D.O.A. (1949) - full transcript

Small-town accountant Frank Bigelow goes to San Francisco for a week's fun prior to settling down with fiancée Paula. After a night on the town, he wakes up with more than just a hangover; doctors tell him he's been given a "luminous toxin" with no antidote and has, at most, a week to live! Not knowing who did it or why, Bigelow embarks on a frantic odyssey to find his own murderer.

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- Can I help you?
- I'd like to see the man in charge.

In here.

- I want to report a murder.
- Sit down.

- Where was this murder committed?
- San Francisco, last night.

Who was murdered?

I was.

Do you want to hear me out or don't you,
captain? I don't have very much time.

Your name Bigelow, Frank Bigelow?

That's right.

Answer this San Francisco APB, send it
direct to inspector banner at homicide,

tell him we've found Frank Bigelow.

Go ahead, Mr. Bigelow.

This involves some other people, captain.

- A number of other people.
- You tell it any way you like.

I live in a little town
call Banning, out on the desert.

It's on the way to palm Springs.

I have a small business there...


Yes, Mr. Bigelow?

Get me a copy of miss Hollis
48 tax return, will you?

Oh, you better get the 47 too.

Yes, Mr. Bigelow.

I don't think we took any depreciation
on that new equipment last year.

No, we didn't.

I remember you said we could
include it all this year.

Sure we can.

- Hey Frank.
- Yeah, Will?

Peterson says he wants a financial
statement before he can give me my loan.

- Hello, Kitty.
- Hi, Will.

Well, I'm leaving for San
Francisco today,

but I'll be back in about a week
and I'll take care of it for you then.

- Sure is a scorcher, isn't it.
- Well, I've seen them worse.

- Well, have a nice time Frank.
- Yeah, thanks Will.

Paula, why don't you come down to the place
and let me give you another permanent?

Makes your hair so much easier
to manage in all this heat.

I can't afford it right now,
maybe next month.

Yeah, here it is. No, we didn't take it.
Well, we can do it this year.

You work it out any way you think best.

- Have a nice trip, Frank.
- Sure Kitty, see you when I get back.

Bon voyage.

Why don't you come
down anyway, Paula? We'll...

work out a deal on that permanent.

Thanks, maybe I will.

Oh hello Mr. Hawkins, just a moment.

You want him to send your ticket over?

No, I'll pick it up myself.

No, never mind,
Mr. Bigelow will get it at the station.


I want to go with you, Frank.

Now Paula, I'm just going on
a little vacation, you know that.

- You want to go without me don't you?
- Be gone just a week.

And I suppose you just made up your mind to take

this little vacation
at nine o'clock this morning?

No, Paula, I meant to tell you
about it a few days ago, I guess I forgot.

Oh, you forgot.

- Paula, don't be like that.
- Don't be like what?

You just drop a little announcement that
you're going away not tomorrow, or next week,

or next month, but today.
No explanations, nothing.

And I'm supposed to swallow the
excuse that you need a little vacation.

I just want to get away from
town for a few days, that's all.

Get away from this town,
or get away from me?

Oh, Paula, please try to understand.

How can you ask me to
understand anything like this?

No, I'm sorry, but I don't understand.

Go to San Francisco, but don't expect me
to be waiting for you when you get back.

Paula. Please, Paula.

Come on, turn around. Look at me.

Come here.

Why do you do this to me, Frank?

Why can't you be honest with me?
As honest as I am with you?

- Do you have to go?
- I have to go, Paula. I know what I'm doing.

All right, go. Go anywhere you like.
You can go to blazes for all I care.



Yes, I know, I'm...

- I'm being foolish.
- Come here.

Come on. Fix you face. We'll go
down to Eddie's and have a drink.

Alright, why not.

- Hiya, boss.
- Hi, Eddie.

- Give us a couple of cold beers, will you?
- Coming up.

Oh, what a relief. This air
conditioning feels good.

I sure wish we had it in the office,
it would make working a pleasure.

If it stays, don't bother
going in for the rest of the week.

- I won on two races today.
- How many did you lose?

And you would have to ask that.

- Kind of early for you two, ain't it?
- Too hot to work.

That's what I like to hear.


you'll take me with you, won't you?

You will, won't you?

Or am I crowding you?

What you mean crowding me?

Maybe you do need this week away alone.

Maybe we both do.

I know what's going on
inside of you, Frank.

You're just like any other man,
only a little more so.

You have a feeling of being trapped,

hemmed in and you don't
know whether or not you like it.

Look, Paula,

I'm going to be honest with you, I care
too much for you not to be honest with you.

I'm as much concerned for your
happiness as I am for my own.

I know you've had one bad
experience, Frank, I know all about it.

But you don't know what it can
do to two people, Paula.

And the woman always
gets hurt more than the man.

I don't want you to get hurt, darling.

More than anything in the world,
I don't want you to get hurt.

- Want to hear some music?
- Alright, Frank.

- Got a couple of nickels, Eddie?
- Yeah.

This won't bother you, eh?

No, next result doesn't
come in for half an hour.

I thought that by now we'd be married.

No, I'm not going to
crowd you any more, Frank.

Go to San Francisco. I don't like it,
but I'm convinced that you must go.

I want you to be very sure, Frank.

If it's right, and I believe it is, we'll
have something really wonderful together.

If it isn't, we should both
know it as soon as possible.

So you see, even if I could
stop you I wouldn't do it now.

Yes sir?

- My name's Bigelow, I have a reservation.
- Yes sir.

- Here we are, sir.
- My name is Bigelow, I have a reservation.

I have it sir. It's a very nice room on
the sixth floor, facing the bay.


This might help you enjoy
your stay, Mr. Bigelow.

It's a little booklet on how
to have fun in San Francisco.

- Oh, thank you.
- Very welcome sir.

Say, is it always like this around here?

No, this is market week,
fun until the last day too.


Always around until you need them.

Thank you.

Here's a message for you, Mr. Bigelow.

Long distance call came in about an
hour ago, from Banning, from a Paula Gibson.

- Oh, thank you.
- Very welcome.

- Show Mr. Bigelow to 618.
- Right this way, sir.

Right this way, Mr. Bigelow.

Is there anything else, Mr. Bigelow?

Oh yes, you can get me a dry
Manhattan and a packet of razor blades.

- Yes, sir.
- Thank you.

Oh, and you can leave that door open.

Hello operator,

I want to speak to miss
Paula Gibson in Banning, California.

Yeah, that's right. No, I'll wait.

- Hello?
- Hello, Paula.

- Oh, hello Frank, how is the trip?
- Fine, just fine.

- Having a miserable time, I hope.
- Well I don't know, I just got in.

What was that?

A market week, the place is
crawling with traveling salesmen.

You know, Charlie Anderson found out that you
went away and he asked me to go out with him.

Oh really? How did he make out?

- I'm considering it.
- Is that what you called to tell me?

I'll have you know that this call
is strictly business, Mr. Bigelow.

Did a Mr. Phillips phone you,
a Eugene Phillips, of Los Angeles?


He will, he phoned
the office three times today.

Said that he wanted to
get in touch with you immediately.

He said it's most urgent and
imperative that he reach you at once.

- What he want?
- I don't know.

But he sounded deep dark and mysterious,
and quite agitated about something.

Phillips, Phillips. Have we, have we
ever done any business with him?

Not unless you've been
keeping it a secret from me.

I looked through all the accounts.

Why did you tell him he could reach me here?
You know I'm supposed to be on vacation.

So you told me, and
so I told him, dear heart.

But the gentleman didn't seem to respect
your temperamental moods the way I do.

He was very insistent that he speak to
you before it's too late, as he put it.

Well, tell him you tried to get in
touch with me and I changed my plans

and you can't reach me.

He won't talk to me.

I told him that I was
your confidential secretary,

but I guess I didn't
sound confidential enough.

So I told him he can reach you there.

Well call him back.

If it's as important
as he says it is, he'll talk to you.

Otherwise he'll just
have to wait until I get home.

My, aren't we adamant this evening.

All right, shall do.

- And Frank..
- Yeah?

I, I don't quite know how to say this...

Say what?

But what I want to say is...

That there's nothing you can do that
you ever have to feel guilty about.

Oh, sure.

Thanks, Paula.
I'll, I'll call you tomorrow.


Oh, just put it there, please.

- You can keep the change.
- Thanks very much.

- Say, how long has this been going on?
- Oh, it's been a madhouse all week.

But they check out tomorrow.
I thought you're with them.

No, no, I'm just here on a vacation.

Why does everybody come
to San Francisco and tear loose?

Excuse me.

Say, I'm awfully sorry to bother you,
but would you mind if I use your telephone?

- No. No, go right ahead.
- I'm just across the hall here.

One of the boys is using my phone,
and he's been on it for half an hour.

- I just want to call downstairs.
- Yes.

- Yeah.
- Thank you.

Room service, please.

Yeah, things really picked up
the last few days, didn't they.

- You write much business?
- Well, I'm not here on business.

Hello, room service?
It's Mr. Haskell, in 617.

Yes, yes, would you send up three more
bottles of bourbon and two scotch.

Yes, yes, and some more ice too.

Oh, nothing, thank you. You here alone?

- Yes, I just got into town.
- Well, why don't you join us for a drink?

Well, I don't want
to barge in on your party.

Oh, nonsense. It's not a party.

It's just a few of the boys entertaining
some buyers. You know, the usual thing.

A few drinks and some laughs.

It's no party. Come on.

- Well...
- Come on, come on.

All right.

I know what it's like to be
all alone in a strange city.

- I'm Sam Haskell.
- I'm Frank, Frank Bigelow.

You think some of these guys have
never been away from home before.


Hey, hey, quiet down a bit. Hey,
will you quiet down a second.

- I want you to meet Frank Bigelow.
- Hello.

Mrs. Jane Carlyle, Bill Welch.

- How are you, Mr. Welch?
- Glad to know you, Bigelow.

Jane is the prettiest buyer in San Francisco.

- Hey, I resent that.
- You don't think I believe him, Elaine?

- Why, he's spread that from coast to coast.
- Oh, Jeanie...

- It's good for my morale, anyway.
- I'm George Cantwell,

- Glad to know you, Mr...
- Bigelow.

Bigelow, yes. Write much business?

He's not here on business.

Oh, well...

Oh, why don't you get the man
a drink before he dies of thirst?

- How about a little bourbon?
- Oh, that's fine.

Bourbon it is.

Of course Mr. Wallace.
In fact, yes, Mr. Wallace.

But Mr. Wallace, I'll need at least a week
in Cleveland to visit all my accounts.

I can't think about being in
Philadelphia until the 17th.

Eddie, will you get off the phone?
I want you to meet Frank Bigelow.

- How are you?
- That's his boss.

He's been trying for an hour to
get his expense account boosted.

Yes, the way this guy
holds onto a dollar you'd

you'd think they weren't
printing them anymore.

Yes Mr. Wallace, I'm leaving here
the first thing in the morning, yes, sir.

Oh, keep your hips loose, Harry, like this.

Oh, yes.

How's he doing?

Oh there's nothing wrong
with Harry rather that

two years in a dance school wouldn't cure.

I was doing all right.

This is Sue and Harry Brandon.

- Hello.
- Hello, good to meet you.

Where you find this dame,
on a dance marathon?

- No, bourbon.
- Really?

- Say I bet you could do the rumba?
- Well, a little, but I'm kinda rusty.

Anything would be
an improvement after Harry.

- Well, how do you like that?
- Well, here goes.

Say, you're good.

Oh my wife, she's a
good dancer, isn't she Bigelow?

Oh, yeah.

Fellas, I thought you were going to show us
a good time tonight, is this doing the town?

That's right, we practically bankrupt our
stores to buy everything you've got...

then you keep us in this hotel room.

I agree, this is my last night to howl before
I go back to being a dutiful housewife.

Well, it looks like we're stuck, boys.

This is where we blow all our
commission in one night.

And you're coming with us, Bigelow.

Oh, no thanks, you run along I've got
to get unpacked and have dinner.

Oh, no, you're not
going to get away from me.

Now that I've found a man who
can dance I'm going to hang on to him.

- Man, am I hip.
- You're from nowhere, nowhere.

Blow it. Blow up a storm, fisherman.

Stay with it.
Go, go on, get it, fisherman.

- Have a little bit of my drink, Frank.
- No, thank you.

- Excuse me a moment.
- Where are you going?

Sue, I think you've had enough.

- What will it be?
- Bourbon and water, no ice.

Nice quiet place you've got here.

Well, they hit the peak int about an hour,
that's when they really go out of their minds.

Who's the blonde?

Oh, she's one of the chicks that hangs
around here, she's jive crazy.

- Come again?
- Oh, you ain't hip pal.

Jive crazy means
that she goes for this stuff.

Just between you and me, I don't
get it either, but I got to listen to it.

They're all connoisseurs,
music lovers. Me, I like guy Lombardo.

What's the matter with him?

Ah, he's flipped,
the music's driving him crazy.

Come down, Jack.

Oh, don't bug me man.
I'm being enlightened.

- Is the blonde alone?
- Oh sure, society.

She always comes in alone.
Drives a big convertible, wears a mink coat,

Knows everybody.
But she always comes in alone.

Thank you.

Give me another blast, Leo.

- What's your story, Jeannie?
- Easy.

- Hello.
- Easy. Dig the fisherman.

- That's really silk, isn't it?
- Can I buy you a drink?

Sure, thanks. Give me a blast, Leo.

Leo, I left my blast
at the other end of the bar.

My name's Jeannie, what's yours?

- Frank.
- I've never seen you here before, Frank.

Well I've never been here before.

- This isn't mine, mine was bourbon.
- Well sure it is, you saw me pour it.

- Gimme a fresh drink.
- Anything you say.

Oh, listen to that piano,
feel those vibrations.

You don't get your
kicks out to this, do you?

I can live without it.

- Why you stay here?
- I don't know.

I bet I know, you're lonely in a big city.

You don't have to
go into a routine with me.

I like good company too.

Say, there's some people
there I want to avoid.

Couldn't we get out of here?

- Let me think about it.
- Come on, how about going somewhere else?

Why don't you meet me later?

Ok. Where?

Call me at that number later,
it's my next stop.

They got a band there
that will really send you.

- See you, Jeannie.
- Easy.

Never mind, operator.

Room service, please.

Come in.

- Be right with you, waiter.
- Yes sir.

- Was this all, sir?
- Yeah, sure.

- May I?
- Go ahead.

- I've signed there for you.
- Thank you sir.

- Would you like anything else?
- No thank you, that's all.

- Waiter.
- Yes sir?

Take this away.

Is there anything wrong, sir?

No, no, just take it away,
I don't even want to look at it.

- Are you alright, sir?
- Yes, sure.

Alright, I just had too big
a night I guess, that's all.

- I need some fresh air.
- Of course.

Thank you, sir.

Lungs in good condition, blood
pressure normal, heart fine.

Well, it's a good thing that
everybody isn't like you, Mr. Bigelow,

Put us doctors out of business.

I'm glad to hear it doctor,
I was a little worried.

Don't let a little bellyache worry you,
could be just the change in climate.

Well it isn't exactly an ache, doctor,
it's kind of hard to describe the feeling.

Maybe it was the drinks I had last night,
I might have mixed them too much, eh?

Let's have another look at that throat.

You may finish
dressing now, Mr. Bigelow

I want to get the
results of those tests we took.

Thank you, doc.

Mr. Bigelow, this is Dr. Schaefer.

- Hello doctor, how are you?
- Sit down, Mr. Bigelow.

According to the information you gave
miss Wilson, you're not married Mr. Bigelow.

That's right.

Do you have any relatives,
family, anyone in San Francisco?

No, no one. I don't
know a soul in San Francisco.

Where is your home?

What is this, doctor?
Why all the questions?

- You're a very sick man, Mr. Bigelow.
- Sick.?

- But you told me I was in good shape.
- Yes, I know.

But my preliminary examination
didn't reveal your true condition.

You sound as if
it's pretty serious, doctor.

It's extremely serious.

I want you to understand
that we wouldn't tell you

something like this unless
we were absolutely certain.

Well of course, of course.

You must steel yourself
for a shock, Mr. Bigelow.

Well go on, doctor, what
is it you're trying to tell me?

Our tests reveal the presence
in your body of a luminous toxic matter.

What is that exactly?

- A poison that attacks the vital organs.
- Poison?

There is no alternative but to tell you this.

Your system has already absorbed
sufficient toxin to prove fatal.

I wish there was
something that we could do.

What do you mean wish?
You mean there's nothing...

There is nothing anyone can do.

This is one of the few poisons
of its type for which there is no antidote.

This is fantastic.

- This is the most ridiculous thing...
- Mr. Bigelow...

you don't have very long.

- What do you mean?
- A day, possibly a week.

Two weeks at the outside.
It's hard to say exactly.

Oh, this is impossible,
I don't believe it.

You've made a mistake. That's it,
it could be a mistake, couldn't it?

You, you have made a mistake,
haven't you? Answer me.

Dr. Schaefer is an authority on toxicology.

There's been no mistake, Mr. Bigelow.

Do you realize what you're saying?
Why, you're telling me that I'm dead.

You think you can explain my life
away in just a few words?

So I, I don't even know who you are.
Why should I believe you?

You must calm yourself, Mr. Bigelow.

We want to offer
you every assistance that we...

Assistance? Who wants assistance?
Who wants anything from you?

You're nothing but a couple of phoneys.

I think you're crazy, I see, your crazy,
the both of you, you're crazy.

Where's the doctor?

- You can't come in here.
- Come on, tell me. Where is...

Get out of here.

What's the trouble here?
What's the matter with you?

Doctor, I want you to
examine me for luminous poison.

Come right in here.

Yeah, you've got it alright.

Your system has already absorbed it.

Are you sure, doctor?
Are you absolutely certain?

Couldn't there be some mistake?

There it is. The toxin
is actually luminous in the dark.

No, there's no doubt about it, Bigelow.

I don't feel sick, my
stomach is just a little bit upset.

Maybe it's not as bad as you think, doctor.

That's characteristic.

With a heavy jolt you
go suddenly, in a matter of hours.

But if the stuff is taken in a lesser
degree, you last a while and then...

And then?

Give it to me straight, doctor.

Well, a number of things are involved,

the systemic condition of the
individual, the amount consumed,

So yes...

You won't feel too badly for a while.

Then it will happen suddenly,
a day, two days, a week at the most.

A day.

- Two days.
- There's nothing that can be done, now.

If it had been caught in time, your
stomach could have been washed out.

But you've had it in you for some time now.

For at least twelve hours,
haven't you, Bigelow?

I don't know.

- You don't know?
- No.

- Don't you know how you got it?
- No.

This is no accident,

Somebody knew how to handle that stuff.
That wax is tasteless and odorless.

From the amount of alcohol in
your body you must've got it from liquor.

I was drinking last night.

Arrange for your admission
to the hospital immediately.

Of course I'll have to notify the police.

- This is a case for homicide.
- Homicide?

I don't think you
fully understand, Bigelow.

You've been murdered.

Get me police headquarters please.

Homicide bureau.

A day, two days, a week at the most.

You've been murdered.

This is no accident. Somebody
knew how to handle that stuff.

From the amount of alcohol in your
body you must've got it from liquor.

There's nothing that can be done now.

You've been murdered.

You've been murdered.

Open up.

Open this door, I tell you.

Open up or I'll break it down.

Where are those men? Where are
those men who were here last night?

I don't know, there are no men here.

- Please go away...
- Don't lie to me. Where are they?

Mister, this lady just checked in.

Those men are here no longer, they
check-out hotel early this morning.

- Checked out?
- Please go away.

I'm sorry.

I'm terribly sorry.

- Hello?
- Please, Mr. Bigelow, my eardrums.

- Hello, Paula.
- Your enthusiasm overwhelms me.

Why haven't you phoned me? Or is
there a quota on telephone calls up there?

I'm sorry, I, I've been busy.

I'll bet you have,
visiting the museums no doubt.

What's happening up there
that's exciting or different?

Nothing, not a thing.

I'll bet you miss me, but
you're too stubborn to admit it.


You know, if you'd like me to come up, I
could pack a toothbrush and leave right away.

- No.
- Well you don't have to snap my head off.

You could at least make
a pretense of missing me.

I'm sorry, Paula.

Of course I miss you.

Listen, Paula, I...

Paula, it's just that I don't feel
like talking now, I'll call you later.

Don't strain yourself.

You phone me sometime
when you feel more like talking.

Oh, by the way,
I called that Mr. Phillips back.


Yes, you know, the
man that tried to reach you.

Well I'm afraid that you'll never know why
it was so important that he speak to you.

His office said he died yesterday.

Frank, are you there?

Did you hear me?


- When?
- Yesterday.

So you won't have to bother
your little head about him any more.

You can just go ahead and have fun.


What did he die from, do you know?

I suppose he died from
whatever people usually die from.

Well didn't they
tell you, don't you know?

What are you getting so excited about,
you said you didn't even know the man.

Listen, where's his office located?

What difference does it make? You can't
talk to him now, I told you the man's dead.

Paula will you stop talking so
much and tell me where his office is.


It's the Phillips Importing
and Exporting Company,

Bradbury building, Los Angeles.

- Bradbury building, Los Angeles.
- That's right.

Say, this is really a switch.

Listen, if you want to reach me,
I'll be in Los Angeles.

- Are you out of your mind?
- I'm sorry, Paula, I've got to hurry.

Wait a minute, where in Los Angeles?

The Allison, the Allison hotel.
Goodbye, Paula.

I'd like to see someone in charge here.

- What does it regard to?
- It's a personal matter, it's quite urgent.

- Perhaps Mr. Halliday can help you.
- Who's he?

He's our controller.

- Your name, please?
- Bigelow.

- Mr. Bigelow to see you.
- Send him in.

Go right in, please. That door.

- Mr. Bigelow.
- How are you, Mr. Halliday?

What can I do for you?

Well Mr. Phillips phoned my
office several times yesterday.

- I'd like to find out what it's all about.
- You know Mr. Phillips died yesterday?

- Yes, I know.
- Well I don't understand.

If he phoned you, didn't he
tell you what it was about?

Well he didn't speak to me,

I wasn't in my office at the time
and he wouldn't tell my secretary.

I'm afraid I can't be of much help.

I've no idea why
Mr. Phillips tried to reach you.

I'm sorry you had
to make the trip for nothing.

How do you know I made a trip?

I didn't say anything about making a trip,
I merely said he phoned my office.

My office could be here in Los Angeles.

Miss Foster.


Didn't you mention something
yesterday about Mr. Phillips

speaking with
Mr. Bigelow in San Francisco?

I said that he had phoned
Mr. Bigelow's office in Banning,

but that Mr. Bigelow was staying at the
St. Francis hotel in San Francisco.

- I'm sorry you misunderstood me.
- Do you know why Mr. Phillips called?

- No, I don't.
- Alright. Thank you, miss Foster.

You can understand that we've
been somewhat upset around here.

Now if you don't mind...

Did Mr. Phillips have a wife,
family, anyone that could help me?

You can't intrude on people at a time
like this just to satisfy some curiosity.

It isn't just curiosity.

Then I suggest you wait a week or so.

- I can't wait.
- Well I'm sorry, you'll have to.

Well, there's always a phone book.

You're a pretty aggressive fellow, Bigelow.

Are you quite sure that this is as
important as you make it appear to be?

It's important.

Mrs. Phillips lives at the
sunset arms apartments.

- Thank you.
- I needn't tell you she's under a strain.

I suppose you're capable of using a little
more tact than you demonstrated with me?

I can handle it. By the way,
what was the cause of Mr. Phillips' death?

Suicide, he leaped
from the balcony of his apartment.

Thank you.

Come in, Mr. Bigelow.

I'm Stanley Phillips, Eugene's brother.

Halliday phoned that you were coming.

This is my sister-in-law, Mrs. Phillips.

I'll try to make this as brief
as possible, Mrs. Phillips.

I'm afraid I can't be of any help
to you, Mr. Bigelow

I haven't the slightest idea why
my husband wanted to speak to you.

Well I guess Halliday
covered just about everything.

Did your husband ever mention anything
about me, Mrs. Phillips, anything at all?

No, I can't recall Eugene ever
having mentioned your name.

I hate to ask you this, Mrs. Phillips,
but it's of vital importance to me.

Do you know why your
husband committed suicide?

You're certainly not the most diplomatic
person in the world, are you, Bigelow?

- Were you a friend of my brother's?
- I never met him.

My brother was in a jam, a pretty bad jam.
He was arrested two days ago.

He sold some iridium
to a dealer by the name of Majak.

It's a very rare metal, very costly.

Anyway, the iridium
turned out to be stolen.

He was released on bail yesterday,
but he faced a pretty stiff prison term.

Men have committed suicide for less.

Yes, I know, that's how
the police see about it.

What puzzles me,
though, is this crooked deal.

Knowing Eugene, you wouldn't say he was the
type of man to be mixed up

in anything like that, would you?

- I told you, I never met him.
- That's right, so you did.

- Now what's this all got to do with you?
- I don't know.

Let's come clean with
each other, Bigelow.

Surely you must have some idea why my
brother was so desperate to contact you.

- I have no idea.
- That's odd.

Then how can it be of
such vital importance to you?

Well, you seem to know
the answer to everything else.

Maybe you know the answer to that one, too.

There's a message here for
you to call operator 82 at Banning.

- Thank you.
- Show Mr. Bigelow to room 821.

Say, would you have the operator to put
this call through to my room right away?

- Up there.
- Yes.

Thank you.

Hello operator?

- Here. I'll call you if I need anything.
- Thank you, sir.

- Hello, Paula?
- Well, Sinbad.

I'd just about given you up for lost.

Now do you mind telling me just why
you rushed down to Los Angeles?

I can't explain it
to you just now, Paula...

I just can't explain it.

What's going on Frank, you
don't even sound like yourself?

Well I...

I'm just a little tired, Paula, that's all.

But I miss you.

Oh, Frank. I can't tell you
how good it is to hear you say that.

And here I was
worrying that I'd lost my charm.

When are you coming home, Frank?

Soon, Paula. I'll be home soon.

I'll go right out and get myself a
permanent so I'll be pretty when you see me.

Hey, guess what? I found that
Phillips name in your notarial ledger.

- Notarial ledger?
- Yes, of all places.

I remember now, I made the entry myself.

You had notarized a paper
one morning before I came to work.

What kind of paper was it?

A bill of sale for a George Reynolds,
made out to Eugene Phillips, of Los Angeles.

You see I was right, we hadn't done any
business with Phillips, only indirectly.

- What was the bill of sale for?
- A shipment of iridium, whatever that is.


You mentioned at
the time that this fellow Reynolds

had made some kind
of a deal in Palm Springs,

and he stopped in your office early
in the morning on his way north

- to have it notarized.
- Wait a minute.

Wait a minute, George Reynolds
that was about six months ago, wasn't it?

- That's right. Six months ago.
- Thanks Pau. Oh goodbye.


Hello, operator.
Get that number back for me.

I've got to talk to you, Mrs. Phillips.

Please, go away, I want to be left alone.

But I found out why your husband wanted to
see me, it was in connection of a bill of sale.

- Come in.
- Thank you.

What do you know about
a man named George Reynolds?

- George Reynolds?
- Yes.

Why that's the man my
husband claims sold him the iridium.

And what does Reynolds claim?

- Reynolds disappeared.
- Yes?

About two months ago, my husband grew
suspicious that something was wrong.

Since then he tried in every way to locate
Reynolds, but could find no trace of him.

I don't get it, your husband could
have proved he made a legitimate

deal by showing the bill
of sale he got from Reynolds.

- Then there was a bill of sale?
- Yes, yes of course there was.

My husband swore there was but at
the time of his arrest, he couldn't find it,

it was mysteriously missing.

Well then, if your husband could have shown proof,

it would have been George Reynolds
who would have faced the prison term.

Eugene was convinced that
Reynolds had stolen the bill of sale.

He was the only one who had reason to
eliminate evidence of the transaction.

Thank you Mrs. Phillips, thank you
very much, you've been very helpful.

Oh, if only you'd come sooner
Mr. Bigelow, my husband might be alive today.

I know.

The only thing
that puzzles me, Mrs. Phillips,

is that you haven't asked
how I knew there was a bill of sale.

Mr. Halliday isn't in,
he should be back shortly.

I think you're the one
who can help me, miss Foster,

Mr. Phillips tried to reach someone else
before he called me yesterday, didn't he.

Why don't you ask Mr. Halliday.

Obviously Mr. Halliday
wasn't here yesterday...

or he wouldn't have had to learn
from you that Phillips called me...

and you're the logical person
to know who else Phillips called.

I don't think is any of your business.

Don't think you're revealing
anything confidential, miss Foster.

I know that he tried to reach
somebody else, Mrs. Phillips told me.

You're bluffing, Mr. Bigelow.

I don't know what you're after,
but you're trying to trick me.

Mrs. Phillips didn't tell you a thing.

- How do you know that?
- Mrs. Phillips knows nothing about it.

She doesn't?

Oh, why wouldn't she? Wait a minute.

I was talking about George
Reynolds, who did you think I meant,

just who is it that
Mrs. Phillips doesn't know about?

I told you before
that's none of your business.

Alright young lady, I'll give it to
you straight, Phillips was murdered.

Murdered? I don't believe you.

He called me because
he needed me to clear him.

Phillips was innocent, innocent
men don't have to jump out of windows.


Just who are you
trying to protect, miss Foster?

- So why are you so afraid to tell the truth?
- I'm not protecting anybody.

- I haven't any more to say.
- Alright young lady, listen to me.

This thing is going
to explode wide open.

If you've got nothing to hide,
you better start talking.

- Or maybe you are mixed up in this.
- No.

Well then, come on.

Mr. Phillips called Marla Rakubian,
He went to see her yesterday morning.

- Who is Marla Rakubian?
- She is a model.

She and Mr Phillips used to be quite friendly
but he hadn't been seeing her for some time.

Come on...

The last couple of months
he's been trying to locate her.

Found out where
she lived yesterday morning.

When he returned from seeing her,
he was terribly upset and excited.

That's when he had me
to put in the calls for you.

When he couldn't reach you he
went home, the last time I saw him alive.

Give me Marla Rakubian's address.

I don't think Mr. Phillips realized I was
aware of his friendship with Marla Rakubian,

Out of respect for him I
never intended to tell anybody.

I had no idea she had anything
to do with the trouble he was in.

I admire your discretion, miss Foster.

You know, you must be pretty
friendly with Stanley, miss Foster.

He knew how desperately his
brother tried to reach me yesterday,

and he wasn't even here at the time.

And now you seem to know all about
what happened in Mrs. Phillips apartment.

- Miss Rakubian?
- Yes?

What you want?

- Get out of here or I'll call the police.
- Go ahead, call them.

Well go ahead, call them.
Going on a trip, eh?

Yes, going away for the weekend.

Sailing for Buenos Aires
tomorrow, some weekend.

I'll send you a postcard,
now get out of here.

Who you going, with George Reynolds?

I've never heard of him.

I suppose you've never heard of
Eugene Phillips, either?

- Just who are you, what do you want?
- Never mind who I am, where is Reynolds?

I told you I don't know him now will
you get out of here and leave me alone?

So you've never
heard of George Reynolds, eh?

Don't tell me this isn't him,
because I've seen him.

If you think you can
scare me, you're crazy.

Look I know that
Phillips came here yesterday.

And right after he left, he was
pushed out of a sixth store window.


- Phillips committed suicide.
- Your playmate Reynolds murdered Phillips.

Then he went up to San Francisco to get me
because I knew about a certain bill of sale.

I don't know what you're talking about.

You're in this right up
to your pretty little neck.

I'm not mixed up in anything.
Get your hands up.

Drop that picture on the couch. Turn around.

Don't get any ideas,
because I'm not afraid to use this.

Give me your wallet.

Frank Bigelow, hotel Alli...

- Alright, now where's Reynolds?
- I don't, I don't know where he is.

Is that what you
told Phillips, yesterday?

I told him exactly what I'm telling you,
I haven't heard from him in months.

Yeah? You're mighty careful of the picture
of a man you haven't heard from in months.

- What does the ray stand for?
- Was a pet name, do you mind?

All sounds very cosy, miss Rakubian,

You and Reynolds call each other pet names
while you make a sucker out of Phillips.

Phillips made the
deal because he wanted it.


Well I bet you weren't above using
what it takes to help make him want it.

- Who's paying for this trip?
- I am.

Really? A first class trip to Buenos Aires
on a model's salary, don't make me laugh.

Since you and Reynolds aren't seeing each other
any more you don't mind if I keep this thing.

If I were a man I'd punch your dirty face in.

You know, I really believe you would.

Oh, I almost forgot.

Your tickets.

Don't be surprised if I'm there to see you off.



Oh, Angelo.

You remember taking this
picture of a George Reynolds?

I take so many pictures
I can't remember them all.

This gentleman is a friend
of his and would like his address.

- We have no card on him.
- I don't think we ought to do that.

He's willing to pay twenty dollars for it.

That's the paper we used last year.

Of course you understand we usually
don't give out information about our clients.

I know, you're a
couple of high class fellas.

Thank you.

Revealing anything confidential is
against the ethics of our establishment.

- That's right, honesty is the best policy.
- Of course.

But in your case, in as much you're
a personal friend of Mr. Reynolds...

- Thanks, I knew you'd come through.
- Got it.

Here it is. We don't have his address,
he must've called for the picture.

But he could not have been a
very good friend of yours, mister...

because his name
is not George Reynolds.

It isn't? Then what is it?

It's R...



- It's Raymond Rakubian.
- Rakubian?

What's so unusual about that?
The picture's signed Ray, isn't it?




Bigelow. Are you alright?

- Can I get you anything?
- No, no thanks.

- Do you know this man?
- No. No, I don't think so.

- Are you sure you've never seen him?
- I'm quite sure.

Is the name Raymond Rakubian
mean anything to you?

- No, I never heard of him, why?
- He also uses the name George Reynolds.

- This is Reynolds?
- That's right.

- Where can we find him?
- That's what I want to know.

Tell me something, Halliday.

You're the controller here.

How come you didn't
know about that bill of sale?

Phillips made that deal
before I came to work here.

Yeah, but you still
keep records, don't you?

For some reason,
which is none of my business,

Phillips prefer to keep that
among his personal papers.

Now does that answer your question?

You came in here today asking
for some information that you needed.

And I tried to be
as cooperative as I could.

But now you're beginning to annoy me.

So get out before I throw you out.

You know you really frighten me.

Well, it's about time you showed up,

Go ahead, Dave.

Real cute, ain't you
Bigelow, just real cute.

Marla didn't lose much time in
getting hold of you guys, did she?

Shut up, Bigelow.
Look at him, he can't take it.

Soft in the belly.

You do that again and I'll kick your face in.

- Lay off, Chester, cut it out.
- Shut up. Who asked you?

Better let him answer it,
the clerk might know he's in.

Go ahead, Bigelow.

- Hello?
- Frank.

Frank, why did you hang up on me?
I've been trying to get you for hours.

I'm sorry, Paula, I was in a hurry.

But don't be in such a hurry this time,

you didn't give me a chance
to finish what I have to say.

It's a dame,

I wanted to tell you that
McGowan was in hollering his head off

- because you didn't go over the books.
- Tell McGowan to get another auditor.

Sure, I'll just do that little thing and
lose the best-paying account we've got.

Do as I tell you, Paula.

Frank, are you...

are you drunk?


- How much have we got in the bank?
- About 2,200 dollars.

Draw it out tomorrow.


Then what do we do, skip town
without paying our bills?

Forget the bills, you know
that coat you always wanted?

Buy it.

You are drunk.

You know, if I didn't have
such a good character I'd...

be tempted to take advantage of your
intoxicated state, Mr. Bigelow.

I'm not drunk, Paula.

Well don't tell me that one day
away from me can affect you this way.

Cut it short.

- Paula.
- Yes?

I'm sorry I, I left you.

I never realized how much I love you...

but I know it now.

Oh Frank, Frank darling,
I love you too, so very much.

Please come home,

I miss you terribly.

I said cut it short.

I'd just love to
let you have it, Bigelow.

Let's go Chester, this guy's
kept us waiting long enough now.

Walk in front, Bigelow.

And keep your mouth shut.

If you so much look cross-eyed at anybody,
I'll blow the back of your skull out.

This Bigelow is real cute.

He wanted to get tough
with Chester, he don't know Chester.

Did you get the picture?

Don't I always get what
Mr. Majak sends me after?


That's right.

I'm the dealer who
bought the iridium from Phillips.

I get it.

You have Rakubian unload
stolen stuff on Phillips,

To help with Marla here,
and then you buy it back from him.

Oh, you certainly made
a sucker out of Phillips.

What is it, Mr. Bigelow?

Exactly what is on your mind?

- I'm looking for Raymond Rakubian.
- Why?

Why now Marla has told you everything else,
I'm sure she must have told you that, too.

You don't expect me
to believe this conversation?

So what is on your mind,
I mean, underneath.

You forced your way into my affairs,
and now I want to know why.

I just told you, I'm looking
for Raymond Rakubian.

Don't get cute.
I'm just itching to work you over.

Soft in the belly, can't take it.

See, what'd I tell you?

You can't do that to Chester.
I'm going to blow your guts out.

Easy, lay off Chester, not now.

Look at him, he's so
scared of Chester he'll talk now.

He's not afraid, Chester.

You can tell from a
man's eyes when he is afraid.

Look at his eyes.

I'm telling you Majak...

you'd better keep him away
from me or he'll have to use that gun.

Go away, Chester, please.

Do what I tell you, my boy, please.

And help Dave.

Ah, you're in pain.

He's an unfortunate boy.

He's psychopathic.

He's unhappy unless he gives pain.

He likes to see blood.

Come with me, Mr. Bigelow.

Raymond Rakubian was my nephew.

He could not possibly have tried
to kill you, he's been dead five months.

I'm afraid you have been sidetracked,

Provided it is true that somebody
made an attempt on your life?

Somebody made an attempt again today.

I had no reason to kill you, believe me.

What do you mean you had no
reason, I notarized a certain bill of sale.

You notarized a bill of sale for
Reynolds, not Rakubian.

What I told you is true, I had no reason
to kill you. That's a closet Mr. Bigelow.

And under other circumstances
you could go home now.


Now you present a problem.

You know too much, and I am in danger.


Suppose I were able to prove to you
that I only want to find the

person who tried to kill me and
I won't cause you any trouble?

You know I can go to jail for ten years
for this little business? Ten years.

At my age that's my life,
that means my entire life.

With my life I do not take
chances, I am sorry, believe me.

- You want Joe to go with you?
- No, just Bigelow and me,

- And baby makes three.
- But, Majak...

Goodbye Mr. Bigelow, and forgive me.

Let's go, Bigelow.

I guess you won't
be there to see me off.

You tried to make a boob
out of me, in front of Majak.

Shouldn't have done that
Bigelow, I don't like that.

I'm going to enjoy this, Bigelow.

I done jobs like this before.

I knocked off guys I could like.

But I don't like you, Bigelow.

I never liked that puss of
yours from the minute I've seen it.


I'm going to enjoy this.

Ain't scared yet, are you Bigelow?
But you'll be scared, good and scared.

I think I'll give it to you in the
belly, you don't like it in the belly.

Go ahead, try it.

I'd just love you to try, Bigelow.

Why don't you try it? Go ahead.

Didn't have the nerve, did you Bigelow?

Yeah, I think I'll give it to you
right in the belly, yeah.

Takes longer when you get it in the belly.

Is nice and slow...

that's the way I
want to see you go, Bigelow.

Nice and slow.


Frank, are you alright?

Yes, I'm alright, Paula,
but what are you doing here?

How did you get here?

Freddie Ross ran me down,
I had to come, I had to see you.

You shouldn't have
come Paula, you shouldn't.

What is it Frank? You're in
some kind of trouble, I know it.

Look at you, you're a sight, your
clothes look as if you slept in them.

Are you ill? You are, you're feverish.

I'm alright, Paula.
And I'm not in any trouble, believe me.

You're lying Frank, right
after I spoke to you, I got a

phone call from the San Francisco
police, they asked if I knew where you were.

- You didn't tell them anything, did you?
- Of course, not.

It was a homicide detective that called.

What is it Frank? If you're in any
kind of trouble you certainly can trust me.

Look I'm not in trouble with
the police Paula, believe me.

But you can't stay here, you've got
to go back to Banning right away.

No I won't go Frank, I won't.
I'm staying here with you.

Paula, it's better that
you go back, believe me.

Why? What's this all about?

What is you got to do
with this Phillips and Reynolds?

- Phillips was murdered.
- Murd...

What could that possibly
have to do with you?

Why all you did was notarize a paper,
you've notarized hundreds of papers

I know, I know, all I did was notarize a
paper, one little paper out of hundreds.

Frank, you frighten me.
You don't even act like yourself.

I know that you're in trouble, that something
is wrong, that you're in serious trouble.

You frighten me, Frank.

Oh, don't be frightened, Paula.

Don't ever be frightened of anything
again, will you promise me that?

I love you so much darling, more
than you seem able to understand.

I never really knew
happiness until I loved you.

Sometimes when I used to be afraid
that you weren't sure how you felt,

I tried to hold back, but I couldn't.
Losing you would be losing everything,

- There would have been nothing left.
- Don't, Paula, don't.

Now I'm afraid again.

Somehow I feel I'm going to lose you,
but there's nothing I can do about it.

I feel so helpless, you're
leaving me out of something.

Tell me Frank, what is it?

Give me a chance to fight back,
just give me a chance, please.

- You do love me?
- Oh yes, Paula, I love you.

I never was more
certain of anything in my life.

I wasn't sure before, I was a little blind
I guess, but believe me I'm sure now.

- Can you understand that, Paula?
- I understand.

A man can be like that, Paula.

Something has to happen,
it can be a big thing or a little thing.

But it can make him realize
how much someone means to him,

how much he really loves
and I love you, Paula.

More than I ever thought it possible
to love anyone in the world, I love you.

Then why won't you tell
me about this trouble you're in?

Why won't you let me help you?

- You can't help me, Paula.
- You don't want my help.

Oh, Paula, there's nothing
you can do, will you believe me?

So will you please go home, please?

No, Frank, I won't go.

I know you're in trouble,
I can't leave you like this.

Alright Paula, look, wait for me in the lobby of
the hotel

and I'll be back to you soon, I promise.

- You promise, you sure?
- Yes Paula, I promise.

Is that a new outfit?

- Yes.
- It's beautiful.

- You'll come back to me, won't you Frank?
- Yes, Paula, I'll come back, I promise.

- Please hurry, darling, Oh, I love you.
- I love you, Paula.

Goodbye Paula.

- Stanley here?
- No.

You sure?

Alright, get in there.

Get Stanley on the phone, tell him to come
over right away. Use any excuse you want.

What are you going to do?

What was Stanley going to do when
he used me for a clay pigeon today?

- I don't know what you're talking about.
- Don't act innocent, I fell for that once.

I don't know what you mean, I told you
everything you want to know this morning.

Yes, you told just
enough so I got sidetracked

and wouldn't know that
Stanley was the one I was after.


Oh no.

You and Stanley have been
together on this from the start.

Now come on, get
on that phone and call him.

- And don't let him know I'm here.
- Bigelow.

You've been sidetracked alright...

but it was the poor
bereaved little widow who did it.

Miss Foster found this letter this afternoon.

In my brother's desk at the office,
postmarked two years ago.

It isn't exactly the kind of letter that a
married woman gets from a casual friend.

I'm sure my brother wasn't aware they were
so well acquainted when he hired Halliday.

- What's the matter with him?
- He hasn't felt right since dinner.

- Where did he have dinner?
- At Mrs. Phillips apartment.

Halliday was there too, and Stanley
confronted them with that letter.

- You had anything to drink?
- Yes, why?

- How long ago?
- Half an hour ago, just before I came here.

Miss Foster, get on the phone
and call the emergency hospital,

have them get a ambulance
over here right away.


Tell them to prepare a
stomach wash for luminous poisoning.

- Luminous poisoning?
- Go on, do what I tell you.

May still have a chance to save his life.

- But I...
- Go on.

I found George Reynolds, Mrs. Phillips.
He's been dead for five months.

- Then he didn't steal the bill of sale.
- No, he didn't, but you could have stolen.

How dare you?

You knew who I was
when I came here today.

But you were surprised
to see me alive, weren't you?

But I'm not alive, Mrs. Phillips.

Sure I can stand here and talk to you,
I can breathe and I can move.

But I'm not alive, because
I did take that poison,

And nothing can save me.

- What are you going to do?
- If I kill you now, I have nothing to lose.

No, no, you got to listen to me,
you've got to give me a chance.

But I didn't have a chance.

Was Halliday,
believe me it was Halliday.

He made me steal the
bill of sale, he planned everything.

What about this letter?
Your husband knew about you and Halliday.

He found it only yesterday.
He accused Halliday.

They fought, and Halliday
pushed him over this balcony.

And why me? Why did he want to kill me?

Because you could have
proved there was a bill of sale.

That my husband had
no reason to commit suicide.

Halliday was desperate.
After he killed my husband...

he found out about
the phone calls to you...

he thought you spoke to him, that
you knew enough to involve him.

- Where is Halliday, where is he?
- He's in the office.

This time you don't warn him.


Come on, mister, break it up.

Come on, come on.

Come on, move along.

Come on, let's break it up, move
along now, let's get going. Come on.

All I did was notarize a bill of sale.

But that piece of paper could've
proven that Phillips didn't commit suicide.

He was murdered and
that's why Halliday poisoned me.

Would you?

Pau, Paula.

Call the morgue.

Johnson, you go to the Allison hotel and
find Paula Gibson, don't tell her anything.

I'll break it to her.

How shall I make out
the report on him, captain?

Better make it dead on arrival.