A taste of the natter from noir’s hard-boiled heavies and dangerous dames. (Want more? A veritable banquet of saucy one-liners and snappy comebacks can be found in Femme Noir and Bad Boys!)


“Decency and integrity are fancy words, but they never kept anybody well fed. And I’ve got quite an appetite.” Howard Duff in Shakedown (1950)

“You think you’ve got a right to get away with murder, and I imagine you often do. But not with me.” Joan Bennett in The Scar AKA Hollow Triumph (1948)

“I don’t think I’ll have to kill her. Just slap that pretty face into hamburger meat, that’s all.” Sterling Hayden in The Killing (1956)

“She wants you very badly, doesn’t she? She’s willing to run away with you and keep on running and ruin everything for herself. But she wouldn’t care because she’d be there with you and that’s what she wants. Well, she doesn’t have you now and she’ll never have you – nobody will ever have you and that’s the way I want it!” Agnes Moorehead in Dark Passage (1947)

“A dish – 60-cent special. Cheap, flashy, strictly poison under the gravy.” Charles McGraw in The Narrow Margin (1952)

“I’m glad you killed him. He was a bad man, very bad. You’re a cute man . . . I should’ve worked with you instead of that fool.” Hope Emerson in Cry of the City (1948)

“People aren’t safe with women like you in the world and people have to be protected.” Lloyd Nolan in Lady in the Lake (1947)

“I don’t envy you – I’m sorry for you. You’re the most pitiful creature I’ve ever known.” Jeanne Crain in Leave Her to Heaven (1945)

“Go on, sit in any chair you wanna sit in. . . . I want you to consider yourself my guest. We’ll have a couple of drinks. And then I’m gonna knock your teeth out.” William Bendix in The Glass Key (1942)

 “An interesting study, that man – rather complicated. He spent his adult life in pursuit of women, and at the same time, he has no respect for them. Men like that can be fascinating and dangerous. They prey on women and very often the women love it.” Rosemary DeCamp in Danger Signal (1945)

“We go together. I don’t know why. Maybe like guns and ammunition go together.” John Dall in Gun Crazy (1949)

“You’re no good for anyone but me. You’re no good and neither am I. We both deserve each other.” Jane Greer in Out of the Past (1947)

“You’d sell your own mother if she was worth anything.” John Garfield in The Breaking Point (1950)


“No matter how many times I leave, I always go back. He’s a part of me. The most terrible thing he can do to me is better than not having him.” Ida Lupino in The Big Knife (1955)

“For a nickel, I’d grab him. Stick both thumbs right in his eyes. Hang on ‘til he dropped dead.” Richard Widmark in Kiss of Death (1947)

“I’d like to say I didn’t intend to kill her. But when you have a gun, you always intend if you have to.” Barbara Stanwyck in The File on Thelma Jordon (1950)

“You can’t just go around killing people whenever the notion strikes you – it’s not feasible.” Elisha Cook, Jr., in Born to Kill (1947)

“I don’t go to church. Kneeling bags my nylons.” Jan Sterling in The Big Carnival, AKA Ace in the Hole (1951)

“She was a charming, middle-aged lady with a face like a bucket of mud. I gave her a drink. She was a gal who’d take a drink if she had to knock you down to get to the bottle.” Dick Powell in Murder, My Sweet (1944)

“You’ll never be anything but a common frump whose father lived over a grocery store and whose mother took in washing. With this money, I can get away from every rotten, stinking thing that makes me think of this place or you!” Ann Blyth in Mildred Pierce (1945)

“Mice. They’re all for ya as long as you’re in the chips. I never seen a dame yet that’s still around when you hit the skids.” Wallace Ford in The Set-Up (1949)

“Don’t talk to me about self-respect. Self-respect is something you tell yourself you’ve got when you’ve got nothing else. The only thing that counts is that stuff you take to the bank – that filthy buck that everybody sneers at but slugs to get.” Joan Crawford in The Damned Don’t Cry (1950)

“I want him to be fully conscious. I don’t like to shoot a corpse. I want to see the expression on his face when he knows it’s coming.” Raymond Burr in His Kind of Woman (1951)

“I wouldn’t raise a finger to help that girl. Let her go through what I went through.” Helen Walker in The Big Combo (1955)

“Fate, or some mysterious force, can put the finger on you for no good reason at all.” Tom Neal in Detour (1945)
 

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