A police detective becomes obsessed with a beautiful woman believed killed by a shotgun blast to the face in this classic mystery.
Browse content similar to Laura. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
'I shall never forget the weekend Laura died.
'A silver sun burned through the sky
'like a huge magnifying glass.
'It was the hottest Sunday in my recollection.
'I felt as if I were the only human being left in New York.
'For Laura's horrible death, I was alone.
'I, Waldo Lydecker,
'was the only one who really knew her,
'and I had just begun to write Laura's story
'when another of those detectives came to see me.
'I had him wait.
'I could watch him through the half-open door.'
'I noted that his attention was fixed upon my clock.
'There was only one other in existence,
'and that was in Laura's apartment,
'in the very room where she was murdered.'
< Careful there!
< That stuff is priceless.
< Come in here, please.
Ah, you recognise me. How splendid.
< Sit down, please.
Nice little place you have here, Mr Lydecker.
It's lavish, but I call it home.
I suppose you're here about the Laura Hunt murder.
Yesterday morning, after Laura's body was found,
I was questioned by Sergeants McAvity and Schultz,
and I stated,
"on Friday night, Laura had a dinner engagement with me,
"after which she was ostensibly going out of town.
"She phoned and cancelled our engagement at exactly 7.00.
After that I..."
You "ate a lonely dinner, then got into the tub to read."
Why did you write it down?
Afraid you'd forget it?
I am the most widely misquoted man in America.
When my friends do it, I resent it.
From Sergeants McAvity and Schultz, I should find it intolerable.
Hand me that washcloth, please, Mister...
Mark McPherson - the siege of Babylon, Long Island,
the gangster with a machinegun, killed three policemen.
I told the story over the air and wrote a column about it.
Are you the one with the leg full of lead,
the man who walked right in and got him?
Well, well. Hand me my robe, please.
You have a pretty good memory, Mr Lydecker.
I always liked that detective with the silver shinbone.
Thanks. I hope you won't have any reason to change your mind about me.
Have you any more questions?
Yeah, just one.
Two years ago in your October 17th column,
you started out to write a book review,
but at the bottom of the column,
you switched over to the Harrington murder case.
< Are the processes of the creative mind
< now under the jurisdiction of the police?
You said Harrington was rubbed out
with a shotgun loaded with buckshot,
the way Laura Hunt was murdered night before last.
< Did I?
but he was really killed with a sash weight.
How ordinary. My version was obviously superior.
I never bother with details, you know.
Well, so long.
Mind if I go with you?
Murder is my favourite crime.
I write about it regularly,
and I know you'll have to visit everyone on your list of suspects.
I'd like to study their reactions.
You're on the list yourself, you know.
Good. To have overlooked me would have been a pointed insult.
You're not the sort of man one would insult, Mr Lydecker.
Do you really suspect me?
McPherson, if you know anything about faces, look at mine.
How singularly innocent I look this morning!
Have you ever seen such candid eyes?
Something you confiscated in a raid on a kindergarten?
Takes a lot of control.
Would you like to try it?
Were you in love with Laura Hunt, Mr Lydecker?
Was she in love with you?
Laura considered me the wisest, the wittiest, the most interesting man
she'd ever met.
I was in complete accord with her on that point.
She thought me also the kindest, the gentlest,
the most sympathetic man in the world.
Did you agree with her there, too?
McPherson, you won't understand this,
but I tried to become the kindest, the gentlest,
the most sympathetic man in the world.
Have any luck?
Let me put it this way.
I should be sincerely sorry
to see my neighbours' children devoured by wolves.
Shall we go?
Good morning, Lieutenant.
Good morning, Mrs Treadwell.
Good morning, Ann.
I've just taken over the Laura Hunt case.
Won't you sit down?
I have all the reports,
but there are a few more questions I'd like to ask.
Why, certainly. I'll do anything I can to help.
You were fond of your niece, Mrs Treadwell?
Why, I adored her. Cigarette?
You collapsed when you identified the body.
I can quite understand that.
A shotgun loaded with buckshot, close range.
It's not very nice to look at.
It was horrible.
Her maid Bessie,
I suppose she was devoted to Miss Hunt?
She worshipped her. Laura had had her for years.
I'll never forget her scream when she saw Laura lying there.
Did you approve of Miss Hunt's coming marriage
to Mr Carpenter?
Why? Shouldn't I approve?
I don't know.
What is your relationship with Mr Carpenter?
What do you mean?
What I mean is, he's been a frequent guest in your home.
Is he an acquaintance? Friend?
Are you in love with him?
This is beginning to assume fabulous aspects.
Oh, shut up, Waldo!
What are you driving at?
The truth, Mrs Treadwell.
Are you in love with him?
Why, no. I'm, I'm very fond of Mr Carpenter, of course.
I'm not. I'll be hanged if I am.
Oh, don't be so annoying, Waldo!
Did you give Mr Carpenter money?
What do you mean?
A couple of cheques went through your account endorsed by him.
One on May 15th for 250.
One on may 22nd for 400.
Oh, that. I...
I asked him to do some shopping for me, that's all.
Shelby's a very obliging fellow.
For some time also
you've been withdrawing various amounts in cash.
Sometimes 1,700 at a clip.
Yes. I needed that money.
The day you took out 1,500,
Mr Carpenter deposited 1,350.
When you withdrew 1,700,
he deposited 1,550.
Maybe they were shooting crap.
Oh, must I be insulted like this?
I'm sorry, Mrs Treadwell,
but I have to find out about these things.
Shelby needed some money, and I lent it to him, that's all.
After all, it is my money.
I suppose I can do as I please with it.
Sure. Of course.
Now, on Friday night, Mrs Treadwell,
you stayed home alone all evening?
Why didn't you go to the concert with Shelby?
Because he didn't ask me.
We were just talking about you, Carpenter.
What a coincidence to find you here.
This is Lieutenant McPherson.
Oh, how do you do, Lieutenant?
I didn't know you were here, Mr Carpenter.
As a matter of fact, I was just lying down here.
My hotel room was so hot,
and then all the people and reporters and telephone.
You know how it is, Lieutenant.
I've hardly slept a wink since it happened.
Is that a sign of guilt or innocence, McPherson?
I'm at your disposal, Lieutenant.
I'm as eager to find the murderer as you are.
But what possible motive could I have for killing Laura?
Miss Hunt and I were going to be married this week, you know.
No, he doesn't know, and neither do I
or you or anyone else alive.
What do you mean by that?
Laura had not definitely made up her mind to marry him.
She told me so herself last Friday
when she called up to cancel our dinner engagement.
As a matter of fact,
she was going to the country to think it over.
She was extremely kind,
but I was always sure she would never have thrown her life away
on a male beauty in distress.
I suppose you've heard losers whine before,
especially in your profession, eh?
Would you like a bite of lunch, Lieutenant?
Now, that's very thoughtful - the perfect host.
You'd almost think he was in his own home.
Shelby knows how distracted I am. Would you, Lieutenant?
Thank you, Mrs Treadwell,
but I've got to be going.
But, Lieutenant, I...
Well, I rather thought you'd want to ask me some questions.
Oh, yes. What did they play at the concert Friday night?
Oh, Brahms' First and Beethoven's Ninth.
Uh-huh. Have you got a key
to Miss Hunt's house up in the country?
No, but I think there's one up in her apartment.
OK, I'll have a look.
Perhaps I could help you?
All right, come along.
I'll be seeing you, Mrs Treadwell.
Girl victim in brutal slaying!
Extra! Girl victim in brutal slaying!
Read all about it!
Girl victim in brutal slaying!
Girl victim in brutal slaying!
Read all about it!
All right! Break it up!
Break it up!
The doorbell rang.
As she opened the door, the shot was fired.
And how do you deduce that?
She fell backward.
The body was there.
I thought you hadn't been up here before.
I saw the police photos.
I guess I'd better try and find that key.
McPherson, tell me,
why did they have to photograph her in that horrible condition?
When a dame gets killed,
she doesn't worry about how she looks.
Will you stop calling her a dame?
Is this the home of a dame?
Look at her.
Jacoby was in love with her when he painted it,
but he never captured her vibrance, her warmth.
Have you ever been in love?
A doll in Washington Heights
once got a fox fur out of me.
Ever know a woman who wasn't a "doll" or a "dame"?
Yeah, one, but she kept walking me past furniture windows
to look at the parlour suites.
SOFT MUSIC PLAYS
Would you mind turning that off?
Why? Don't you like it?
It was one of Laura's favourites.
Not exactly classical, but sweet.
You know a lot about music?
I don't know a lot about anything,
but I know a little about practically everything.
Yeah? Then why did you say
they played Brahms' First and Beethoven's Ninth at the concert Friday night?
They changed the programme at the last minute
and played nothing but Sibelius.
Well, I suppose I should have told you in the first place.
You see, I'd been working on that advertising campaign with Laura.
Well, we'd been working so hard I...I just couldn't keep my eyes open.
I didn't hear a note at the concert. I fell asleep.
Next he'll produce photographic evidence of his dreams.
I know it sounds suspicious,
but I'm resigned to that by now.
I'm a natural-born suspect
just because I'm not the conventional type.
I wouldn't worry about it, Mr Carpenter.
It sounds reasonable.
I fall asleep at concerts myself.
You found that key yet?
No. I looked for it in the den,
but it wasn't there.
It may be in here.
Here it is.
I knew there must be one around somewhere.
The police are very fussy about their inventories.
That key isn't on the list of things
that were in that drawer yesterday.
Then it's made a recent reappearance.
You put it there, didn't you?
It's just that I didn't want to give it to you
while Waldo was present.
I have private reasons that don't concern him.
Everything about Laura concerns me.
You have private reasons, no doubt, to lie about the key.
Waldo, for your own good,
I'm warning you to stop implying
that I had anything to do with Laura's death.
Very well. I'll stop implying.
I'll make a direct statement.
All right, you asked for it.
Will you please stop dawdling with that infernal puzzle?
It's getting on my nerves!
I know, but it keeps me calm.
OK, let's go.
This was our table -
Laura's and mine.
We spent many quiet evenings here together.
I remember we dined here
the night before her 22nd birthday.
Just we two -
happy, making plans for her future.
'But this was a far cry from the girl
'who walked into my life at the Algonquin Hotel
'five years before.'
Mr Lydecker? How do you do?
My name is Laura Hunt,
and I'm with Bullitt and Company,
you know, the big advertising firm,
and I'd like to talk something over with you if I may.
You can hardly fail to realise
that I'm engaged in eating my lunch.
Yes, I know. I'm awfully sorry to interrupt this way,
but it's so hard to get to see you the regular way,
and this will only take a minute, really.
Now, this is...
either you have been raised
in some incredibly rustic community
where good manners are unknown,
or you suffer from the common feminine delusion
that the mere fact of being a woman
exempts you from the rules of civilised conduct
or possibly both.
Possibly, but here's what I wanted to show you.
It's for the Wallace flow-rite pen.
I know my company would be glad to pay you 5,000
if you'll endorse the ad.
I don't use a pen.
I write with a goose quill dipped in venom.
Yes, but this is a very fine pen, Mr Lydecker,
the best on the market.
Wouldn't you at least consider endorsing it?
I'll neither consider, endorse, or use the Wallace pen.
I hate pens.
If your employers wish me
to publish that statement in my column,
you may tell them that I shall be delighted to oblige.
Oh, no. You mustn't do that.
Don't blame Bullitt and Company, Mr Lydecker.
They don't know anything about this.
It was my idea to see you.
Yes. I know they'd give anything down at the office
to get your endorsement,
only they think there's no use asking,
so I had this ad made up all on my own
because I thought, "Well, what's the harm in trying?"
There was always a chance that you might, Mr Lydecker.
Just think what it would mean...
You seem to be completely disregarding
something more important than your career.
Do you really believe that?
I never heard of anything so selfish.
In my case,
self-absorption is completely justified.
I have never discovered any other subject
quite so worthy of my attention.
But you write about people with such real understanding and sentiment.
That's what makes your column so good.
The sentiment comes easily at 50 cents a word.
Well, if that's the way you really feel,
you must be very lonely.
Will you kindly continue
this character analysis elsewhere?
You begin to bore me.
You're a poor man. I'm very sorry for you.
'Naturally, I was annoyed by the incident,
'but she had something about her, that girl.
'I had to speak to her again.
'I had to see her.'
Miss, would you mind if I...
Just a moment, please.
I'll tell Mr Bullitt right away. He's on the telephone.
Boy, Waldo Lydecker
to see Miss Laura Hunt.
Johnny, please tell the gentleman I'm busy.
Miss Hunt, I have something to say to you.
You've already said it, Mr Lydecker.
I wish to point out that you caught me at my most difficult moment.
Ordinarily I am not without a heart.
Shall I produce X-ray pictures to prove it?
I wish to apologise.
Your apology is accepted.
Goodbye, Mr Lydecker.
If you come a little bit closer, my boy,
I can just crack your skull with my stick.
And now for reasons which are too embarrassing to mention,
I'd like to endorse that pen.
You're a very strange man.
You're really sorry for the way you acted, aren't you?
Let's not be psychiatric, Miss Hunt,
but in a word, yes.
It's very kind of you, you know.
I'm not kind. I'm vicious.
It's the secret of my charm.
But if you choose to think me kind, I'll call for you at 6.00.
'Her career began with my endorsement of the pen.
'I secured other endorsements for her,
'introduced her to important clients.
'I gave her her start,
'but it was her own talent and imagination
'that enabled her to rise to the top of her profession
'and stay there.
'She had an eager mind always.
'She was always quick to seize upon
'anything that would improve her mind...or her appearance.
'Laura had innate breeding.
'But she deferred to my judgment and taste.
'I selected a more attractive hairdress for her.
'I taught her what clothes were more becoming to her.
'Through me, she met everyone.
'The famous and the infamous.
'Her youth and beauty, her poise and charm of manner...
'captivated them all.
'She had warmth, vitality.
'She had authentic magnetism.
'Wherever we went, she stood out.
'Men admired her. Women envied her.
'She became as well known
'as Waldo Lydecker's walking stick...and his white carnation.
'But Tuesday and Friday nights,
'we stayed home, dining quietly,
'listening to my records.
'I read my articles to her.
'The way she listened was more eloquent than speech.'
'These were the best nights.'
Then one Tuesday, she phoned
and said she couldn't come.
It didn't matter, really,
but when it happened again the following Friday,
I was disturbed.
'I couldn't understand it.
'I felt betrayed,
'and yet I knew Laura would never betray anyone.'
'I walked for a long time.'
'Then I found myself before her apartment building.
'The lights were on.
'It pleased me to know she was home
'till I saw she was not alone.'
'But I waited.
'I wanted to see who he was.'
'It was Jacoby,
'who had recently painted her portrait.
'I never liked the man.
'He was so obviously conscious
'of looking more like an athlete than an artist.
'I sat up the rest of the night writing a column about him.
'I demolished his affectations,
'exposed his camouflaged imitations of better painters,
'ridiculed his theories.
'I did it for her,
'knowing Jacoby was unworthy of her.
'It was a masterpiece because it was a labour of love.'
Naturally she could never regard him seriously again.
There were others, of course,
but her own discrimination ruled them out
before it became necessary for me to intercede...
until one night at a party at Ann Treadwell's.
'It was one of her usual round-ups
'of bizarre and nondescript characters
'corralled from every stratum of society.'
How are you this evening?
This is Mr and Mrs Preston.
They've been waiting all evening to meet you.
How do you do?
Excuse me, honey.
You're Laura Hunt.
Hello. I'm Shelby Carpenter.
Want to dance?
I'm not alone.
Oh, him? I'll bet he's still doing the polka.
Excuse me, please.
Yes. Betsy Ross taught it to me.
Hello, Waldo! Darling, how are you?
I see you've met Shelby.
He was awfully nice to me
in Louisville at the Derby.
His family's from Kentucky.
Sharecroppers, no doubt.
Ah, Franz. Bonsoir.
Louise, Louise, for the last time,
will you marry me?
I won't, but I've saved some chicken livers for you.
Oh, you're an angel.
In the meantime, darling,
you think you could get this spot out for me?
I can afford a blemish on my character, but not on my clothes.
Hmm...couldn't eat another mouthful.
I'm afraid it's rouge.
I'm afraid it's liquor.
Louise, may I have a glass of milk for Mr Lydecker?
Of course, Miss Hunt.
I was about to tell you. I also read palms.
I cook. I swallow swords. I mend my own socks.
I never eat garlic or onions.
What more can you want of a man?
Don't listen to that scallywag.
I didn't expect to find him here, Louise.
Well, what do you mean? We're old friends.
She feeds me, humours me, repairs me,
and refuses to marry me, don't you, honey?
She has good sense.
Now, wait just a minute. Thanks, Louise.
You're wasting your time. She's got good sense, too.
And what does it feel like, Mr Carpenter?
What does what feel like, Miss Hunt?
Living on the income from an estate.
Well, I, er...
Or don't you know?
Well, I did, until the Sheriff took it over 10 years ago.
Why maintain the fiction? Why not work?
Believe it or not, I asked one of my many friends for a job once,
executive of a big company, 2,500 employees.
He could have pressed a button and done it, but he just laughed.
He thought I was joking.
No. When I convinced him, he got embarrassed, said he'd phone me.
That was months ago.
Now whenever he sees me, he looks the other way.
Do you really want a job?
Oh, here you are.
Laura, dear, I cannot stand these morons any longer.
If you don't come with me this instant, I shall run amok.
All right, Waldo.
10.30 tomorrow, Bullitt and Company.
You've got a job.
'I concealed my annoyance with masterly self-control,
'but I sensed a situation which would bear watching.'
Laura, take a look at this.
Do you like it?
Do you think it'll make people want to bathe more often?
It should. It's excellent.
There you are.
Goodnight, Miss Hunt.
It's really very good. Who's the model?
Oh, a girl named Diane Redfern.
You hired her yourself last week.
Don't you remember?
Well, let's go, moon of my delight. I am starved.
You usually are.
I approve of that hat.
Mm-hmm, and the girl in it, too.
I knew there was something on my mind.
What is it? Oh, yes.
Will you dine with me tomorrow night?
No, that isn't what's worrying me. It's the next night.
But, Shelby, I can't be...
Good. What about three weeks from tonight
and all the nights in between?
Don't you think I have any other engagements?
What about two months from now and the month after that?
What about next year?
That's all settled. What about breakfast?
What about dancing?
What about lunch, beautiful lunches,
day after day after day after day?
What about work, beautiful work,
day after day after day?
Why, Miss Hunt, the way you talk,
you'd think I was in love with you.
Yes, Laura, I heard everything he said.
I went to call for you.
I'm sorry, Waldo.
And that reminds me.
Old Mother Hubbard has something in the cupboard.
The results of my private investigation
of that sterling character, Mr Shelby Carpenter.
By stooping so low,
you only degrade yourself, Waldo.
Did you know that he almost went to jail
for passing rubber cheques,
that he was suspected of stealing his hostess' jewels
when he was a house guest in Virginia?
Naturally they'd suspect him
because he isn't rich.
Those are only insinuations,
the cheapest kind.
These aren't only insinuations, my dear.
There you are.
What of it?
I know his faults.
A man can change, can't he?
People are always ready
to hold out a hand to slap you down,
but never to pick you up.
All right, I'm helping Shelby.
His past is his own affair.
I only care about the present.
Speaking of the changed Mr Carpenter in the present tense,
he's now running around with a model
from your own office.
Her name is Diane Redfern.
I'm closer to despising you
than I thought I ever would be.
I should have told you before.
Shelby and I are going to be married next week.
I believe you presented him with a cigarette case
on his last birthday.
Rather valuable, isn't it?
Where did you get it?
From the pawn shop where Diane Redfern took it
after he gave it to her.
I don't believe it.
He probably needed money and was too proud to borrow.
Perhaps that's why the pawn ticket
was in her name.
Before this goes any further, why, I'll just...
He isn't home.
He's dining at Ann Treadwell's.
He can't be. He asked me to dinner.
He would have cancelled his appointment with her
if you had accepted.
He treats her rather badly these days.
I'm afraid she'll say he isn't there.
Why are you doing this?
For you, Laura.
Shall we pay them a visit?
He won't be there, Waldo.
I know he won't.
Don't you want to take this little bauble along
in case he is there?
I'm sorry. Mrs Treadwell is not home.
We know, dear.
I didn't expect to see you tonight.
There you are, my dear.
In a moment of supreme disaster,
You've been reading too many melodramas, Waldo.
I was just telling Ann about our getting married.
Well, have you two had dinner?
Would you like a glass of wine?
Why don't you sit down?
I couldn't find out if she saw Carpenter in the meantime.
All I know is that on Friday
she had lunch with Diane Redfern.
'What came of it I hoped to hear that night.
'I alternated between moods of over-optimism
'When the phone rang, I had a foreboding of disaster.'
I called to tell you, Waldo, I'm frightfully sorry.
I can't have dinner with you tonight.
Oh, no, no. I'm not sick. I'm just dreadfully nervous.
I'm going to the country for a few days.
Yes. I'm afraid it's about Shelby.
Oh, no. Please. There's nothing you can do.
I've got to think this thing out for myself.
I'll call you when I get back. Goodbye.
It was the last time I ever heard her voice.
I was sure she had too much pride
to forgive him,
Where does this Diane Redfern live?
She's in the phone book.
Come on. It's late. Let's get going.
Yes, sir. >
Thank you, Mr Lydecker.
I shall never forgive myself
for letting her become involved with Shelby.
It was my fault.
I should have stopped it somehow.
Well, it's too late now.
Thanks for the wine.
This is Lieutenant McPherson, homicide bureau.
Laura Hunt had been buying her liquor from you
for several years, hadn't she?
Yeah. Did she ever buy a brand of scotch
called Black Pony?
I see. Well, that's all I wanted to know. Thanks.
She's here, McPherson, the maid.
Come in, Miss Clary.
Never mind the "Miss Clary" stuff.
My name's Bessie, and I'm a domestic,
and I got nothing to be ashamed of.
Sit down, Bessie.
And her private diary!
You've been reading them,
pawing over them.
It's a shame in the face of the dead.
That's what it is. It's a shame!
Sit down, Bessie.
I'll stand on my own two feet!
Don't you go ordering me around.
I ain't afraid of cops.
I was brought up to spit whenever I saw one.
OK. Go ahead and spit
if that'll make you feel better.
What do you want to know?
What we all want to know -
who killed Laura Hunt.
How would I know?
You don't think I done it?
I know you cops get crazy notions,
but if you got any notion concerning me...
anyone who ever come to this house.
I would have worked for her.
I would have washed, ironed, scrubbed,
done everything she wanted of me
whether she paid me for it or not,
and it wasn't only on account of
the thousand sweet things she done for me.
It was because she was so sweet herself,
because she was a real fine lady.
But you cops wouldn't know about that.
But you do.
That's all the more reason
why you should help me, Bessie.
Do you happen to know
how this got into her liquor cabinet?
I put it there.
But she never bought cheap stuff like that,
not a lady like Miss Hunt.
When did you put it in the cabinet?
Before the police came.
Was it there Friday night before you left?
Are you sure of that?
I cleaned out the cabinet on Friday
and put the empties in the basement.
Then somebody was with her
in the apartment Friday night,
someone who brought that bottle.
I don't know, but I didn't want anyone
getting any wrong ideas about her,
God rest her soul.
That's why I took it out of the bedroom
and put it in the cabinet before the police got here,
and that ain't all I done.
I washed out the glasses
and cleaned off the bottle, too.
Do you know what happens to people who destroy evidence?
I don't care.
You ain't going to tell the newspaper reporters,
and let them make up their nasty stories
and drag her name through the mud?
Go ahead, but it won't do you any good.
I'll say you lied. I'll say...
Take it easy, Bessie.
Get me some ice and a set-up, will you?
A couple of highball glasses.
Lieutenant McPherson sent for us.
Good morning, Lieutenant.
This is quite a delegation.
I only sent for you, Carpenter.
Shelby's dropping me off at the hairdresser's later,
so I thought I might as well come along.
My excuse is equally feeble.
I just popped in to pay my dubious respects
and enquire as to the state of your health.
Insipid, I trust.
I was just going to pour myself a drink.
Would you care to join me?
That's a very nice idea. Shelby, wouldn't you like one?
I'll get it.
Bessie, would you bring a couple more glasses, please?
Hi, Bessie. What are you doing here?
I'm paid up for the week,
and I'm working regardless.
Would you like one, Lydecker?
I see no reason to exclude myself
if the host provides scotch.
I presume it'll have to.
How about you, Carpenter?
It's cheap, but it's potent.
As a matter of fact, I don't think I care for any.
I'm not much of a daytime drinker.
That'll be all for you, Bessie. You can go home now.
But I... Yes, sir.
I remember when Laura bought these glasses.
She loved them. She loved all her things so.
What are you going to do? Sell them?
I don't know.
I suppose so. Thank you.
If I'm appointed administrator of the estate,
I shall probably just call in Corey.
You mean Lancaster Corey, the art dealer?
Yes. He was a friend of Laura's.
Let him dispose of everything.
It'll be less gruesome that way.
Not quite everything, Ann.
Two or three things in here belong to me.
This vase, for instance,
and that, er, clock, of course,
and the antique fire screen.
I only lent them to Laura, you know.
Oh, really, Waldo!
Yes, really. This vase is the gem of my collection.
I intend to have it back,
and the clock and the screen, too.
But they aren't yours. You gave them to Laura.
I won't permit it.
Does an alleged fiance
have any voice in this matter?
I'll take the vase with me now
and send someone to collect the other things this very day.
Nothing is leaving here except you, Lydecker.
Is that your quaint way of indicating dismissal?
We're all going anyway.
I have to be back at headquarters by noon.
Lieutenant, I don't understand.
You sent for me, didn't you?
Well, don't you want to see me?
Don't you want to ask me some questions?
I'll be seeing you.
I bid you good day.
Come along, Shelby.
Are you making any progress
on the case, Lieutenant?
We're doing all right.
Go get something to eat. I'll take over.
Take your time.
'What's the matter? Did you go to sleep?'
This is McPherson. Any calls come through?
Well, keep listening.
No. Nothing new.
I happened to see the lights on.
Have you sublet this apartment?
You're here often enough to pay rent.
I object to you prying into Laura's letters,
especially those from me.
Why? Yours are the best in the bunch.
< Thanks. But I didn't write them to you.
Haven't you any sense of privacy?
Murder victims have no claim to privacy.
< Have detectives who buy portraits of murder victims
< a claim to privacy?
Lancaster Corey told me
that you've already put in a bid for it.
That's none of your business.
McPherson, did it ever strike you
that you're acting very strangely?
It's a wonder you don't come here like a suitor,
with roses and a box of candy,
drugstore candy, of course.
Have you ever dreamed of Laura as your wife,
by your side at the policemen's ball
or in the bleachers
or listening to the heroic story
of how you got a silver shinbone
from a gun battle with a gangster?
I see you have.
Why don't you go home? I'm busy.
Perhaps we can come to terms now.
You want the portrait.
I want my possessions,
my vase, my clock, and my screen.
Also perfectly understandable.
Now, if you...
You'd better watch out, McPherson,
or you'll end up in a psychiatric ward.
I don't think they've ever had a patient
who fell in love with a corpse.
What are you doing here?
If you don't get out at once, I'm going to call the police.
You are Laura Hunt, aren't you?
I'm going to call the police.
Well, I am the police.
What's this all about?
Don't you know?
Don't you know what's happened?
Haven't you seen the papers?
Where have you been?
Up in the country.
I...I don't get a newspaper.
Haven't you got a radio?
It was broken.
Somebody was murdered in this room.
Do you have any idea who it was?
Who had a key to your apartment?
When did it happen?
What are you going to do now?
Find out who was murdered,
and then find the murderer.
You'd better take off those wet clothes.
You might catch cold.
I found this in my closet.
It's Diane Redfern's.
It wasn't here when I left.
She's one of our models.
Just about my size.
Beautiful, wasn't she?
Do you suppose...?
Sit down, please.
This is Monday night. You left on Friday.
Rather a long weekend, isn't it?
What train did you take?
See anybody you knew on the train?
Then I got off the train at Norwalk.
Saw nobody you knew at the station either?
Then I went to the garage where I keep my car.
It's a private garage.
Nobody saw me there either.
Then I drove to my house.
You were there three days. What did you do?
Worked in my garden.
You didn't go out in all that time?
No. I had everything I needed in the house.
< Nobody came to see you?
Nobody. I went there to be alone.
Police were there on Saturday
and there was no-one in the house.
Oh, yes. Saturday, I took a long walk.
I walked for hours in the woods.
Mm-hmm. You were going to marry
Shelby Carpenter this week.
Thursday, if I'm not mistaken.
Yet you went away just before your wedding
for a long weekend, to be alone.
I was tired.
I'd been working hard.
You know Shelby Carpenter has a key to this apartment.
Why didn't you tell me?
I know nothing of the sort. He hasn't!
How else did the girl get into the apartment?
You knew she was in love with Carpenter,
that he'd given her your cigarette case.
You know all that, don't you?
I knew that she was in love with him.
She told me so herself.
When did she tell you?
At lunch last Friday.
I also know that she meant nothing to Shelby.
I understand him better than you do.
She was found in your dressing gown and slippers.
That's hardly the regulation costume for an impersonal chat
between a man and woman who mean nothing to each other.
Did you know or did you suspect
that he was going to bring her here Friday night, Miss Hunt?
How could I? I don't know that he brought her here.
Neither do you. You merely assume it.
What other assumption is possible?
Do you love this fellow Carpenter so much
you'd risk your own safety to protect him?
My own safety? Do you suspect me?
I suspect nobody and everybody.
I'm merely trying to get at the truth.
I see you have been trying to get at the truth.
You've read things I never meant anyone else to look at.
Well, I'd better be going.
I'll see you in the morning, Miss Hunt.
Oh, I must ask you not to leave the house
or use the phone.
But... But I've got to let my friends know I'm alive.
Sorry, Miss Hunt, but I must insist you do as I say.
Am I under arrest?
No. But if anything should happen to you this time,
I wouldn't like it.
All right. I promise.
There's one more thing.
You may as well know what I know,
some of it, at any rate.
It'll save time and a lot of unnecessary fencing.
I know that you went away to make up your mind
whether you would marry Shelby Carpenter or not.
What did you decide?
I want the truth.
I decided not to marry him.
I'll see you in the morning.
Does McPherson know that?
Say, Mark, that was the medical examiner's report.
It wasn't Laura Hunt.
It was Diane Redfern that was bumped off upstairs.
Kind of balls things up, doesn't it?
Yeah. Say, you're not taking it too hard.
'This is Laura.'
SHELBY: 'Say nothing on the phone. Meet me now.
'I'll wait for you in my car in front of Bullitt's.'
Dames are always pulling a switch on you.
You follow her. I'm going to tail him.
< Are you taking it down or putting it away, Carpenter?
It's been fired lately.
Yes. I killed some rabbits with it.
Oh, a while back. I don't know exactly.
You know about guns, don't you?
How come you didn't clean it afterward?
I don't know. I forgot, I suppose.
Yes. I gave it to Laura for protection.
She didn't want it, but I insisted.
This house is rather isolated, as you see.
Did you teach her how to use it?
Does she know how?
I don't know. It didn't occur to me to ask.
You're a vague sort of a fellow, aren't you, Carpenter?
I've spent very little time
in observing my own character, Mr McPherson.
You haven't borrowed it lately?
You didn't just bring it back tonight?
You followed me here. You saw me come in.
You ought to know.
You, er, realise the spot you're in, Carpenter?
You took that poor girl to Miss Hunt's apartment.
You knew all along it was she who was murdered.
Didn't you know Laura Hunt would come back any day
and spill the whole thing?
Or did you plan to kill her, too,
hide the body someplace,
and cover up your first crime?
You're being fantastic, McPherson.
You took a bottle of Black Pony
to her house Friday night.
I took it there over a week ago.
Bessie said it wasn't there Friday night.
It was Saturday morning.
I can't help what Bessie said.
Where is the key to her apartment?
I haven't got it.
What did you do with it? Give it back to her tonight?
I never had one.
OK. You didn't take the bottle of scotch
to her house Friday night,
and you haven't got a key to her apartment.
How did you get in? You had a key, and I know it.
Now, come on, Carpenter, spill it.
Laura kept a duplicate key at her office.
I went over and got it.
I'd asked Diane to dine with me.
I wanted to have it out with her once and for all.
You know, she thought...
Well, she thought she was in love with me.
Well, we couldn't go on talking in public places.
She was too upset.
I couldn't go to her room,
and I didn't want to take her to my hotel,
so we went to Laura's.
We talked there for about three hours.
Then the doorbell rang, and...
Diane was frightened,
but knowing Laura as I've known her,
I've learned to be surprised at nothing.
What do you mean by that?
Well, her friends would come to her with their troubles
at all hours of the day or night.
I asked Diane to answer the door.
Why didn't you go yourself?
Well, supposing one of Laura's friends had found me there?
Why open the door at all?
Well, they must have seen the light.
What about the girl...Diane? What about her reputation?
Well, I had asked her to tell them
that Laura had lent her the apartment while she was away.
Anybody that knew Laura would have believed that.
Yeah. Go on.
Well, then the doorbell rang again.
I could hear Diane's mules...
Laura's they were...
clattering across the bare boards between the rugs.
Then there was a moment's silence and then a shot.
It was an awful explosion.
By the time I reached her,
the door was closed.
She lay there on the floor.
You got to see who it was?
No. I was too confused, too horrified,
incapable of doing anything.
The room was dark.
I saw only a vague heap lying on the floor.
I don't think I fully grasped the situation.
I think I called her name, but I'm not sure.
I remember kneeling on the floor,
feeling her heart.
My first instinct was to call the police.
Why didn't you?
I don't know, or rather I was afraid,
not only for myself but for Laura.
In a panicky sort of way,
I felt that I must keep out of this
to keep Laura out of it.
Oh, I know now how foolish and hopeless it was,
but there was only one thing on my mind -
the safety of a person whose life was dearer to me than my own.
Don't you understand that?
Did you think Laura had done it?
I don't remember what I thought.
Do you think so now?
But you didn't?
On Saturday, when our men went to the hotel
to tell you that Laura was dead,
you seemed sincerely shocked.
I was. I hadn't expected that mistake.
But you had your alibi ready no matter who was dead,
yet you knew the minute Laura got back it wouldn't stick.
Don't you see, I was incapable of thinking
that far ahead.
I was incapable of thinking at all.
I was groping for some way
to keep Laura's name out of it.
I was heartbroken about Diane
and panic-stricken about Laura.
I haven't slept a full two hours
since this thing happened.
Let's get back to the present.
What did you and Laura talk about tonight?
I told her the whole story just as I've told you.
She phoned you after she promised me
she wouldn't call anybody.
What did she want?
It's perfectly natural she should want to see me,
especially after what's happened.
Why don't you tell the truth, Carpenter?
She sent you here to get rid of this gun.
She did not. It was my own idea.
She doesn't even know I'm here.
MUSIC ON RADIO
It works fine, doesn't it?
Yes. Did you think it wouldn't?
I hoped it wouldn't. All right, let's go.
Oh, am I under arrest?
No. But you're not to leave town.
It would be foolish of you to try it.
Breakfast. You didn't buy any food when you went out last night.
I'll fix some bacon and eggs.
Can you make coffee?
Suppose you set the table while I get breakfast.
Do you always sound like this in the morning?
Don't tell me you can cook.
My mother always listened sympathetically
to my dreams of a career,
and then taught me another recipe.
KEY TURNS IN LOCK
Shh! Don't move.
It's all right, Bessie.
That's all right, Bessie.
It's all been a mistake, Bessie.
I'm not a ghost, really.
I found you, and you were dead.
It was Miss Redfern's body you found.
How about taking over here, >
fixing us some coffee and eggs? >
But I saw it with my own eyes.
I don't understand it.
Have you ever heard a ghost ask for eggs?
You'll be all right, Bessie.
Somebody should have warned her. Poor Bessie.
By the way, I've asked Waldo Lydecker to come here this morning.
Did you tell him?
Why not? It's brutal.
I'm not doing it for fun.
Why did you break your promise
and go out and see Shelby last night?
You forced me to give you my word.
I never have been and I never will be
bound by anything I don't do of my own free will.
Redfern was in love with Carpenter.
You admitted that last night.
May I have a match, please?
Oh, I'm sorry.
I also told you that he wasn't in love with her.
Just sit still.
Good morning, my darling.
Ah. Thank you.
Oh, it's on again.
Do I have to get a permit from the police department
to kiss my fiancee good morning?
So he made you change your mind.
Speaking of changing one's mind, Mr McPherson,
I've just come from my lawyer.
Yeah? Did he tell you how much you'd get off for good behaviour?
No, but he told me that anything I may have said last night
was said under duress and can't be used against me.
Besides, none of it was true.
Smart lawyer you've got, Carpenter.
Maybe he told you how that scotch got up here Friday night
after you'd bought it at Mosconi's.
Maybe it was the lawyer who brought Diane Redfern up here.
Well, McPherson, have you thought over the deal I suggested?
You want a doctor?
We'd better take him into the bedroom.
Don't try and say anything, dear.
Just be quiet.
You know, I think this is carrying things too far.
Your methods are vicious. There ought to be a law against it.
How does he feel now?
It was a terrible shock, poor darling.
Don't tell me you're in love with him, too.
Look here, fella. You're not to talk that way to Miss Hunt.
Shut up. Why do you cover up for a guy like him?
Don't answer him, Laura.
What story did he tell you last night?
Don't answer him. Let him talk to our lawyer.
OUR lawyer? So now you're covering up for each other.
Look at him, Laura. He's beginning to crack up.
He'd use anything to make an arrest
just so he can be a big shot in the headlines.
I've got enough on you to arrest you right now.
Quick, McPherson, the handcuffs.
Trundle him off to the hoosegow.
You keep out of this.
You'll look nice in bracelets, Carpenter.
Why don't you get down on all fours again, Waldo.
It's the only time you've ever kept your mouth shut.
I hope you'll forgive my wee touch of epilepsy, my dear.
It's an old family custom.
what does Laura's resurrection do to you?
Too bad Diane Redfern can't be resurrected.
I'm afraid I've interrupted what you call a pinch.
Do your duty, McPherson.
You know, Lydecker, you've made me change my mind...
for the moment.
Well, in that case,
we'll have time for a little get-together.
You'd better order some liquor and some food, Laura.
People are coming to celebrate your return -
Ann, Bullitt, and Corey, everybody.
Who asked them to come?
I did, when I was in there.
I phoned my man, and he's calling everyone.
Why did you do that, Waldo?
A sense of the fitness of things, my dear.
Perhaps our friend can weave all the loose ends
into a noose, eh, McPherson?
Sorry you went to all that trouble.
I've already called them.
You're working yourself to death, darling.
I haven't had a moment with you all day.
It's a very thirsty crowd, you know.
After all, it isn't your homecoming.
Aren't you being a little bit nasty, Ann?
I feel nasty when I don't see you.
Well, you look very sweet.
That's a completely wonderful hat, darling.
Now, if you'll forgive me, Laura wants a cocktail.
So do I.
Well, here you go.
Shelby, why don't you come to your senses?
You know it's all over between you and Laura,
or it soon will be.
You haven't lost me. Why don't we get married? Now.
But, Ann, dear, you don't seem to realise the situation.
Yes, but I do. That's why you need me.
We'll get the best lawyer that money can buy.
When it's all over, we'll go away... anywhere you want...
and forget about all this.
Well, thanks, Ann, but you see, Laura needs me.
If you don't mind, I'd like a word with Miss Hunt.
I don't mind. Talk to her as much as you like.
I see he's taking a new tack.
What do you mean?
Trying to make you like him to make you talk.
Shelby, tell me, why did you go to...
Oh, excuse me.
Why did you go to the cottage last night?
Don't you know?
I was afraid you wouldn't think of hiding that shotgun.
The one I gave you. You don't have to lie to me, darling.
I'll stand by you.
What's the matter, Laura?
Oh, I guess I'm just nervous, that's all.
So am I.
McPherson suspects Shelby.
He seems to suspect me, too.
So do some of my friends.
You? Don't be absurd.
You could never do a thing like that.
Oh, I don't think he did it,
but he's capable of it.
Are you as interested in McPherson as he is in you?
But, Ann, I only met him last night.
That's more than long enough sometimes.
Anyway, he's better for you than Shelby,
Shelby's better for me.
Because I can afford him and understand him.
He's no good, but he's what I want.
I'm not a nice person, Laura. Neither is he.
He knows I know he's just what he is.
He also knows that I don't care.
We belong together
because we're both weak and can't seem to help it.
That's why I know he's capable of murder.
He's like me.
No, dear, I didn't,
but I thought of it.
It's for you, Lieutenant.
Thank you, Bessie.
Yeah, I know. Don't worry.
I told you I'd bring in the killer today.
Yeah, I was just going to make the arrest when you called. >
No, I can't tell you now. I'm not alone. >
You'll see when I come in.
See you later.
All right. Let's go.
Oh, no! >
Oh, no. No, no. Not Miss Hunt.
Thank you, Bessie.
Now will you please be good enough to go and get me my things?
Laura, don't worry, darling.
Let them accuse you. We'll fight them.
I have every weapon - money, connections, prestige, and my column.
< Every day millions will read about you
< and rally to your defence.
You talk as if you wanted to see her tried for murder.
Yes, rather than let you blacken her name
with suspicions and rumours.
Try to prove her guilty.
Get on the witness stand with your poor shreds of evidence.
I'll expose your cheap methods you used on her.
Thank you, Bessie.
Laura, I told you to watch out for this fella.
Can we go now?
I warned you.
It's too bad you didn't open that door Friday night, Carpenter.
Wait a minute.
Oh, did he hurt you, darling?
That'll be all, Gallagher.
All right, let's have it.
Look at me.
What are you trying to do, force a confession out of me?
You've been holding out, and I want to know why.
It'll be easier for you if you tell the truth.
What difference does it make what I say?
You've made up your mind I'm guilty.
Don't tell me you have any doubts, since you...
Oh, I can't. Please.
Do I have to have those lights in my face?
No, I didn't kill Diane Redfern
or anyone else.
Why did you tell me
the radio at your country place was broken?
Because it was broken.
Not when I tried it.
Just as I was leaving the village,
I asked the local handyman to fix it.
< How did he get in?
I always leave a key under the flowerpot on the porch.
You're too intelligent to make up something I could check so easily,
but you're intelligent enough to have broken it yourself
to strengthen your story.
The main thing I want to know
is why you pulled that switch on me about Carpenter.
You told me last night you had decided not to marry him.
Yes, I guess I did.
But today it was on again. Why?
Well, I... I changed my mind.
What are you trying to hide?
Don't you realise you're involved in a murder?
You've got yourself in a jam it's not going to be easy to get out of
unless you're on the level with me.
This is no time for secrets.
Now, did you really decide to call it off,
or did you just tell me that
because you knew I wanted to hear it?
What went on between you and Carpenter when you saw him last night?
Did he persuade you to make up,
or did you agree to pretend you had?
Was that it?
Well, we...that is, both of us thought...
He convinced you that if you broke the engagement now,
people would think you believed he was guilty.
Yes, but now I know it was only because he thought I was.
Did you believe he was guilty?
No, I'm sure he isn't, but he'd gotten himself
into an awfully suspicious position,
and he's the sort of man
that people are always ready to believe the worst about.
Are you in love with him?
I don't see how I ever could have been.
Come on. You're going home.
But I thought I was...
That's what I wanted you to think,
you and a few others.
I didn't even book you.
You mean this was some sort of a game?
I was 99% certain about you,
but I had to get rid of that 1% doubt.
Wasn't there an easier way to make sure?
I'd reached the point
where I needed official surroundings.
Then it was worth it, Mark.
I'll call a cab for you.
Goodnight. I'll see you tomorrow.
I'm going over to Lydecker's apartment.
It still doesn't make sense to me, Laura.
He's playing some sort of a game with you.
I don't think so.
I don't deny that he's infatuated with you
in some warped way of his own,
but he isn't capable of any normal, warm, human relationship.
He's been dealing with criminals too long.
When you were unattainable,
when he thought you were dead,
that's when he wanted you most.
But he was glad when I came back,
as if he were waiting for me.
Do you know what he calls women? Dames.
A "dame" in Washington Heights got a fox fur out of him.
His very words.
That doesn't mean anything.
He isn't like that.
Laura, you have one tragic weakness.
With you, a lean, strong body is the measure of a man,
and you always get hurt.
No man is ever going to hurt me again.
No-one, not even you.
I...hurt you? Laura, look at me.
When a man has everything in the world that he wants
except what he wants most,
he loses his self-respect.
It makes him bitter, Laura.
He wants to hurt someone as he's been hurt.
You were a long time in finding out about Shelby,
but that's over now.
We'll be back together again.
Haven't you heard of science's newest triumph...
the doorbell? >
I don't like to remind her.
That was the murderer's signal.
Did you eavesdrop, too? I hope.
I thought you'd like to know we tested your shotgun.
It isn't the one.
Now, that's what I call a typical move,
a real key to the man's character.
First he tells you that he thinks you're innocent,
then proceeds to check up on you.
When I report that I think she's innocent,
that's my own personal opinion.
When I submit proof, it becomes the opinion of the department.
This entire manoeuvre could be a trick to get you off your guard.
It could be, but it isn't.
I believe you, Mark.
It's the same obvious pattern, Laura.
If McPherson weren't muscular and handsome in a cheap sort of way,
you'd see through him in a second.
Waldo, I mean to be as kind about this as I know how,
but I must tell you.
You're the one who follows the same obvious pattern.
First, it was Jacoby, then Shelby, and now I suppose...
< Laura, I...
I don't think we should see each other again.
You're not yourself, darling.
Yes, I am.
For the first time in ages, I know what I'm doing.
Very well. I hope you'll never regret
what promises to be a disgustingly earthy relationship.
My congratulations, McPherson.
Listen to my broadcast in 15 minutes.
I'm discussing great lovers of history.
That was the most difficult thing I ever had to do
in my whole life.
All I need is the gun.
What are you doing?
Do you know the combination to this thing?
I never knew it had one.
It must be somewhere. Look.
Have you ever seen this before?
Waldo gave you that clock, didn't he?
The doorbell rang,
and Diane Redfern went to the door in your negligee.
She opened the door. The room was dark.
Waldo saw a girl standing there,
and he assumed it was you.
He figured that if he couldn't have you himself,
he was going to make sure that nobody else did,
so he let her have it...
..with both barrels right in the face.
She fell here.
Waldo heard Shelby running from the next room,
so he hid in the stairway outside.
Shelby was scared,
so he ran out as fast as he could.
Then Waldo came back
and placed the gun in that clock.
I knew it.
I've felt it ever since I came back,
but I didn't want to believe it.
I couldn't make myself believe
that Waldo was a murderer.
Well, he is.
He didn't really kill Diane Redfern.
I killed her.
What are you talking about?
But I did, Mark.
I did, as surely as if I'd pulled the trigger myself.
That's nonsense. Forget it.
No, Mark, I can't. I'm as guilty as he is.
Not for anything I did, but for what I didn't do,
but I couldn't help myself.
I owed him too much.
I can understand that, Laura,
but I can't understand why you've tried so hard
to protect Shelby these last few days.
I was nearly frantic for fear you'd arrest Shelby.
I knew he wasn't guilty. He hasn't enough courage to kill a fly,
and Waldo was doing everything he could to incriminate him.
It was his way of getting rid of Shelby,
just as he did Jacoby.
I must say
for a charming and intelligent girl,
you certainly surrounded yourself
with a remarkable collection of dopes.
Don't touch anything. Fingerprints will be important.
I'll have the clock picked up tomorrow.
What are you going to do?
It can't be helped.
That's to make sure you're not disturbed.
If the doorbell rings, don't answer it.
I'll phone you in the morning.
Get some sleep. Forget the whole thing like a bad dream.
WALDO'S VOICE: 'And thus,
'as history has proved, love is eternal.
'It has been the strongest motivation
'for human actions throughout centuries.
'Love is stronger than life.
'It reaches beyond the dark shadow of death.
'I close this evening's broadcast
'with some favourite lines from Dowson.
'"They are not long, the weeping and the laughter,
'"love and desire and hate.
'"I think they have no portion in us
'"after we pass the gate."'
Who's tailing Lydecker?
I was going to when he came out.
He left five minutes ago.
He didn't come out this way.
Must have gone out the back way. Come on, let's check.
'"They are not long, the days of wine and roses.
'"Out of a misty dream our path emerges for a while,
'"then closes within a dream."'
That's the way it is, isn't it, Laura?
'You have heard the voice of Waldo Lydecker.
'By electrical transcription.'
Waldo, you've taken one life.
Isn't that enough?
The best part of myself, that's what you are.
Do you think I'm going to leave it
to the vulgar pawing of a second-rate detective
who thinks you're a dame?
Do you think I could bear the thought of him holding you in his arms,
kissing you, loving you?
Laura, it's Mark. Open the door.
There he is now.
He'll find us together, Laura, as we always have been,
as we always should be, as we always will be.
WALDO: Goodbye, my love.