The Thin Man
1 EFFECT SHOT: THE SHADOW OF THE THIN MAN!
The shadow, grotesquely thin, is cast by one
strong light which reflects itself against a
white cement wall. When we first see the shad-
ow, it is standing upright, examining some-
thing which it holds in its hands. Now the
shadow bends down and as it does so, CAMERA
PULLS BACK TO REVEAL CLYDE WYNANT in his work-
shop. He is a tall, thin man of about fifty-
five, with white hair. He has a fine, sensi-
tive face. He is a very successful inventor.
A man who is capable of sudden fits of anger
which he forgets almost immediately, but which
are quite terrifying while they last. Just now
he is utterly absorbed in what he is doing --
working on a delicately-wired part which has to
do with a new form of combustion engine that he
has invented. (Through the entire scene, from
the first shadow effect, we hear the engine in
operation as he is working over it.) Wynant is
dressed in overalls, and possibly a long shade
over his eyes. The shop itself is in the base-
ment of a small warehouse building, in the thir-
ties between First Avenue and the East River,
in New York. It is a long and narrow machine
shop, full of interest and character in its
mechanical layout. Miniatures of engine-models
of various kinds -- vats of molten lead -- car-
bon racks -- welding instruments -- delicate
light bulbs, and such other apparatus as com-
poses a combination shop and laboratory of this
machine type. WE HOLD A MOMENT on Wynant in
the midst of an experiment over the combustion
engine. Then from the background a workman
named Tom, also dressed in overalls, a man of
about thirty-five, comes in from an adjoining
shop. He comes toward Wynant.
Tom (hesitant -- in a mild tone)
Your daughter's here, Mr. Wynant.
(then, as Wynant doesn't seem to
hear him, he speaks louder)
Wynant, startled out of his absorption, drops a
delicate piece of metal (or whatever fragile
wiring or part he would be holding), and turns
furiously on Tom.
Haven't you any more sense than to shout at me
I'm sorry... but...
Wynant (picking up the little piece --
its edges are spoiled)
Two weeks work gone for nothing.
I just wanted to tell you...
I don't care what you wanted to tell me. You're
through! Get your things and get out!
The workman shrugs his shoulders and starts
away. WE PAN Wynant to a bench on which there
are several acetylene torches. He is examining
the part as he goes, muttering and growling to
It's a good thing I'm going away -- no peace -- no
quiet. Everybody interrupting me --
2 PANNING SHOT -- DOOR TO SHOP.
DOROTHY WYNANT comes to the door and looks in.
Tom is seen taking off his overalls, prepara-
tory to leaving.
Can we come in?
Tom looks up as she speaks to him.
Did you tell him?
Sorry, Miss Wynant. He didn't give me a chance.
Dorothy comes in, followed by ANDREW READE. She
is a young girl of about twenty-one, spirited
and high-tempered like her father. She has great
natural beauty and distinction ... the crisp pro-
duct of a strict finishing school. She is
dressed in smart, simple street dress, with a
fur coat over it.
Andrew Reade is a good-looking boy fresh from
college. He gives an impression of reliability
and common sense. CAMERA PANS WITH THEM as they
go toward the workbench and Wynant.
Wynant straightens up, and as he looks and sees
that it is his daughter, his whole expression
changes. He forgets his anger. he is delighted
to see her.
Why didn't they tell me you were here?
Dorothy kisses him.
I'm sorry to interrupt your work, but this is impor-
Wynant looks over at Andrew standing behind
Dorothy. Andrew smiles at him.
How are you?
Wynant (to Dorothy - as he turns off
the combustion engine)
Another young man.
It's the same one.
Dorothy (as if she were speaking to a
child who didn't remember his lessons)
It's been the same one for three months.
(he shakes Andrew's hand)
How are you?
Take a good look at him, Dad.
(Wynant looks at Andrew and smiles)
Now please try to remember him... 'cause he's going to
be your son-in-law.
Wynant's look changes to one of serious interest.
Andrew (to Wynant -- feeling that
Dorothy has spoken too bluntly)
That is, if it's all right with you.
And if it isn't?
Dorothy (to the front!)
He'll still be your son-in-law!
Wynant (to Andrew, with humor)
You see how much we have to say.
Dorothy (puts her hand on her father's
Dad, this is what I really wanted to ask you....
Andrew, knowing that she wants to talk to
her father alone, interrupts.
Mind if I look around?
(he turns and calls off)
Oh, Tom, show this gentleman...
(he stops as he sees Tom is ready to leave)
3 FULL SHOT -- INCLUDING TOM AT DOOR
Tom is dressed in his street suit, ready to
go out. Wynant stares at him in amazement.
Where are you going?
Who fired you?
Dorothy laughs, Wynant shamefacedly joins her.
Oh, forget it -- forget it. Here ... show this
Tom beams at Wynant and starts to take his coat
and hat off as he speaks to Andrew.
Right this way, sir.
Andrew follows him out.
4 CLOSE SHOT -- WYNANT AND DOROTHY
She pulls her father down beside her on a bench,
or possibly she climbs up on the long work
bench -- shoves the acetylene torches to a
distance -- and with her arms around him affec-
Mother's set her heart on a big church wedding.
Yes, she would.
I hate all that fuss. But I'll do it on one
condition -- that you're there to give me away.
What would your mother say to that?
This is my wedding.
Wouldn't it be a little embarrassing ... all of us
there ... your other and me and your stepfather?
Dorothy (she evidently has no love
for her stepfather)
He can stay home. Please, Dad, won't you?
If you think it'll be all right.
(Dorothy jumps down from the bench
happily. She kisses him, delighted to
have won him over)
Wait a minute. When is it going to be? I'm
leaving town tonight.
Where are you going?
It's a secret. I can't even tell you, my dear.
I've got an important idea to work on.
A new invention?
(then significantly, and with measured
And I don't want anybody to steal it from me.
We were planning to be married right after Christmas.
Oh, I'll be back before Christmas.
Dorothy (brightening again)
It's a promise?
That's one thing I won't forget.
(he looks at his watch)
Where's Macaulay? I ought to be starting.
Dorothy takes his watch while he starts to
take off his overalls. There is an odd chain
attached to the watch, with links of gold,
copper, and silver. As he slips off the
overalls, he speaks to Dorothy without looking
at her, trying to keep a casual note in his
voice. CAMERA IS PANNING DURING THE SCENE.
How's your brother?
Dorothy (she looks at her father
affectionately, sorry for him)
He's all right.
WE EITHER PAN NOW ON WYNANT, OR GO TO A
FULL SHOT -- as he goes to a washstand to
clean up a bit. The basin is on the side
of the room. The washstand could, if de-
sired, be in a small closet, and the fol-
lowing dialogue is played back and forth
during this business.
I'd like to see him. Why don't you bring him
(dangling the watch chain)
You know how it is, Dad. He's sort of under
Wynant (brushing his hair a bit)
I know -- I know --
Dorothy (still monkeying with the
watch -- winding it)
You're not missing much. He's cuckoo.
Wynant comes back from the washstand --
CAMERA MOVING UP FOR A CLOSEUP ON THE TWO.
Like all the rest of us.
(he leans closer to Dorothy, speaking
Has this fellow...
(he indicates Andrew with a nod
of his head)
... has he seen the whole family?
Dorothy (nodding and smiling)
And he still wants to marry me!
He's a brave man.
They look off as Andrew enters the shop again.
5 MEDIUM SHOT --
Andrew comes over to them with added interest
Andrew (to Wynant)
I didn't know you invented that Smelting Process.
Dorothy (she holds the watch and
chain toward Andrew)
Look -- those are the first metals that came
(she indicates the links in the chain)
Andrew looks interestedly at them as she
dangles the chain before him. Wynant is
feeling his shin bone. He gives a little
grunt of pain. Dorothy turns sympathetically
Poor Dad, does that still bother you?
Only in bad weather.
But it isn't bad weather now.
Better get home before it is.
Dorothy (kissing Wynant)
Goodbye, darling. Don't you dare forget...
Wynant (to Andrew, with a warm
Goodbye, my boy. Take care of Dorothy. Show her
that there is such a thing as a happy marriage.
I'll do my best.
Dorothy and Andrew start out, saying last
goodbyes to Wynant and Tom. WE TRUCK ON THEM
AS THEY GO OUT TO:
6 STAIRWAY FROM BASEMENT TO FIRST FLOOR - TRUCKING.
(then, after a second)
Why did your mother ever divorce him? He's swell.
Wel-l-l, it seems he has a secretary.
(he turns to Dorothy, smiling)
I'll do my own typing!
They have reached the top of the stairs now and
are in a long and narrow corridor, a service
elevator at one end, and a door leading to the
street at the other.
Dorothy (looking to street ... it is
Dad's a good barometer...
(she sees a taxi draw up in front of the
Quick! -- Here's a cab.
They exit to street.
7 EXTERIOR STREET -- LATE AFTERNOON -- BLIZZARD
It is a shabby, dreary street with warehouse
and a deserted brewery. There is a driving
snow-storm. Dorothy and Andrew come out as
the cab is pulling up at the curb, and with
difficulty against the wind and driving sleet,
they go forward ready to take it. The cab
door opens and an umbrella comes out and is
opened, almost in their faces. The umbrella
completely covers the upper part of the man
who is carrying it. He turns to pay the driver.
Dorothy recognizes Macaulay and pulls up the
umbrella to speak to him under it.
Hello, there, Mr. Macaulay.
8 CLOSEUP AT CURB -- THE GROUP
Macaulay raises the umbrella, surprised. He
is a fussy little bald-headed man of about
forty, wearing glasses. He recognizes Dorothy
How are you?
(then as the snow pelts down, he starts
to hold his umbrella over her)
Here. Get under this.
Thanks... we're taking your cab.
Dorothy climbs into the cab. Andy follows
her. She snuggles close against him, cold.
Macaulay hands the driver a bill.
Macaulay (to Dorothy)
Is your father still in there?
He's waiting for you.
Did he tell you where he was going?
He wouldn't say.
(shutting the cab door)
Well, goodbye, Miss Wynant.
(then speaking to the driver as the
driver is giving him his change)
You wouldn't drive slowly, so you don't get a tip.
That's okay -- I took it!
He grins again and swings off, leaving
Macaulay looking down at the change in his
hand, indignant. THEN WE PAN WITH HIM as
he enters the building.
9 CORRIDOR FROM BASEMENT -- FULL SHOT.
Wynant comes up the stairway and starts for
the service elevator as Macaulay comes in from
outside. Wynant is now in a business suit,
but has no hat or overcoat on. He doesn't see
Macaulay. He pulls open the door of the
service elevator. Macaulay starts to run to-
ward Wynant with little fast steps, his bulky
umbrella hanging from his arm.
Mr. Wynant... Mr. Wynant!
Wynant turns, his hand holding open the
Hello, there! Come on up with me.
Macaulay follows Wynant into the elevator,
panting a little.
10 SERVICE ELEVATOR -- WYNANT AND MACAULAY.
Wynant pushes the button and the elevator
starts slowly up. The elevator shaft is vis-
ible through the wooden bars of the elevator.
Wynant stands looking down at Macaulay, amused
Did you get my money?
Macaulay (he pulls a wallet out of
his pocket and takes out a sheaf of new
bills. He talks plaintively as he does so)
I do wish you'd tell me where you're going.
I'm not telling anyone.
But suppose some business comes up...
That's just why I'm going.
Macaulay starts to count out the bills into
One hundred... two hundred... three...
Wynant (takes the sheaf of bills,
I wish you'd count them. There's a thousand
Wynant (stuffing them carelessly in
I trust you.
Isn't there anything else I can do for you? Have
you bought your ticket?
Macaulay (there is a good-humored
gleam in his eye. He sees a chance of
finding out where Wynant is going)
Well, let me do that for you.
You might do that. Get me a ticket for...
(he stops suddenly as he looks at
Macaulay and sees the eager look in
his eye -- realizes that he is about
to give himself away)
No, you don't!
They smile at each other. The elevator has
reached the third floor by this time. It
stops. Wynant gets out.
11 THIRD FLOOR CORRIDOR -- CLOSE AT ELEVATOR.
Macaulay prepares to follow Wynant, but
Wynant closes the door of the elevator,
leaving him in it.
Thanks, and goodbye.
What'll I do if something comes up?
Settle it yourself. What have I got a lawyer for?
Is Julia going with you?
Wynant reaches through the bar of the
elevator door and pushes the button
inside. The elevator starts going down during
the following dialogue. Macaulay stands
inside, bewildered and worried.
But what if you need more money?
I left instructions with Julia. She'll get it
from you. Goodbye.
Wynant strides out of the scene. The elevator
is beginning to disappear, carrying Macaulay.
Macaulay (with his face upturned, he
goes on pleading until he disappears out
of sight -- he is calling up)
You don't tell me a thing. I don't know where
you're going. I don't know when you're coming back.
I don't know how to reach you if any business turns
And the elevator goes down out of sight, his
voice trailing as it does so.
12 WYNANT'S OFFICE -- TRUCKING AND PANNING ON
As we pick him up leaning down in front of a
small safe, opening it. He is talking to his
bookkeeper, Tanner, as he does so. Tanner is
a little man with a quick eye and an eager
manner. He has his hat and coat on prepara-
tory to leaving for the day. He is closing
and locking some cabinets as the scene ensues.
(Wynant's office is of a solid rather old-
fashioned type such as would be found in a
building of this kind. It should, in fact,
have windows through which a display room
given to machinery can be seen)
Wynant (as he opens the safe)
My daughter's going to be married, Tanner. Nice
young man. She just brought him.
Tanner listens preoccupied. He seems a little
nervous about Wynant looking in the safe.
Wynant (talking right on)
I'm going to give her a wedding present. Thought
I'd better do it now, before I forget it. I can
drop them on my way to...
(by this time Wynant has pulled out a
and is puzzled to see it empty)
(he leans down and hunts through the
different papers in the safe. He doesn't
find what he wants. He turns to Tanner)
Where are those bonds?
I know I left them there.
Maybe Miss Wolf has them.
Wynant (still worried -- wonders why
Julia took them)
Maybe she has.
Tanner (picking up a baggage check
from the table)
You're forgetting the check for your suitcase.
(Wynant takes it from him preoccupied)
It's at the Grand Central.
Wynant (still preoccupied)
Oh, yes -- yes -- that's right --
(he goes out)
As soon as Wynant goes out, Tanner looks after
him. he seems worried. He looks apprehen-
sively back toward the safe.
13 A RADIO IN A NEW YORK APARTMENT -- CLOSEUP.
This is Julia Wolf's apartment, a fashionable
penthouse furnished in very new modernistic
style, but we do not reveal it as we dissolve
in. We are merely HOLDING ON THE RADIO AND
A MAN -- JOE MORELLI -- who sits in front of
it, in his shirt sleeves. Morelli is a tough
looking gangster. He has the radio on. He
is looking at a copy of Vogue. A woman's
voice comes over the scene from off stage.
How do you want it?
(turning a page of Vogue -- holding
it up to the light. Through the transparent
page, the corsets show through under the
Do women really wear them things?
Suddenly there is the sound of a key in the
door. Morelli looks up quickly, his hand going
to what we know is his gun, in his hip pocket --
AS CAMERA PULLS BACK RAPIDLY TO REVEAL:
14 FULL SHOT OF THE APARTMENT -- A PENTHOUSE --
WE HOLD FOR A MOMENT as Morelli rises noise-
lessly and stands there, alert and ready for
anyone. NOW CAMERA SWINGS RAPIDLY OVER TO THE:
15 DOOR -- CLOSE SHOT ON WYNANT.
As he enters, having used his own key. He still
seems occupied, and doesn't see Morelli as he
comes through. CAMERA SWINGS RAPIDLY BACK TO:
16 CLOSEUP ON MORELLI -- BEFORE THE RADIO.
He stands there, quietly menacing, his hand
on his hip.
You're in the wrong place, mister.
17 FLASH WYNANT -- CLOSEUP.
Wynant looks off at him, surprised and
18 FLASH MORELLI -- CLOSEUP.
AS WE PAN HIM FORWARD a few steps. He gives
Wynant a savage double-O.
What's on your mind? What do you want?
Who is it, Joe?
That's what I want to know.
19 MEDIUM SHOT -- THE APARTMENT.
As Julia comes into the room, with two drinks
in her hand. She is a woman of about thirty.
She is in very elaborate lounging pajamas,
her hair is too well waved, her nails too red,
her eyebrows too delicately arched. But she
has the look of a hard businesswoman under-
neath it all. She looks disturbed as she sees
it is Wynant.
We're just having a little drink.
So I see.
Morelli looks from one to the other. In
Wynant's attitude of displeased propietorship,
he gets his hint of who he is. he reaches for
his coat over the chair and starts to put it
(her eyes still on Wynant)
See you later, Joe.
Morelli looks from one to the other, and then
slowly gets his hat and starts out.
Sorry. I didn't know I was talking to the boy
He walks carelessly and arrogantly out of
the door, slamming it after him.
CAMERA MOVES IN FOR A CLOSE SHOT OF JULIA
AND WYNANT. She puts the drinks down.
She tries to ignore Wynant's very evident
Who's that man?
He's not anybody. Just a fellow I used to know.
I thought you'd given up that sort of friend.
This is the first time I've seen him in years. I
didn't want him to think I was high-hatting him.
I don't like him.
(moving over to him, trying to
Don't worry. You won't see him again.
(she tries to take Wynant's coat and
What happened? Did you change your mind about
No. I just came back for a second. I wanted to
get those bonds.
(she controls her fear under an air
The government bonds. The ones you took from the
Oh yes. Why, you told me to sell them a long time
(in a level tone)
I'd never tell you to sell those. I bought them
for my daughter.
Don't you remember....
Now see here, Julia. You're counting a little too
much on my being absent-minded. You've been taking
a little here and there for some time, and I haven't
said anything about it. But this is fifty thousand
(flying into a temper to try to hide
Do you realize that you're accusing me of ....
No one else had the combination of that safe. You
took them. What did you do with them?
Julia (in a fury)
What if I did take them? I'm sick and tired of
seeing you hand out thousands of dollars to that
family of yours....
That's my business.
(going on without listening to him)
-- supporting that gang of loafers! There's not one
of them that cares a damn for you. A wife who threw
you out the first time your foot slipped. They
wouldn't raise a hand to help you. And I've given
my whole life for you. If you kicked off tomorrow,
where'd I be? Out in the gutter!
Sure I took those bonds. Who has a better right -- ?
WE HOLD A MOMENT. There is a slight pause,
then Wynant quietly, and unheeding all that she
has said, starts for the phone. WE PAN HIM
OVER AND HOLD as he picks up the phone (but not
the receiver as yet) and speaks off to Julia:
I want that money right now, or I'll hand you over
to the police.
(o.s. -- not believing that he will do it)
(lifts phone from receiver now --
They'll be pretty rough with you....with your record.
CAMERA PULLS BACK, and Julia hurries into the
Thats a fine thing to throw up to me after all
I've been to you....
Wynant (in phone)
Hello .... give me ....
(Julia grabs the telephone from him, in
a fury. She puts it down. Puts the re-
ceiver in place. They stand facing each
Well .... ?
Julia (in a surly tone)
I'll give it back to you .... all I've got ....
twenty-five thousand ....
(he takes her by the wrists, gripping her
hard, trying to force the truth from her)
You're going to return every cent of it!
Julia (flashing again)
I can't! I haven't got it!
What did you do with the rest?
I never had it.
The telephone rings.
Then someone was in with you. Who was it? -- Who
(Julia makes a move to answer the phone
which rings again insistently)
I'll answer that --
(he picks up the phone)
Hello ... hello ...
20 TELEPHONE BOOTH -- PUBLIC PAY STATION.
A weasel-faced little man, Nunheim, is in the
booth at the phone, but as he hears Wynant's
voice say "hello", he very quietly pulls down
the hook for the receiver and places the re-
ceiver gently on it. He turns away.
CUT BACK TO:
21 JULIA'S APARTMENT -- CLOSE SHOT AT PHONE AGAIN.
Wynant is clicking the receiver up and down,
as he repeats several times, sharply:
Hello ... hello ... hello ... HELLO ....
Then, evidently hearing the sound of the re-
ceiver being replaced, he impatiently puts the
telephone down and turns back to Julia.
You don't need to tell me. I have a pretty good idea.
And with this WE PAN HIM as he puts on his hat
and starts to walk out of the apartment -- with
determination and a menacing purpose in his face.
What are you going to do?
Wynant turns at the door and smiles - a terrify-
ing smile - and walks out. The CAMERA SWINGS
QUICKLY BACK TO JULIA. She looks after him
terrified as we
CUT OR DISSOLVE TO:
22 A STREET AT NIGHT -- LIGHTING EFFECT.
Wynant strides down the street, his long,
lean, narrow form casting a long shadow on
the snowy pavement. THE CAMERA HOLDS IN A
RUNNING SHOT ON THE SHADOW as it elongates
still further, and finally disappears.
(NOTE: We should get the above shadow effect
through heavy snow, (via reflection of street
lamps). The idea and mood here of the shadow
of the "thin man" as it strides rapidly through
the night is purposely intended for a necessary
23 FADE IN:
CLOSEUP OF A CHRISTMAS WREATH.
The wreath is enormous, and under the conven-
al greeting: "A MERRY CHRISTMAS", which is
in silver across it, there is a current uncon-
ventional greeting also in silver, which
(This slogan to come)
On sound track behind the shot an orchestra
is playing gaily. Possibly an arrangement that
Lombardo would make on "JINGLE BELLS, JINGLE
BELLS". There is also the sound of gay chat-
ter and jingles of many cocktail shakers. NOW
CAMERA PULLS BACK TO REVEAL THE BAR OF A
SPEAKEASY, or, to be more up to date, the bar
of a Biltmore or a Waldorf Astoria Hotel. It
was against the glass of the bar that the
Christmas wreath was first shown. It is about
three o'clock in the afternoon. Almost all of
the people sitting on the high stools in front
of the bar are women. Several bartenders are
shaking cocktails. The music, which, by the
way, comes from an adjoining tea dansant room,
continues. There is a holiday air about the
whole place. A sophistication and a gaiety
belonging to thirsty New York of the present
moment. CAMERA RUNS DOWN THE LINE OF THE BAR
AND HOLDS AT THE END, where a bartender is
placing two cocktails on a tray held by a
waiter. WE TRUCK ON THE WAITER as he takes
the tray into the adjoining room. The room
is quite filled with the afternoon tango
crowd, and several couples are danicng on the
floor. WE HOLD as the waiter stops at a small
table along the wall. Dorothy and Andrew are
seated there. Dorothy is looking very glum.
Andrew (putting his hand on hers)
Cheer up, darling.
Dorothy tries to smile, but it's a dreary
attempt. The waiter puts down the cock-
tails and leaves.
Andrew (holds up his glass)
Here's to us!
He drinks his cocktail. Dorothy takes a
sip of hers. Andrew goes on talking,
trying to get her out of the doldrums.
By this time next year, we'll be two old married
people ... trimming the tree ... hanging up the stock-
ings for the children ...
(then as she looks up)
... well, the child, then.
Dorothy tries to smile, but she is worried,
and cannot enter into his fun. She puts her
What's the matter, darling ... not sweet enough?
It's all right.
(NOTE TO VAN: If you want them to get up and
join the dancers, it can be done at this
point. After Dorothy says, "It's all right",
Andrew says, "Come on, let's dance. I've got
to get you out of the dumps somehow" -- and
pulls her to her feet. The following scene
continues now, as follows, in a PANNING SHOT
OF THEM DANCING.)
(leaning forward -- serious now)
Darling, your father's all right. He'll turn up in
(turns to him -- suddenly distraught)
But tonight is Christmas Eve!
He's just forgotten. You know he forgets everything.
He's never forgotten a promise to me. I'm worried
about him. I know something's happened to him.
She looks off scene toward the bar. Suddenly
her attention is riveted on someone.
What could happen to him, darling? You mustn't
(then as he half rises, he continues)
What is it?
Just a minute...
She leaves the table -- her eyes still fixed
eagerly on the man she has seen. WE TRUCK
AND PAN WITH HER as she goes forward to the
bar. And as she comes in, we see her re-
act eagerly as she confronts a good-looking
man of about thirty-five, tall, casual, and
worldly wise, who is standing in front of the
bar, his face reflected in the mirror. This
is NICK CHARLES.
Nick (to the bartender)
Another Martini --
24 CLOSEUP AT THE BAR -- NICK AND DOROTHY
Nick Charles turns to her. He smiles at her.
He hasn't the faintest idea who she is, but
he's not going to discourage such a pretty
(then over his shoulder to the bartender)
Make it two!
(then back to Dorothy)
How are you?
Dorothy realizes that he hasn't any remem-
brance of her.
You know, we know each other.
Of course we do! We've been friends for years.
Aren't you Nick Charles?
(his face changes. He realizes that
she does know him)
You don't remember me..... I'm Dorothy Wynant.
The bartender sets the drinks on the bar
before Nick, who looks at Dorothy puzzled,
trying to realize that this is the child
he used to know.
Not that scrawny little....?
(he puts out his hand as if measuring
a little girl's height)
How did you ever remember me?
I was fascinated with you.... a real live detec-
tive.... You used to tell me the most wonderful
stories. Were they true?
Andrew comes up to them. Dorothy turns to
Andy... this is Nick Charles. He worked on a case
(shaking hands with Andrew)
Yes. Some nut who wanted to kill him.
(then to Dorothy)
How is your father?
That's what I was going to ask you. he's dis-
Andrew (to Dorothy)
Now don't say that -- he's just off somewhere work-
Dorothy (to Nick)
I can't find him. I've tried everything. I
thought you might know.
I don't know anything -- I've been in California
for four years. What about his lawyer? Used
to be a guy named Mac-- something.
That's it... Herbert Macaulay.
I tried him once -
Why don't you try him again?
(digging in his pocket)
Here's a nickle.
Andrew gives her a nickle and she goes off.
Now that she has gone Andrew drops his
pretense of minimizing her father's failure
to appear. he steps up close to Nick.
She's got me worrying, too.
(easily, as he reaches for his cocktail)
(NOTE: During the entire play, Nick
is always reaching for a cocktail!)
Don't start worrying about him. He's a good guy,
(impressed by what he has just heard)
Why did that man want to kill him?
Said he stole his invention.
Do you suppose..... ?
The bartender is placing more drinks in
front of Nick.
(deciding he is silly to get
You better take a drink.
He hands him one of the cocktails.
As they start to drink, a commotion is
heard offscene ... a dog barking ... men's
voices raised in protestation ... and a
a woman's voice above it all. It is NORA,
Asta! Where are you going? Asta!
Bartenders, as well as Nick and Andrew,
look off toward the commotion.
25 ENTRANCE OF THE BAR -- FROM
THE CLOAK ROOM OR CORRIDOR.
NORA CHARLES, Nick's wife, is coming through.
She is a woman of about twenty-six... a tre-
mendously vital person, interested in every-
body and everything, in contrast to Nick's
apparent indifference to anything except when
he is going to get his next drink. There is a
warm understanding relationship between them.
They are really crazy about each other, but
undemonstrative and humorous in their compan-
ionship. They are tolerant, easy-going, taking
drink for drink, and battling their way to-
gether with a dry humor. Just now Nora has
been shopping. Her arms are full of small
packages. Her hat is askew. She is pulled
along bodily by a small white Sealingham on a
leash. A doorman and a hat-check clerk are
following her, protesting at her bringing the
dog into this fashionable hotel. The dog is
Madame, you can't bring that dog in here!
I'm not bringing him. He's bringing me!
(then to the dog)
But the dog pays no attention. He pulls her
like a streak out of the scene toward the bar.
Nora's packages are left in a trail behind her
as she stumbles after him. The attendants
follow after her, picking up the parcels and
But Madame... dogs aren't allowed....
It isn't only your dog... but if we started....
Madame, you dropped your package.... etc.
26 BAR -- CLOSE SHOT
As Asta, the dog, rushes in, still with Nora
on the other end of the leash. The dog makes
a bee-line for Nick, pulls away and -- ker-
plunk! -- he leaps clear up into Nick's arms.
He is barking with delight. He seems to have
a particular desire to lick Nick's nose. Nora,
more dishevelled than ever and breathless,
enters, panting. She realizes that this was
So it's you he was after!
(indicating the dog)
He's dragged me into every gin mill on the block.
I had him out this morning.
I thought so. He even tried to drag me into the
(stopping her to introduce Andrew)
Oh, this is Andy --
Nora and Andy smile at each other.
How're you, Andy?
(hastening to add)
I don't usually look this way, but I've been
One of the attendants who followed Nora comes
up. He hands Nora several of her packages.
Madame, I'm afraid you'll have to....
It's all right, Joe. It's my dog...
(and as an afterthought, waving
his hand at Nora)
....and my wife.
You might have mentioned me first.
He's well-trained. He'll behave himself.
As long as there isn't a fire hydrant. What I've
gone through --
He might bite someone.
He's all right.
(He puts Asta down on the floor.
He speaks to the dog)
Now lie down.
(Asta looks up at him, wagging his tail,
but making no move to obey him. Nick speaks
with more authority)
(still Asta looks fondly up at him, with-
Well then, stand up!
(then triumphantly to Joe)
The attendant laughs and moves off.
Dorothy comes toward them from the telephone
booth. She seems a little more cheerful. Andrew
watches her anxiously.
He's just around the corner.
No. The lawyer -- I'm going to see him.
Nick realizes that Dorothy and his wife have not
met. He makes the introduction very casually,
waving his hand to indicate Nora.
Oh, my wife -- Dorothy Wynant.
The two women smile in acknowledgment. nora
looks at Dorothy with warm interest.
How do you do? I'm sorry we have to rush.
We're at the Normandie for a couple of weeks. Why
don't you drop around?
Thanks. We will. Goodbye.
The two go quickly off. Nora looks after them.
If you like 'em like that.
Nora (grinning at him)
You got types?
Only you, darling... lanky brunettes with wicked
Who is she?
I was hoping I wouldn't have to tell you. Dorothy
is really my daughter. You see, it was Spring in
Venice, and I was so young. I didn't know what I
was doing. We were all like that on my father's
By the way, how is your father's side?
Much better, thanks.
How many drinks have you had?
Nora (to the waiter, ordering)
(then to Nick)
You're not going to have anything on me.
As she hugs the bar, her foot on the rail,
in imitation of Nick
27 CLOSEUP OF AN ICE BAG.
Nick's hands are screwing the cover on the
ice bag. CAMERA PULLS BACK TO reveal him in
the bathroom of his suite at the Normandie.
He has just filled the bag from the wash
basin which is full of ice. THE CAMERA
TRUCKS with him as he goes into the bedroom
and over to the bed.
28 CLOSE UP OF ASTA.
He is sitting on the foot of the bed, his
head cocked, looking anxiously at Nora at
the other side of the bed.
29 CLOSE SHOT - AT BED.
Nora is lying on the bed, dressed as we saw
her in the last scene, except for her hat.
Nick comes in and puts the ice bag on her
head. Nora opens her eyes and speaks feebly
What hit me?
Nick (grinning at her)
That last Martini.
Asta, delighted that Nora is all right, rushes
to her, and licks her face.
Nora (struggling to get up)
I can't lie here. I've got to get up and trim that
darned Christmas tree.
Take it easy.
The doorbell of the apartment rings. Nick
starts into the next room. Nora looks off
perturbed. She doesn't feel up to visitors.
Nick (as he walks out)
30 LIVING ROOM OF SUITE - (SKYLINE THROUGH
In one corner of the living room is an enor-
mous Christmas tree, without any ornaments on
it. The room is a mass of boxes and excelsior.
Nick comes from the bedroom and opens the outer
room. Macaulay stands outside, his eyes
blinking behind their glasses, in friendly wel-
come. CAMERA MOVES UP FOR CLOSE SHOT ON THE
How are you?
Nick (he is surprised but recognizes
him after a second and is cordial)
Hello, Macaulay. Come in.
Macaulay (as he comes in)
Dorothy told me you were here. I was going to
That's all right. What are you drinking?
WE PAN Nick over to a table where there are
bottles of Scotch and ice and syphons of
Nothing, thank you. Nothing.
(Nick pours himself a drink as Macaulay sits
I wanted to see you... What's Mimi up to, Charles?
(for a minute he doesn't realize who
... Oh, Dorothy's mother. Does she have to be up
She usually is. Trying one way or another to get
money out of Wynant. I wanted to find out if you
were er - er -
(he hints for the word)
--sleuthing for her.
I haven't been a detective for four years.
You don't say --
(pressing syphon of seltzer)
My wife's father died and left her a lumber mill
and a narrow guage railroad and a couple of other
things. And I'm looking after them.
I see. I see.
Nick (coming over to him)
What's all the fuss about? Is he in hiding?
You know as much about it as I do. I haven't
seen him in three months.
No word at all?
He sends word through Julia Wolf when he wants
money... I give it to her and she gives it to
The telephone rings. Nick goes over to
it, speaking to Macaulay as he goes.
So that's still on?
(he picks up the phone)
Nora's Voice (o.s.)(she has
answered the phone in the next room)
Hello.... just a minute.
Nick, who has listened on the phone, holds
it out toward Macaulay.
It's for you.
(Macaulay gets up and starts for the
Macaulay takes the telephone. Nora appears
in the doorway to the bedroom. She has a box
of Christmas tree ornaments in her hand. The
ice bag is tied on her head, slightly askew.
She is followed by Asta.
Is there a Mr. Macaulay in the house?
(she looks over and sees Macaulay at the
Oh, it's you.
Macaulay (into the telephone)
Then he turns to Nora. In his desire to be
polite, he almost misses both the intro-
duction to Nora, and his telephone call.
Macaulay (to Nora)
How do you do?
(he turns hastily back to the telephone.
Nora walks out of the scene, toward the
What did you say?.... He is?.... Where is he? Very
(he hangs up and turns to Nick)
He's back in town....
(then as Nick looks mystified, he adds:)
Wynant. Thank heaven. He's waiting for me now.
(then realizing that Nora doesn't know
what he is talking about)
Forgive me, Mrs. Charles... but I've been so upset.
It's no joke working for a man like that. I must
(he starts for the door, which Nick opens
Macaulay shuts the door after him only to
open it again.
Macaulay (sticking his head in)
He shuts the door again.
During the above, Nora has started to decorate
the tree. She is standing on a chair, a
couple of Xmas ornaments in her hand, reach-
ing toward the top or the tree.
If anyone says "Merry Christmas" once more, I'll
Nick starts to the telephone directory.
Iím going to telephone that poor kid.
(he searches in the directory for a
At least she'll be glad to know he's alive.
Asta is sniffing around the bottom of the
31 CLOSE SHOT OF NORA.
She has two different ornaments in her
hand, trying to decide which to put on the
top of the tree.
Shall I use this.... or this?
(she looks down at Asta, who is out of
sight. She speaks sharply)
(she returns to her trimming, muttering
Our nice Christmas tree.
32 CLOSE SHOT OF NICK - PHONE.
He has dialed his number. He speaks into the telephone.
May I speak to Dorothy ----
33 MEDIUM SHOT - JORGENSEN APARTMENT.
Mimi Jorgensen, formerly Mrs. Clyde Wynant,
is at the phone. She is a slightly faded,
but still very pretty woman of about forty-
one or two. She is utterly feminine, with
bright, little ways of talking and moving. She
distrusts all women, even her daughter Dorothy,
and treats all men with a flirtatious condes-
cension, as if they were children. The only
thing she really has any emotion about is her
present husband, who she adores. She is
terrified that he will leave her, knowing,
although she won't admit it, that he married
her for her money.
The living room of her expensive apartment
reflects her personality. It is a modernized
Victorian, full or alabaster lamps, curved
soft chairs and gleaming satin.
Mimi is answering the telephone. Dorothy
stands in the doorway, listening to her
mother as she takes off her hat and coat. She
is dressed in the same clothes in which we
saw her at the hotel.
(as she hears that it is Nick Charles, her
voice takes on a flirtatious note)
How are you?.... Oh, I'm Mrs. Jorgensen now....
(she sees Dorothy out of the corner of
her eye, but pretends that she doesn't
know she is there)
No, she isn't here.
(Dorothy moves toward the telephone)
Is it about her father? Well, can I take the message?
(taking the phone from her mother)
Give it to me.
(into the phone, pretending surprise)
Oh, here she is.
Reluctantly she gives the phone to Dorothy.
She stands close to Dorothy, trying to hear
34 CLOSEUP NICK - PHONE.
I just wanted to relieve your mind. Your father's
alive and all right.
35 JORGENSEN'S - CLOSE AT PHONE.
(her face lights up with relief)
Oh, thank heaven.
Mimi (whispering to Dorothy)
What is it? Has he found him?
Dorothy (into the phone, not paying
attention to her mother)
Do you know where he's living?
(for a moment she cannot help but feel hurt)
(then she realizes how selfish her feeling
Well, at least I'm glad he's all right. Thank you
for calling. Goodbye.
She hangs up. Mimi eagerly questions her,
What is it?
Gilbert comes into the room. He is a boy of
about seventeen or eighteen. He wears
spectacles. He is slight in build. The two
women don't notice him.
That isn't true. It was about your father. Where
He's all right. Isn't that enough?
You just want money -- and you haven't any right to
any more. He made a big settlement on you.
That's gone long ago. I've got to see him. Where
I won't have you hounding him any more for money.
Gilbert (to his mother)
I'll tell you.
Dorothy (turning on him acccusingly)
You've been listening again on that extension.
Gilbert (very simply)
Of course. What's an extension for?
Mimi (to Gilbert, who is evidently
her favorite of the two children)
What is it, Gilbert? Tell mother! What did he
He said that father's in town. He's been seeing
Julia right along.
She could tell you where father is.
Mother .... you couldn't do that. You couldn't go
I didn't say I would. But we've got to have money.
Did it ever occur to you that Chris might work?
Mimi (looking fearfully off scene)
CAMERA SWINGS RAPIDLY OVER TO:
36 BACK OF A SOFA
From the sofa a man rises with languid
dignity. It is Chris Jorgensen. He is
younger than Mimi. A very handsome man, but
one whom you could know at first sight that
you could not trust.
Mimi's Voice (o.s.)
Jorgensen pays no attention to Mimi. He
throws Dorothy a deadly glance and walks with
hurt dignity out of the room, carrying the
newspaper he has been reading. CAMERA PULLS
BACK FOR THE GROUP AGAIN:
37 DOROTHY, MIMI AND GILBERT
Mimi looks after Jorgensen, fearfully. She
turns to Dorothy.
You've hurt his feelings!
She hurries out of the room after Jorgensen.
Dorothy looks after them, disgusted. Gilbert
watches Dorothy with detached, scientific
You know, you have an Oedipus complex and you won't
Dorothy (this is the last straw)
Oh, please, Gilbert!
She starts out of the room but Gilbert con-
tinues to talk to her, although she is not
paying any attention.
The trouble with you is that you won't face facts.
I know I have a mother fixation... but it's
slight...... it hasn't yet reached the point of...
Oh stop it! Stop it!
Dorothy walks out. Gilbert looks after her,
bewildered by her lack or scientific interest.
38 JORGENSEN'S BEDROOM - MEDIUM
Jorgensen is standing in front of the mirror,
adjusting his tie. Mimi comes in, very much
perturbed. She goes to him affectionately.
Jorgensen realizes his power over her and
Don't mind what she says, Chris.
How can I help but mind? I'm constantly humiliat-
ed... just because I haven't money.
I'll get some.
You've said that for weeks.
Why don't you go to see Julia? She handles his money.
All right. All right.
I couldn't go near that woman.
I said all right!
He picks up his hat and coat from a chair.
Mimi watches him anxiously.
What are you going to do?
Just what I said I'd do.
Mimi (in a panic, she pleads)
You wouldn't do that... you wouldn't!
Jorgensen (coldly - quietly)
Wouldn't I. Just watch me.
Mimi (almost crying)
Chris -- Chris -- !
But Jorgensen walks out.
39 OUTSIDE JORGENSEN'S DOOR - HALL.
Jorgensen strides out of the door and down
the hall. Mimi comes to the door.
But Chris pays no attention. Mimi, distrait,
goes back into his room. As she closes the
door, we see Gilbert come out from behind
the open door, where he has been listening.
40 JORGENSEN'S ROOM AGAIN.
Mimi stands irresolute for a minute, then
goes to the telephone and dials a number.
Mimi (on telephone)
Miss Wolfe? Well this is Mrs. Jorgensen... I
wonder if I may see you?
41 JULIA'S APARTMENT - CLOSEUP AT PHONE
Julia is evidently very much startled by Mrs.
Jorgensen's calling her.
Why yes .... yes.....
She puts down the telephone, thinking hard,
worried by the idea or Mrs. Jorgensen's impend-
ing visit. Suddenly she makes up her mind
and hastily dials a number.
42 MIMI'S LIVING ROOM
Mimi gets up from the telephone. There is a
look of grim determination on her face.
43 DESK OF JULIA WOLFE'S APARTMENT HOUSE.
There is a clerk, standing behind the desk, and
a telephone operator at a small switchboard.
Mimi is standing in front of the desk.
What is Miss Wolfe's apartment number?
Mimi turns and walks across the lobby. The
CAMERA TRUCKS with her. As she goes toward
the elevator, Albert Nunheim is seen coming
down the last steps of the stairs, out of her
sight. He is a weasel-faced, little man with
a long nose, weak mouth, and a shifty look
in his eye. The clerk's voice comes over the
SOUND TRACK calling after Mimi.
Clerk's Voice (o.s.)
Who shall I say?
44 CLOSEUP OF NUNHEIM ON STAIRS.
Mimi's Voice (o.s.)
Miss Wolf expects me.
As Mimi says "Miss Wolfe", Nunheim stiffens
and pulls back against the wall. He waits
there until he hears the sound of the elevator
He is evidently terrified by something that
he has seen. He waits to be sure that Mimi
has gone up in the elevator and then, with a
furtive glance at the desk, CAMERA PULLS BACK
AND PANS WITH HIM as he sneaks out and down
the stairs on the other side of the elevator
shaft leading down to the basement.
45 NINTH FLOOR OF THE APARTMENT HOUSE -
Mimi gets out of the elevator and goes to the
door of the apartment 9-A across the hall.
She rings the doorbell. There is no response.
She rings again, a lock or grim determination
on her face.
46 EXT. OF BASEMENT ENTRANCE OF APT. HOUSE
Nunheim comes out of the entrance, looks
furtively up and down the street. He takes
out a cigarette, lights it, and then, with a
pretense of being casual, walks off down the
47 EXT. OF DOOR OF APT. 9-A
Getting no response to her ringing, Mimi is
knocking on the door. She is furious with
Julia for not letting her in. Still getting
no answer, she tries the door. She is sur-
prised to find it is open. She looks up and
down the hall and then decides to investigate.
She walks in.
48 LIVING ROOM OF JULIA'S APT. -
TRUCKING AND PANNING;
Mimi comes into the room. She shuts the door
slowly behind her. She looks curiously around
the room, interested to see what kind of a
place her ex-husband has furnished for Julia.
Seeing no one in the room, she goes through it
toward the bedroom. As she gets to the door
and looks curiously in, she stiffens and screams.
49 JULIA'S BEDROOM - FROM MIMI'S ANGLE
On the floor of the ornate bedroom, Julia
Wolfe's dead body lies, stretched out. She
has been shot. She is dressed as she was
when she answered Mimi's telephone call.
50 REVERSE CLOSEUP - MIMI IN DOORWAY
For a minute, Mimi stands in the doorway look-
ing down at the body, rooted to the spot with
horror. Then she looks around for the tele-
phone, sees it beside the bed, and rushes
to it, CAMERA PANNING.
Quick! Quick! Send somebody up here right away.
Something terrible has happened!
She replaces the receiver. For a second, she
stands still, her back to the body. But her
curiosity finally overcomes her terror, and
she goes slowly back toward the body.
She stands looking down at Julia, a million
speculations and suspicions going through her
mind. Suddenly her eye fastens on something
in the dead woman's outflung hand. Her eyes
widen with horror. She makes up her mind to
take the object, which we do not see. Look-
ing around quickly to see if no one has come
in, she reaches down, takes it from the girl's
hand, and stuffs it in her hand bag. She
straightens up, CAMERA PANNING QUICKLY UP FOR:
51 CLOSEUP OF MIMI.
She stands clutching her bag, her eyes wide
with horror at the realization of what that
piece of evidence means. She is trying to
formulate a plan of action as we:
SLIDE OVER TO:
52 HOMICIDE BUREAU - POLICE HEADQUARTERS.
Several officers are sitting around talking.
The way these dames get by with things makes me
The telephone rings. Another officer answers
Yeah? -- Julia Wolfe, 145 West 55.
(as he hears the address he writes it
1st Officer (sitting up)
2nd Officer (he replaces the re-
ceiver and turns to the other officer)
Here you are.
He gives the officer the paper.
What is it?
A dame -- murdered.
That's more like it.
The 1st officer goes quickly out.
SLIDE OVER TO:
53 MACAULAY'S LAW OFFICE - CLOSE SHOT.
Macaulay is sitting at a flat desk, with some
papers in front of him. A stenographer is tak-
ing dictation. The inter-office communicator
buzzes. Macaulay leans over pulls the switch
and listens. A girl's voice comes over the
Girl's Voice (o.s.)
Telephone, Mr. Macaulay.
Macaulay (frowning in annoyance at the interrupt-
Who is it?
Girl's Voice (o.s.)
With a puzzled frown, Macaulay picks up the phone.
(then with an awed surprise)
Murdered! ... Yes, yes, I'll be right over.
He gets up.
SLIDE OVER TO:
54 SPEAKEASY - CLOSE SHOT OF NUNHEIM AND MARIAN.
They are in a booth at a speakeasy. Marian
is a big-boned, full-fleshed, red-haired wo-
man of about twenty-eight, handsome in a
rather brutal, sloppy way. Nunheim has a
satisfied smile on his face.
Where you been?
A waiter comes and puts two beers in front
of them. He stands waiting to be paid.
Out making some money.
Marian (holding out her hand)
Let's see it.
I haven't got it yet.
Marian gives him a dirty look and takes a
quarter out of her purse and throws it down
to pay the waiter for the beers.
SLIDE OVER TO:
55 HALL - OUTSIDE JULIA'S APARTMENT
Two old wispy cleaning women in aprons with
pass keys on thin belts are standing talking
with their heads together outside of Julia's
1st Cleaning Woman
What're you goin' to tell 'em?
2nd Cleaning Woman
(wiping her forehead with a dust cloth)
I guess you got to tell 'em everything.
1st Cleaning Woman
Do you think Mr. Wynant....?
2nd Cleaning Woman
All I know's they had an awful fight a while ago.
A police officer comes to the door of the
apartment. He beckons to them.
All right, girls.
Without realizing the humor of the "girls",
they start in.
SLIDE OVER TO:
56 STUDSY'S CABARET - FULL SHOT.
It is in a flashy Broadway cabaret. On the
dance floor about ten girls in practice
clothes are rehearsing a new routine. A man
is mechanically playing the piano for them.
Several waiters are decorating the room with
greens and Christmas wreaths. It is late
afternoon, and the place has no customers in
it. The chairs are piled on the tables.
Morelli is sitting at a table. The waiter is
placing a bottle of Scotch and a glass before
him. Studsy comes up to the table. Studsy
is a powerfully built man of about fifty who
looks forty. He is a little fat now, but not
soft. Morelli looks up as he comes to the
table. CAMERA MOVES UP FOR CLOSE SHOT ON
He starts to pour a drink.
(looking at Morelli very closely)
Diden you know Julia Wolfe?
(a guarded tone in his voice)
Somebody just bumped her off I thought you'd
like to know.
Studsy walks away. Morelli slowly drinks
his liquor, his eyes fixed on space, think-
SLIDE OVER TO:
57 JULIA'S BEDROOM AGAIN - MEDIUM SHOT.
The Medical Examiner, Dr. Walton, is leaning
over Julia's body. An officer is sitting in
front of Julia's desk, looking through her
papers and letters and throwing them to one
side as he reads them. John Guild, a burly,
laconic, Special Investigator is in charge
of the investigation. He is questioning
Macaulay, who is sitting facing him.
When was the last time you gave her money for
Yesterday. I gave her a thousand dollars.
(calling over his shoulder to the other
officer at the desk)
Seen any signs of it, Bill?
Perhaps it was a robbery.
Aand her with that sparkler on her hand, and thirty
dollars in her purse? Looks to me like our
friend Wynant came to collect and ran into a
They say downstairs they haven't seen him in three
There's a lot of things they don't see in this
(he turns back to Macaulay)
And you say you haven't seen him or heard from him
in that time?
I said he hadn't written me.
Oh, then you did hear from him?
(he hesitates to tell something which
seems to incriminate Wynant)
He telephoned me today.
(leaning forward eagerly)
I wasn't in. My secretary took the message. He
left word for me to meet him at the Plaza.
When was that?
Did you go?
Yes. But he didn't show up.
An officer comes from the living room.
His house and his shop is closed. And he ain't
at any hotel.
You're not going to stop at that, are you?
The officer goes out again. Guild turns back
(eagerly defending Wynant)
I know he'll turn up as soon as he sees this in
the papers. You can't think he had anything to do
with it, Mr. Guild. He wasn't the kind of man
Do you know what they fought about that night he
(frowning as he realizes that this
I didn't know they had a fight.
Well, thanks. We'll call you when we need you
Macaulay gets up to go.
58 CLOSEUP - MEDICAL EXAMINER
He is leaning over Julia's body.
Mr. Guild, here's something very interesting...
As Guild walks into the shot, we:
59 MEDIUM SHOT - JORGENSEN'S LIVING ROOM.
Mimi is in the midst of telling her experience.
Gilbert, Dorothy and Jorgensen are listening.
Mimi still has her hat and coat on. She has
just come in. She is seated, on the edge of her
chair, enjoying the recital. Jorgensen stands
at the window.
---- and there she was lying dead. The police said
she'd probably been killed about ten minutes before
I got there.
(turning around - speaking with
I thought you said you weren't going there.
Why, you said...
(who is tremendously interested)
Did they find any clues... a gun or fingerprints or
(very glibly - remembering what
she has in her purse)
Not a thing.
Was there much blood?
Don't. It's horrible.
Nonsense! She got at she deserved.
(to Mimi, not accusingly, but with
scientific detached interest)
Did you kill her?
Why not? You had a perfectly good motive.
I hope you won't talk that way to the police when
they come here.
60 CLOSEUP OF JORGENSEN.
There is a guarded look of terror in his eyes.
The police. I thought you said they'd finished with
Mimi's voice (o.s.)
They said they'd finished for the present.
The thought that the police might come
to the apartment increases his fear.
61 MEDIUM SHOT INCLUDING MIMI,
DOROTHY AND GILBERT.
Mimi is watching Jorgensen anxiously.
Well, I've got my alibi. I was at the Public Library.
Where were you?
(hastily, with her eyes still on Jorgensen)
Children, will you go into the next room? I want to
talk to Chris alone.
At that minute the front door bell rings.
Mimi looks toward the door, wondering who
(going out to answer the ring)
I'll be in my room.
He goes quickly out.
62 HALLWAY OUTSIDE JORGENSEN APARTMENT.
Guild and Bill are standing outside the
door of the Jorgensen's apartment. Gilbert
opens the door of the apartment.
Is Mrs. Jorgensen in?
(delighted to see then)
Yes, come right in!
The two officers go in and the door closes
behind them. From a door beyond, the service
door of the apartment, Jorgensen comes out,
putting on his hat and coat as he comes. He
doesn't wait for the elevator but starts
down the stairs.
63 LIVING ROOM - JORGENSEN'S APARTMENT
Guild is seated uncomfortably on one of
Mimi's delicate chairs, opposite Mimi.
Gilbert is standing, listening eagerly.
Dorothy sits nearby, her mind deeply
Mimi is a little frightened, but she hides
it under a pretense of wanting to do all
she can to help. Dorothy sits listening.
(as scene picks up)
There are a few things we want to check up on.
You say you were in the room with the body
from the time you discovered it 'til we came?
Did you see anything in Miss Wolfe's hand?
Are you sure you didn't leave the room... that one
of the bellhops or maids might not have been
in there alone?
(grabbing at the opening he has
I don't think so. Of course I was terribly
upset... I hardly knew what I was doing.
The Medical Examiner seems to think that the body
was touched. He says it looks as if the girl's
hand had been forced open after she was killed....
64 CLOSEUP OF DOROTHY
She is listening intently.
Guild's Voice (o.s. continued)
And we just found out she had a thousand dollars
the night before.
Dorothy looks toward her Mother, her eyes
wide with horror.
Mimi's Voice (o.s.)
I'm sorry I can't help you.
65 MEDIUM SHOT OF GROUP
Guild rises and starts for the door. Bill
turns to follow him.
That's all right.
(slight pause -- His eyes swiftly
scrutinize the group)
Well, we'll be going.
Guild and the officer go out.
66 HALLWAY OUTSIDE JORGENSEN APARTMENT
Guild and Bill come out, followed by Gilbert.
Guild goes to the elevator and rings the bell.
Could I go down and see the body? I've never
seen a dead body.
(for a minute he is curious, thinking
there may be some reason)
Why do you want to?
I've been studying psychopathic criminology. I
have a theory. Perhaps this as the work of a
sadist or a paranoiac. If I saw it, I might be
able to tell.
The elevator comes up.
(pretending to be as serious as Gilbert)
That's a good idea. But don't you bother to come
down. We'll bring the body right up here.
(he gets into the elevator)
Come on, Bill.
They leave Gilbert, uncertain whether he
is being kidded or whether they mean it.
67 MIMI'S BEDROOM - PANNING SHOT
The door is closed behind her. She goes to
a small wall safe and opens it. Then she
opens her bag and is about to put the thing
she took from Julia's hand wrapped in a
handkerchief, into the safe, when she is
startled by Dorothy's voice.
Dorothy's Voice (o.s.)
What have you got there?
(she turns in the direction of
None of your business.
Dorothy comes up to her mother and speaks
You took that money from Julia's hand.
Then what are you hiding?
(with malicious relish)
It's a piece of evidence that's worth a great
deal more than that.
(with bitter contempt for her other)
You hand that over to the police.
I'll do nothing of the sort.
All right, then. I'll tell them.
(very sure of her ground)
I don't think you will. It's your father's.
I don't believe it! You're lying!
(viciously pleased at breaking
Dorothy's faith in her father)
She holds out the broken end of the watch
chain that we saw Wynant carry, wrapped in
a handkerchief which is spotted with blood.
Dorothy looks at it, and recognizes it
(covering her face)
Now do you believe me!
FAST DISSOLVE TO:
68 LIVING ROOM - NICK'S APARTMENT.
It is eight o'clock the same night... about
two hours later.
There is a party in full swing. It is an odd
assortment of people. There is a police cap-
tain there, a reminder of Nick's old life.
A little prizefight manager with a big
fighter in tow. Quinn, a dissipated looking
man of about thirty-five, and his wife, a
rather faded woman of about thirty-two, very
jealous of Friend Husband. Quinn is a broker,
and the only one in evening clothes. Then
there is Foster, a big fat man, who sits near
the radio, a glass in his hand. With every
sip, he grows more sentimental, as he lis-
tens to the program of Christmas carols that
are coming over the radio. There is an
improvised bar with everything in the way
of liquors and necessary accompaniments on
it. Nick is moving among the people, seeing
that they are served. Nick goes over to
Mrs. Quinn, giving her one of the drinks
he is carrying. Mrs. Quinn is looking
around rather fearfully at the curious
assortment of people in the room.
(giving her a drink)
How are you doing?
(looking around disapprovingly)
Who are they, Nick?
All my old friends.
He smiles and passes on to another group.
Among them is a very rough looking man with
a battered face. He turns to grin at Nick
showing a mouth with several teeth missing.
Hey, Nick. I think your wife's great.
Thanks. I wanted you to see her... and I wanted her
to see you.
Nick goes on to speak to the Police Captain
who is standing talking to a very distin-
guished looking woman, in evening clothes.
It's like old times, Nick. Remember the fun
we used to have when we were both flat broke?
(with a sentimental sigh)
Those were the good old days.
Don't kid yourself. These are the good old days.
Nick goes on his way to another group.
The CAMERA PANS OVER TO NORA at the door.
She opens it to admit Face Peppler. He is a
tough-looking ex-convict. He looks eagerly
around the room.
Nick Charles here?
You his wife?
Peppler (giving her an approving
pat on the posterior)
He's a good guy.
(his eyes are eagerly searching the
room for Nick)
He sent me up the river once.
(he sees Nick coming toward him, and
with the greatest good will and
enthusiasm, he greets him)
It's a long time I don't see you.
A long time.
Well, I needed the rest.
Nora (to Peppler - indicating Nick)
Was he a good detective?
I wouldn't know. That time he caught me was a
accident. I led with my right.
Come on. Have a drink.
He takes Peppler by the arm out of the
scene as WE PAN NORA TO THE TELEPHONE. She
picks up the receiver, her eyes on the odd
mixture of people assembled.
Nora (in phone - philosophically)
Don't bother to announce any more. Just send any-
body right up.
(then as the clerk evidently tries to
I know. But it's all right. They're his friends,
69 TABLE - CLOSE SHOT
Nick is pouring a drink for Face. The little
prizefight manager comes up to him with a
great hulk of a fighter in tow. (The contrast
in sizes is amusing.)
Like to buy a piece of this pug, Nick? I'll sell
you twenty-five percent of him for five grand.
Is he good?
He's been knocking 'em cold. He ain't afraid of
(the fighter reaches for a drink. The
manager turns on him fiercely)
Drop that, or I'll slug you.
The fighter, cowed, meekly puts down the
drink. Nick laughs, hands Peppler a drink.
Nick (to Peppler)
Here you are -- it's good stuff -- I got it before
The girl in very beautiful evening clothes
with a string of pearls around her neck comes
over to Nick and Peppler. She holds out the
pearls for Nick's attention.
Look, Nick. Remember? These are the ones you got
back for me.
Peppler looks at them with a professionally
Nick (to Peppler, warningly)
Ugh-ugh! This is your night off.
Suddenly the music of the radio stops as it
is switched to another station. The voice of
a news broadcaster comes over.
--32 degrees below in Utica. Here's the latest
news of the Julia Wolf murder.
(Nick turns as he tears this. The CAMERA
TRACKS with him as he goes toward the
radio. The police captain is listening
there... he is the one who has changed the
The police have found out that the beautiful blonde
secretary was once a gangster's girl. They are now
looking for the gangster. Clyde Wynant, the girl's
employer is still missing. This case will....
(By this time, Nick reaches the radio.
He abruptly turns the switch, changing
back to a musical program.)
Nick (to the captain)
Can't you fellows ever forget business?
He hands the captain a drink.
Good case for you, Nick.
Haven't you heard the news? I'm a gentleman now.
Nora's Voice (o.s.)
70 DOORWAY - MEDIUM SHOT
Nora has admitted two young newspaper men
who are standing in the doorway. Nick walks
over to them.
I'm from the American, Mr. Charles.
We wanted to know if you'd give us a statement.
We hear you're here to work on the Julia Wolf case.
Sorry. I don't know anything about it.
Come on, gimme a break.
I never tried to kid you reporters -- I'm telling
you the truth.
Then why are you in town?
My wife's on a bender. I'm trying to sober her up.
Nora sticks up her nose, laughs, goes over to
the table. WE PAN as Nick leads the reporters
there too. Quinn and one or two of the others
also are imbibing.
Nick (as they get to the table)
Come on -- relax --
(then to Nora)
Give them a drink.
We need ice.
Nick picks up a drink, already poured for
Nick (looking at the glass in his
What small glasses you have, Grandma.
He goes off toward the service pantry with
the drink in his hand.
1st Reporter (to Nora)
Listen, isn't he working on a case?
Sure. He's working on a case of Scotch. Pitch
in and help him.
She goes off toward the service pantry.
Mrs. Quinn comes up with her glass. Quinn
looks appreciatingly after Nora.
Quinn (to is wife, indicating Nora)
Isn't she grand? I take off my hat to her.
Mrs, Quinn (acidly)
Your hat! You're getting conservative!
71 SERVICE PANTRY
It is a tiny room with cupboards, a sink and
a miniature Frigidaire. Nick is getting ice
cubes out of a tray. Nora comes in with a
glass in her hand.
I'd better order some food.
(to Nick - as she takes receiver)
That sounds like an interesting case. Wouldn't
you like to take it?
I haven't the time. I'm much too busy seeing that
you don't lose any of the money I married you for.
Nora (to phone)
Room service, please -
She talks to Nick as she waits to get the
connection. She watches him covertly as she
she is sure that he would love to go
back to "sleuthing", and she'd enjoy being
in on it with him...she is trying to sound
Sounds like a good case. Girl mysteriously murder-
ed. No one knows who did it. They haven't found
any clues yet -- no gun -- no fingerprints --
Nick (with a gleam of interest)
I wonder if they've --
(He looks at Nora and suddenly realizes
that he is getting interested. He jerks
himself out of it)
I don't want to hear anything about it.
He picks up the ice and Nora's drink.
Isn't that my drink?
What are you drinking?
Nick drains the glass and puts it down.
Yeah -- that's yours.
He walks out as Nora turns laughing to the
Nora (in phone)
Listen - I want a whole flock or sandwiches --
72 LIVING ROOM.
Nick comes in with the ice. The doorbell
rings. Nick puts down the ice and starts for
the door. As the CAMERA TRUCKS with him he
passes the telephone table. Foster is sitt-
ing there. The radio music has put him in a
Foster (at telephone - to Nick)
I'd like to telephone my mother... wish her a
Go ahead, Foster.
'Fraid I can't pay --
CAMERA CONTINUES TO PAN WITH HIM as he goes
on to the door. Just as he is about to open
it, he hears Foster's voice, o.s.
Foster (to phone)
Long distance -- give me San Francisco --
Nick looks off, winces a little, good-humored-
ly. Then he opens the door and is surprised
to see Dorothy Wynant standing there. She
is white-lipped, miserable and desperate.
Nick looks at her, a little worried by her
Come on in.
I've got to see you alone!
Nick realizes that something is definitely
Quinn (voice o.s.)
Nick turns as he hears Quinn's voice.
73 FULL SHOT -- GUESTS AND REPORTERS.
Quinn is coming toward them, a drink in his
hand. His eyes are fixed on Dorothy. The
two reporters also are coming forward. Their
curiosity quite different from Quinn's, for
they realize her identity and the possibili-
ties of a story.
Nick (rushing her toward the bedroom)
Go on in there.
He opens the door and she goes in. Nick is
about to follow her when Quinn stops him.
Who's the little blonde?
Used to bounce it on my knee.
Which knee? Could I touch it?
Nick laughs and enters the bedroom. Quinn
tries to follow, as do the reporters who have
come up, but Nick shuts the door in their
faces. Quinn, startled, knocks on the door.
Dorothy is standing near the bed. She holds
herself taut and stiff. She is determined
that she is going to sacrifice herself to
save her father. Nick comes up to her.
You heard about Julia Wolf?
Dorothy (she pulls a gun from her
(she throws it on the bed. Nick looks
at it, and then back at her. His look
is very cool and unexcited)
What are you trying to tell me? That you did it?
Dorothy (she has her story all set
and she speaks with very convincing
Yes. I hated her for coming between my mother
and father. She kept me from seeing my father. I
went down there to ask her where he was. She
wouldn't tell me, and I shot her.
Nick (with sudden professional
Where did you hit her?
Dorothy (she hesitates)
Why... in the heart.
Pretty good shot you are. What did she do?
She fell down.
Did she make any sound? Didn't scream?
(the horror of it makes her inarticulate)
I don't know.
Which way did she fall?
She... she fell over backwards.
Oh, yeah? People fall toward a shot, you know...
not back from it. I knew you were lying.
Dorothy breaks down, realizing that her
attempt to take the blame is futile. Nick
goes and holds her comfortingly in his arms.
Where did you get this gun?
I bought it in a pawn shop.
Don't lie to me.
That's the truth.
At this point Nora enters. She holds a drink
in her hand. Nick looks up -- makes a little
grimace at Nora. Dorothy turns and sees her.
She pulls away a little.
This is awful of me -- to make a nuisance of myself.
Don't be a dope. Have a drink?
Dorothy tries wanly to smile.
She fumbles in her bag to find her powder.
Nick is looking curiously at the gun, turn-
ing it over in his hand.
Nora (to Dorothy -- pointing to dressing table)
There's powder and stuff over there.
Dorothy walks toward the table.
Nick (looking up -- indicating drink Nora has)
Make her take that.
Nora sees the gun now, is amazed.
Where did you get that?
Nick (indicating Dorothy)
She brought it in.
(slips it into the drawer of a table)
Trying to make me believe she did it.
Nora (as he puts the gun away)
What are you going to do with it?
Nothing, 'til I find out if it's the gun Julia
Wolf was killed with.
(he starts for the door to the living
Keep her in here, and don't let those reporters
see her. They might believe her.
He goes out the door, and closes it hastily
behind him. Nora goes toward Dorothy.
75 LIVING ROOM
There is a hotel service table, piled high
with food, in the room. The people here all
eating, standing around with drinks in their
hands. As soon as Nick opens the door to come
out, the reporters pounce on him.
Isn't that Dorothy Wynant?
(the first reporter makes a move to go
past Nick to the bedroom, Nick bars the
Here...here. She doesn't know anything about it.
And you said you weren't on the case.
He goes off quickly toward the telephone.
I'm not. I don't know a thing about it, and I don't
care a thing about it. All I want is a drink.
Foster has at last been able to get his
mother in San Francisco.
Foster (on the phone)
The reporter comes rapidly into the shot. He
tries to take the telephone from the other man.
Give me that.
Foster (holding on to it, protesting)
But I just got San Francisco ...
How are you, Ma?
Reporter (taking the phone from
him, he speaks into it)
Get off the line, will you, Ma? I got some business.
(he jiggles the hook for the operator)
Give me Drydock 4 - 8000.
77 CLOSE SHOT AT TABLE
Quinn is standing beside Nick. The doorbell
(to reporter over at telephone)
Hey, don't do that!
(he is pouring a drink)
Now don't tell your paper that I'm working on
anything, 'cause I'm not.
Nick goes offscene toward the door. The
bell rings again.
He's just working on that little gal.
78 FULL SHOT.
Nick opens the door. Mimi and Gilbert are
outside. Mimi instantly rushes in greets him
effusively. Gilbert is left standing in the
Oh, Nick... Nick!
I want to talk to you about something very im-
The first reporter has forgotten his telephone
call. He is all ears. Nick looks around
desperately, and takes Mimi roughly by the
arm and rushes her into a doorway next to the
door of the bedroom.
Come on in here.
As Nick brings Mimi into the bathroom, she
looks around; bewildered.
Sorry. This is the only place we can be alone;
Won't you sit down?
He waves airily off scene, presumably toward
the seat, Mimi follows the line of his hand,
looks, starts and gives him a cutting look.
80 DOORWAY OF LIVING ROOM.
Gilbert is standing hesitantly in the door-
way. The first reporter suddenly sees him.
He hasn't noticed him before. He goes quick-
ly to him.
How do you do, Mr. Wynant.
(he takes Gilbert cordially but firmly
by the arm and brings him into the room)
My name is Diamond. Come on in and have a drink.
I don't drink.
As a matter-of-fact, I don't either. I'd much rather talk...
He starts for a quiet corner -
Mimi and Nick are sitting on the edge of the
Clyde Wynant's crazy... absolutely crazy to stay
away at a time like this. No wonder the police think
he has something to do with it.
What do you think?
Oh, I know he didn't, but I wish I could find him...
I have something very important to tell him.
Macaulay won't help at all. He thinks I just
Nick (smiling at her)
Well, don't you?
(choosing to regard this as a joke)
You're always teasing.
The door of the bathroom opens. Foster starts
to come in. He stops suddenly as he sees Mimi.
I beg your pardon.
He backs hurriedly out. Mimi moves closer
to Nick, takes his arm.
Nick, you will help me find Clyde -- won't you?
Now, Mimi, there are a thousand detectives in
New York. Hire one of them.
But he knows you. All you have to do is get in
touch with him, and tell him that Mimi says every-
thing is all right... but that I've got to see him.
I tell you again, I don't want any part of it.
(he goes and opens the door which
connects with the bedroom)
Now you take Dorothy home and...
Dorothy! Is she here?
Nick (startled by her tone)
Mimi pushes into the bedroom, past him.
82 BEDROOM - MEDIUM GROUP
Dorothy and Nora are sitting on the bed.
Asta is between them. Dorothy is patting
Asta, still looking very subdued and unhappy.
Nora holds out the glass toward her.
If you finish this, you'll feel better.
In the mirror in back of them, we see Mimi
coming toward Dorothy, a look of fury on her
face. Dorothy looks up at her Mother as she
comes into the scene, a little terrified by
her Mother's expression. Mimi comes right
to Dorothy and stands over her. She is sure
that Dorothy has told Nick about the watch
What did you tell him? What did you tell him?
Dorothy doesn't answer. Her Mother slaps
her viciously, repeating the question. Nick
comes up from behind Mimi and pulls her away.
Nora puts a protecting arm around Dorothy.
There is a second of silence as Dorothy and
Mimi face each other, all of their mutual
antagonism in their eyes. Asta starts bark-
ing. Nora quiets him.
She didn't tell me a thing.
Nora (drily to Mimi)
Too bad you didn't bring your whip.
Mimi (recovering herself)
I'm so excited I didn't know what I was doing.
Come on, Dorothy, we'll go home.
Nora (sharply to Mimi)
She'll go home if she wants to.
(she turns with warm affection to Dorothy)
You can stay here you know. There's plenty of
room and we'd love to have you.
Thanks. But I'll go home.
She stands up to go. Mimi looks around.
(this is the last straw)
Gilbert! Is he here too?
(he starts toward the living room)
We might as well be living in the lobby.
Gilbert is sitting in a corner of the
room with the two reporters. They
have their pencils out, taking down the
rapid flow of words that come from Gil-
There's a physiological as well as a psychological
angle in my father's relationship with Julia
Wolf that the police have overlooked. And I
think it explains everything. You see, my
father was a sexogenarian.
(deeply interested, not knowing the
meaning of the word)
Yes. He admitted it.
(speaking very solemnly - thinking it is
some sex perversion)
Sexogerarian, eh? Yes. Yes. But I can't put
that in the paper.
You know how they are... sex...
Then just say he was sixty years old.
Is that what it means?
The reporter gets up, furious. He throws
his pad to the floor. Nick comes into the
scene. He goes to Gilbert.
(to Gilbert - amused at the reporter's
Come on, son.
He takes Gilbert by the arm and pushes him
into the bedroom and closes the door on him.
The telephone starts to ring. The two reporters
follow Nick as he goes toward the telephone.
Come on.... give me a break. You owe it to me
I swear I haven't a thing to do with it.
(He picks up the telephone. The 2nd
reporter listens, unashamed)
84 BIG CLOSEUP - NUNHEIM AT A TELEPHONE.
He is in a room telephoning. The background
is not distinguishable. He is evidently
talking for the effect on someone else in the
room whom we do not see. He looks at the
man out of the corner or his eye as he
Mr. Charles, I'd like to lay a proposition before
you. I can't discuss it over the telephone, but
if you'll give me half an hour of your time... it's
about the Julia Wolf....
At that a hand comes in, covers the mouth-
piece, preventing any further conversation.
Nunheim, still in this big closeup, looks
o.s, at the invisible man and grins sardoni-
85 NICK AT THE TELEPHONE
Then as he gets no answer, he hangs up.
The 2nd reporter jumps to him.
What was it?
Just a man trying to sell me insurance.
86 WIDE ANGLE - THE ROOM
Nora comes out of the bedroom door. Quinn
comes up to her. Mrs. Quinn, starts listen-
Where's that girl?
How'd they go?
Out the back way.
The two reporters, without a word, grab
their hats and coats and rush out. Quinn,
too, brazenly starts to breeze past his
wife and follow them. Mrs. Quinn steps
in front of him, slaps his face. Foster, again
at the phone, whines out: "Hello, Ma!"
And simultaneously, during this confusion,
the radio starts to play "Silent Night,
Peaceful Night" -- as the police captain, the
pug, Face Peppler, and all others immediately
join in with the song. They are all pretty
tight by this time and sing at the top of
their lungs. The effect desired is a screwy
climax to what has been quite a hectic, screwy
situation. CAMERA PANS WITH NORA as she takes
it all in at a quick glance and walks over
to Nick. She puts her arms around him. He
looks down at her, amused.
CAMERA MOVES UP FOR A BIG CLOSEUP OF THE TWO.
I love you, Nickie, 'cause you know such lovely
As we DISSOLVE TO:
87 CLOSE SHOT OF BED - EFFECT SHOT.
It is about an hour later the bedroom is dark
for a second. Then, Nora on one side of the
big double bed, pulls on the light on the small
table beside her. She sits up a little and
looks over at Nick. He is soundly sleeping, his
face toward her. She has Dorothy on her mind
and can't sleep and she wants company.
(he doesn't stir)
(he looks sleepily at her)
Are you asleep?
Good. I want to talk to you.
Don't you think you'd like to go back to detecting
once in a while, just for the fun of it?
Can't you get to sleep?
Nick (sitting up in bed)
Maybe a drink would help you.
Maybe it would if I took it.
CAMERA PULLS BACK as he gets up out of bed and
goes to the bureau where there is a bottle and
a glass. Asta jumps down and follows him. Nick
pours himself a drink. Asta stands there,
licking Nick's bare feet.
Everybody says you were a grand detective.
Nick (taking his drink)
They were kidding you.
I'd like to see you work.
Tomorrow I'll buy you a whole lot of detective
Nora is determined to get Nick to help Dorothy.
She tries another approach.
That poor girl is in a tough spot.
Nick (coming back to the bed)
There's nothing I can do to help her.
Asta jumps on the bed, goes and curls himself
up at their feet.
She thinks you can. It wouldn't hurt you to find
out if you could, would it?
(getting back into the bed)
Darling, my guess is that Wynant killed Julia and
Dorothy knows it. And the police'll catch him
without my help.
I think I would like that drink.
(Nick gets up again and goes to get her
I'll give you your Christmas present now if you'll
give me mine.
Nick (pouring a drink)
He brings her the drink. She takes it from
him and he gets into bed.
But it's Christmas now.
Nick (briefly, as he prepares
to go beck to sleep)
What are you going to give me? I hope I don't like
You'll have to keep them anyway. The man at the
Aquarium said that he wouldn't take them back.
Nora looks over at him, disgusted. She puts
down the drink and pulls out the light.
After a second, there is a knock heard from the
next room. Nora pulls on the light. She turns
Did you hear a knock?
Nick looks up. The knock comes again. Nora gets
up, takes a robe from the foot of the bed, pulls
it on and goes out. As she does so, Nick
reaches over, takes her drink and finishes it,
then turns over again to go to sleep.
88 DOOR OF LIVING ROOM,
Nora has put on the lights as she came through
the room. She opens the door. Joe Morelli is
standing outside. He wears a black derby hat,
which he doesn't remove and he has his hands
in the pockets of his close fitting black over-
coat. Nora looks at him with lively curiosity.
She is too fond of adventure as well as too brave
to scream when she sees his menacing figure.
Mr. Charles here?
(his manner is very urgent)
I gotta talk to him... that's all. But I gotta do
Nora looks at him for a second.
You wait here. I'll tell him.
She goes toward the bedroom.
89 THE BEDROOM.
Nora enters, calling to Nick.
(Nick stirs and opens his eyes)
There's someone to she you,
That's great. I was afraid I'd have to go to sleep.
But as Nora moves away to get back into bed,
we see Morelli has followed her into the
bedroom and is standing pointing a gun directly
at Nick, with a menacing intentness in his
90 WIDE ANGLE - THE GROUP.
Nora, entirely unconscious of Morelli's
presence and the gun in his hand, swings
into bed beside Nick. Nick is looking
fixedly at the gun. Nora looks at him,
amused by his expression, not knowing the
You've got the funniest look on your face.
She follows the line of Nick's gaze, and her
eyes pop with amazement as she sees Morelli
with the gun.
91 REVERSE ANGLE - CLOSEUP ON MORELLI.
He holds the gun leveled at Nick.
I gotta talk to you. I want you to tell me
something and I want you to give it to me
straight. Get me?
92 REVERSE CLOSEUP - NICK AND NORA
Do you mind putting that gun away? My wife
doesn't care, but I'm in a delicate condition.
93 MEDIUM SHOT AGAIN - GROUP
Nora looks at Nick, appreciating his humor
in the midst of his danger.
(Asta begins barking at Morelli)
Asta! Stop that! Get down!
(she chases him off the bed. Asta jumps
down out of sight. Morelli still has
his pistol pointed at Nick.)
Now, stay there.
(to Morelli - seeing that Asta is down)
All right... shoot!
(then realizing the double meaning, he
I mean... what's on your mind?
You don't need to tell me you're tough. I heard
(He puts the gun in his overcoat pocket)
I'm Joe Morelli.
Nora watches the scene between the two
men. She is excited, but apparently not
I've never heard about you.
I didn't knock Julia off.
All right - you didn't.
I haven't seen her in three months. We were all
Why tell me?
I wouldn't have any reason to hurt her. She was
always on the up and up with me. But that dirty
little Nunheim -- he got sore cause I clicked with
her and he didn't, so he put the finger on me.
That's all swell. Only you're peddling your fish
in the wrong market. I've got nothing to do with
(his intense excitement increasing)
Listen. "Studsy" Burke told me you used to be
O.K. That's why I'm here. Do they....
(in a tone of polite enquiry)
How is Studsy? I didn't know he was out of stir.
He's all right. He'd like to see you. But listen...
What's the law doing to me? Do they think I did it,
or is it just something else to pin on me?
I'd tell you if I knew. But I'm not in this. Ask
That'd be very smart. That'd be the smartest thing
I ever did. Me that a police captain's been in a
hospital three weeks on account we had an argument.
The boys would like to have me come in and ask
questions. They'd like it right down to the end of
their blackjacks. Now I come to you on the level.
Studsy says you're on the level. Be on the level.
I am on the level. If I knew anything I'd....
Over the SOUND TRACK there is a sound of
knuckles rapping sharply on the door.
Morelli's gun is in his hand before the
rapping stops. His eyes seem to move in
all directions at once.
(with a snarl to Nick)
(shrugging his shoulders)
This is your party.
The sound of the knuckles come again, and
someone speaks outside.
Guild's voice (o.s.)
Open up. Police.
(as he raises his gun to fire at Nick)
You two-timing --
Nick shoves Nora's face, knocking her out of
bed and across the room with his left hand, and
throws a pillow at Morelli with his right just
as Morelli fires. Nick sprawls out of bed,
making a dive for Morelli and catching his
ankle. The two men fall to the floor. Morelli
clubs Nick with his revolver, and Nick fights
him with his one free hand.
Guild, two policemen, and the hotel manager rush
into the room. They pitch in and drag Nick
and Morelli apart.
94 CLOSE SHOT -- NORA ON FLOOR
She is in a faint as Nick, comes quickly up
to her. The hotel manager follows him and
stands looking down solicitously. Nick
leans down over her.
She doesn't move.
What knocked her out?
I did. She was in the line of fire.
(turns, points to liquor bottle)
Hand me that bottle.
(turns back to Nora, begins working on her)
Better get a doctor.
The hotel manager goes quickly out. Nick
tries to get Nora to take a drink of whisky.
She opens her eyes. She puts her hand up to
her cheek where Nick hit her. Then, as Nick
watches her anxiously:
You darn fool -- you didn't have to knock me out.
I knew you'd take him, but I wanted to see you do
95 FULL SHOT -- INCLUDING GUILD, MORELLI AND
Morelli is standing handcuffed between the
officers. Guild looks admiringly at Nora as
Nick is helping her to her feet.
There's a gal with hair on her chest.
As Nick pulls Nora up, she looks at the coat
of his pyjamas, where a streak of blood has
started to come through.
Nora (for the first, time horrified)
Nick follows her eyes down. For the first time
he realizes that the bullet has touched him.
It's all right. It just grazed me.
Someone get a doctor.
There's one coming.
Well, quick -- get into bed. Are you all right?
Nick (going toward the bed)
Sure -- I don't even feel it.
I'll get some towels.
(she goes quickly into the bathroom)
Nick gets into bed. Guild comes over - looks
at the wound. The CAMERA PANS AWAY from
Well, it was close, but you're all right.
Morelli's voice (o.s.)
Policeman's voice (o.s.)
Over the SOUND TRACK we hear the policeman
slap Morelli's mouth.
Nora comes back from the bathroom with some
towels. Nick puts a towel over the wound,
and sits propped up in bed.
I'll be all right. Don't let's fuss till the
Want a drink?
Nora goes out of the scene.
Nick (to Guild)
How'd you people happen to pop in?
We hear this is getting to be sort of a meeting
place for the Wynant family, so we figure we'll
stick around in case the old man himself shows
up. Then we seen him...
(he points to Morelli)
...sneak in and we decide to come up. And pretty
lucky for you.
Yes. I might not have been shot.
We were looking for this bird.
That little rat Nunheim --
(then to Nick - indicating Morelli)
This guy a friend of yours?
I never saw him before.
What's he want of you?
Wanted to tell me he didn't kill Julia Wolf.
What's that to you?
What'd he think it was to you?
Ask him. I don't know.
I'm asking you.
Keep on asking.
Guild (to one of the policemen)
We'll frisk the dump.
Not without a warrant.
So you say -
Go on, Bob.
The policeman starts to search the room.
Guild decides to change his tactics.
Listen, Mr. Charles. I guess we're both of us going
about this wrong. I don't want to get tough with you,
and I guess you don't want to get tough with me.
There's just one one question I want to ask you. Are
you going to swear to the complaint of him shooting
That's another one I can't answer right now. Maybe
it was an accident.
Nora comes over with the drink for Nick. She
hands it to him, as she speaks.
Nora (to Guild, indicating Bob)
What's that man doing in my drawers?
Nick, hearing this, chokes on his drink.
96 BUREAU - CLOSEUP.
Bob is searching in the drawers of the bureau.
He finds the pistol that Nick left there and
brings it to Guild. CAMERA PANS HIM OVER.
Here you are, Lieutenant.
Guild takes the gun, looks at it and turns to
Nick. Nick - not knowing whether or not the gun
is evidence, is slightly apprehensive. He watches
Have you got a pistol permit?
Ever heard of the Sullivan Act?
Nora (a little confused about the
That's all right. We're married.
Guild gives her a sharp look, and turns
again to Nick.
This gun yours?
Who's is it?
I'll have to try to remember.
Oke. There's plenty of time. I guess we got to ask
you a lot more questions than we counted on. We'll
come up tomorrow when you're feeling better.
(He turns to the officers and Morelli)
The four men go out. CAMERA MOVES UP FOR
CLOSEUP OF NICK AND NORA. She is sitting
beside Nick on the bed.
I wish that doctor'd come. How do you feel?
He'll be here. Give him time to get his trousers
on. Where's Asta?
97 FOOT OF BUREAU - PANNING ON ASTA.
As the dog comes slowly out from under the
bureau, looking a little scared and shame-
faced. He comes toward Nick, jumps on the
bed beside him and licks his face.
You're a fine watch dog.
He's got more sense than you have. Thank Heaven
you're not on this case.
On it! I'm in it ... They think I did it!
Well, didn't you?
Nick throws a pillow at her.
98 FADE IN:
CLOSEUP OF CHRISTMAS TREE.
It is noon. The sun is streaming in. Most of
the bells on the Christmas tree have been
broken. There is one large ball still intact.
Over the SOUND TRACK we hear the pop of an
air rifle. The big ball splinters.
The CAMERA PULLS BACK to show Nick lying on
the sofa in a dressing gown, with the air rifle
in his hand. He uses only his right hand on
the rifle. Across his chest, on the left,
there is the indication of bandaging underneath
his pajamas. On the floor beside him are piles
of newspapers. The telephone is on a table
near his hand. The room is littered with
tissue paper and ribbon from the opened
Christmas presents. There is a breakfast table
at one side, with the emptied dishes covered
by a napkin. Nora is sitting smoking. She is
wearing a very lovely fur coat over her
negligee. She is reading a tabloid newspaper,
the headlines and pictures of which exploit
the Julia Wolf murder.
(looking fondly at the rifle)
This is the nicest present I ever had.
Nora puts down her paper. She comes over to
Nick on the sofa. She has a bunch of holiday
telegrams in her hand. She starts to pick up
the newspapers which almost cover Nick. She
has a very lovely wrist watch on. Nick sees
it -- takes her hand and examines it.
I never saw that before.
No. It's a Christmas present.
Who gave it to you?
You must admit I have good taste.
Finished with these?
Yes. I know all they know about the murder. And
I'm a great hero. The Tribune said I was shot
As he talks, Nora throws the papers to the
floor and sits down at the other end of the
couch, putting her slippered feet comfortably
in Nick's lap. She starts to open, the
I read you were shot five times in the tabloids.
That's not true. He never came near my tabloids.
(he takes aim again with his gun)
That's one thing I always protect... my tabloids.
As he is just ready to shoot, the CAMERA PANS
over to his target. It is a large balloon
that Asta is chasing around the room. We hear
the "pop" of the rifle and the balloon ex-
plodes, to Asta's astonishment and chagrin.
Asta starts looking for the lost balloon.
99 NICK AND NORA - CLOSEUP.
The telephone rings - Nick reaches over and
picks it up.
Hello... send him up.
Nora reads the telegrams and hands them to
Nick at the other end of the sofa as she
finishes. He takes them as she gives them to
him, and throws them on the floor without
looking at them.
(as she reads one)
Season's Greetings. The Mallorys.
(she hands it to Nick. She is distressed)
I forgot all about them.
She opens another telegram. Nick throws the
first to the floor. He looks at Nora in her
Aren't you hot in that?
I'm stifling, but it's so pretty.
(she hands him another telegram)
(taking it and dropping it on the floor)
Is that another Christmas present?
(smiling at him)
Did I give it to you?
Again this is news to Nick, but he takes it
I'm spoiling you.
She tickles him with her foot. Then she
hands him another telegram, which suffers the
same fate. Nick cocks his gun again, prepar-
ing to shoot. Nora has opened another tele-
gram. Her manner changes.
Nick, listen. From Clyde Wynant!
(Nick puts down his rifle, all attention.
Nora reads it aloud)
"Will you take charge of investigation on Julia
Wolf murder. Communicate with Herbert Macaulay".
(putting out his hand for it)
Let's see. Where's it from?
(looking at it as she hands it over)
(Nick is examining the telegram. The
doorbell rings. Nora starts for the
door, talking as she goes)
Then he didn't do it, did he, Nick?
I don't know.
(still on way to door)
He wouldn't ask you to handle it if he were
Your guess is as good as mine.
Oh take it! Please take it!
By this time she is at the door. She opens
the door to Macaulay.
Oh, hello. Come on in.
Good morning. I'm afraid this isn't a very
"Merry Christmas" for you.
Oh, he's sitting up.
Macaulay comes in and goes to Nick.
How are you?
I hate to bother you when you're laid up.
That's all right.
Asta, delighted to see a visitor, jumps all
over Macaulay. Macauley is a little discon-
certed by all this attention.
Asta! Asta! Come here.
She throws a ball and the dog chases it out
of the scene. Macaulay sits down near Nick.
Asta comes back into the scene. He deposits
the ball near Macaulay's chair and stands
looking eagerly up at him.
Asta - don't bother Mr. Macaulay.
That's all right.
He leans down and throws the ball for Asta.
Beside him on the floor is a miniature fire
hydrant He looks down at it.
What a delightful toy.
Nick looks down and sees it for the first
Oh, it's a fire hydrant.
Yes. It's Asta's Christmas present.
Macaulay, a little troubled, looks down at
it, and then unostentatiously moves his leg
and his chair out of the danger zone. Asta
returns, playfully and affectionately, with
the ball again. Macaulay, with a forced
smile, throws it for him again. Then Macaulay
turns to Nick, reaching in his pocket for a
I got word from Wynant this morning...
So did we.
(correcting herself - indicating Nick)
I mean, Sherlock here.
Nick hands Macaulay his telegram from Wynant.
Macaulay reads it and looks at Nick.
What are the chances of getting you to do what he
Oh, please, Nick.
Would it help any if I could persuade him to meet
He gave me a code message to insert in the Times,
in case I wanted to get in touch with him.
It wouldn't hurt to put it in.
Nora beams. The telephone rings. Nick
picks it up.
I've done that already. He should appear, you
know. It doesn't look well... his staying away
at a time like this.
Hello.... oh, just a minute.
(holding out the phone to Macaulay)
(he looks surprised but takes the phone)
(his face changes... he is startled)
Where? In Allentown.
(he consults his watch)
Yes... When is the next train? Right - I'll get
(he slowly puts up the phone and turns
to Nick and Nora)
Wynant's tried to commit suicide. They want me to
come down and identify him.
(slowly he picks up his hat)
I guess this changes the whole story,
doesn't it? That looks like an admission of
guilt. And I had such hopes. I thought if you got
on the case, you'd be able to clear him. I thought
that Mimi.... the way she acted... I was sure that....
Oh, well, well... it's no use thinking of it now.
I'm sorry to have wasted so much of your time.
He goes quickly out. Nora looks after him,
and then turns to Nick. She is evidently
Well, that's that.
(Nick starts to get up off the sofa)
Stay there, Nick!
Nick (paying no attention)
It's not going to hurt me to get up.
Nick (with mock dignity)
You talk as if I were Asta.
All right, hard guy. Get up and bleed on the rugs.
Nick walks over to pour a drink. Nora sits
down and Asta comes and puts his head on her
knees looking sadly up at her.
What's the trouble, Asta? Your balloon busted?
Nick (to Nora)
What's the matter with you?
The mystery's all gone. And I wanted you to find
out who did it.
(over his drink, casually, as is
Maybe I will.
But Wynant --- ?
I don't believe he did it.
Why don't you?
No reason. Just a hunch. But I'm going to find
(he starts to untie his robe)
I'm tired of being pushed around.
(feeling her jaw - standing up suddenly)
So am I.
Come on, Watson, we're going places.
As he strides into the bedroom, Nora striding
in perfect imitation after him.
100 EXTERIOR ENTRANCE, NORMANDIE HOTEL.
Nick and Nora come through the door. They
have Asta on a leash. Guild steps up to
(beaming at Nora)
Good morning --
Good morning, Lieutenant -
(Asta pulls her violently toward the curb.
She goes after him, out of the scene,
calling back apologetically)
Guild and Nick follow Nora more slowly to the
You oughtn't to play this trick on me. Running
out when I was giving you time to rest up before
I asked you those questions.
You mean about that gun?
That ain't a gun any more. The firing pin's busted -
(he breaks off)
Don't waste time talking about that.
They join Nora. She listens eagerly, not
taking her eyes from Nick and Guild. Through
the whole scene, as they walk down the block,
when Asta pulls on the leash Nora stops with
him, and the two men, as a matter of course,
stop and wait for Nora, none of them ever
looking at Asta. (IT IS A TRUCKING SHOT ALL
Man to man, Mr. Charles, are you working on this
Man to man, I'm not.
But he's interested!
I don't mind telling you I'd rather have you
working with us than against us.
So would I.
It's a bargain then. Anything you want to know?
The leash tightens up and starts to pull Nora
ahead. The two men quicken their steps to
keep pace with her. (They are walking along
a quiet street in the East Fifties, so that
there is not much traffic, and not many
What about the suicide?
Oh, that's a phoney. The men didn't even have
to go down.
I thought it might be. From now on, they're
going to think that every thin man over six
feet with white hair is Wynant.
Again the leash pulls Nora over to the
curb. The three, without interrupting
their conversation, stand still, waiting.
Do you think that Wynant did it?
Looks like he planned, something. He shut
up his apartment and his shop.
You've been there?
Yeah. Couldn't find a thing. This is the way we
figure it. Wynant goes to Julia's apartment. He
finds Morelli there... sees she's two-timing him.
They have a fight. But he figures he don't want
to do anything then.... Morelli might squeal. So
he goes away. He don't let his lawyer know any-
thing has happened... he lets him go ahead and
and hand over money to Julia to give to him, so that
Julia will think it's all blown over. Then, when
she don't expect it... he lets her have it.
Asta completes his investigation and starts off
down the street again the three follow.
Nothing yet to cinch it.
Fifty will get you a hundred that he didn't do it.
What do you mean?
For one thing, he was too absent-minded to hold a
Who's your candidate?
I haven't got that far yet. But I don't think
that everything points to Wynant. What about
They're all O.K. Mrs. Jorgensen, the boy,
Dorothy, Macaulay... even Morelli... we had to let
What about Jorgensen?
I'll check on that.
(he turns to Nora)
I'm afraid this is kinder dull for you.
Dull... I'm sitting on the edge of my chair!
Asta sees another hydrant and makes for it.
But Nora is too interested to stop. She
drags him on.
What about this Nunheim?
Oh, he's all right. We know all about him. He does
a little stooling for us every once in a while.
Did you know he was hanging around Julia?
He's holding out on you.
(hadn't thought of this)
Let's go and see.
(he motions to a passing taxi)
A taxi drives up. Nora starts to get in.
This may be a little rough - you'd better let us
Catch me letting you go alone!
She climbs determinedly in, pulling Asta
after her. Guild starts to follow, but
Nick pulls him away. He closes the door
of the taxi and speaks to the driver:
The cab starts off. Nora shakes her fist
back at Nick. Nick charmingly lifts his hat
and throws her a kiss, as Guild hails another
101 OUTSIDE DOOR OF NUNHEIM'S APARTMENT.
It is the fourth floor of a dark, damp building.
The noise of the Sixth Avenue El can be heard
even in the hallway. Guild and Nick come to
the door. Guild knocks. There are sounds of
hurried movement inside the room, then a
voice calls, in an irritated tone.
Nunheim's Voice (o.s.)
Who is it?
Nunheim hastily unlocks and opens the door.
He has no coat on - he is evidently frighten-
I wasn't expecting you, Lieutenant. You said
Guild touches Nick's elbow with his hand,
and they go in.
102 LIVING ROOM OF APARTMENT.
The room is shabby and dirty, with clothing,
newspapers and dirty dishes sitting around.
Through an open door, the bedroom, with an
unmade bed, can be seen. In an alcove there
is a sink and a stove. Marian is standing
there with a sizzling skillet in her hand.
She is wearing a rumpled pink kimono and
frayed pink mules with lop-sided bows on them.
She stares sullenly at Guild and Nick as they
come in. Guild does not introduce Nick to
Nunheim, or even look at Marian. He keeps his
hat on, and Nick, seeing him, follows his
example. Guild pushes some clothing out of
the way to make a place for himself at the
end of the sofa.
Nick removes some newspaper from a rocking
chair and sits down. Nunheim goes over to
a table where there is about two inches of
whiskey in a pint bottle.
Have a shot?
What's the idea of telling me you just knew
the Wolfe girl by sight?
That's all I did, Lieutenent. That's the God's
truth. Maybe I said hello to her or how are you
or something like that when I saw her, but that's
all I knew her. That's the truth.
(Marian laughs once, derisively. But
there is no mirth in her face. Nunheim
twists around to face her)
All right. Put your mouth in and I'll pop a tooth
out of it.
Is that so!
She swings her arm around and lets the
skillet fly at his head. It misses, crashing
into the wall. Nunheim starts after her.
Marian picks up a paring knife. Nick puts
his foot out, without rising, and trips him.
Nunheim falls to the floor.
Cut it out. We didn't come here to watch you
Nunheim slowly gets up. Marian starts for
the bedroom without looking at any of them.
She drives me nuts. She's been ragging me all
Maybe if you quit running around after other
women you wouldn't have so much trouble with
(for Marian's benefit - loud)
That's a lie, Lieutenant... Anybody that says
that is a liar.
Want to take a poke at him?
(scared, to Nick)
I didn't mean you, Mister.
Marian goes into the bedroom and shuts the
Come on, now -- she can't hear you -
(looking toward the door of the bedroom)
You know how it is. A guy knocking around....
You'd done better to have told me that in the be-
ginning. Where were you the afternoon she was
You don't think I had anything to do with it?
Where were you?
Marian comes out. She is in street clothes
and is carrying a suitcase.
I don't like crooks and even if I did, I wouldn't
like crooks that are stool pigeons, and if I did
like crooks that are stool pigeons, I still wouldn't
Marian starts for the outer door. Nunheim
tries to follow Marian, but Guild catches his
Where were you?
Marian! Marian! Don't go! I'll behave!
I'll do anything! Don't go, Marian!
Marian goes out and shuts the door, paying no
attention to Nunheim.
Nunheim (to Guild)
Let me go! Let me bring her back. I can't get along
without her. I'll bring her right back and I'll tell
you anything you want to know. Let me go!
Sit down! We didn't come here to watch you and
that broad dance around a May pole. Where were you
the afternoon the girl was killed?
Nunheim puts his hand over his face and be-
gins to cry.
I can't remember offhand, Lieutenant. Maybe I was
over at Charlie's shooting pool. Maybe I was here.
How'd you like to be thrown in the can on account of
Just give me a minute.... I'll remember. I'm not
stalling, Lieutenant. You know I always come clean
(he has his head in his hands trying to
remember. Guild looks at Nick and winks.
Nunheim looks up, relieved. He snaps his
Gee, it'd serve me right if you had pinched me...
that's the afternoon I was.... wait, I'll show you...!
He gets up and quickly goes into the bedroom.
Nick goes to the telephone and starts to dial.
Guild starts to search the room.
Well, what'd you think?
I think we're on the right track.
Who're you calling?
I'm calling your office so you can send out a man to
trail him. I want to see where he goes.
Trail him! Trail who?
Guild looks at Nick, who is grinning. He then
grasps what he means and makes a bee line for
the bedroom. In a second he cones back. He
takes the phone from Nick.
Guild (sharply in phone)
Bill, tell the boys to pick up Nunheim. He just
left here - went out the fire escape
(then, as Bill evidently laughs, Guild
speaks with hurt dignity)
What's funny about that?
(he hangs up and looks sheepishly over
FAST DISSOLVE TO:
103 CLOSEUP OF NUNHEIM -
A TELEPHONE BOOTH.
Nunheim is talking into the telephone. As
he talks, he watches the outside of the
telephone booth to be sure that no one
is listening. His voice is quiet but there
is a menacing urgency in his tone.
Listen. They been questionin' me again. Asking
me what more I know. Where I was that day....
Wait a minute. I ducked out on 'em. Now if you
want me to play dumb, I want fi' thousand more...
Fi' grand and I'll skip town today.... Where?
O.K... Right away... See that you're there and have
it with you.
He hangs up and turns to go out.
104 STREET IN THE WEST FORTIES.
Nunheim jumps out of cab, pays the driver.
It drives off. The street is deserted. By
this time it is about five o'clock and the
early winter twilight has fallen. WE TRUCK
AND PAN as Nunheim looks at the numbers of
the houses. A little way up the street he
finds the number he has been looking for.
He walks into a dark doorway. Just as he steps
in, there is the crack of a pistol shot and
the flash of fire from the gun. Nunheim
throws up his hands, staggers forward to the
street, his hand clutching his heart. Here
he pitches forward -- dead. The CAMERA
stays on the body.
105 INSERT -- A BUNDLE OF CLOTHES -- ALL THAT IS
LEFT OF ONE ARTHUR NUNHEIM!
The hands of Nick and Guild are examining the
clothes as we come in. Nick has taken a
card from the inside coat pocket.
(over insert of card he holds)
"Arthur Nunheim -- Honorary member --"
CAMERA PULLS BACK RAPIDLY NOW TO REVEAL
GUILD'S OFFICE AT POLICE HEADQUARTERS.
Guild is throwing down some letters and
stuff he has extricated.
Not a thing.
Bob, the policeman, comes in.
Find out about that bullet yet?
Yes, sir. It's from the same gun that killed
There is a second of silence. Guild and
Nick look at each other.
And how are your folks?
The telephone rings. Guild picks it up.
His face beams.
Guild (in phone)
How are you? -- No, we didn't get a thing.
(he hands the phone to Nick)
It's your wife.
Nick reaches for the phone, smiling.
106 CLOSEUP - NORA AT PHONE
She is in the Jorgensen apartment, but in a
room by herself. She speaks softly. She
thinks she is still talking to Guild.
Well, I've got something, Lieutenant. I've been
doing a little detective work of my own. That
flat foot I married thinks he's smart -- but I'm
one jump ahead of him.
107 CLOSEUP ON NICK.
He plays straight in his best manner.
Nick (kidding her)
Nora's Voice (through receiver)
Do you hear me?
How's Grant's tomb?
108 CLOSEUP OF NORA -- PHONE.
She starts at this, recognizing Nick's voice.
Again she sticks up her nose, a little
characteristic of hers in matters concerning
Nickie. Then she snaps:
It's lovely. I'm having a copy made for you --
109 CLOSE TWO SHOT - NICK AND GUILD.
Nick laughs, then -- seriously:
What have you got?
Nora's voice comes through, but she is
evidently speaking in a low whisper and
the words are inaudible.
Can't hear you -- little lou --
(an alert look comes into his eyes as he
listens closer, getting what she is saying.
Guild, too, is interested.)
We'll be right up!
(Nick puts down the phone and turns to Guild)
She's up at Mimi's. Jorgensen has disappeared.
The two men rise.
FAST DISSOLVE TO:
110 CLOSEUP ON MIMI -- HER BEDROOM.
She is seated facing Nick in her bedroom, al-
though in this opening dissolve we do not
reveal him. WE HOLD ON MIMI as she speaks
Chris may be at the club -- or somewhere -- I
don't see that it's important --
Nick (voice o.s.)
You should have told them he'd disappeared.
CAMERA PULLS BACK TO REVEAL THE ROOM NOW as
Mimi jumps up. Nick is seated, questioning
her. Dorothy hovers behind Nick.
(her manner and tone more distrait)
But he has nothing to do with it!
That's not for you to decide. Everybody's under
suspicion - especially running off like this --
(he picks up a picture of Jorgensen
from the bureau)
The police will want his description. Is this
a picture of him?
Mimi tries to take the picture.
I tell you -- he didn't do it.
They'll want more than your word for that.
(coming forward and speaking slowly)
All right, then -- I'll tell them who did do it!
Dorothy (with horror in her voice)
Mimi (paying no attention)
And I'll give then proof!
Dorothy turns and goes quickly from the
111 HALLWAY OF APARTMENT.
Dorothy comes out of the bedroom, blind with
horror at what her Mother is doing. For a
minute she stands there, trying to collect
herself. Andy comes from the living room,
where he has been waiting for her. He goes
to her and takes her in his arms. She looks
up at him.
(with tremendous pity in his voice)
For a minute she clings to him, crying,
I can't help it. You don't know.....
Darling, you can't go through any more of this.
Now you get together your clothes and your skates
and we'll go out to my family's in the country.
Dorothy (she stops crying)
You've got to get your mind off this.
Dorothy (she pulls herself together)
You're sweet, but the only thing that you can do
for me is to go.
And don't ever try to see me again.
What are you talking about?
Dorothy (with rising excitement)
Please! You can't get mixed up in this.
Do you think I care
You don't understand. You don't know what's going
I only know I want to marry you... right now,
I can't marry you! I can't ever marry you!
How would you like to have a couple of little
murderers for your children? It'd be fun,
wouldn't it? Maybe they'd murder each other...
keep it all in the family. That's what Father
should have done. He should have killed me and
Gilbert... then we wouldn't have had this to go
You're talking like a crazy person,
Why not? I am crazy....the whole family's crazy.
Dorothy.... listen to me. I love you. Don't you
understand that? I love you.
112 LIVING ROOM - SHOOTING TOWARD HALL.
Nora and Guild are waiting for Nick. Gil-
bert is sitting with a large book open in
his hand. Dorothy's voice comes through.
The three in the living room cannot help but
Dorothy's Voice (o.s.)
A door slams. Andy is seen walking slowly
past the living room door, on his way out
of the apartment. Gilbert gets up and
goes quickly out. Nora looks at Guild and
Sleuthing isn't all fun, is it? I feel so sorry
for that poor girl -
Nick comes in with the photograph of Jorgen-
sen, which he has taken from the frame.
She's ready to talk.
(he hands Guild Jorgensen's photograph)
It won't do any harm, though - to find out where
113 DOROTHY'S BEDROOM.
Dorothy is lying on the bed, face down.
Gilbert walks up to her, his big book still
in his hand.
You know, you're wrong about all of your children
being murderers... I've studied the Mendelian Law
of inheritance and their experiments with sweet
peas, and according to their findings... and they've
been pretty conclusive... only one out of four of
your children will be a murderer. So the thing for
you to do would be to have just three children...
(then as a thought comes to him)
... no, no. That might not work The first one
might be the bad one. I'll have to look that up.
By this tine Dorothy gets up. She has a
defiant look on her face.
You needn't look it up. I'm not going to get
married and I'm not going to have any children.
From now on, I'm just out for the ride!
114 LIVING ROOM - MEDIUM ON GROUP.
Mimi is showing Guild the watch chain. Nick
is watching her closely. Nora is tense
(her voice quivering with forced emotion)
I took this from her hand. It's Mr. Wynant's
(Guild takes it from her)
I wanted to protect him.
She breaks into tears. Nick looks over at
her sardonically. Guild watches her with
evident sympathy. Guild gets up, putting
the watch chain carefully in his handkerchief.
I guess that cinches it, eh, Mr. Charles? He
killed them both - Julia Wolf and Nunheim.
Fifty will still get you a hundred.
This is enough for me.
FAST DISSOLVE TO:
115-119 SERIES OF QUICK DISSOLVES:
(a) POLICE RADIO ANNOUNCER AT MICROPHONE
Calling all cars - calling all cars - cover all
roads leaving city - pick up Clyde Wynant -
Clyde Wynant drag-net - pick up - etc.
(b) GATE - GRAND CENTRAL STATION.
A policeman stands at the gate scanning the
passengers as they go through. (Through
this and ensuing vignettes, the dull voice
of the Police Announcer continues over the
flashes. Entire effect designed to ex-
citingly dramatize the spreading of the
net for the capture of Clyde Wynant.)
(c) A PRINTING PRESS.
It is running off police placards announcing
the reward for the capture of Clyde Wynant.
(d) TELETYPE MACHINE.
Over the machine is coming:
"Wynant wanted -- watch all
stations -- boats and roads --
description - thin man -- six
feet -- white hair, etc., etc."
(e) NEWSPAPER TRUCK -- STREET CORNER.
Newsboys are crowded around the back of the
truck. A man is hurling packs of LATE
EXTRAS down to the boys. They immediately
begin calling out:
"Extra -- extra -- Wynant wanted in second murder --"
"Five Star Final" -- Wynant's ex-wife produces mur-
der evidence -- "
"Extra - extra -- double murder charge against
Pictures of Wynant, most of them full
length (for the desired effect of the tall,
thin man) cover the front pages. Second and
third trucks can back into the scene, if
desired. Necessary, dramatically, to kick
up the idea that the chase for the killer
is increasing to fever heat.
120 CLOSE SHOT ON NORA - AT WINDOW.
She is at the window of their bedroom in the
hotel Normandie again. We process through
the window to get a background of Central
Park, South. On SOUND TRACK from below we
get a carry-over of the newsboys' "Extra!
Extra!" from preceding effects. One shrill
voice is heard in relief against the others.
It is shouting: "Extra -- extra -- police
hunt Wynant --" Nora listens for a second and
then shuts the window, turning away from it.
I wish they'd stop that. It makes me fidgety. Do
you think they'll find him, Nick? He must be in
(she stops short as CAMERA PULLS BACK
and she sees Nick is in his overcoat,
bending over Asta with a leash)
Where do you think you're going?
I'm going to take Asta for a walk.
He's just been for a walk.
We're going sightseeing -- aren't we, Asta?
He starts to go -- but Nora puts a hand on a
bulge in his overcoat pocket.
(she puts her hand in and pulls out a
bunch of skeleton keys)
What are you up to?
(she puts her hand in and and pulls out
a pistol - she unconsciously holds it,
pointing at him)
Nickie - what is this?
Nick (putting his hands up)
Looks like a hold-up!
What are you going to do?
I've got hunch. I'm going down to look at Wynant's
shop, I want to find out why it's closed.
Why shouldn't be close it? He went away.
He went away lots of times when I knew him - but he
never closed his shop. I've got a hunch something is
You mean, he might be hiding there?
I don't know... This thing has got my goat. I've got
to find out.
Nick - I won't have you going down there.
Say you're the one who got me in this!
I know but this is different. He's a crazy man. He
might kill you.
I'll be all right. I've got Asta to protect me.
Nora (waving him out)
Go on - go on - see if I care. But it's a dirty
trick bringing me all the way to New York just to
make me a widow.
Nick (kidding her)
You wouldn't be a widow long.
You bet I wouldn't.
Not with all your money!
Nick (kissing her)
Nora (clinging to him and for
the first time really serious)
Nickie, take care of yourself won't you?
Sure I will.
Don't say it that way. Say it as if you meant it.
Nick (with mock solemnity)
Why, I believe the little woman cares.
I don't care - I'm just used to you, that's all --
(Nick gives her an affectionate hug and a
kiss. He calls to Asta. Nora turns to the
dog, trying to hide her emotion under a
pretense of clowning)
If you let anything happen to him, you'll never wag
that tail again!
121 EXT. OF WYNANT'S SHOP - LIGHTING EFFECT
The street is deserted. The light from the
street lamps is very dim. A cab drives up before
the shop. The door of the cab opens and Asta
jumps out, and makes a bee-line for a hydrant.
Nick follows him, still in his evening clothes.
He turns to pay he driver, who is looking
dubiously at the neighborhood.
Sure this is the place you want?
This is it.
(looking apprehensively at the street)
You don't want me to wait, do you?
(Nick pays him)
(with a last look, he says dubiously)
Well .... good luck!
He drives off. The street is quiet. Nick
turns toward the shop. Nick stands for a
second looking at the building, then turns
Ready? Well, let's go.
He goes to the front door of the shop. He
tries it. It is locked. From his pocket he
takes out a ring with skeleton keys on it.
Holding his flashlight on the key hole, he
finally finds the key that opens it. He
pushes the door slowly open. He holds it
open, looking back at Asta.
You keep quiet now. Come on.
But Asta doesn't like the looks of the place.
He doesn't move. Nick snaps his fingers for
him to come and Asta finally, reluctantly
122 INTERIOR BUILDING -- TRUCKING AND PANNING
On Nick as he makes his way down the narrow
little hall, guided by his flashlight. Asta
trails, still reluctantly. Nick is
familiar with the old building so that he
does not lose time in reaching the rear,
where he goes down the steps, cautiously, to
123 MACHINE SHOP AND STOREROOM IN BASEMENT -
LONG SHOT. (This room leads to Wynant's
private work-shop as established earlier.)
Nick moves stealthily through the storeroom,
flashing his light here and there on crates,
boxes of machinery, etc. It is a weird scene,
at any moment you must feel that Wynant, or
some foe will spring from behind the objects.
(His figure is mostly in silhouette during,
the scene. He flashes his light in quick
Nick sees a moving shadow. Asta starts to
growl. Nick whips out his gun. The throws
the light of his flashlight onto a pile of
[sorry -- page missing. The "moving shadow"
turns out to be a cat.]
nothing that will help him. He is starting
out, when he misses Asta. He calls him
softly. We hear the dog whine.
Nick (to Asta)
Well, come along, then...
Still the dog does not come. We hear him
whine again. Nick flashes his light around
until it lights on the dog. Asta is in the
center of the floor. He has his ears back.
He is sniffing at the floor. Nick keeping
his flashlight on Asta, comes back. He leans
down to the floor, running his hand over
You're not a Scottish Terrier. You're a police
dog. New cement.
He gets up briskly and looks around, using
his flashlight, to find a tool. He finds an
iron bar. Placing the light so that it falls
on the floor. Nick takes the iron bar. He
pounds on the floor. Over the place where
Asta was whining, the cement gives out a
hollow sound. Nick takes the bar in both
hands, throws his whole strength into it,
trying to force it through the floor. It
finally goes through. Nick leans down, and
a startled, horrified look comes in his face.
He puts down the bar, picks up Asta, who is
flattened on the floor, watching him, takes
his flashlight and goes quickly toward the
stairs. He climbs rapidly.
125 CRANE SHOT -- FLIGHT OF STAIRS LEADING TO
WYNANT'S OFFICE ON SECOND FLOOR. (AS EARLIER
He uses his flashlight to find his way. The
stairway, being as old as the building, creaks
as he walks. WE CONTINUE TO CRANE until he
reaches the second floor and cautiously enters
the old office.
126 WYNANT'S OFFICE - FULL SHOT.
All is pitch dark as he follows his flashlight
to the telephone, dials the number, then
extinguishes the light.
Nick (in telephone)
Hello, Lieutenant Guild, please... John? This is
Charles. I'm up in Wynant's shop. Well, I've found
something... it's a body.
He puts down the telephone. Using his
flashlight, he goes to the desk and begins
to look through the papers there.
127 EFFECT SHOT -- CAMERA AT BOTTOM OF STAIRWAY,
On the figure of a man as it is quietly
going up the same stairway that Nick took,
slowly going toward the office. He has no
light, but by his unhesitating steps, we gather
that he is familiar with the building. The
steps creak a little.
128 WYNANT'S OFFICE - CLOSE SHOT ON NICK.
He is still rummaging over the desk. Sudden-
ly he stands rigid. He has heard a step.
He puts out his flashlight and whirls around
to face the door. At this instant, CAMERA
SWINGS OVER TO:
129 THE DOOR
As the man's figure appears. As he starts
to come in, Nick's flashlight is thrown
full on his face, blinding him. We see
that it is Tanner.
Nick's Voice (o.s.)
Stick 'em up!
Tanner, terrified by the light and the sharp
command from the darkness, puts up his
hands. Asta begins to bark. Keeping the
light full on Tanner's face, Nick swiftly
searches him. Satisfied that Tanner has
no gun, Nick goes to an electric light
Nick (as he does this)
Don't make a move or that dog will tear you to
He switches on the light. Tanner looks in,
blinking amazement and fear, first at Nick,
and then at --
130 BIG CLOSEUP OF ASTA
He has crawled under the desk and lies there,
looking out fearfully.
131 MEDIUM ON NICK AND TANNER
Nick grins a little at Asta's fear and
Nick (to Asta)
Come on out, now. He won't hurt you.
(then to Tanner, with a return of his
brisk, professional tone)
Back to your old tricks, eh, Tanner?
No, Mr. Charles.
How did you get in here?
I had a key. I worked here... till they closed the
You worked here?
Yes, sir. Julia Wolf got me a job as bookkeeper.
Well, that's a hot one. You a bookkeeper! When
were you ever a bookkeeper?
That time you sent me up last ... I learned book-
keeping at Sing Sing. I figured it might be an in
for me somewheres.
Somewheres where they might go out and leave the
Honest, Mr, Charles. I never touched that safe.
Them bonds that were missing... Julia took them.
Trying to put it off on her?
Mr. Charles - she did - that's why he got sore at
her and killed her. Listen, Mr. Charles --
(he pulls out some bills)
I did do a little chiseling. I come to bring it
back and fix up the books. I didn't want him to
find out and come after me -
You can save that and tell it to the police.
They'll be here in a minute.
(a hunted look comes into his face)
He shrinks back, aghast, as at this moment we
hear the sound of sirens from police cars
arriving outside. Asta crawls back under
132 EXTERIOR WYNANT'S SHOP - STREET - NIGHT.
There is a rising crescendo of sirens as
Guild's police car, and the Medical Examiner's
car swing around the corner, accompanied by a
motorcycle escort. They pull to a stop at
the front of the shop. The police and Dr.
Walton, with his assistant, get out of the
cars and go to the door of the building.
There are police photographers with them.
Nick, with Tanner in his custody, is waiting
at the door of the shop.
133 WYNANT'S SHOP - BASEMENT.
The floor is dug up more than in the last
scene, so that the body is exposed enough for
the photographers. Guild, Nick, Dr. Walton,
Tanner and the rest of the police stand aside
as the photographers take their flashlight
pictures from different angles. Guild is
putting on a pair of gloves. Dr. Walton is
preparing to do his work. Nick, in his
evening clothes and his casual air, is an
incongruous note in the midst of all the
professional excitement. As the photographers
finish, Guild steps up to the hole in the
floor. He turns to Tanner, who is watching,
Guild (to Tanner)
You didn't know anything about all this?
Guild (to one of the police)
Take him down to the can. I'll see him later.
The policeman goes out with Tanner. Guild
looks down into the hole.
Guild (he gives a low whistle)
I wonder what Wynant had against this one?
Quick lime. Well at least the clothes weren't
The Medical Examiner comes up and stands be-
Mind if I take those out, Doc?
Guild stoops down and takes out a bundle of
clothes. The CAMERA PANS with him as he
takes them over to a work table and starts
to open them up. Nick strolls over and stands
(looking at the bundle of clothes)
Just rolled them up and threw them in.
Lucky thing for us they weren't in that lime.
Guild pulls a coat from the bundle. It is
a large coat, slightly eaten by the lime.
Guild picks it up and examines it for a
No - no identification -
(he holds the coat up)
Must have weighed two hundred and fifty if he
weighed an ounce.
Bob comes into the scene. He hands Guild
a walking stick. Guild takes it and examines
Guild (looking at the stick)
Rubber tip. He must have been lame.
Who wouldn't be.... carrying that weight around.
Guild takes the trousers and stretches
Guild (to Doctor)
Standing straight he'd be about five foot,
eleven, wouldn't he?
Doctor's Voice (o.s.)
There is a belt attached to the trousers -
Guild looks at it. He finds some initials
engraved on the silver buckle.
Guild (reading from the buckle)
(turns to Nick)
That case you worked on... the guy who threatened to kill
Wynant... what what was his name?
Could this be him?
I never saw him. I don't think anyone saw him.
He said Wynant tried to steal an invention.
Yes. But we figured it was just blackmail...
Just the same, Wynant wouldn't mind having him
out of the way, would he?
(he turns to the Doctor)
How long should you say this body'd been here,
The Doctor comes into the scene taking
off his gloves.
I can't say offhand. At least a couple of months...
Couple of months. That's just when he closed the
shop. The way I figure it is... he kills this guy
and plants him here. Julia knows about it, so he
kills her. And Nunheim caught him at that, so he
he had to bump off Nunheim.
(he makes a bundle of the clothes)
Well, we'll be going along.
You done a swell job. You wouldn't like to pay
me that hundred now?
Wait 'till you catch Wynant.
Nick walks over to the Medical Examiner who
is putting on his coat, preparatory to going.
The Medical Examiner speaks to his assistant,
indicating the wrapped up body, out of the
You can take that out to the car.
Going to run him through the floroscope?
Do you mind if I come down and see it?
Not at all.
I'm very interested in that body.
By this time Guild is ready to go. He turns
to Nick, the bundle of clothes under his arm.
Give my best to your wife.
He turns to go out, almost bumping into a
figure in the semi-darkness. It is apparently
a slender boy, his coat collar high about his
neck, and his hat pulled down over his eyes.
Nick spies him at the same time and comes
toward him. Guild speaks sharply to the boy.
Guild (to the boy)
What're you doing here?
(to Guild - knowing who it is)
I'll take care of him.
Guild grunts and continues on his way. Nick
takes the boy by the arm, and unceremoniously
hustles him out. Nick has Asta under his
133A EXT. OF BUILDING
Nick hustles the boy into a taxicab, and
follows him in, speaking to the driver as he
133B CLOSEUP OF NICK
Nick is seated in the cab. He is looking with
a disapproving scowl at his companion.
What do you think you are?
The CAMERA PANS to his companion. We see that
it is Nora. She is dressed in Nick's clothes.
She has even used some of her hair to make
a mustache. She looks at Nick with a twinkle
in her eye, and strokes the points of her
mustache in imitation of him as she speaks.
I'm a 'de-tect-uf'.
134 CLOSEUP OF FLOROSCOPE. (Police Laboratory)
The light of the floroscope comes through
the skeleton of the body. The Medical
Examiner's hand comes into the shot, point-
ing to a dark spot in the left side of the
body, near the heart.
Dr. Walton's Voice (o.s.)
There's the bullet he was killed with. See?
Nick's Voice (o.s.)
His hand comes into the shot, pointing to a
smaller speck in the shin bone. THE CAMERA
NOW PULLS back to show the two men in Dr.
Walton's laboratory looking at the body under
the floroscope. Dr. Walton looks closer.
Oh, just an old piece of shrapnel.
An idea comes to Nick. He is piecing things
together in his mind.
Dr. Walton (still inspecting)
Must have been in the war. That might account for
the cane and his limp.
Nick (thinking of something else)
AS WE ARE DISSOLVING TO:
135-139 SERIES OF EFFECT FLASHES -- THIRD MURDER --
In terrific tempo, with the elongated shadow
of the Thin Man behind the flashes, we bring
in, kaleidoscopically, police teletypes --
radio broadcasts -- telephone and telegraph --
wireless -- radio cars, etc. Chief among
these effects are superimposed closeups of
police and detective chiefs as they talk
into phones, firing their orders. By the
nature of the uniforms worn by the police
captains, we must achieve the idea that the
man-hunt is NATION WIDE. Also superimposed
are newspaper headlines, tabloids, etc.,
screaming out: "WYNANT HUNTED IN THIRD MUR-
DER --" "WYNANT VICTIM BURIED IN BASEMENT --"
"HORROR MURDER LAID TO WYNANT --" "WYNANT
BODY NUMBER THREE DUG UP IN CEMENT --" etc.,
etc. Also, on SOUND TRACK, through radio
and telephone, we hear continuous voices as
they report: "WYNANT SEEN HERE -- WYNANT
SEEN THERE --" etc.
These are Vorkapich shots, and conclude with
thrilling flashes of automobiles being stopp-
ed on roads by traffic officers, squad cars
racing to and fro from headquarters, etc.
140 CLOSEUP OF ASTA.
The dog is standing on a table. The CAMERA
PULLS BACK to show the living room of Nick's
suite. The reporters are on Nick's trail
again. The floor is littered with newspapers.
Nora, in negligee, is being interviewed
by a 'sob sister'. Nick is near the table
where the drinks are surrounded by reporters.
A newspaper photographer is taking Asta's
picture as he stands on the table.
(snapping his fingers down near
Hey... doggie, doggie. Look down at the body!
Look down at the body!
(Asta looks down at the man's hand and
the flashlight flares up. The photo-
grapher hurriedly goes to Nick)
Now, Mr. Charles --
1st Reporter (to photographer)
Get that out of here.
Just one family group.
It'd be lovely for the woman's page.
Nick goes to stand beside Nora, and the
photographer puts Asta in Nora's arms. The
reporters follow Nick, asking him questions.
Have the police got any idea where Wynant is?
Do you think they'll I find him?
I know they will.
The flashlights flare again. Nick moves away.
Got anything else to say about the case?
Yes. It's put me way behind in my drinking.
He starts for the table where the liquor is.
What about this Rosebreen?
Nick (pouring himself a drink)
Sorry. Don't know a thing.
2nd Reporter (to photographer)
Come on, let's get it in.
The reporters all start for the door.
What's your next step, Nick?
Right back to California. We've got to go home
and rest up from our vacation.
We'll see you before you go.
They all go out. CAMERA MOVES IN FOR
CLOSE PANNING SHOT.
Back to California
My soul, woman. I give you three murders and
you aren't satisfied.
I want you to stay and find Wynant.
(out of a clear sky - over his highball)
I did find him!
What do you mean?
Nick (between swallows)
He was down in the shop.
It was his body that was buried there.
Nick, you'd better lay off that liquor.
That's a fact.
Nora (unable to believe her ears)
Nick (mixing another drink)
Yup. Don't you want something to eat?
But they all said it was Rosebreen's.
Nick (going to telephone)
That's what they think... Guild and all of them.
They take it for granted that it's just another
of Wynant's victims.
(he takes up telephone)
Guild's hot-footing it around now, looking for
Wynant. That's all that troubles him.
What makes you so sure it's Wynant's body?
(speaks into the telephone)
Hello, Fred. We're hungry again. Yeah, and lots
of onions. Oh, and coffee.
Nick, you'll drive me crazy. What things?
Nick (putting up the receiver)
What things made you so sure?
Oh. Well, the clothes for instance. They were
carefully preserved, and the body was just as
carefully destroyed. The person who killed him
counted on one thing... that all skeletons look
Well, don't they?
He takes a drink from the glass in his hand.
Nora goes to him and takes his drink from
You don't get another swallow 'til you really open up.
Nick (speaking quickly, anxious to
get his drink back)
I remembered that Wynant had some shrapnel in
his shin. It often bothered him. So I looked
for it and I found it.
(he reaches out his hand for the glass)
Nora mechanically gives him back his drink,
her mind on the significance of what he has
How long has he been dead?
Couple of months anyway.
Then he couldn't have committed those other mur-
Nora (hardly able to believe it)
(with a sudden thought)
Does Dorothy know?
No. Nobody but you.
Nora starts for the telephone.
I'm going to tell her.
Don't do that.
But the poor kid's going crazy. She'd rather
know her father was dead than that...
I can't help it. I can't tell a soul. I didn't
even tell Guild.
I want to lie low till I get the whole dope. I
don't want to go off half-cocked.
What are you going to do?
I'm going to get the real murderer. I've got
an idea. Want to see me take him?
Got a nice evening dress?
Now Nick, what's that got to do with it?
Got a nice evening dress?
I've got a lulu -- why?
I'm going to give a party, and invite all of
The suspects! They won't come.
Oh, they'll come. I'll have Guild issue the
(he starts to telephone)
Who do you think did it?
Mimi, Jorgensen, Morelli, Tanner.....
What were you doing on the ninth of June?
He grins into the phone.
FAST DISSOLVE TO:
141 PRIVATE DINING ROOM IN HOTEL.
Music of a small string orchestra is com-
ing from the adjoining balcony. A table
is set in the background for fourteen people.
The waiters are quietly putting the the last
touches to the table. The head waiter is
passing around a last tray of cocktails.
The CAMERA TRUCKS with him as we pick up
the different people. He goes first to Andrew
who is standing by himself, very forlorn
looking. Then to Mimi, Tanner and Gilbert
who are a little isolated group.... not know-
ing what is going on, and looking very
suspiciously at the other guests. He goes
on to a group made up of Nora, Guild, Marian
and Morelli. Nora is hanging on to the two
men's words. The head waiter goes on to
Nick and Macaulay.
Head Waiter (to Nick)
Shall I serve dinner now?
Just a minute -
Nick looks toward the door. He breaks away
from Macaulay and goes to the door. The
CAMERA PANS with him as he goes. A detec-
tive is just coming in the door.
Detective (to Nick)
We got 'em. Picked 'em up at the Pennsylvania
(he turns to the door)
Come on in.
Dorothy and Quinn come into the room. They
have both been drinking. Quinn is angry
and reluctant to come in. Quinn has a suit-
case and Dorothy a little dressing-case in
her hand. Dorothy is defiantly gay. She
has quite thoroughly carried out her threat
to go "out for the ride" -
(Nick reaches out and takes her bag)
(she looks around the room)
And a party - celebrating father's third murder -
(her tone is bitter)
Mimi's Voice (o.s.)
She walks toward the drinks out of the scene.
Nick (to Quinn)
Why the bags?
None of your business.
They were trying to make a get-away,
Quinn (drunk and belligerent)
We were doing nothing of the sort. What's the
idea of this?
(he indicates the detective)
...give you my invitation?
You can't get away with this.
The detective is closing in on him.
You're perfectly right.
(to the detective)
Take the gentleman's coat and bag.
The detective starts, not too gently to
take Quinn's coat from him.
142 CLOSE SHOT - DOROTHY AND ANDY
Dorothy takes a drink from the waiter. Andy
starts toward her.
Dorothy (to Andy)
This is a pretty dead bunch, isn't it?
You're high enough.
Nick comes up to her.
Dorothy (to Nick)
You know, you interrupted me at a very important
point in my life. I was about to take my first
(calling to Quinn)
Come on, Quinny. Let's dance -
She walks away from Andy and Nick.
Andy (to Nick)
I'm getting out of here.
No - I need you here.
Andy (glowering at Quinn)
If I stay, I know I'll take a poke at him.
Then I insist that you stay.
143 MORELLI, GUILD AND MARIAN
I want some more of that tiger milk.
She starts off to get another drink. Morelli
looks after her admiringly.
Morelli (to Guild)
I think somebody could do something with that cl
if they took hold of her right.
Yeah - by the throat!
144 MEDIUM SHOT NEAR TABLE.
Nora is near the dinner table with Guild
beside her. Marian, Macaulay, Mimi, Gilbert,
Tanner and Morelli are nearby.
I think we may as well sit down.
Guild (looking around)
I guess all the suspects are here.
There is a second of stunned amazement on
the people's faces.
Mr. Guild means guests!
Oh, there are two more to come.
They'll be here. Don't worry. My men are pick-
ing them up.
Nora (beaming at him)
You're a great help to a hostess. I wish I
always had you for my dinner parties.
Nora starts to seat the guests.
Mimi (looking toward the door)
She walks rapidly out of the scene, and
WE PAN WITH HER TO THE:
Jorgensen and a woman have come in the door.
She is a hard-faced, common woman, who looks
as if she could handle any situation. They
are standing there angry and belligerent.
There are a couple or plain-clothesmen with
I'm Nick Charles. How do you do?
Mimi rushes up to Jorgensen.
Chris, where have you been?
She stops as she sees the other woman. One
of the plain-clothesmen speaks to Nick.
Sorry we're late. But they had to break down
Mimi bristles at this. She gives the
woman a withering look and walks out of
the scene. Nick watches with great amusement.
Nick (to Jorgensen and the woman)
Won't you come in?
The two reluctantly follow him further into the
room. Nick follows them, rubbing his hands
with delighted anticipation of the scene to
follow. The CAMERA PANS WITH HIM as goes
to the table. The people are all seated
with the exception of Mimi, Jorgensen and the
woman with him, and Nick. Nora is watching
the new arrivals with eager interest. Nick
looks at her and gives her a broad wink.
Nick (turning to Jorgensen)
Mr. Jorgensen, you sit next to Andrew, and Mrs.
Jorgensen on your right.
Both Mimi and the woman who came in with
Jorgensen, start for the chair which Jor-
gensen is holding. As they find themselves
both going for the same chair, Mimi draws
herself up with great dignity.
I'm Mrs. Jorgensen.
Mimi starts to sit.
The woman (drily, as she points to
an empty chair across the table)
Put it over there. I was Mrs. Jorgensen before
Mimi looks at Jorgensen, bewildered. But he
refuses to meet her eye. The other woman
sits down firmly in the chair. Nick, from
the head of the table, calls to Mimi.
Mimi.... you're here on my right.
He holds her chair for her as she comes and
sits down. The waiters start in immediately
to serve dinner.
146 CLOSE SHOT: NICK AND NORA.
Nick holds Nora's chair for her.
You give such charming parties, Mr. Charles.
Thank you, Mrs. Charles.
Nora sits - she whispers to Nick.
I can't wait any longer. Tell me, do you think
one of them did it?
I wish you'd tell me who.
I wish you'd tell me.
Nick sits down at the head of the table.
147 MEDIUM SHOT: TABLE.
NOTE: The seating of the table is as follows:
Gilbert 1st Mrs. Jorgensen
Nick looks up and down the table.
This is all very pleasant but why are here?
I've got some very important news - I've seen
They all turn and look at him with curiosity.
Guild looks amazed. Mimi is very composed.
That's nothing. I saw him myself.
Nick and Nora exchange looks. Nora is be-
You did... where?
Last night. He came to see me at my apartment.
Nick (with mock sincerity)
Oh, did he? What did he say?
He didn't say very much. Wanted to know how I was
and how the children were.
Guild (infuriated that Wynant slip-
ped through his fingers)
What kind of clothes was he wearing?
A brown suit, brown shoes and a white shirt and a
grayish tie with red, or reddish brown figures on
Guild (over his shoulder to Bob,
who is standing behind his chair)
(Bob goes quickly out)
I saw him too... he was wearing a green suit with
a white tie...
What are you talking about, Gilbert? You weren't there!
I know. But I saw him -
Guild (to Gilbert)
Where did you see him?
I was gazing in my crystal.
Nora (to waiter)
Serve the nuts - I mean, serve the guests the
I'm afraid you're lying, Mimi. You see, I really
did see Wynant last night.
Are you kidding?
Why didn't you tell me? .... Why didn't you hold
Because I found out for certain that he didn't
commit the murders.
He didn't do it -- Nick!
What do you mean? )
Gilbert ) Together.
Then who did? )
Do you mean to say...? etc. )
Let him have his say out.
(Morelli jumps, startled. Everybody
looks at him)
You knew Julia. Was she gypping Wynant?
Morelli (somewhat relieved)
She don't say she is, but I figure she is -
Why do you say that?
Once I wanted five grand --
(snaps his fingers)
Thank you. Now I'll tell you why I know Wynant
didn't commit those murders -
(he turns to Morelli)
Three months ago - the night that he caught you
in Julia's apartment, he found out that Julia was
cheating him, and was splitting with some man.
He went to find the man. That man was.... Tanner,
(but poor Tanner, thinking that Nick
is naming him as the man, spills his
soup over everything. Everybody
turns and looks suspiciously at him.
Nick sees that he has startled him and
I'm sorry. Tanner, don't you want some wine?
Tanner (turning and seeing the waiter
in back of him)
The waiter moves on.
Nora (to Nick)
You're going to drive me crazy!
Nick (returning to his subject)
Let's see... where was I? Oh, yes. He went to
find the man. That man was desperate! He knew
that he was caught dead to rights -- and with
prison staring him in the face, he took the only
way out. He killed Wynant.
(Nick turns to Dorothy and speaks
gently, trying to soften the blow)
It's terrible to tell you this way but your
father's dead, Dorothy.
Dorothy (at first she cannot grasp
He's been dead for three months.
She breaks down and cries. She gets up
from the table. Nora starts to go to her.
but Andy is there before her. He takes
Dorothy in his arms, oblivious of the other
people in the room and comforts her.
Darling, don't cry. Please. I know it's
terrible. But isn't it really better this way?
(putting her arms around Andy)
Oh, Andy, Andy!
Nora comes to them.
Nora (to Andy)
You'd better take her home. Your home.
Andy looks over at Nick. Nick motions him
to take her away.
Come on, darling.
With his arms around her, he starts out of
the room. Dorothy clings to him as they go
out. Quinn gets up to follow. There is a
silence in the room for a minute after they
Nora (to Quinn)
If she's going wrong now, she's going wrong right.
Nick comes into the scene.
Nick (to Quinn)
I don't think we need you any more now. I'm
deeply sorry that I spoiled your trip.
Quinn grabs his hat and coat and bag - goes
out. Nick and Nora return to the table.
Come on, everybody. Eat up. You're not eating.
It hasn't affected Mimi's appetite.
Because I don't believe that Clyde's dead! Why,
you said yourself you saw him last night.
So I did. I saw him lying buried in his shop.
You mean that body-----?
And the murderer is right here in this room to-
night... he's sitting at this table.
You may serve the fish.
The CAMERA PANS around the table... to all the
frightened faces of the people. Morelli
jumps up and starts out of the door... but he
is stopped by the police.
You're not going to pin this one on me.
Get back there!
Morelli (sitting down)
What am I? The fall guy?
Nick (to the table full of people)
I hope you won't let this news spoil
(he turns to Nora)
Nice food, isn't it?
Nora (all eyes)
It's the best diner I ever listened to -
You're not going to keep us in the dark, are
you? Tell us -- who is it?
I don't know.
(There is more consternation at that)
But I thought if we all had a little get-together
we might be able to find out. I'll tell you as
much as I know. Go right on eating. This murder-
er is a very clever. He studied this thing out
very carefully. You'd understand that, wouldn't
What? Yes - no -
He planned the whole thing beautifully. After he
killed Wynant he wired Macaulay, using Wynant's
name and told him to shut up the shop. He
destroyed all of Wynant's clothes, with the ex-
ception of his watch chain. He figured that some
day that might come in handy. Then he took
Wynant's body and buried it in the shop with
another man's clothes to throw us off the track.
He even put a belt buckle with an "R" on it, hop-
ing that we'd think it was Rosebreen -- an old
enemy of Wynant's who dropped out of sight years
(He looks over at Morelli)
Morelli - would you mind holding your knife
another way? You're worrying Gilbert.
(Morelli, who has been holding his knife
as if it were a dagger, gives Gilbert a
disdainful look, and shifts his knife)
Nora (softly to Nick)
If that knife is missing, I'll look for it in your
After our hero had killed Wynant, he got a
brilliant idea. He realized that he and Julia could
still collect money. Wynant was supposed to be on
a trip - no one knew where - so our dinner guest
wrote letters to Macaulay, signing Wynant's name,
so that Macaulay would continue to send the money
to Julia. He even telephoned Macaulay --
Do you remember?.... the first day that you came
to see me... he telephoned that he was in town?
But it must have been Wynant. I should have known
if it weren't his voice.
Oh he as clever about that. He called when you
were out. That same afternoon, Julia telephoned to
him. She said that you were coming, Mimi, to ask
about Wynant. He got terrified. He was afraid that
Julia would break down and tell... so he went to
Julia and killed her and left Wynant's watch chain
in her hand.
148 CLOSE SHOT - NICK AND NORA.
Nora (close -- whispering)
Is that true?
I don't know.
Why are you saying it?
It's the only way it makes sense.
I hope you're well.
149 MEDIUM SHOT OF TABLE
His plan was still working beautifully. Wynant
was established as being in town. The watch
chain was handed over....
(with a look at Mimi)
...with a slight delay...to the police. The only
hitch was a man named Nunheim who had found out
something. Our hero paid Nunheim once to keep
his mouth shut, and when Nunheim threatened him
again, he bumped him off.
150 CLOSE SHOT MORELLI AND MARIAN
Marian (to Morelli)
And I don't blame you.
What do you say that to me for?
Guild (to both)
151 TABLE FULL AGAIN - GUNNING DOWN.
Nick (to the people)
You see, he'd been very clever. Everybody,
even our astute friend Guild, thought that Wynant
was alive and that he was the murderer. But
our hero had just one weak link in his chain.
The telegrams, wires and telephones were all very
well - but no one had seen Wynant. So he picked
on poor Mimi here to strengthen his case. Mimi
is the only one at the table who can tell us
who the real murderer is.
(everybody looks at Mimi)
Mimi, who was it that told you to say you'd seen
Nobody told me. I did see him!
What did he pay you, Mimi, to stick to that story?
It isn't a story - it's true. I did see Wynant.
He's not dead.
You're lying, Mimi. But then, you'd do anything
for money. You're getting a good price for say-
ing you saw Wynant and you figure you won't get
anything if he's dead.
I'm lot going to stay here to be insulted -
(she starts to go - but stops to listen
to Nick as he continues)
Nick (to Macaulay)
Macaulay, you drew up Wynant's will. Mimi was
cut off, wasn't she, if she re-married?
I have no right to answer that.
What about it, Tanner. Isn't that the truth?
That's what Mr. Wynant said to me. If she re-
married, all the money was to go to the children.
You shouldn't let that keep you from telling
truth, Mimi. Mrs. Jorgensen -
(he speaks to the woman with Jorgensen)
Were you ever divorced from Chris Jorgensen ?
Nick (the bombshell bursts)
So you see, Mimi, under the law, you haven't re-
married. You're still one of the heirs. What
are you holding out for? A few crummy dollars
that that man gave you when you can get the whole
estate? Remember the other two who were in with
him on this... Julia and Nunheim. When he thought
they might spill something he bumped them off.
You ought to know damn well that he's not going
to take any chances on you. What do you want to
do? Be next on his list?
Mimi (furious - to Macaulay)
You dirty son of a b----- !
A crash of china drowns out the end of her
speech as Macaulay rises to his feet. Nick
is on his feet in a minute. He knocks
Macaulay out. Guild rises and stands look-
ing down in stunned amazement at Macaulay.
Nora and all the others leap up in amaze-
ment as the murderer is revealed.
Nick (to Guild)
What do you want me to do? Wrap him in cellophane?
152 FADE IN:
CLOSE UP - FOUR CHAMPAGNE GLASSES
A small travelling Victrola is playing a gay
tune. The glasses are held up by four hands.
WE DISSOLVE THROUGH them to show the drawing
room of a train. Dorothy and Nora are
sitting facing each other, dressed in robes
and lounging pajamas, and Andy and Nick
are sitting beside them, also in robes and
pajamas. Nick is pouring champagne from a
bottle into the four glasses. The drawing
room is full of flowers. Nick puts down
the bottle and holds up his glass in a toast.
To you two.
And to you two too.
OVER THE SOUND TRACK we hear the train whistle
go "Toot-toot" at a crossing. The four raise
their glasses in a toast and drink. There is
a buzz at the door.
A good-natured colored porter sticks his
head in the door and speaks to Nick.
Your room's ready, sir.
Thanks. You can take Asta now.
where Asta is lying asleep. She picks him
Nora (to Asta)
You're going to your nice little bed in the
She hands the dog to the porter. As the por-
ter is starting out, he sees Dorothy's
bridal bouquet in the bracket in the corner
of the drawing room.
(to Dorothy, pointing to the bridal bouquet)
Shall I keep them fresh for you?
Please, if you will.
The porter takes the flowers and Asta and
goes out. There is a pause. Simultaneously,
Andy and Nick sneak a look at the wrist
watches. Andy looks up and catches Nick
looking at his. Nick is embarrassed but
determined to call Nora's attention to the
Might as well set it ahead now.
Nick starts to set his watch. Nora leans
over, is startled to see how late it is.
Gracious! One o'clock. We'd better go.
She leans over Dorothy and kisses her
Dorothy clings to Nora for a minute.
I can never thank you enough for all you've
Nick (to Andy and Dorothy)
There are mingled "good nights" as Nick and
Nora go out the door. As soon as the door
closes, Andy takes Dorothy in his arms.
Andy (smiling -- shy)
I thought they'd never leave.
He kisses Dorothy affectionately.
153 NICK AND NORA'S DRAWING ROOM.
Nick is closing the door of their room. As
soon as it snaps shut.... they are in each
Nick (smiling... but not shy)
I thought you'd never leave.
154 BAGGAGE CAR -- PANNING ON PORTER.
As he enters, Asta on one arm, flowers in
the other. He is about to put Asta down
on the blanket for the night when he stops --
looks o.s. CAMERA PANS OVER to show another
dog of the same breed as Asta in a small
crate. The dog is looking up at Asta eager-
ly. And Asta's ears go up and his tail
begins to wag as he anticipates the possi-
bilities of a transcontinental romance.
Asta -- meet Fifi --
And he puts Asta into the crate with
Fifi .... places the BRIDAL BOUQUET on
top of the crate ... turns and shuffles
out as we are --
Screenplay by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett
Based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett