone had been
with him and left after the...
Suicide or accident.
Or whatever happened.
Well I guess it's just
one of those things.
He was to come in today
and close the deal.
I wish I could help you more, sir.
Well, thanks for coming in.
We'll call you at the
office if we need you.
Turn down that jukebox.
Yes, Miss Raymond.
How did I get here?
Well, you've been
here about three hours.
I have?
Okay. Fill her up.
Why don't you eat this sandwich?
- I don't want to eat.
Maybe a good night's sleep would help.
I couldn't sleep.
You think I am...
- Not exactly.
I'm going to hold up some fingers.
Tell me, how many are there?
That's fine.
But I'm still glad you're
not driving your car.
Well, that's settled.
Go on. Be a good guy.
Miss Raymond, you're in trouble.
Why don't you tell me?
Because I can't tell anybody.
Like a pilot way up high there.
The engine conks out.
He forgot his parachute.
If you tell me, I think I could
help you more than this.
You're a real friend, Toby.
- Thank you.
That's what I always say.
What the world needs is more friendship.
Yeah. That's my whole trouble.
I've got too much friendship.
I'm mixed up with a friendship club
that's just crawling with friendship.
At least, they're crawling anyway.
Come on, make it a double.
Well thank you, Mr Caldwell.
We're just doing a little checking.
A matter of routine.
No. That's all. Thanks.
Yes, Mr Cornell?
Tell the city desk I've put
Bill Tyler on a special assignment.
He won't be available for a few days.
Yes, sir.
Did the guy spill anything?
I got more from what he didn't
say than from what he did.
Listen, Bill. He admitted Desmond
was in his friendship club.
Just once, as he put it.
And then only briefly.
He'd hardly admit the dead
man was a regular sucker.
Bill, the minute I got Desmond's
brother on long-distance.
I got a hunch there's a whale of
a yarn buried in this somewhere.
If you want to catch a whale
you send for a bloodhound.
Meaning me.
- Precisely.
What did the brother say?
He said suicide was out.
Desmond said he was falling in love.
In love one day. Dead the next.
Well boss, that's life in sunny
Southern California for you.
Did the brother know who the woman was?
No. Desmond told him he met a lot of
swell numbers at some friendship club.
So then I got busy.
When I found out Caldwell, in whose
house he died, ran a friendship club.
This all adds up.
What's the DA's office doing? I don't
want any interference when I get going.
No. You're okay there.
They're writing it off as suicide.
They've wanted to give these social
clubs a going-over for a long time.
So I promised them if we came up
with any connection, I'd tip them off.
Now get going.
Boss. I'm gone.
Oh, boss.
Tell the cashier to stand by for an SOS.
Spending on saps is tough
on the expense account.
Your first trip west?
West of Hollywood and Vine, yes.
Any Indians lurking around?
Well, I can dig you up
a few if you're interested.
Maybe later. Right now you can bring me
some giggle water and scram out of here.
I got to send me up a smoke signal.
- Thank you.
Give me Ardmore 5-5-5-8-4 please.
Hello, Chief?
You're right about phoning
your home instead of the office.
Where you staying?
"I'm at the Hotel Bristol, room 701."
Yeah. Right now you're talking to a
big-time sheep rancher from Utah.
I'll drop in at the Hollywood
branch of the friendship club.
Where a guy can find his future wife.
"Or a horse."
"Don't forget to tell the cashier
to stand by for an SOS."
What's it for this time?
Sheepherder on salary, naturally.
I'll need a lot of lettuce for the
lambs I'm going to run around with.
From now on.
Mildred Hayes. What are you doing here?
Why, don't you remember?
I hope you're not angry.
Of course I'm not angry.
I don't remember very much
about anything last night.
Did I meet you somewhere?
It's almost 3 years since
I've seen you, isn't it?
It is.
And you were wonderful to me then.
Insisting I get that bit
part in your picture.
That wasn't anything.
How did you happen to come here?
I wandered into Toby's.
He's a swell sympathetic
guy to tell your troubles to.
He pointed you out at the bar
and asked me to take you home.
Yeah. Pretty ashamed of myself.
I hadn't eaten anything all day.
But you're right about Toby.
I must have bored him stiff.
You were very kind to me
last night, Miss Raymond.
I'm in an awful lot of trouble and...
You told me I could come here and
stay until things straighten out.
If you don't remember, I'll run along.
Of course you won't.
Whatever I said last night still goes.
Haven't you a place to live?
I'm not going to inflict myself
on you another minute.
Besides, you have troubles
enough of your own I imagine.
At least I'm not broke and
have a roof over my head.
No. You're going to stay here.
Now I know what the old saying means:
'Misery loves company'.
What's wrong, honey?
Oh, Miss Raymond.
I haven't a cent in the world.
I've been put out of the room I had.
I don't know a friend I can turn to.
Ah now. Never cry before breakfast.
Come on now.
We're going to scramble up some food
and we'll both feel a whole lot better.
Come along. We'll have a
long heart-to-heart talk.
You think you've got troubles?
Wait until you get an earful of mine.
May I...?
- Why, certainly.
Of course, he might come back.
They sometimes do.
Well, did things get rather serious
between you two, Mrs Rutheridge?
Oh yes. Desperately so, Miss Reed.
He had such a beautiful voice.
You remember his voice?
How it sounded?
A singing voice?
- Oh no.
Speaking. His tones.
So vibrant.
He said things that just...
Just shattered me, Miss Reed.
You do look a little shattered.
Of course I prefer a man with hair.
But somehow you forgot that
Otis was so terribly bald.
When he talked.
Didn't you?
Mr Caldwell will be upset to see things
turned out as they did with you and...
Otis, Mrs Rutheridge.
Considering you became
acquainted through our club.
But, better luck next time.
Oh yes. I'm still young.
Oh. Do you think I ought to prosecute
him for stealing my automobile?
If you're sure he did it and
know where he went with it.
Well, it was an old car anyway.
Well, I'll drop in from time to time.
Goodbye now.
Goodbye Mrs Rutheridge.
Excuse me, ma'am.
I didn't mean to bump into you.
- Don't mention it.
May I help you?
- I reckon you can, Miss.
I phoned you yesterday.
My name is Bill Tyler.
Yes, of course. Won't you sit down?
Thank you, ma'am.
You're the man from...
Utah, ma'am.
What part?
- A few miles out of Kanab.
And you're in the sheep business?
Do you have a large ranch?
Well, it's large enough for my sheep.
I don't want to seem
inquisitive, Mr Tyler.
But to protect our club members we
must investigate all applicants closely.
Do you operate on a large scale?
Well ma'am, you might
say I'm quite an operator.
Anything else?
No. Mr Caldwell gets all the details.
I told him you were coming in.
Mr Bill Tyler from Utah is
here for his appointment.
Oh. Alright. I will see
him in just a minute.
Listen, Lee.
Were any records kept connecting
Mr Desmond with our real-estate scheme?
Sure. The best records in the world.
- Where are they?
Right where I keep all our records.
Any deals with Desmond before you began
needling him into buying your place.
Were entirely verbal.
Now let me ask you one.
- Well?
Desmond was supposed to get a $40,000
certified check the day of the suicide.
What happened to it?
- I haven't any idea.
Just wondering. Just the old
partner asking, you know.
Oh, wait a minute.
The big sheep-rancher from Utah.
Sounds like money.
Sounds like a lamb being
led to the slaughter.
I'm going to have you meet him.
Send Mr Tyler in please.
It's a pretty sordid story isn't it.
Want to tell me the rest?
It should be easy to guess.
Let's say I do guess.
Let's not talk about it anymore.
And don't you worry.
I'm glad I found you last night.
Because then I...
I didn't think there was any way out.
Except one.
And that's the wrong way.
It doesn't end troubles.
It just makes greater
ones for other people.
I didn't tell you I met
him at a friendship club.
That's when they got my money too.
What little I had.
I went back and asked them
for it but they threw me out.
How could you ever happen
to go to a club like that?
I was lonesome.
But why did you give them your money?
- Because that's the way they operate.
You will be very happy you
came here to see us, Mr Tyler.
But Mr Caldwell, don't
you think I ought to...
Phone this Miss Raymond
before I meet her tonight?
That isn't necessary.
Let us arrange it for you.
You can count on her being there.
She's a very charming person, Mr Tyler.
I sure hope that I can
act at least intelligent.
I know she'll like you.
I'll get in touch with you
at your hotel tomorrow.
Well, I'll run along, Mr Caldwell.
Thanks a lot.
- Don't mention it. Goodbye.
Oh, how to pull the wool over
a sheep-rancher's eyes.
I'm not so sure.
He's not so dumb as he looks.
Are you kidding?
If ever anybody was ripe for shearing...
That's it. Did you see the bills in his
wallet when he took out his card?
Yes. But there's something
phony about him. I've a hunch.
Let me handle the hunches
round here, Nola.
They've kept us out of trouble so far.
Now get me Carole Raymond.
You have such interesting
hunches lately.
Connected with her.
[ Telephone ]
Hello Jeff.
Alright. I'll meet him.
Of course I don't like it but
I know when I'm licked.
Certainly you were.
You can count on me.
You know, I never thought I'd
never speak to that man again.
I'm sorry, Miss Raymond.
You seem a little bored.
Why do you think I am?
I'm pretty much a flat tire
as a conversationalist.
There's a heap of difference
between this crowded nightclub...
And a lonely sheep ranch in Utah.
I'm much more accustomed
to talking to a fat old ewe than a...
Beautiful young ewe.
That was pretty bad, Mr Tyler.
As a matter of fact I'm not a bit bored.
But I'm rather surprised.
In what way, ma'am?
Frankly, I...
Can't understand how a man like you...
Attractive, fun.
Came all the way from
Utah to California to...
Find a wife.
I really came here on business, ma'am.
Then I became lonesome and...
Happened to hear about
your friendship club.
Not my friendship club.
I just work for it.
Well, as I was saying,
I heard about it anyway.
Since I met you through it.
From now on, it's aces with me.
Thank you.
You know. I was almost sorry for you.
You expected to meet the
girl of your dreams tonight.
And all you met was me.
Seeing as I'm a club member in good
standing, you're not very encouraging.
I must be boring you.
Let's see how good I am at dancing.
I'm sorry I wasn't too
encouraging at the table.
That's alright, ma'am.
Say, I'm going to call you Carole.
I've a hunch that even
though you work for one...
You feel as I do about
these friendship clubs.
And just how do we feel?
I very nearly didn't contact Caldwell
after something I read in the papers.
What do you mean?
About a guy named Walter Desmond.
Didn't you read it?
He committed suicide.
There was a rumor it was over a woman
he met in one of those friendship clubs.
What's the matter, ma'am?
Did I step on your toes?
But I'd rather not dance anymore.
Then let's go to the bar.
Tell me more, Bill.
I like to hear more about your ranch.
Carole. If I didn't know you...
I'd think you worked for the Income
Tax people the way you pump me.
But don't think I'm not grateful,
because I am. And I understand.
Understand what?
The reason you're so tactful.
I'm just a Utah yokel and I don't
know how to talk to beautiful women.
So you get me yapping on the
only subject I know anything about.
You're a very beautiful woman, Carole.
And somehow I'm beginning to
regret you doing what you are.
So am I.
But I like you, Bill.
You're a nice guy.
Why won't you go back to
Utah before you get hurt?
When I'm just beginning to live?
Listen, I'm going to take you home now.
Tomorrow, we will start
getting really acquainted.
No, Bill.
I'm not going to see you tomorrow.
Or any other time.
You go on home and...
Forget all about me.
Sorry, but I can't get train
reservations except for two.
I'm going to see you again and like it.
And I hope you do too.
Edgar, what was the name of
that piece you were playing?
'There wasn't a moon until
I looked into your eyes'.
That's the set-up as of now, chief.
I'm a sheep-ranch Casanova and the girl
is already beginning to fall for me.
And who do you suppose she is?
None other than Carole
Raymond the movie star.
Maybe that won't look good in the
headlines when I crack this story.
"Yeah. I'm positive she knows
things about Desmond's death."
"I'll get it out of her if
I have to marry her."
I want you to run an item
in tomorrow's paper.
Reading something like this.
Alright. Go ahead.
What was that?
Great. This is all we needed.
Where could they get such a tip?
Straight from the mouth of a bottle.
What are you talking about?
- Are you kidding?
Your new playmate, Carole Raymond.
Toby said she was on that
bender the other night.
She was?
I wonder if she talked to
anybody besides Toby.
When will you learn there's
only one woman you can trust?
Your wife.
And if you try any more smart stuff...
I'll tell the whole world that
I am Mrs Jeffrey Caldwell.
Will you act your age.
I am, and it's not the age of innocence.
Do you think you're putting
something over on me?
You're not falling for this dime-store
edition of a woman are you?
Don't be stupid.
Carole Raymond is simply
useful to my plans.
Well she is beginning to
interfere with some of mine.
Nola, will you quit it?
This could be a bad jam. Now listen.
Are you sure there's nothing in our club
files connecting us with Walter Desmond?
Well, only this.
Oh. I forgot about her.
Get rid of that picture.
Do you know where she is now?
I thought the idea was to
keep her away from here.
After the scene she made trying to get
her money back and asked to see Desmond.
The idea is to find her, and quick.
The way things stand she can be more
damaging than Carole Raymond.
That's what you think.
How do you feel?
Things always seem a little
better in daylight than at night.
How about driving down to the beach?
- That would be fun.
We can stop off for luncheon
at the hotdog stand.
What's the matter?
Mildred, tell me.
That was the man.
Walter Desmond?
- Yes.
Now they're looking for me.
They'll make me tell the whole terrible
story. I'll be in all the newspapers.
Carole, what can I do?
Who introduced you to Desmond?
A man named Jeffrey Caldwell.
Does Caldwell know what happened?
I don't know.
I went to his office. I was hysterical.
I wanted my money back.
I wanted to force him to make
Walter Desmond help me.
Caldwell wouldn't even see me.
His secretary said if I ever came
back they'd have me arrested.
I saw Desmond on the street
one day and told him...
He called me a blackmailer.
Now wait.
Does Caldwell know where
you are or how to find you?
How could he? No-one knows I'm here.
Mildred... I can't explain now but...
It's not very clear to me.
Would you be willing to help me
if I find a way out for both of us?
I don't understand.
Listen carefully.
If it meant breaking up a racket...
That gets helpless girls out of the
sort of awful spot you're in.
If it means helping me out of trouble.
Would you be willing to
tell your story to the police?
If it will help you?
- Yes.
What do you want me to do?
- Nothing now.
I don't want you to answer the phone.
I don't want you to leave this
apartment or answer the doorbell.
- Of course.
[ Doorbell ]
You wait here.
Miss Carole Raymond?
Thank you.
It's nice to have someone
send you flowers like that.
Someone nice sent them.
I'm glad he did too.
He's important in my little scheme.
[ Telephone ]
You see.
Yes... I was wondering when
you were going to call, Jeff.
Listen, Carole.
I want to see you immediately.
Never mind what.
I'll tell you when you get here.
Just how much did she
spill to Tyler last night?
She really didn't spill anything but I
had a hunch she was on the verge of it.
Anyway, as a cupid bringing
lovers together, you're a flop.
She told Tyler to forget about her
and go on back to his sheep ranch.
He can go back alright but not until
he's sunk some dough in Arizona Oil.
Know who's setting up that little deal?
- Me?
No. Carole Raymond.
Whether she likes it or not.
I'll call you in when it's all set.
In the meantime, keep your eye on her.
Who is kidding who?
When did you get the tip about the woman
that Desmond met at a friendship club?
Well frankly, that's only a plant.
Tyler told me to run.
I don't know what it will
lead to, if anything.
Oh, you put Bill on the story?
Well, he's a good reporter alright.
He's helped us out many times before.
Yes, and the minute he digs up anything
where your office fits into the picture.
I'll notify you immediately.
- Swell.
If I know anything about the way
these friendship club rats operate.
He'll need help.
And need it quick.
Those are the details. Plus your
part in selling the idea to Tyler.
Any objections, Carole?
He's not a bad guy, Jeff.
Are you sure this Arizona
deal is a good oil prospect?
I wouldn't want him to lose his money.
- I've got a lot of my own dough in it.
Is that good enough?
Yes. I...
I guess it is.
You see, Jeff.
As long as you don't insist I
play your friendship club game.
I don't mind working on
deals that are legitimate.
Now you're using your head.
You know, Carole.
You and I could do a
lot of things together.
Yes Jeff. We...
We could.
What about her?
Don't worry about her.
Naturally, I have to use certain...
Friendly tactics, but that has
nothing to do with you and me.
Bill, you dance beautifully.
Thank you, Carole.
You remind me of this song.
'There wasn't a moon until
I looked into your eyes'.
My hat please.
- Yes, sir.
May I help you?
That's quite a compliment.
Coming from a sheep-rancher who says
he doesn't know how to talk to women.
You make the words come easy.
Now, if you'd only go back to
Utah with me I'd try to repay you.
I want to show you the most marvellous
moon that ever climbed into the sky.
We have rather a gorgeous moon out here.
Let's go and compare it with yours.
Well, what do you think of our moon?
Better than ours alright.
But it depends on who is looking at it.
When are you going back to Utah?
That depends on you too.
The way you described it, you...
Must have a very big ranch.
- Hundreds of acres.
I like land too.
Oddly enough, I'm just
about to invest in some.
Ranch land or business property?
It's oil land.
You can get rich quick
or go broke quick in oil.
Are you sure it's okay?
I think so.
The man who's handling
the deal is quite reputable.
An oil promoter?
- No. A real-estate agent.
His name is Lee Kirby.
I've met him.
He was with Caldwell at the friendship
club the first time I went there.
That's a coincidence, isn't it.
If it isn't a secret, ma'am,
where's this oil land located?
Well it's...
It's a tract he stumbled on in Arizona.
The man who owns it
won't sell in small units.
I hope I can raise enough money
to take care of my share.
I'm only a baby when
it comes to oil but...
If there's anything I
can do to help you.
Maybe you'd go with me
tomorrow when I see Kirby.
Why, sure.
As a matter of fact, I haven't
mentioned it before but...
One of the reasons I came
to Los Angeles was...
To look around for
something good to invest in.
What disillusionment.
And I thought you came here
to scout around for a wife.
And wouldn't it be marvellous if I found
both wrapped in the same package.
I think we had better drive back.
But I sure hate to leave.
You and the moon
are rather irresistible.
Thank you, Bill.
Hello darling. Still awake?
What's the matter?
You look troubled.
I've been puzzled ever
since this morning.
Trying to figure out some
of the things you've said.
You will understand.
One day.
You know, it's strange, Mildred.
Sometimes you set out
to act a part and then...
All of a sudden you're not acting.
Which all adds up to
exactly zero, so far.
But the characters are shaping up and
very soon the plot will begin to unfold.
And you think it leads to the
death of Walter Desmond?
It can't lead anywhere else.
We know Caldwell operates both the
real-estate office and the club racket.
We know Desmond got
interested in real-estate...
After he first got interested
in the girl in the racket.
Somewhere along the
line something went wrong.
And Desmond ends up
on a slab in the morgue.
Now the same mob give me the business.
Caldwell, Kirby and Carole Raymond.
Who's Kirby?
A guy who will fit a number 9 pair of
handcuffs when I get through with him.
Got a little job for you, Squint.
Take this 1-column, 4-inch item.
Out of the Oil News section.
And insert this copy.
That's easy. When do you want it?
No later than 4 o'clock this afternoon.
And don't touch anything
else on this page.
Okay, I'll have it ready for you, Kirby.
- Right.
But she would certainly leave
some form of forwarding address.
Very well. Thank you.
Was that about Mildred Hayes?
- Yes.
I've checked every possible place
in town. She's just disappeared.
I don't like any part of it.
That newspaper item is proof
there's a leak somewhere.
The more I think of it.
The more I believe it's this Hayes girl.
Of course it couldn't be Carole Raymond?
Will you leave here out of this?
Whenever you will.
Nola, you're beginning
to get in my hair.
Carole Raymond is playing ball.
It's no time for jealousy.
We must find the other girl.
I tell you what I did.
I'm suspicious of your
sheepherder, Bill Tyler.
So I wired our Salt Lake City
branch to check in to him.
Will you stop trying to think for me?
I tell you the man is alright.
Your job is to find Mildred
Hayes so we can shut her up.
She might start talking about
Walter Desmond. Now get busy.
I'll be home before dinner.
- That means you go out again tonight?
I may. Why? Are you afraid to be alone?
I do get frightened when I'm here alone.
I guess my nerves are getting...
- I know.
Now look.
I'll telephone you at 4:30 sharp.
Don't answer any other calls, will you.
- Alright, Carole.
I'll be waiting.
- That's a good girl.
But Mr Kirby.
It's funny, with proven oil
land all around it that...
This area is undeveloped.
Mr Kirby explained that the acreage
is owned by an eccentric old man.
To be brutally frank, he
doesn't know what he's got.
What proof is there
that there's oil there?
There's no doubt oil is there.
My own geologist says so.
And now I own an option on the
land the Amalgamated wants.
Then why do you want to let Miss
Raymond here in on the deal, Mr Kirby?
Because I need additional cash.
You see, I've already raised $50,000.
My option requires a payment of
$60,000 by the end of this week.
That's where I come in.
If I can put up $10,000.
But on what basis?
I'd be willing to let Miss Raymond
have 20 percent of the sale price.
Once I negotiate a deal
with Amalgamated.
The sale price could be as
high as a million dollars.
I'm afraid that lets me out.
You see, I can only
raise $3,500 Mr Kirby.
Now wait a minute, Mr Kirby. Suppose
I come in on it with Miss Raymond?
Make up the additional $6,500.
That would be very generous of you.
But we must move fast.
My option expires the end of this week.
I'd like to close the
deal say, tomorrow.
Okay. I'll wire my Utah bank to transfer
that amount first thing tomorrow.
Oh Bill, that's very kind of you.
But Mr Tyler stands to make a
big profit on his investment.
Once I hook Amalgamated.
Can we call it a deal then?
It will be if you have the cash
in my office by noon tomorrow.
Well Carole, I reckon this calls
for some sort of a celebration.
Shall we make it for
dinner again tonight?
I guess that's the least I can do
after the way you've helped me.
See you tomorrow, Mr Kirby.
- You won't regret this, Mr Tyler.
Goodbye, Mr Kirby.
- Goodbye.
Forget the letter for a minute.
Try and get Kirby on the phone.
He and Carole should have
Tyler wrapped up by now.
He doesn't answer.
He knew I'd be calling.
Try Carole.
She should be home by this time.
[ Telephone ]
Carole, I knew you wouldn't forget me.
Hello. Who is this?
Why, it's Mildred.
"Mildred? Mildred who?"
Carole, isn't this you?
How quaint and original.
Who was that?
So, our beautiful Carole
Raymond is playing ball, is she?
Then what's our little chum Mildred
Hayes doing at her apartment?
That girl? Why, it couldn't be.
I recognised her voice.
She even mentioned her name.
Now I think of it.
Carole did change her tune
rather abruptly yesterday.
Seemed strange.
If Mildred Hayes is at her
apartment it's no accident.
But it might cause one
to you, eh Jeff darling?
Are you going over there?
- What do you think?
Listen. If Carole Raymond phones
tell her to come here to the office.
Say anything to stop her
going to her apartment.
That's easy.
I'll tell her that Walter
Desmond came back to life.
This is no time to be smart.
Carole Raymond.
What have I done?
I thought it was you.
What have I done?
Why so subdued, Carole?
Didn't things go the way you
wanted them in Kirby's office?
It was a big responsibility.
After all, I got you into this.
I think I know what I'm
doing, ma'am. Perfectly.
Why isn't life arranged so that we
can always be sure of things and...
And especially of ourselves?
Because then ma'am, all the fun
of second-guessing would be gone.
I'm hoping my second guess
on a lot of things will still be fun.
Well, I'll put an old bromide.
I say 'live for today'.
I say live for tonight.
So, what time are we going to meet?
It's almost 5 o'clock now.
Good heavens. I must get to a telephone.
I'll stop at the next drug store.
Plenty to read. Paper!
I won't be long.
Hey, boy.
Yes, sir?
Paper, mister?
- Yep.
Here you are.
- Thank you.
What do you read?
Latest results. Paper!
What do you read? Paper.
Hey, son.
Yes, sir?
Here. A chance to make a double
profit. You can sell it over again.
Couldn't find what you looked for?
And how. The answer
to the $6,500 question.
Is that good?
- It's not bad.
I've been calling Crestview 5-1-7-3-6.
But there's no answer. I know someone
is there. Will you try it for me please?
Thank you.
[ Telephone ]
[ Telephone ]
Please stop.
I won't answer it.
Stop ringing.
[ Telephone ]
[ Telephone ]
Alright. Thank you.
Hey, what do you read? Paper.
What's the matter, Carole?
Something gone wrong?
Bill, can you drop me at my place?
Right away.
- Sure. Is it urgent?
I don't know. Please hurry.
If it's not going to interfere with our
date tonight Carole, how about 7:30?
I'll meet you in front of the apartment.
Sign there please.
Well, honey-child.
We sure collected a sucker today.
That sheepherder drives up to my office
tomorrow morning with 6,500 bucks.
Won't it be just ducky if he
drives up in a patrol wagon?
Read this?
Somebody is sure playing ball but
I wonder who's on whose team?
This guy could be a plant.
What wonderful perception.
Don't drop your crystal ball.
I was suspicious of Tyler
since he first came here.
Did Caldwell see this wire?
No. It just arrived.
This could be the blowoff. Can you
get hold of Caldwell? Where is he?
I've a rough idea. And I do mean rough.
Oh, please.
Please leave me alone.
I don't know anything anymore.
You're lying.
Carole Raymond asked...
If you'd tell the police of your
experience with Walter Desmond.
You admit that.
She did, but...
- She must have told you why.
I want to know why.
If you don't tell me now, I'll...
[ Telephone ]
[ Telephone ]
Oh, Nola?
Just a minute. I've a nice
little piece of news for you.
'Our investigation proves positively...'
'No prominent sheep rancher
named William Tyler in Utah'.
'Suggest extreme caution'.
'Ralph Lewis'.
Well. That's interesting.
It begins to tie up a lot of loose ends.
Now listen.
Come back here.
What happened?
Is she dead? Somebody get a doctor.
- Who is she?
Who is she?
- She doesn't live here.
I've never seen her before.
Have any of you folks seen
her in this building before?
She must have tripped
and fallen down the stairs.
Sorry I couldn't get here quicker.
It's your Hollywood traffic.
Thanks, Bill. I'll see you at 7:30.
On the dot.
Jeff Caldwell.
Well chief, the payoff is about due.
From what I told you and
what I'll get tonight...
I can start writing the
story tomorrow morning.
"Inform the DA to plant the
cops where I told you."
"So long."
She'll be alright.
[ Door knocks ]
Why, hello Carole.
Bill, I'm glad I found you. I need help.
Can it wait, ma'am?
I was just leaving to get you.
No it can't. I must find Caldwell.
So our date goes out the window
while you have to see Caldwell.
I'm trying to tell you it's a girl.
She's in trouble.
If she isn't, she will be when your
friends spring their oil racket on her.
Who is she, a lady sheep-rancher?
Bill, I...
I don't blame you for talking like that.
But honestly, you'll regret it.
I came here tonight
because I need your help.
You see Bill, I...
I happen to love you.
Now you've got to trust me.
You've got to think of
me as I really am.
I think of you as you really are.
One of Jeff Caldwell's con artists.
A very beautiful bait for...
Suckers with bankrolls.
You believe that, do you?
Why shouldn't I? You tried to hook
me on a phony oil deal with Kirby.
Don't think I wasn't
wise to it all the time.
On your way sister, and good luck.
Alright, Bill.
I'm going.
I just want you to know.
Whatever I did to you...
I did for just one reason.
To get enough on Jeff Caldwell
to put him behind bars.
I'm sorry but I don't believe you.
That's that.
A girl in trouble and...
I think Caldwell knows where she is.
We must find him.
Either at his apartment or...
Or even the beach-house.
The beach-house?
It's no novelty for you to search there.
You probably met him
there lots of times.
I've been there just once
before in my life, Bill.
The night Walter Desmond died.
I want to see Mr Caldwell.
- Sorry, Miss. But he isn't in.
I've had several calls for
him but he doesn't answer.
Would you like to leave a message?
- No thank you.
[ Telephone ]
[ Telephone ]
Well. Carole.
I'd just about given you up.
Oh. Oh yes, the young lady.
Jeff, tell me the truth. Where is she?
"She is safe, my dear. The child
was hysterical and distracted."
Saying some rather damaging
things about both of us.
I thought it best to bring her here.
Why not hurry out, Carole?
She's been calling for you.
I'll be out as soon as I can.
Hello, Chief?
I'm phoning at the office because
I've got it. An all-tied-up exclusive.
Get ready for a quick page one re-plate.
And tell the Rewrite Desk I'll be
phoning in the story in a little while.
"Get the DA. Have his men lock up Kirby
and Nola Reed, Caldwell's secretary."
"I'll take care of Caldwell."
"And I want a couple of
cameramen because..."
Okay, Bill.
I'll have the DA's office pick
up Nola Reed and Kirby.
Listen. Just one thing more.
Does this all mean that
Desmond was murdered?
"Well if it wasn't a murder I'll pay my
expense account out of my own pocket."
So long.
Where is she, Jeff? Where's Mildred?
Take it easy, Carole. Don't rush things.
Sit down. Relax.
I'll pour a couple of drinks.
We've never had one together you know.
I don't want a drink.
You lied to me, Jeff.
Mildred isn't here, is she?
No... as a matter of fact I've
no idea where she is now.
Now I know you're lying.
I found your hat in my apartment.
So what?
Listen, my dear.
I've known for days that you
were double-crossing me.
And that's bad medicine, Carole.
If Mildred isn't here...
Why did you want me down here?
So you could do me
one small favor, darling.
This check for $40,000 is
made out to both of us.
I want you to endorse it.
- What check?
Walter Desmond's.
That check was...
Was on the table the
night that Desmond died.
If you have it, it means you
must have been here that night.
That's right, Carole.
You threw him over that balcony.
How very clever of you.
You can't get away with it, Jeff.
Many things you can't explain.
I'll cross those bridges
when I come to them.
But the first thing is
to close your mouth.
You know too much.
You mean...?
- No. A little too noisy, darling.
It will be the same
way I killed Desmond.
Drop that gun.
He's your man.
Alright. Let's go.
We'll be along in a few minutes.
I'm sorry Carole for
the things I said to you.
You see... I'm a reporter.
I round up news, not ewes.
You know, I always thought that
sheepherder act was a bit too good.
Well, we are...
Both a couple of phonies, aren't we.
No, Carole.
There's one thing about
me that wasn't phoney.
Me too.
It's going to be fun getting
acquainted with the real 'us'.
And not through a friendship club.