Danger Signal (1945) - full transcript

Smooth-talker Ronnie Mason earns his living by murdering lonely women for their inheritances. On the run, Ronnie poses as a disabled war vet and takes a room at the Fenchurch home. He at first courts elder daughter Hilda, but changes his plans after meeting her younger, prettier--and richer--sister. Hilda discovers Ronnie's scheme, but can she act before her sister becomes his next victim?

[ Door knocks ]

Open up. I know you're in there.

Open this door.

[ Door knocks ]

If you don't open this door
I will call the police.

[ Door knocks ]

Is something wrong, Mrs Crockett?

Everything. Look at this.

"Thomas Turner, 44, Insurance Agent .."

"Has asked police to aid
in finding his wife Alice."

"Who disappeared from their
home two months ago."

The nerve of them. Passing
themselves off as man and wife.

Open up this door.

You want me to break it
for you, Mrs Crockett?

Yes, please.

Do you know this man?

I have seen him many times.

He is a writer.
He calls himself 'Mason'.

How long has your wife known him?

I'm not sure.

Possibly three months, maybe longer.

I think that is all the information
we need at this time.

Thank you, Mr Turner.

Everything alright, Dr Silla?
- Perfect, Hilda.

I always rely on you to make me sound as
though I know what I am talking about.

An interesting lecture.

Morbid Psychology is
my speciality, you know.

It is amazing what goes on
in some people's heads.

In anybody's head, Hilda.

How is your sister getting
along at the sanatorium?

Fine. She will be coming home soon.

The mountain air cleared
up her lung completely.

Now, you will have less of a burden
to carry on your shoulders, huh?

They are broad.

Just the same.

I would like to prescribe a pair
of masculine shoulders for you.

That's a nice prescription but where are
you going to get it filled these days?

Sometimes I wonder about that myself.

See you later.

Thank you.

Hello, Dr Lang. Good reading?

I am sorry. I didn't see you.

Oh, I have been wanting
to congratulate you about ..

About ..

About my appointment to the
National Council of Psychiatrists?

Oh yes, of courses.
The faculty feels extremely honored.

Thank you.

Well, I must fly. I have
a class in a few minutes.

- Good morning.

That is, good afternoon.


Hello, Dr Lang.
- Hello, Miss Fenchurch.

I have a paper here.

Is that it?

Oh yes.

It is an article on botulism.

I hope you can make out my writing.

Botulism? Didn't read about that
lately? It killed a whole family.

That's right. It is a very
unpleasant little bug.

The usual four copies?

Yes. That's right.


Miss Fenchurch.

I have been wanting to ask you ..

I thought perhaps if you weren't ..

Excuse me.


Yes, mother.

Movies? Not tonight. I'm bringing
some work home with me.

Yes. Sorry, darling.

A lettuce and oranges.
No. I won't forget.

You were going to ask
me something Dr Lang.

Never mind. It wasn't important.

Good afternoon, Miss Fenchurch.


What's the matter, Kay?

That is the last time I take dictation
from a travelling salesman.

If you didn't wear your skirts so short
and with all that goo on your eyelashes.

It wouldn't help. They'd make a
pass at a bull-legged grandmother.

I never seem to have
that sort of trouble.

Okay. Next time, you go.

Here you are. My goodness.
I'll take that. Did you get the lettuce?

What is the meaning of the
'For Rent' sign, Mrs Fenchurch?

Now darling, don't make a fuss about it.

That spare room is just a waste
and we can use the money.

And we'll need things
when she gets home and ..

I'm perfectly able to pay
for anything Ann needs ..

Without turning our home
into a boarding house.

But Hilda, it is unpatriotic to have an
empty room with such a housing shortage.

It wouldn't be a bother, dear.
- Not much it wouldn't.

Extra cleaning, extra
laundry, extra cooking.

A stranger in the house.

Here darling, you take those in for me.
- Alright.


- Somebody beat me to it?

No. I live here and we
have changed our minds.

Can I help you down?
- Thank you.

That's too bad. It's a nice
homey-looking place.

The hotels are all
jammed and so is the 'Y'.

Mind if I sit down a minute?

My game leg is giving out.

Did you have an accident?

Just a little souvenir
from the South Pacific.

I'm sorry. I didn't notice your button.

Oh, that is nothing.

You don't know of anyone else in the
area who has a room for rent, do you?

No. I don't.

Would you like to see
the room, mister ..?

Ronnie Marsh.

I'm Hilda Fenchurch.
- Hello.


You're sure I wouldn't be intruding?

No, not at all. Come on in.

We have never rented our
room before you know.

So I understand, Miss Fenchurch.

But somehow I feel it is unpatriotic
to have an empty room in these days.

That's very generous of you otherwise
I might be sleeping in the park.

So the Sergeant walked off into the
rain, and do you know how a duck walks?

If you write stories as well as you tell
them you should be very successful.

An appreciative audience always helps.

I'm only sorry that the publishers
don't feel the same way.

How long have you
been writing, Mr Marsh?

Ever since I left college.
Up until the time I went into the army.

There was no chance for it after that.
- No. I suppose not.

You are remarkable cook, Mrs Fenchurch.

I am sorry you weren't my Mess Sergeant.

I wish I had been. It is nice to have
a man in the house to cook for.

You are setting Hilda a
good example, Mr Marsh.

She hasn't eaten so well in ages.

Perhaps you could persuade
her not to work so hard.

I can't so much as get her to go
to a movie with me of an evening.

That's bad.

Any doctor will tell you that diversion
is just as necessary as rest.

How about a movie tonight?

I would love to, but I
really have work to finish.

There. You see?

Then why don't we go, Mrs Fenchurch?

You mean you would take me?
- Why not?

That was a bullseye, Mr Marsh.

It will only take a few
minutes to do the dishes.

Why don't we just stack them and
then I'll help you when we come in?

Hilda, I wish you would go.

I can't afford to.

Even if you have a new boarder I still
have my own customers to think of.

Have a good time, you two.
Why don't you take my car?

Thank you, darling.

That is a wonderful girl you have there.

There is no better girl
in the world, Mr Marsh.

Well, this isn't getting
the dishes stacked.

No, no. I suppose not.

"Ann, darling. Something new has
been added to the Fenchurch home."

"A boarder. He is young and handsome."

"And quite interesting."

[ Doorbell ]

Hello Bunkie.
- Hiya, Hilda.

Will you come in?

No, I just dropped by to say that I am
awfully sorry about Ann's broken arm.

What do you mean, Bunkie?
She didn't break her arm.

No? Then why hasn't she
answered my letters?

I don't know. Why don't you ask her
yourself when she comes home?

And when will that be?
She never tells me anything.

Any day now.
- Swell.

I am getting awfully tired of
going to movies by myself.

Be sure to tell her to call me
the minute she gets in, will you.

You bet I will, Bunkie.
- Oh.

By the way, I don't suppose you
would like to go to a show with me?

That is very sweet of you Bunkie but ..

I've got a lot of work to do.

No harm in trying. See you later.

This circular, Mr Turner ..

Is being sent to police headquarters
all over the country.

Mason is hiding.

But sooner or later he'll stick his neck
out and when he does we'll nab him.

You will let me know?
- Sure thing.

You know what the Coroner's
jury said, Mr Turner?


My wife wasn't the sort
of person to kill herself.

She left a suicide note, didn't she?

This is her handwriting.
- I don't believe she wrote it.

Unless you can find more
evidence, Mr Turner.

We must assume she committed suicide.

Unless I can find more evidence?

Why, it's the police department's
job to find evidence, not mine.

[ Singing: ]

"It had to be you."

"It had to be you."

"I wandered around and finally
found somebody who .."

It's good to hear you sing, Hilda.

Well, if you can call that singing.

It's because of Ronnie, isn't it.

You think you're pretty
smart, don't you.

He's a nice boy. It's too bad he's had
such a hard time selling his stories.

He will sell them, darling.
Those things take time.

By the way, mother. Don't say anything
to him about the rent, will you.

I won't. He talked to me yesterday
and I told him it didn't matter a bit.

Someday he'll be famous and
we can all laugh about it.

Mrs Fenchurch, I think you
have got a crush on him.

Oh, Hilda.

Hey, Hilda.

Will you finish my packing, darling.
- Yes, dear.


My things are already in the car.
What are you doing?

I'm still packing.
- We're only going for a weekend.

Or do you plan to change
every 30 minutes?

Never mind. I am almost finished.
Come on up and get my bags, will you.

I hope you enjoy the weekend, darling.

It is so long since you've had a rest.

It's good for you to meet new people.
- I am very excited about it.

Ronnie says they're a charming couple.

They've got the boat at Havenwood.
Sounds like a lot of fun.

Hello honey.
- Ronnie.

How's my girl? Will you
be lonesome without me?

Of course.

You missed hearing about your future.
- Oh?

Mother can't wait until you're famous so
she can brag that you once lived here.

That's a very pretty speech.
Thank you, ma'am.

Take good care of her, Ronnie.
- You wouldn't do better yourself.

Come on, Hilda.
The open road is calling.

You know, if I had my way.

I would arrange for the world to come to
a complete stop at regular intervals.

This would be one of them.
- And then?

Then I would do absolutely
nothing for at least 500 years.

And what about the people
waiting for us at Havenwood?

Let them wait.

Very well, Mr Marsh.
What shall I tell Miss Fenchurch?

You tell Miss Fenchurch to stick around.
This is her paradise too.

After all, she is paying for it.

Oh Ronnie, we were having such fun.

I wish you hadn't said that.

Well, it is your car and it
is your money. Isn't it?

So what?

You will be paying me back
as soon as your story sells.

Sure. Another century or two
and everything will be fine.

The trouble is I was
getting to like this one.

What difference does it make
whose car or whose money it is?

It is still a wonderful
afternoon and it is all ours.

Thank you, Hilda.

It's funny how rich we all are
when we stop to think about it.

Look at all that sky and ocean.

That is ours too.

Very well, Miss Fenchurch.

What do you say to a swim
down there in our ocean?

I would like that.

We'll park the car at the lodge.

I win.

Not fair. Ronnie, you could
have let me win, you know.

What? And lose the prize?
- Silly. Who said there was a prize?

Didn't anybody ever tell you that
there's always a prize in every race?

Take it easy, Mr Marsh.

The race is over and
you have won the prize.

It has been fun, hasn't it.

Yes. It has.

Would it spoil the fun any if we had
dinner at the lodge down there?

I'd love it, but what
about your friends?

What about them?
They are charming, but they'll keep.

Come on, let's get dressed. I am hungry.

Nothing ever tasted so marvelous.

It is my favorite dish.
Cold salmon mayonnaise.

Good vintage wine and desert.

It was wonderful. Every bit of it.

Here is to people like us.

I wonder what they are like, really.

I'll tell you what they are like.

They are the luckiest
people in the world.

I wonder.

I have never thought of
myself as being very lucky.

At least until now.

Thank you, darling.

Ron, please. What will the waiter think?

Think? He'll think we're
on our honeymoon.

Which is only right and proper.


Any objections?

I am sorry. I am not very good
at teasing about these things.

I know. This isn't the way I
would have planned it either.

But who ever has a choice
about a moment like this?

The just happen.

And listen, darling.

In this world there's just a few people
who get to meet at just the right time.

Should you and I quibble
because this isn't the Riviera?

Or a park with a real band playing?

Or that I spoke a little
soon rather than late.

No, darling.
You and I are the lucky ones.

Ronnie, I think we had better be going.

Alright, Hilda.

Whatever you say.

[ Engine not starting ]

How do you like that?

It can't be the starter. Why don't you
try it again and choke it a little?

Maybe mama had better talk to it.

There must be somebody around
here who can fix this thing.

[ Car horn ]

It's getting late. We haven't much time.

Well, we would be a lot worse
off it happened on the road.

Hello. You want something?
- Yes. Is there a mechanic around here?

Sorry. The mechanic won't
be back until tomorrow.

There must be someone somewhere.

We can leave the car here and get a bus
to Havenwood. What time is the next bus?

There is no more tonight but
there is one early in the morning.

What will we do? Where will we go?

Where is the nearest hotel?

This is, I guess. You can stay here.

If they're not full up you
probably can. I'll go ask.

Good. Ask them to hold two rooms.
And the luggage is in the back.


Couldn't we go out to the main
road and try and flag a lift?

Not a chance. Hitch-hiking would be
pretty dangerous this time of night.

Look, Hilda. What can't be
helped, can't be helped.

Besides, have you ever wished for
something and had it come true?


On the beach this afternoon I
began wishing for lots of things.

I know. And now they
have begun to come true.

Look inside.

"Til death do us part."

Who gave it to you?


Terribly. About you.

Well, you haven't answered my question.

From a beautiful woman with
honey-colored hair and long eyelashes.

Who was she?
- My grandmother.

It was her wedding ring.

"With this ring, I thee wed."

You had better not wear it
until we can make it official.

I hate to take it off.

I can't wait to tell mother, Ronnie.
She thinks so much of you.

I'd rather you didn't
tell anyone for a while.

When I make plans and tell people about
them something always goes wrong.

It is a jinx. I am superstitious.

How long do you think it will be
before I can wear it officially?

As soon as I sell a story.

If I don't sell one pretty soon I am
going to chuck writing and get a job.

Ronnie, if you do I will ..
- You'll what?

I will go on loving you
until death do us part.

That's more like it.

Hi there.

Hello Kate.

Will ..

Hilda be back soon?
- Yeah. In a minute.

You going to ask her today?

Well, maybe.

How is my new suit?

Oh say. It looks swell.

Turn around.

You think Hilda will like it?
- Why not?

Now don't lose your nerve, Doc.
- I don't know. I wonder if ..

Now, what have you got to lose?
Just march up to her and say:

'Look. How's about dinner
and a show tonight'?

Suppose she says no? Okay.
You drop in tomorrow and ask her again.

I will try.
- That's the ticket.

As soon as he comes in, I'll duck out.
- No, no.

You stay here.

What is going on here?

Miss Fenchurch. I mean, Hilda.

I would like to talk to you.

Of course. Sit down.

How do you like Dr Lang's
new suit, Hilda?

Oh, that's very good looking.

The sort of thing you
should wear all the time.

Thank you. I had hoped you'd like it.

I have something very
important to ask you, Hilda.

I'm going for some supplies.
Be right back.

Yes, Dr Lang?

It was something I wanted to ask you.

Another paper to type?
- No, no. Something else.

Hello, darling. I'm supposed to pick
up your little sister at the station.

You forgot to leave me the car keys.

Oh. Silly of me.

Dr Lang, this is Ronald Marsh.
He is staying with us.

Ronnie you've heard me talk of Dr Lang.
- Yes. How do you do.

Here you are.
- Thanks, Hilda.

Nice to have met you, Dr Lang.


A nice-looking chap.
- Isn't he. He is a writer.

What was it you wanted to ask?
- Oh ..

Nothing very important.

I have to take an inventory
of my lab sometime next month.

And I wondered if you could help me out.

Yes, I would be glad to.

That's fine. I will let you
know a few days ahead of time.

- Goodbye, Dr Lang.


Darling, it is so good to
have you home again.

You look wonderful. Just wonderful.

Easy now. Don't cry. I'll think
you are not glad to see me.

I can't help it. I feel so happy.

Come along darling. Oh. I almost forgot.

I know. This is Ronnie. I'd know you
anywhere. Hilda wrote me about you.

Gee, it's good to be home.

I'll make some tea and
bring it up to you, darling.

Thank you, mother.

I'll take your bags up for you.

At last, my old room.

I've been camping out on a
sleeping porch for three months.

What beautiful cornflowers.
Where did they come from?

From your garden.

Really? They were
never so lovely before.

You see, I've been taking care of them.

It gives me something to do
while I'm working on a story.

From the looks of the flowers you
must have been doing a lot of writing.

Will you take a brotherly suggestion?
- Fire away.

After you have your tea you should rest.

You've been a pretty sick girl and
you need to conserve your energy.

How do you know so well what I need?

Because I had a sister once.

You remind me of her a little.

She had dark hair but her
eyes were the color of ..

Well, those cornflowers
you liked so much.


You know, I am glad
you are here with us.

You are not half as glad as I am.

- Hilda.

Oh baby, I am so glad you are back.

Not half as glad as I am.

You look marvelous.
- You look pretty grand yourself.

What's new?

Oh, Bunkie Taylor has
been haunting the house.

That is not new. He is such a child.

And his spelling ..

Any new scalps up there?
You didn't write.

Nothing exciting.

Did I tell you I'm going
back to Stengalls?

Swanky clothes to model.
No more kids' stuff.

Say, you are quite a grownup
young lady now, aren't you.

Well easy does it, lamb. For one solid
week you are not going anywhere.

Light exercise and lots of rest.

But Hilda, I've had plenty of rest.

Tell me more about this
Ronnie we have taken in.

He is nice, isn't he.


This is when I was about ten.
- That is a pretty big doll.

Uncle Wade brought it to me from France.

Now she is almost as
beautiful as you are.

Who is uncle Wade?
- Dad's brother.

He was the only wealthy member of the
family and I was his favorite niece.

And did he leave you a fortune?

Well, 25 thousand dollars.

And isn't 25 thousand a fortune?


Here is Hilda when she
graduated from High School.

She was always a little on the
serious side, wasn't she.

Here I am when I graduated
from grammar school.

Where did you go to school, Ronnie?

Reform school.

It wouldn't surprise me.

Nothing surprises you very much does it.

No. Not very many things.

Sometimes I don't quite
know what to think of you.

Just what do you think about me?

I think you are pretty conceited.

And I think you are pretty.

[ Doorbell ]

Good afternoon Mr Fenchurch.
Where is Ann?

She is in the living-room, Bunkie.
- Right.

Hello Ann.
- Hello.

Oh, they are lovely.

You know Mr Marsh - Bunkie Taylor.

He is a friend of the family.

- How are you.

Feel as good as you look?
- I feel fine.

I wondered if you could
come out tonight.

All the gang is going to the hotspot
for thin cakes and then the movies.

Could you?

I would love to, but ..

Sorry, Ann can't have dates this week.
She has to be in bed by ten o'clock.

How about it, Ann?

Better make it next week.
- Okay.

Just in case you are not hip. Ann has
been my date since grammar school.

Oh Bunkie. Grow up. That is kid's stuff.

Besides, I am too old for you.

Yeah? Well, he is too old for you.

Keep our shirt on, Junior.

I am just a big St Bernard with
a keg of brandy on my collar.

You look more like a wolf to me.

You hurt his feelings you know.

It had to happen sometime.
He is only seventeen.

You like older men, don't you, Ann?

How old are you Ronnie?
- Twenty-eight.

Hilda is very fond of you, isn't she.

I hope so.

I've been noticing how she looks at you.

You are very observant.

And being a loyal sister ..

You are worried that your homecoming
has spoiled things for her, aren't you?


You know, it's a good thing
I didn't meet you first.

Can you read palms?

Eyes are easier to read.

What do you see?

I see a girl who is eager for life.

For whom the world is just
opening up .. like a flower.

She'll travel widely, have
an apartment in New York.

Travel in Europe six months of the year.

Her husband will be famous.

A novelist or a playwright.

Ronnie, that is just the kind of a
life I have always dreamed of.

Dreams sometimes have a
way of coming true, you know.

Finished your typing, Hilda?
- Yes. I'm going to mail some letters.

I'll do it.

No thanks. I'd like some fresh air.

Isn't it your bedtime, darling?

Alright. Goodnight.

Goodnight, Ann.
- Goodnight, Ronnie.

Want to take a walk, Ronnie?

Not very far. I've a lot of work to do.

Just down to the mailbox.

I haven't had a minute
alone with you all week.

I've been busy.
I started a new story last night.

What about Dark Island?
- They sent it back.

I didn't want to tell you.

Maybe you were right about
getting a job, Ronnie.

I knew you would feel
that way sooner or later.

I don't mean you should give up writing.
You could do that at night.

If you were getting a
salary maybe we could ..

You promised you'd wait, Hilda.

I'll keep my promise, darling.

Will my husband be a
famous playwright or novelist?

You were listening.

I couldn't help it.

Was there anything I
shouldn't have heard?

Scarcely. But it's hardly worthy of you.

I told you I couldn't help it.


Should I be?

I was only trying to amuse your
little sister. She has been lonely.

You are kind, Ronnie.

I try to be.

But people have a way
of misunderstanding.

Have I misunderstood you?
- I think so.

I am sorry.

[ Door knocks ]

Sorry to bother you but I
just have to talk to you.

I don't think I ought to go
out with you tomorrow night.

Why not?

Hilda is in love with you.

I just wouldn't admit it
before but now I am sure.

Sit down.

What of it?

I am all mixed up.
I don't know what to do.

Don't do anything.

Nobody has to know that
we are going out, do they?

That doesn't solve anything.

Suppose your sister is in love with me.

That isn't the same thing as
my being in love with her.

No. I guess it isn't.

I had better go.

But you have only just come.

Just the same, I had better go.

You are a funny kid.

You aren't afraid of me, are you?

No. I am not afraid of you.

It is me I am afraid of.

[ Door knocks ]

May I come in?

Well baby, did you have fun?
- Yes, loads.

The house has been as quiet as a grave.
Ronnie has been out all evening.

Where did you go?


Who smeared your lipstick? Bunkie?

I am terribly tired, Hilda.
I don't feel like talking.

Maybe you shouldn't have
gone dancing so soon.

Too much excitement.

Sweet dreams, darling.

Sorry I am late.

Whoever said barking
dogs don't bite. Mine do.

Another big evening?
- And how.

I went to the Club Habinero and I
danced every dance from nine on.

That Sergeant must have
weighed 300 pounds.

Say, I saw your kid sister there.
My, she certainly has grown.

And with glamour.
Why, I hardly recognised her.

Who is her boyfriend?

Bunkie Taylor, I guess.

He lives near us.

Tall, smooth, 30-ish?

Wavy brown hair and dreamy eyes.

That must have been
one of Bunkie's crowd.

Well, I guess I'll have to go to work.

I am not here as a customer.
I am a moocher.

Thank you, Katie.

Now, if you give me a match
I will do my own puffing.

Why the dark brown study, Hilda?


I am sorry. I didn't hear you come in.

So I noticed. What is the matter?

I am just tired, I guess.

Don't try to fool me. You are worried.

Can I help?

If I can, you call on me anytime, huh.

Thanks. Maybe I will.

Here you are Katie.
- Keep them, Doc.

Club Habinero.

Sounds seductive.


Ronnie, did you take Ann
dancing last night?

Yes. I did.

I ran into her with her gang on
my way back from the station.

They were getting into a car.

Of course, they'd been drinking some and
I didn't want to have to ride with them.

We stopped off at the Club Habinero for
a dance. And then I brought her home.

Why didn't you tell me?

I felt you may give it more importance
than it's worth as I see you have.

I am sorry.


It is my fault. I am sorry.

I should have told you but frankly
I have been up to my neck.

What kind of problems?
- Oh, writing problems.

Maybe you can help me.
- I wish I could.

You can. Here, sit down.

Look. You can write something for me.

But Ronnie, I am not a writer.
- Good. That gives it a fresh approach.

Look, in my story is
a character. A girl.

She writes a suicide note.

I have tried it myself nine
or ten times and it's bad.

I wouldn't know where to start.

The more amateurish the
note reads the better.

The girl is depressed.
She is despondent.

She feels that life has
nothing in store for her.

Write anything that
comes into your head.

I'll try, darling.

Thanks, Hilda. You're sweet.

This won't help you. It's too silly.

"I no longer have the
courage to face life."

"This is a coward's way out I know but
the oblivion of death is preferable."

I warned you.

It is just that my character would
never say 'oblivion of death'.

But you mustn't think
I don't appreciate it.

Darling, I have to finish
this and get it in the mail.

And fix your lipstick.
It is all smeared.

"Who smeared your lipstick. Bunkie?"

"I am terribly tired, Hilda.
I don't feel like talking."

[ Telephone ]


Yeah, this is Bunkie. Is that you, Ann?

Oh, Hilda.

Bunkie, I want to know just one thing.

Were you boys drinking when
you too Ann out last night?

A fine chance.

She isn't speaking to
children like me anymore.

Are you sure?

Sure I am sure.

She's not been out with me or any
of the gang since she came home.

She must have been.
She goes out 3-4 times a week.

She has been hitting the nightspots
with that boarder of yours.

You must be mistaken, Bunkie.

That takes money and
Mr Marsh hasn't any to spend.

Are you kidding?

Jeff Stewart at the bank said
he's cashed a couple of checks.

For the stories he's sold.

"Why would Ann turn me down for him?"

You hear me, Hilda?

"Hello? Hello?"

She hung up on me.

How do you like that. The whole
family is giving me the brush-off.

I have to put this in the mail.
I'll be right back.

You lied about the way
you met Ann last night.

You lied about not selling your stories.

That's right.

You not only write fiction, you live it.

What if I do?

I want you to get out of this house.

In that case you won't need
my ring any longer, will you.

As for my leaving, I think perhaps you
had better let your mother decide that.

Get out.

Alright. If you insist.

But I won't go alone.

Your sister is old enough to
live her own life, you know.

Darling, I have got to talk to you.

I know. You're angry because
Ronnie took me dancing.

No. I am not angry.

I am just afraid. For you.

Why don't you say what you mean?

You're crazy about him and you
can't stand having him like me.

Is that what he told you?

He told me everything. He told me
how you forced yourself on him.

Ann, he lied to you.

He asked me to marry him.

Yes. I heard about that too.

You practically did the proposing.

Hilda, I am surprised at you.

You don't know what you
are saying. You couldn't.

Ann, you are not in love with him.

Oh yes I am.

And he loves me.

Hilda, I am sorry but
we just couldn't help it.

Listen, Ann.

I don't want Ronnie.

He is cruel and heartless.

And dishonest.

I am only trying to keep him from
hurting you as he has hurt me.

He lies and cheats.

He tries to turn you and
mother against me.

He twists things round so you sympathise
with him. Do you understand that?

I also understand that you are twisting
things, trying to make me hate him.

He has had a very unhappy life.

This is the first chance he's had for
happiness and you're trying to ruin it.

Ann, please. Don't let
him do this. I beg you.

Believe me. He made all the advances.
I never threw myself at him.

I only believed the lies he
told me as you're doing now.

I loved him too much
to see through them.

They weren't lies. He simply
realized he didn't love you.

There's nothing dishonest about that.
It happens all the time.

You can't stop people
from falling in love, Hilda.

You are right. You can't.

And sometimes you can't make
them face the truth either.

Why can't you face the truth?
It is simple enough.

Ronnie loves me and you hate him for it.
Yes, and you hate me too.

If that is what you believe ..
- That's what I know.


Where have you been?


Want to take another walk?
- What are we waiting for?

He said he'd still go on seeing Ann.
There was nothing I could do about it.

But there is something.

There is one way I can stop him
from ever hurting anybody again.

He isn't fit to live.

Why, killing him would
be no worse than ..


Open this.

Will you give it to me, please?

You won't need this.

But he has got to be stopped.

He can't go on doing things like this.

Don't you see what I have been through?

All I can think about is
how to stop his lying.

The way he smiles. The way he
talks to my mother and to Ann.

I've got to destroy what he has done
to us. Don't you see? I've got to.

Come, Hilda.

Now, you just lie quiet a moment.

I am sorry.

He sounds like a scoundrel.

A charming one, but ..

Thoroughly ruthless and dishonest.

Your impulse to destroy
him is natural enough.

The instinct to murder
is latent in all of us.

I am glad you came to me.

Hilda, there is one thing
you must remember.

No matter how much
harm this man has done.

Or may do.

It is insignificant compared with
with the terrible consequences ..

Which would come from destroying him.

The injury to yourself.

And to the very ones you
are trying to protect.

Your sister and your mother.

Hilda, you couldn't commit murder.

Not even if you came to
the very point of doing it.

You wouldn't be able to.

Will you remember that?

I would like to meet him.
Could you arrange it?

I don't know.

Why not invite me to lunch with him?

At your home.

Another cup?
- No thank you.

You know, it is my theory
that war is combustion.

Combustion is produced by pressure.

I believe that the scientific
distribution of population ..

From overcrowded countries
to less crowded areas.

Would reduce the pressure.

And eventually tend to eliminate war.

That is a familiar theory, Mr Marsh.

Two other men who advanced it ..

Brought death and destruction
upon the world and themselves.

That is quite true, Dr Silla.

But my contention is that there was
nothing wrong with their theory ..

But only in their application of it.

I have to get back to the office.
Will you excuse me, Dr Silla?

Of course, Hilda. Ronnie is
going to show me the garden.

You didn't come out
here to see the garden.

Naturally not. I came to meet you.

I am very fond of Hilda.

You surprise me.

You are a scientist and should know ..

That such problems can't be
resolved through conversation.

I didn't say they could, did I?

It was just one of those things.
I really thought I was fond of Hilda.

Until you met Ann.

Those things happen every day.
There's nothing abnormal about them.

They don't require the
services of a psychiatrist.

Do you mind if I ask you a question?

Go ahead, Dr Freud.

Do you intend to marry Ann?

That depends.
- On Ann?

No. On Hilda. She seems
determined to prevent it.

Of course.

But you know, quite beside from Hilda.

I don't think you are in
love with Ann either.

I know what you mean. You think I am
more in love with myself, don't you?

I didn't say that.

Are you?

Aren't we all when you bring
it down to the last analysis.

Hilda tells me that your father
committed suicide. Is that true?

Yes. My mother was responsible for that.


Through her extravagances and gambling
and spending she bankrupted him.

My father tried playing the stock
market, lost his shirt and shot himself.

Did you hate her for that?

No. As a matter of fact
I always admired her.

She had presence, mental stature, charm.

Something like you in that way.
- You flatter me.

I mean it.

You know, the study of psychiatry
has always interested me.

I'd like to talk to you some more if I
thought you could speak objectively ..

And not start analyzing me
the way you were just now.

I could try.

Would you like to come down to my Willow
Beach cottage some weekend and we can ..

Have a talk? Huh?

Very much. When?


I have enjoyed meeting you, Mr Marsh.
- 'Ronnie', please.


Confidentially you know, I get a
little fed up with my colleagues.

They are too objective.

An interesting study, that man.

Rather complicated.

He has spent his adult
life in pursuit of women.

At the same time he has
no respect for them.

Men like that can be
fascinating and dangerous.

They prey on women and very
often the women love it.

Yes, I know.

What did he say about Ann?

Not very much. Just that
he intends to marry her.

If you don't interfere.

I am puzzled though.

Men of his type usually
fight shy of marriage.

He knows my sister is coming into
an inheritance when she marries.

I see.

That throws a new light on
our Don Juan's intentions.

One thing I discovered.

He is a great egotist.

And extremely susceptible.

He said he wanted to see me again.

He lost no time in accepting ..

When I merely suggested that he come
down to the beach cottage some weekend.

But Hilda, please don't
worry about this anymore.

You have made nervous wreck of yourself.

You must get away
completely from all this.

Here's the key to my Willow Beach place.

You know where it is.

Suppose you go down there
for a day or two and relax.

Put everything out of your mind.

Meanwhile I will try to rescue
Ann from this entanglement.

Even if I have to work my over-aged
charms on young Mr Marsh.

It might be a good way
to punish him, huh?

Oh it's you, Hilda. I've been worried.
What kept you so late?

I was at Dr Silla's apartment, mother.
You shouldn't have waited up.

I was waiting for Ann.

They ought to be home by now.
It is after one.

Is she with Ronnie?

Yes. They went to the movies I think.

Hello, mummy.

Well, everybody is up.
Aren't we the night owls.

Oh mummy, don't look so cross.

I am alright.

Ann .. you have been drinking.

We had champagne. We were celebrating.


Ronnie doesn't want me to tell
anyone because he is superstitious.

But I am not. We are engaged.

Well, isn't anybody going
to congratulate us?

Is it true, Ronnie?

Yes. I asked Ann to marry me.

Ah, Hilda.

It is late, Ann. Go to bed.
We'll talk in the morning.

Oh, I am so happy.

And Ronnie is so happy.

And you have just got to be happy.

I am happy, dear.
- Goodnight, mother.

Goodnight, Ronnie.
- Goodnight, darling.

It's bad for her to drink, Ronnie.
The doctor gave strict orders.

Sorry, but it was a special occasion and
she didn't have an awful lot to drink.

You aren't angry with me, are you?

No. Of course not.

I had better go up to see her though.

I know how you feel.

Mother, he mustn't marry Ann.
You have got to make him go away.

Hilda. Try to think of Ann.

I am thinking about her.

I didn't want you to know this, but ..

I was engaged to him
before Ann came home.

Hilda, why didn't you tell me?

He asked me to keep it a secret.

We must tell Ann.

She knows.

She doesn't care.

She's as crazy about him as I was before
I found out how contemptible he is.

[ Doorbell ]

[ Doorbell ]

Why, Dr Lang.

I owe you a thousand apologies
for calling at this time of night.

Is your daughter Hilda at home?
- Yes, but she has retired.

I hate to ask her to work
but this is an emergency.

It's a lecture I am giving
first thing in the morning.

I have written it all out, but ..

Well, I .. I have difficulty at times
deciphering my own handwriting.


That's alright. Hilda says public
stenographers are like doctors.

Subject to calls at all hours.

Just wait here. I will get her.
- Thank you.

Hilda. Dr Lang is here.

He has some important work
he wants you to do for him.

Good morning.

What a pleasant surprise.

This is the day I take inventory.

Of course. How stupid of me.
I will be right with you.



Take a look.

An interesting little beast, isn't it.

What is it?

The canning bacillus.
Bacillus botulinus.

One of the deadliest poisons
ever turned loose in the pantry.

I typed a paper on it for you, didn't I?

Your memory is better than mine.

How does it affect people?

They get angry at me.

- The canning bacillus, I mean.

It strikes unexpectedly.

No taste, no warning.

Do they die instantly?

No. The symptoms
aren't apparent for hours.

By then it's generally too
late to do anything for them.

You haven't been looking well recently.

Do you know that?

I haven't been feeling very well.

Would you rather not
do the inventory today?

We could take a ride in the country.

No. Work is good for me.

[ Telephone ]

Excuse me.



Hello Wilkinson.

Yes. Go ahead. I am listening.


I see.

Well, I am not exactly sure.
I could tell better if I had a look.

Not at all. Not at all.
I will be glad to.


I've got to run down to
Wilkinson's lab for a while.

Is there anything you have to ask me?
- No.

I think I will put off the
inventory until Monday.

If you don't mind.
- Of course.

May I get you anything?

No, thank you. It is just that I
am more tired than I thought.

I am sorry.

May I see you home?

I am alright. Really.

No. I don't think you ought to drive.

I'll be fine as soon as I get outside.

These chemicals.
It is rather close in here.


I suppose it is. I am so used to it.

Who rang, Ronnie?

Just a telegram for me. I'm having
dinner at Willow Beach with Dr Silla.

Has Hilda called?

Not since I have been here.
I just have time to get the bus.

If Ann comes in tell her
I'll be late, will you.

[ Doorbell ]

Dr Silla.

Hello Andrew. Is Something wrong?
- I'm afraid so.

Do come in. Tell me about it.

Have you any idea where
I could find Hilda?

I stopped by her office.
Kate said she'd take the day off.

I phoned her home and nobody answered.

Well, why? What has happened?

She was working in my lab this morning.

I thought she seemed
ill and she left hurriedly.

I went out for a while
and when I got back ..

I discovered that a tube of
botulinus bacillus was missing.

I'll try her home again.

I don't know. I may have misplaced it.

I don't think you did.

Hello, Mrs Fenchurch?

Good afternoon, Dr Silla.

Ronnie has left.
He should be there by now.


Yes, He received your wire and
he took the bus to Willow Beach.


No, she is not here.
I don't know where she is.

I just wanted to talk to her about
some work. It can wait until Monday.

Goodbye, Mrs Fenchurch.

Have you got your car?
- Downstairs. Where are we going?

Willow Beach.

But first you stop and get whatever
you need to treat a case of botulism.

I can't imagine a girl like Hilda
even considering suicide.

It is not suicide she's considering.

It is murder.

There was a good-looking
young fellow in her office one day.

That's the one.

It's a red light. Look out.


Didn't expect to see you here.
What's your game, Hilda?

No game.

Won't you come in .. or are you
afraid it might compromise you?

No. I am not afraid.

Where is Dr Silla?

She will be back soon.

You don't expect me to
believe that do you?

No. I don't suppose I do.

Only two for dinner.

That's right. Only two.

Then it was you who sent me
the telegram and not Dr Silla.

That's right.

You know Hilda, I thought
I had you all figured out.

It's not very difficult, is it.

I'll say one thing for you, Hilda.
You are a good sport.

Is that all?

I still can't figure you out.

Ronnie, I don't blame you
for falling for Ann, but ..

There's no law against my trying
to get you back if I can, is there?

Where are you going?

I am going to the kitchen to fix dinner.

Cold salmon mayonnaise. Vintage wine.

And desert.

- Yes. I remember.

You are alright, Hilda.

You are better than alright.

Thank you.

Do you know, we are very lucky.

Yes. I know.

In all the world only a few people ever
manage to meet at the right time.

Now Hilda, you aren't
going to be bitter, are you?

After all, we are pretty lucky.


Maybe it was just a line to begin with.

There's a lot of truth
in it just the same.

The thing that happened
before is happening again.

That's all that matters.

I don't want to know what happens to us
tomorrow or the day after. I don't care.

All I want ..

That looks wonderful.

What's this?

It is the same wine we had ..

You are a romantic, aren't you.

I thought it would be fun to have
everything just as it was ..

The first time we ever had
dinner alone together.

You think of everything, darling.

I am also an excellent wine steward.

Look at that guy go.

There's a police car following us.
Perhaps if we explained ..

I never would have believed
it of you, Andrew.

Go on. Tell me more about this Ronnie.

We may still be in time. Stop worrying.

I can't.

Then drive faster.

Here is to people like us.

I wonder what they are like.

I'll tell you what they are like. They
are the luckiest people in the world.

I never thought of myself as very lucky.

At least not until now.

You stick close to me Hilda and you
will have all the luck you need.

And what about Ann? Will she
have all the luck she needs?

Why worry about Ann?
She didn't worry about you.

And right now, baby.

I am all for you.

- Yes.

I understand.

It may sound hard.

But sometimes in order to be happy.

You have to be a little ruthless.

Thanks. I will try to remember that.

Face it. If you are smart enough you
can get just about anything you want.

If you can't get it one way
you can get it another.

I don't know.

Suppose I told you that ..

Just this once, you are not going
to have your own way about things.

What are you talking about?

Suppose I told you this is the last time
you'll ever have a small dinner for two.

What are you driving at?

You don't think I really brought
you out here to kiss and make up?

Suppose I told you that
I had poisoned you?

I would tell you that you were joking.

Do you see this?

This came from Dr Lang's laboratory.

In an hour, Ronnie.

In an hour you will be dead.

You couldn't do such a thing.
You wouldn't. You wouldn't dare.

You forget.

In order to be happy you
have to be a little ruthless.

You said so yourself. Remember?

I didn't mean it. I was just talking.

Hilda, tell me you are joking.

Hilda, you got to help me. Please.

I'll make it up to you some way.
I swear I will.

Don't let me die like this.

I used to think you were wonderful.

But you are really a coward.

Dr Silla really understood you.

She told me you weren't worth killing.

Get somebody. Get her quick.

Get me a doctor.

Please, Hilda.

Doctor, I have been poisoned.
You have got to do something.

Help me.

It hasn't been opened.

You told me I couldn't and
you were right, Dr Silla.

Of course you couldn't.

She is not lying.

Take a look for yourself.
The tube hasn't been opened.

You don't think I will
forget this, do you?

I'll make you regret it.

Mr Marsh.

You have just had a very
narrow escape from death.

Surely, you realize that?

Don't lay yourself open to
the same danger again.

You don't think I look too
young in this outfit, do you?

You look wonderful.
- Really?

What are you anyway Bunkie, an Ensign?

Don't be a dope, Ann.

Why don't you learn the uniforms
of your country's services?

I am a Midshipman.
- I think you are wonderful.

I wouldn't even care if you
were only a Lieutenant.

Ann. Only a Lieutenant?

Good evening, Ann.
Is your .. is Miss Fenchurch ..

She's in the den, Doctor Lang.

Come in. Come in.
- Thanks.

Good evening, Ensign.

He is a Midshipman.
- Oh.

Oh, congratulations.
- Thanks.

Do you think ..

Hilda. Do you think she ..?
- Why don't you ask her?

I don't want to disturb her.
- But she would love to be disturbed.

I don't know.
- Oh, go in.


I forgot.


Thank you, doctor.

Miss .. I mean, Hilda.

I was wondering if you might ..

I mean .. I have ..

You have two tickets to the concert?
- That's right.

Would you like to go?

I am terribly sorry but I have
a pile of work to do tonight.

Some other time perhaps?

0f course.
- Well.

- Goodnight.

Some other time.

What is this nonsense you are typing?
- My work. It has to be done, you know.

You seem to forget you
are doing this work for me.

I didn't forget, doctor. You did.

Well, it doesn't have
to be done tonight.

There's no hurry about it.
The world isn't waiting for it.

But I'm waiting to take
you to the concert.

Would you like to go?

Why, doctor. I would love to.

Why didn't you ask me before?

How about me?

Why didn't you ask me before?