Use the music player, bottom left, and you can read the post while listening to “NOBODY KNOWS THE TROUBLE I’VE SEEN”
FROM “DARK PASSAGE,” novel by David Goodis, screenplay by Delmer Daves:
George Fellsinger: Gert didn’t hate you. Gert just didn’t care for you. There’s a difference. She would have walked out on you if she’d have found somebody permanent. She wouldn’t frame you when she was dying. She was no prize package, but she wouldn’t frame you. Madge framed you. Madge wanted to hook you, and when she found she couldn’t have you, she framed you, sent you up for life. We both know that.
Vincent Parry: My attorney couldn’t shake her story. Maybe someday she’ll get run over or something.
AND… in case you have any doubts about David Goodis’ talent for writing great stuff:
Cabby: Where do you want to go to?
Vincent Parry: Might as well make it the police station.
Cabby: Don’t be like that. You’re doing alright. You’re doing fine.
Vincent Parry: If it was easy for you to spot me, it’d be easy for others.
Cabby: That’s where you’re wrong. Unless you’d be happier back in Quentin.
Vincent Parry: Yeah… yeah, sure. That’s why they sent us up there. To make us happy.
They don’t make ‘em like Asphalt Jungle anymore. Novel by W.R. Burnett, directed by John Huston, fantastic cast, including Sterling Hayden and Marilyn Monroe, many others. One of my favorite films noir, and it would still be so even without this great scene with Marilyn Monroe:Big Banana Head
I’ve got lots of favorite films noir and hardboiled crime novels, too many to mention… but when it comes to great dialogue, it’s really hard to beat “Asphalt Jungle.” Here are a few of my favorite lines:
▪ Experience has taught me never to trust a policeman. Just when you think one’s all right, he turns legit.
▪One way or another, we all work for our vice.
▪They’ll be paid off like house painters – they’ll be told nothing about the size of the take. Sometimes, men get greedy.
▪I haven’t carried a gun since my twenties. You carry a gun, you shoot a policeman. Bad rap, hard to beat. You don’t carry a gun, you give up when they hold one on you.
▪Dr. Swanson: He hasn’t got enough blood left in him to keep a chicken alive.
▪Cobby: Here’s to the drink habit. It’s the only one I got that don’t get me into trouble.
▪Cobby: How can things go so wrong? How is it possible? One man killed, two others plugged. I’m out thirty grand. We got a load of rocks we can’t even peddle…I must be awful stupid. Here I am with a good business, money rolling in, I-I gotta get mixed up in a thing like this. I ought to have my head examined.
▪Louis Ciavelli: If you want fresh air, don’t look for it in this town.
▪Angela Phinlay: Haven’t you bothered me enough, you big banana-head? Just try breaking my door and Mr. Emmerich will throw you out of the house!
Alonzo Emmerich: Oh, there’s nothing so different about them. After all, crime is only… a left-handed form of human endeavor.
Truck Driver: [referring to stray cats] I run over one every time I get a chance. Some people feedin’ cats and some kids haven’t got enough to eat.
Gus: [Tosses the customer out by his coat-tails] If I ever see you runnin’ over a cat, I’ll kick your teeth out.
Then we have the final act of the film, when Dix and his gal, Doll, last members of the heist team at large, get in the car and leave town on a desperate trip to nowhere. It’s surreal, lyrical, hardboiled, transcendent.
Dix: I was up on that colt’s back. My father and grandfather were there, watching the fun. That colt was buck-jumpin’ and pitchin’ and once he tried to scrape me off against the fence, but I stayed with him, you bet. And then I heard my granddaddy say, ‘He’s a real Handley, that boy, a real Handley.’ And I felt proud as you please.
Doll: Did that really happen, Dix, well, when you were a kid?
Dix: Not exactly. The black colt pitched me into a fence on the first buck and my old man come over and prodded me with his boot and said, ‘Maybe that’ll teach ya not to brag about how good you are on a horse’…One of my ancestors imported the first Irish thoroughbred into our county…Why our farm was in the family for generations, one hundred sixty acres – thirty in bluegrass and the rest in crops. A fine barn and seven brood mares…And then everything happened at once. My old man died and we lost our corn crop. That black colt I was telling you about, he broke his leg and had to be shot. That was a rotten year. I’ll never forget the day we left. Me and my brother swore we’d buy Hickory Wood Farm back some day…Twelve grand would have swung it, and I almost made it once. I had more than five thousand dollars in my pocket and Pampoon was runnin’ in the Suburban. I figured he couldn’t lose. I put it all on his nose. He lost by a nose…The way I figure, my luck’s just gotta turn. One of these days, I’ll make a real killin’ and then I’m gonna head for home. First thing I do when I get there is take a bath in the creek, and get this city dirt off me.
Finally, we have the basic lingo of the set-up for the caper. It’s poetry, man.
Doc: What boxes have you opened?
Louis: Cannonball, double-door, even a few Firechests, all of ‘em.
Doc: Can you open a vault with a time-lock and a re-locking device?
Doc: What do you use? Lock or seam?
Doc: How good are you as a pick-lock?
Louis: I can open anything in four minutes.
And nobody lives happily ever after. See you in black & white, daddy-o.