Day 15 of Noirvember: Words, words, words!

The Killing

There’s no doubt – is there? – that film noir contains the best lines in all of cinema. I mean, haven’t you ever been watching a noir and a character says something that is so awesome, you just have to laugh out loud with sheer delight and appreciation? Happens to me all the time!

Today’s Noirvember post celebrates the hard-boiled dialogue that makes noir what it is. Enjoy!

“I know you like a book. You’re a no-good, nosy little tramp – you’d sell out your own mother for a piece of fudge, but you’re smart along with it.” Sterling Hayden in The Killing (1957)

“You must have been kissed in your cradle by a vulture.” Kirk Douglas in Detective Story (1951)

“When an impoverished character, unendowed with any appreciable virtues, succumbs to a rich man’s wife, it must be suspected that his interest is less passionate than pecuniary.” Clifton Webb in The Dark Corner (1946)

Out of the Past

“Just pay me off and I’m quiet. But use cash. Don’t try to pay me off with pitch handed to you by this cheap piece of baggage.” Steve Brodie in Out of the Past (1947)

“I’m worried about you, Joe. Somewhere in your bloodstream you’ve got a crazy bug. And it’s swimming upstream night and day. Get a cure. Or you’ll kill us all.” Paul Stewart in Appointment with Danger (1951)

“What do I have to do to make you understand the way I feel aobut you – rob a bank?” Howard Duff in Shakedown (1950)

“Sure, the suckers all give me sour looks. The minute they stop, I’m worried, see, because then I know I’m not on my toes. And that’s where I’m stayin’. Ready to hit the first guy that’s fool enough to try and cross me in the first place.” Robert Taylor in Johnny Eager (1941)

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

“You’re insane. You’re out of your mind. Me, too.” Kirk Douglas in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)

“You don’t snuff out 10 years of my life with a pinch of your fingers. If that’s your idea, you don’t know me as well as you think you do.” Leon Ames in The Velvet Touch (1948)

“You’d think that the people in this town would have something to do than figuring out ways to get rid of each other.” Broderick Crawford in Black Angel (1946)

“A shrewd man never asks questions until he has gathered enough information to be able to distinguish between lies and truth.” George Macready in A Lady Without Passport (1950)

Kiss of Death

“Imagine me in on this cheap rap. Big man like me. Picked up just for shovin’ a guy’s ears off his head. Traffic ticket stuff.” Richard Widmark in Kiss of Death (1947)

What are your favorite noir lines? Share them with the group!

And join me tomorrow for Day 16 of Noirvember!

~ by shadowsandsatin on November 15, 2017.

15 Responses to “Day 15 of Noirvember: Words, words, words!”

  1. Robert Mitchum says this response to Jane Russell, in the closing line of the film Macau, when she points out that he is soaked after being thrown over board in a fight: : “You’re going to have to get used to me dripping wet from the shower.” Youzzaaaa! LOL

  2. Raymond Chandler “The Big Sleep” : I don’t mind if you don’t like my manners. They’re pretty bad. I grieve over them during the long winter nights.”

  3. Terrific lines. I love pretty much every line that is uttered by Dick Powell in Murder My Sweet. I think that film contains some of the very best Noir dialogue.

  4. Yes indeed. I dog-ear (or e-bookmark) so many pages when I’m reading Chandler, Hammet or Woolrich.

    • I read The Big Sleep for the first time this summer, and I was bowled over by the writing — some of the best metaphors I’ve ever come across!

      • Absolutely. I often include certain lines (both from books or songs) into the captions of my noir photography. Almost like an inside aside to myself, to remind myself of just great usage.

  5. “Only reason I took the job was because my bank account was trying to crawl under a duck”

    Dick Powell as Marlowe “Murder My Sweet” one of the many great lines from that incredible films

  6. From OUT OF THE PAST:
    Eels: Your uh… cousin is a very charming young lady.
    Jeff: No he isn’t. His name is Norman, and he’s a bookmaker in Cleveland Ohio

    Not so hard boiled but I just love this line.

  7. My absolute favourite line of movie dialogue is this one from The Big Sleep: “She tried to sit in my lap while I was standing up.”

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