Guilty Bystander (1950) - full transcript

An alcoholic ex-cop, now the house detective at a scuzzy hotel in an even scuzzier part of town, stumbles through New York City's sleazy underworld searching for his kidnapped son.

Hey, a customer, Smitty.

Okay.

I'm out, anyway.

- We're full up.
- Oh, I...

Oh, I don't want a room.

No?

I want to see your house detective.

Max Thursday?

Try number thirty-eight.

You'll have to knock hard.

My house detective ain't exactly on duty today.



Smitty, you in or you out?

Yeah, I'm in. I'm in.

Max?

Max.

Wake up.

Please, wake up. It's Georgia.

You never did learn to knock, did you?

Max, I've got to talk to you.

Never before breakfast.

Georgia, even an ex-wife should remember those little things.

Would you care to join me in a little breakfast?

No.

Oh Max, stop this.

It's important. I have to talk to you.



What time is it?

Seven.

Seven. Night or day?

Night.

In that case...

You don't look bad, Georgia.

Well, it would so seem.

Max, please listen to me. I need help.

Help?

Why come to me?

Max, I wouldn't be here if I weren't desperate.

Desperate?

The whole world's desperate, and I'm tired.

Go away.

Jeff is missing.

What do you mean: Jeff is missing?

What happened to Jeff?

Well, it was yesterday.

I went in to New York to see about a job.

Thought I could get some proofreading and

that I could do at home and earn some extra money and

when I got home around 4 o'clock

there was a note from Fred.

And what does Fred that

charming brother of yours got to do with it?

Well, he lives with me.

- Since when?
- About a year ago.

Choo-choo train.

- Well, you see, Jeff loves to ride in a train, and Fred...
- They haven't gotten back?

- No. Waited up all night. I haven't been to sleep at all.
- Who's this Elder?

He's the doctor Fred shares an office with.

- I never liked him, but Fred says that...
- What do the police say?

Max, I haven't been to the police.

What?

Well, that's it.

I'm so frightened, Max.

It's this doctor, Elder.

He keeps wanting me not to go to the police.

- He said he won't be responsible for anything.
- Why?

I don't know why.

He won't even tell me where Fred went.

Oh, Max.

Jeff is so little...

If anything happens, I can't think about it.

Where do I find this Elder?

He's in his office across the hall from me.

Every night from eight to ten.
He's in his office across the hall from me.

Every night from eight to ten.

Gives me an hour.

I'll be there.

Don't say anything.

I won't, Max.

Georgia.

Got a picture of Jeff?

It's been a long time.

Taken about six months ago.

Thanks, Max.

He's mine too, you know.

- You will come.
- I said I'd be there.

Smitty.

Hey, Smitty?

Deal me out, boys.

Well, look what's up on the streets.

Say, what'd that dame do to ya?

After that last one, I didn't expect to see you around for two or three days, son.

That was my ex-wife.

Oh, some class.

I need five bucks, Smitty.

Here. I'll save you a trip to the carney.

Better take a shot right now, too. You look kinda rocky.

No, I'm laying off tonight.

Say, listen, Max,

the clams of my high-class rat's nest

don't like no sober house dick.

- So, go ahead.
- I said no.

What's eatin' ya?

My kid's missing.

Your kid?

Say, I didn't even know you had a kid.

Yeah, I got one.

Only the last time I saw him,

he wasn't even old enough to sit up by himself.

I can imagine how you must feel.

- You wake the cops?
- No, no cops.

Snatch?

I don't know. That's what I'm going to find out for myself.

Listen, you've been out of the game a long time, Max.

And what comes out of these bottles ain't no health tonic.

- Smitty, you gonna give me that five bucks, or aren't you?
- Okay, okay.

Thanks.

I could have it next week.

You know anything about a guy called Elder?

Doc Elder?

I know what I know, because I keep it to myself.

Smitty,

I told you my kid was missing.

Do you know anything about a guy called Doc Elder?

Run out of Philadelphia a while back for sewing up gun wounds.

Shifty.

Thanks.

- Got a cigarette?
- Here.

Get your own.

Is Elder mixed up in this?

From what Georgia says, yes he is.

- In what way?
- I don't know.

- Look, when are you gonna get this thing fixed?
- Take it easy.

Take it easy. I phoned about it today.

This thing chews up half your smokes.

You're so wound up you're gonna throw a spring.

Yeah, I know.

See you later.

I'll be here when you want me.

Hi.

I was afraid he'd be gone, but there's still a light under his door.

Are you alright?

I'm sober, if that's what you mean.

Be careful, Max.

Come in, please, and close the door.

I said close the door.

I expect Mr. Otto Varkas recommended me.

Ha! I've been waiting for a call from

one of Varkas' friends.

Just raise your hands, please

for the examination.

I said raise your hands.

I like to conduct my examination in my own way.

Hmm.

No gun.

Sit down, please.

No, you're not the man I thought you were.

Varkas wouldn't send a man over here in your condition.

My curbstone diagnosis of you

is a good physique gone to pot.

Right now you're suffering from a bad hangover.

Wanna know my diagnosis of you?

You're a shifty eye out for a fast buck

with the guts of an angleworm.

- Who are you?
- I'll ask the questions.

Where's your partner Fred Mace and my boy?

Your boy, huh?

So that's who you are.

Answer my question or there's going to be trouble.

There won't be any trouble.

I've had patients like you in here before.

Never any trouble.

Haven't time for trouble.

Besides, I've got a very important engagement.

You'd better leave.

Everything will be fine in the morning.

There we are.

Now bye bye, Mr. Thursday.

I'm not going any place.

I'm afraid you must.

Not until you answer my question.

Licorice, eh?

Yes. Licorice.

Imported, too.

Pleasant?

It's a little illegal.

You've had plenty of experience in Pennsylvania

with the illegal, haven't you, Doctor?

It's time for you to go.

Past time.

You want me to go, answer my question.

Where's my boy?

I'm afraid I don't know where Dr. Mace and your boy are.

You're lying, doctor.

I think I'll just wait around

and meet your friend, Mister St. Paul.

Do you know Mister St. Paul, Mr. Thursday?

I know a lot of things.

Oh no, you don't.

You're a dipso. A drunk.

You know what you are? You're nothing but a lowdown...

I'm afraid you're right. I am.

Max.

Wake up.

Hey. Max.

Wake up, come on.

Up.

I got some coffee for you. Try it. I'll do you good.

Come on, it won't be bad.

- Shaunessy.
- Hey, you got a good memory, Max.

The mop just squeezed us out.

How'd I get in here?

Well, they picked you up last night

about ten o'clock, the prowler car.

Well, you were lying out in the rain.

Yeah. Right.

And Elder.

How long I've been in here?

About 12, 14 hours.

I gotta get out of here.

All right, you will.

You gotta see Captain Tonetti first.

Oh Tonetti. I don't wanna see Tonetti.

Those are orders, Max.

- All right, let's get it over with.
- Come on, let's go.

Come on.

Take your time.

Sam.

Hey, wasn't that Max Thursday?

Yeah, that's who.

The great Max Thursday.

He was always too cocky for me.

Okay.

- It's been a long time.
- Yeah.

Sit down.

I gotta get out of here, Mark.

Sit down, Max.

This is a lousy business.

I should've been a priest like my mother wanted.

Get the confessions either way.

Never mind the jokes.

What happened, Max?

What's happened to you?

Liquor was imported, and I'm used to rotgut.

I don't mean last night. We'll get to that later.

I mean you. You!

Look at yourself.

No law says I have to listen to this. Is there?

Yes, there's a law.

We were friends.

I've got a right to know. I thought you had guts.

I'll worry about my guts.

You just give me that little slip of paper and I'll leave.

You let the newspapers beat you, that's what you did.

I understand about the Folger case.

No sleep, tension.

Waiting 72 hours for that hoodlum to walk through the door.

I would've had a bottle handy myself.

It's just tough that a lousy reporter

got a whiff of the whiskey and turned down the heat.

Why do we have to go through all that again?

Because I've got to know what's happened to you.

All right.

So the papers massacred you.

And you were on every front page for a week.

And I had to suspend you.

But that don't knock out a copper like you.

You knew sooner or later you'd be back here with me.

What happened, Max? What happened?

Just decided to stop being a cop.

I don't believe it.

Not you.

You like being a cop.

You liked it better than anything in the world.

Just didn't know about cops, Mark.

What are you talking about?

Ask Georgia.

Ask her what they're like in the house.

They like to shove people around.

They're bad for their kids.

They neglect their wives, they like violence,

they carry guns.

There's muscle men that like to use their muscles, you know that.

- That's a lot of...
- Yeah.

When the rug was pulled out from under me here,

do you know what Georgia said?

She said this was my big chance.

A big chance to stay out.

You know I believed her?

But what does a muscle man do when he can't use his muscles?

He becomes a longshoreman,

fire clerk, cabbie.

Or an insurance salesman.

Maybe you don't know about insurance salesmen.

Well, I'll tell ya.

Little different from being a cop.

You don't tell people, you ask them.

You ask them and you smile until your face aches.

You call up people you hardly even know.

Guys you played poker with ten years ago.

Guys you once did a favor for.

Guys you can't stand the sight of.

You walk right in and you smile and they smile back.

Cop who got thrown off the force because he was drunk.

Gets to be kind of a joke, see?

Gets tougher and tougher to walk in.

Well, one day you... take a drink to help.

The next time you decide maybe two would be better.

And then one day you decide to take three drinks

and not walk in at all.

You fill in the rest, Mark.

Now can I get out of here?

I said, can I get out of here?

I'm sorry, Max.

We're gonna take a look at a body.

I'm not interested in looking at a body.

You should be.

The body's named Elder.

Take off the blanket, Doc.

It ain't neat, Mark.

Nobody's gonna faint. Take it off.

Okay.

Here he is.

What hit him?

I think a .25 caliber rifle.

What about those bruises on the side of his neck?

Oh, a contusion. He got poked.

- With what?
- You tell me.

Whatever it is knocked him out before he was shot.

Which was when?

Well, let's say somewhere between

8:30 and 10:30.

Now can I put him away or do you want him on permanent exhibition?

Well, I've had enough performance.

Let's get back to the office.

And you'd better start dreaming up some bright answers.

Put him on ice, Mick.

Sit down, Georgia.

I want you to tell your story

just as you told it to me this morning.

Didn't you know? I'm suspect number one.

No alibi.

- Mark, I...
- Go on with your statement.

About five minutes after Max arrived last night, the phone rang.

Right?

- Yes, I...
- And?

Well, I couldn't tell if it was a man or a woman on the phone.

The voice just said if I hurry down to the drugstore

at the corner of Cranberry and Henry Street that

I'd hear about Jeff and Fred.

So I... I rushed out of the house and

got a taxi and went there and...

when I...

When I got there, there was nobody in the store but the proprietor and

he didn't know what I was talking about.

So I...

So I got another taxi and...

went back home.

And as the taxi drove up in front of the house, I...

I saw the front door open.

Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute.

Hold it, Jay.

Is there something you didn't tell me this morning?

Mark, I was so upset this morning...

- .. I don't know what I told you.
- I do.

You told me you got home around ten o'clock.

Saw nothing, heard nothing, and went right to bed.

Well...

Oh Mark, that isn't true at all, it...

I mean, that isn't what really happened.

It was much earlier. Probably around 9:30.

And as I sat in the taxi in the front of the house

I saw Dr. Elder helping Max down the steps.

You just waited in the cab, you didn't speak to him?

Well...

Max had been drinking and

he doesn't like me to see him that way.

That oughta do it just fine.

Only it's a little dangerous.

- Dangerous?
- For you, I mean.

It involves you pretty deep.

Deeper, I imagine, than you really know.

A false alibi.

Now wait a minute, Mark.

Save that for the station house.

Who says that Georgia's statement isn't true?

Now about that slip of paper that gets me out of here.

I can crack that alibi any time I want to, and you know it.

For the time being, I'm gonna let it ride.

Now how about letting loose with some of that information you pried out of Elder?

You're wrong. I didn't have any.

Maybe you can convince him that the police department

has a better chance of finding your boy than he has.

Maybe he'll talk to you.

Come on.

Go ahead, say it.

There's nothing to say.

It's my fault.

I should've remembered Elder kept a bottle of Pernod handy.

All right, so I got drunk.

What do you want me to do?

Want me to stand in a corner

and write "I won't do it" a hundred times?

- Is that what you want?
- All I want is Jeff back.

You're going to tell Mark everything you found out from Elder.

I'll play this my way.

I've seen your way.

That wasn't the last bottle in the world.

That's not happening again. You understand?

Yes. Yes, I understand, Max.

Just as I understood two years ago, remember?

It wasn't going to happen again then either.

Was it the next day...

.. or the day after?

That was two years ago.

You're going to tell Mark everything you found out from Elder.

Everything.

Or I'm going to tell him I lied about seeing you leave the house.

I don't know why I did it anyway.

I'll tell you why you did it.

'Cause you know I didn't kill Elder.

I want Jeff back too. And I know what I'm doing.

I was good when I was on the force, you know that.

You said it yourself, Max.

That was two years ago.

Two very long years.

Listen, this is no ordinary kidnapping.

There's nothing to go on, there's nothing to hold on to.

There's no answer to... to how or why.

What makes you think you can get the answers?

You think anybody on this force, even Mark...

will go after this the way I will?

I've gotta get that boy.

I've gotta get him before those police badges start showing up in all the wrong places

and this whole mess explodes.

And it will explode.

I'm not trying to throw a scare into you, Georgia.

But when it does, anything can happen.

You understand? Anything.

And I'm laying off the bottle.

All I need is a little more time.

There is no time.

All right, so there isn't any more time! I'll have to do without it.

Tell Mark anything you want.

Feel any better, kid?

Not much.

Soap and water help.

Harvey back?

I don't know.

- Things didn't go so well, huh?
- No.

Tonetti tried to pin Elder's murder on me.

A murder? Say...

Didn't know it'd be that tough.

Yeah. It's tough.

And I need your help, Smitty.

Me?

With the cops in it? Ha!

Doesn't mean I'm out of it.

Did you get any talk out of Elder?

No, he waved a bottle under my nose.

Oh well.

Couple of slugs wouldn't do you any harm right now.

- More than a couple.
- Have I ever complained?

Go ahead. Go ahead, drink it.

Say now,

- What the...
- Sorry, Smitty.

Oh, forget it.

Better than furniture polish.

Keep the cork and bottle and don't offer me another drink.

24 hours gone already, there isn't that much time.

Oh, slow down, kid. Slow down.

What did you get out of Elder, besides the shakes?

I know that he's afraid of a guy named Varkas.

- First, I thought it was one of Varkas' men.
- Hmm.

Sure thought about that.

Who is he, Smitty?

It's the only shirt I could find. It cost me a buck ninety-eight.

Okay. I'll take care of him.

- It's the best I could do on your coat.
- Thanks, Harvey.

All they had was pastrami, boss.

I don't want any pastrami. There isn't that much time.

You're gonna take time. If you want any, talk to me.

You oughta know better, Max. She always gets her way.

Okay. Okay, Harvey.

Go out and cover the bed.

Say,

when are you gonna get a rubber tip for that pogo stick?

- What about Varkas?
- Snake.

Says he's in the importing business.

He imports, all right.

When the customs boys go after their beers.

Smuggling, huh?

Where's he hang out?

Oh, Otto don't hang out.

Oh no.

He's a big operator.

Got his own plush-lined warehouse.

Where is it?

Guys like him don't have "welcome" on the doormat.

And I say, where is it?

Red Hook, Brooklyn.

At the Gowanus Canal.

Thanks, Smitty. I'll put you in my will.

You better start acting with some sense

or they'll be reading it sooner than you expect.

I'm acting the way I'm acting

because my boy is missing and I'm getting him back.

One more question.

You know anybody named St. Paul?

- Who?
- St. Paul.

That a guy's name?

Yeah.

Elder was expecting him last night.

- Who is he?
- New one on me.

Are you holding out on me?

Holding out!

When I gave you a bed and a meal and a...

and a job?

Not to mention extra money on the side for liquor.

Don't wanna hear anymore about holding out.

Okay.

Forget it.

Likewise.

Know a fellow around here called Varkas?

Oh, that building over here.

That's his.

- Thanks.
- Okay.

Hello. Varkas around?

- Why do you want to know?
- 'Cause I want to see him.

So does a lot of other people.

But you can try.

Take the elevator back there.

Third floor.

End of the line, Jack.

Hey Jack, did you just come up for the ride

or do you have something on your mind?

I'm looking for Otto Varkas.

Okay. What's your business?

My own.

- Get ready for the ride down, Jack.
- Okay.

Just tell him that I had a message for him from Doc Elder.

Send him in, Bert.

Come on.

Hold it.

Lonnie.

Nothing.

Let's go.

Eighty-six...

Whatever you gotta say

say it quietly and get out.

I ain't in good shape.

I got a condition, see?

You'd be in a lot worse condition if the cops knew

that Elder was scared you were gonna knock him off.

I keep very calm, see,

very calm.

That's orders. I don't get excited.

You gotta loan some out.

Bert handles all the excitement for me.

You ever see this mug before?

No, I haven't.

You're a tough boy, ain't you?

- What's your name?
- Thursday.

Thursday, eh?

Max Thursday, maybe?

That's it. Max Thursday.

I thought you looked familiar.

You're the one that got Red Folger with a gun

and a quart of whiskey in your gullet.

I always liked Red.

Red was a good guy.

I gotta stop doing things like that. It's bad for me.

All right now.

What's all this talk about Elder?

I was with him two hours before he was shot.

He thought at first I was one of your boys.

Thought I'd see you about it before I saw the police.

Don't try any threats with me.

What were you doing with Elder?

The same thing I'm doing here.

I'm looking for his partner, Dr. Fred Mace.

You give me a lead on him and I'll keep my mouth shut about you.

You see what I mean, Bert? Tough.

You got a lot of guts coming in here.

You must think you're still on the force.

Are you taking my proposition or leaving it?

A lot of guts.

Too many.

- What's your answer?
- Sit down.

All right.

What's this fellow Mace got you want so bad?

He's got my boy with him.

Oh, that's it.

Your kids with him.

Tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk.

Well, that's too bad. Ain't it, Bert?

- Otto, you know the Doc's...
- I'll have my first cigar in three days.

Don't give me no schmooze about no Doc.

Get out there and work that erector set.

Build yourself a ferris wheel.

Get out of here!

All right.

You know what I'm gonna do?

I'm gonna give you a lead.

You ever hear of a hoodlum named Stitch Olivera?

No.

Bad boy, Stitch.

He's from Boston.

He's got a scar from here to here.

And he takes it out on anybody that gets in his way.

I hear he's in town on...

a special job.

Very special job.

What's his connection?

I'm just telling you to keep an eye out for him.

And if you find him, I'll pay you a grand.

That's so you'll know him in case you run across him.

I got some...

special friends getting me little pictures like that.

See who's coming up on the elevator, Bert.

Now...

If you're smart, you'll clam up about this.

Maybe I'll play it smart.

Where do I find St. Paul?

A guy like you can make an awful lot of trouble for himself.

What do you know about St. Paul?

I just wanna find him.

So do a lot of people.

Locate Olivera and you get to St. Paul.

That's why it's worth a grand to me.

- Then maybe we'll do business.
- Maybe.

Now get out.

I gotta take my pulse again.

It's jumping. Get out.

St. Paul seems to make a lot of people nervous.

Go on. Get out of here, get out!

What seems to be your trouble, honey?

I like the smell of your perfume, honey.

The name's Angel.

You don't have to prove it to me.

I... uh... hate to break you two lovebirds up,

but he's waiting.

- You know where Dalio's is?
- No.

Well, it's on 8th and Flatbush and...

don't come there about 10:30 or so because

that's where I work.

Thanks for the tip.

Let's go, baby.

All right, you're next, Jack.

She a friend of Varkas'?

You know, Jack,

I think I'd like to have, oh, about a ten grand policy on your life.

You'd never be around to collect it.

What's the time?

Twenty minutes to eight.

If I were you, Jack, I'd make every minute count.

Don't worry. I'm still sober.

Turn on some lights.

I didn't even know it was dark.

I've been waiting here all day. I don't think I can wait much longer.

What happened to my blue coated ex-buddies across the way?

The last ones left about 1:30.

When you rang the doorbell I thought...

I thought it's the police again and they found Jeff and he's...

he's not alive.

Jeff's alive, all right.

- Oh Max, you found out something?
- No, not yet.

But I believe that he's alive, and you've gotta believe that too, Georgia.

Listen,

when I came here last night,

there was girl just leaving, a blonde.

- She had on a brown raincoat and a beret.
- Yes, I remember.

She was here to see Elder.

Who was she?

I never paid any attention to any of his patients.

They were all cheap and strange.

Well, didn't Fred know what kind of a doctor this Elder was?

I suppose he knew, but Elder was paying most of the rent,

and I think he was loaning Fred money, besides.

That would make happy difference with Fred.

It was because of some girl, he couldn't stop seeing her.

What was her name?

I never even saw her.

I think he met her through Elder.

Georgia, did you ever hear Fred or Elder

talk about a man called St. Paul?

- No.
- You're sure now?

- Because this is important.
- Oh, please Max.

No more questions, please.

I can't think straight.

Please.

All right.

No more questions.

Do you have any whiskey in the house?

Whiskey?

Yes, where is it?

There's always a bottle in Elder's office.

I should remember that.

Max, you can't.

Why not?

It's what you need. Here.

Come on.

Drink it.

All of it.

At least it'll loosen up those muscles in your neck.

Okay.

You'd better go on back to bed.

What time is it?

Twenty past eight.

I'm going back to Elder's office and have a look around for myself.

There's gotta be some...

piece of an answer.

Thought I told you to get some sleep.

I can't.

Do you mind if I sit in here? I...

I don't wanna be alone.

Do anything you like.

Max.

I have to ask you something.

Okay, go ahead.

Why did you leave me?

Some other time, Georgia.

Was it because you stopped loving me?

Is that why you started drinking?

Let's forget it, Georgia.

What you need is some sleep.

I was wrong about you being a cop.

Here. Take one of these.

What are they?

Something to help you relax.

Come on.

You're too wound up for that whiskey to do any good.

Just throw it against the back of your throat and swallow.

All right, lie down.

Now just forget about everything.

Some things you can't forget...

...no matter how hard you try.

Too many things to remind you.

Like this room, for instance.

Remember?

Yeah, I remember.

There were some good days.

Weren't there, Max?

Sure, there were good days. They were some of the best.

Now why would a guy who was so stingy

that he'd save his tobacco from cigarette butts

throw away a perfectly good sponge, huh?

Georgia.

All right, what'll you have?

Nothing.

Nothing? What do you mean nothing?

What time is it?

It's 10:30.

You got a nickel?

How about it, velvet eyes?

Yes or no?

The answer is no.

You know this character?

Yeah, I know him.

You want I should get rid of him?

No, I want you should go away.

You make me feel like I got wrinkles in my stockings.

What happened to your other sucker, Angel?

Did he run out of ten dollar bills?

Why don't you get out of here?

Go on.

Blow.

- Charlie.
- Yeah.

Give me a drink.

Well, your friend here says he don't want anything.

Oh, he'll take the same as I have.

Not for now.

Look, I don't work here for my health. I get a cut.

Oh.

You know, you shouldn't be working for a living.

No? What should I be doing?

Oh, I don't know.

Lying on a nice warm Florida beach with me right alongside you, maybe.

You know, you and I would make a great combination

once we started playing together.

What makes you think that we'd be playing together?

I just got an idea.

Didn't you?

Maybe.

Just don't rush me, friend.

Who's gonna rush you when you're on Otto Varkas' list?

I'm on nobody's list.

I wouldn't let that gorilla hold my hand.

He's just a...

you know, a business acquaintance.

Yeah.

He's also the inventor of the double-cross.

He's not gonna double-cross me cause I got something he wants.

And he's gonna pay plenty for it.

Do you mean Varkas is gonna pay you for something he wants?

Oh baby, I thought you had a brain.

I have one all right, don't worry.

Listen, Varkas takes what he wants.

One squawk out of you and you're gonna wake up some morning

under a pier with that pretty face of yours down.

What are you trying to do, scare me?

Funny man, sitting there talking

not even touching your drink.

You had a glass in your hand before, I can tell that.

No, I was just staying sober long enough

to give you a little advice.

No, to Varkas you're nothing but a two-for-a-nickel dame.

He can get rid of you any rainy afternoon.

You know, I don't like that kind of talk.

Charlie, give us a couple of more drinks,

- and this time put some ice in them.
- Right.

You interested in ice, Angel?

Hmm?

It's a nice hunk of it.

Where did you get that?

Remember Dr. Elder?

Elder...

Oh, hey you aren't the one who...

Well, I got it, haven't I?

Gee, I...

I-I-I didn't know you were that kind of an operator.

I always get what I want, baby.

What-what do you want now?

You, rest of the ice.

Oh, well I-I don't know anything about it. I...

Look, you were at Elder's the night he was shot.

How do you know that? I...

Say, who are you anyhow?

Oh, I'm just that fellow that wants to drive you down

to the Florida beach in a nice yellow convertible.

You keep mucking around with Varkas

and the only ride you're going to take is gonna be in a hearse.

Why don't you get out of here? I think you're too smart for this work.

Go on, get out of here.

Okay.

Sorry, I won't be seeing you around.

No, wait a minute, I...

All right.

But, I need a drink first, okay?

Okay.

All right, what you got?

The rest of the necklace.

You've got it?

Well, I got the guy who knows where it is.

Fred Mace.

Yeah.

The boy doctor,

who lies there crying, hates me, hates himself.

Where is he?

Oh, I got him hidden away just fine.

Is he alone?

Sure, he's alone.

Hasn't got a kid with him, no?

I don't know anything about any kid.

Are you sure?

Sure, I'm sure.

What are you trying to do, break my wrist on me?

What kind of a deal did you make with Varkas?

Fifty-fifty.

Figured if Freddie wouldn't talk to him

I'd get one of Otto's men to come to him.

Was Elder working for Varkas?

No, he was working for some guy called St. Paul.

St. Paul?

Yeah. St. Paul had the contacts

to smuggle stuff into the country, and Elder was the pickup man.

Do you know St. Paul?

No, I've never seen him.

But boy, Elder was sure scared of him.

That's why he had Freddie pick up the stuff for him.

Freddie kept the stuff for himself, huh?

Freddie?

No, he dumped it someplace.

And then he got himself all shot up by someone who was just out to hijack him,

and then crawl back to me like a bleeding pig.

I went to Elder that night.

I told that grifter he'd have to pay me plenty.

And the next day I read that he's bumped off.

Well, I figured maybe that's little Angel's big chance.

But will Freddie boy talk to me? Oh no.

He'd start shouting, calling me names,

acting as if he sprouted wings all of a sudden.

That's why I thought maybe one of Otto's boys

might be the one to talk to him.

I guess I should have thought more about it. I...

You know, we'd better get to Mace before Varkas does.

Oh, Varkas doesn't know where he's hidden.

You don't think he's trying to find out?

I hadn't thought about that.

Look, is there a back door to this place?

Yeah, back there.

Get out of here.

I wish I had a drink.

I got the shakes like it was the North Pole.

You know, I must be out of my mind or something.

What's eating you?

Well, guys have been lying to me all my life.

Why should you be any different?

Here.

Why should you? Why don't you tell me?

I'll show you.

Gee, maybe you are different.

Oh, I got such a yen for you, it hurts like a toothache.

I have to stand the pain just a little longer, baby.

We've got work to do.

Hey,

you weren't kidding me about that Florida deal, were you?

Well, you oughta see me in one of those riviera bathing suits

with the middle missing, oh wow.

Yeah, yeah.

Look, how far is this place, huh?

Oh, it's just a couple of streets.

You know, I told the guy who was supposed to take care of this

haunted house, cause I wanted to steal something valuable.

- Well my...
- Hold it!

Put your hands on the bannister and don't move.

You know, you and this ex-cop over here, lady.

You shouldn't try to double-cross Otto Varkas

cause he just doesn't like it.

Ex-cop?

Shut up and come down the stairs the both of you,

and don't try anything funny.

But look, I didn't mean to double-cross ya.

- I-I, he stuck a gun at me and...
- Sure, sure, I know all about it,

but why don't you tell it to Otto, it'll be a lot funnier then.

Now come down here, the both of you.

Aghh!

Fred, where...

Leave him alone. Get Mace and you've got everything!

A lot of people owe him, let's get names.

Go.

Max, you're hurt.

It's okay. It's just a flesh wound.

Get in there, on the table, Max.

In a minute. Get me a drink, Georgia, will you?

Homicide Bureau, Detective Johnson speaking.

Johnson, this is Max Thursday.

Yes, Lieutenant.

I mean, Mr. Thursday.

- Will you put me on to Tonetti? It's urgent.
- Sure.

He's not in right now,

but if you leave your number, I'll have him call you.

Okay. Have him call me as soon as possible.

Tell him I'm at Triangle 72062.

- You got it?
- Yeah, yeah, I got it.

That's important, remember.

Okay, okay, Thursday. Relax, relax.

Tell him it's about my...

What'd he want?

Wanted to talk to Tonetti.

Sounded like he was tanked up or something.

Get me another drink, will you?

In here, on the table, Max.

Oh Max.

It's okay.

- Can't do it, Georgia. It's all right.
- I can do it.

Lie down here.

I'll get you another shirt.

Fred has lots of them upstairs.

I almost got to him, Georgia.

To Jeff?

No, to Fred.

Within fifty feet of...

Within fifty feet of finding out where Jeff is.

That almost again, Georgia. Almost.

Darling, don't say that.

It's always almost until you get there.

Some people never get there.

It's gonna hurt.

Go ahead.

Let's not do that again, shall we?

Do with all the bandaging I,

I had to clean it.

Give me a cigarette, will you?

My coat pocket.

Not bad at that.

Fred was shot by somebody

while he was picking up some diamonds that Elder was smuggling.

- Is he, is he badly hurt?
- I don't know.

I didn't get to talk to him.

Go on, Max. Tell me.

I did tell you.

I didn't get to talk to him.

But, you know where he is.

Well...

yeah...

Couple of Varkas' boys dragged him out.

But, Max...

Max, what about Jeff?

I don't know.

Why didn't Tonetti call me up?

I've gotta have another drink, Georgia.

I need a lot to drink.

Why kid ourselves?

Smitty was right.

I shouldn't have got mixed up in it.

You shouldn't have gotten mixed up in it?

- You're Jeff's father.
- Georgia,

you just fixed up a bullet wound in me.

You wanna know why I didn't shoot first?

- I used to be pretty quick on the draw, remember?
- Yes.

I didn't shoot first because I didn't have a gun.

And I didn't have a gun

because I couldn't hit a pot bottle in front of my nose.

Look.

That's with a couple of drinks in me.

You put a revolver there,

palsy.

I'm just a burned out cop.

Oh, that's not true.

You've proved it's not true in the last two days.

I've been going on my nerves, and I haven't any left.

Let Tonetti take care of it.

- Leave me alone!
- No.

No, you're not quitting.

What do you want from a guy with the shakes?

I've gone as far as I've can.

You haven't gone as far as you can until you're dead.

So again, I'm trying to tell you...

I know what you're trying to tell me, and I don't care.

I don't care if you're drunk the rest of your life.

I don't care if we never see each other again.

I don't care if they kill you, or me!

It's Jeff.

That's why you're not quitting.

I won't let you.

I say, let Tonetti take care of this.

- At least he knows what he's doing!
- No.

No, you told me nobody, not even Tonetti

would go after him the way you would. I believe it.

You haven't got a gun, go without one.

You can't walk, crawl.

But, you're going to bring Jeff back.

You can't fail him, Max.

You can't.

Hello, Smitty?

Yes, Max.

I'm on my way down to Varkas' warehouse, I need a gun.

Don't worry about me. I'm okay.

Smitty,

it's a drugstore at the corner of Cranberry and Henry.

Have Harvey meet me down there in fifteen minutes, huh.

Thanks.

How about that shirt?

Otto.

Now, come on!

Anybody been in here the last half hour?

Guy with a scarf.

Not through that door. Maybe the back way.

What happened to you?

They gotta be here, Harvey. They gotta be here.

- It makes sense.
- What? Who?

Searching the place. Every room.

Max, it's after four.

So what?

Come on in, Max. We got...

What's with him?

I thought I knew it. I was wrong.

What's going on, kid? You look a mess.

What's happened?

Nothing.

Nothing happened. That's what's wrong.

I need a drink.

Just as you say, kid.

You look like you've come to the end of the street, Max.

Yeah.

Take that up to your room and get some rest.

You told me on the phone last night you knew where Mace was.

Yeah, I knew, but Olivera got there first.

- Olivera?
- Yeah.

He got away.

These came out of his pocket.

That's why I came back here. I thought maybe...

Probably a hundred machines in town that

split a pack like that, Max.

Yeah.

Long chance.

You're right, Smitty.

A rummy shouldn't get mixed up in

- a mess like this.
- Get yourself some sleep, kid.

Sleep?

A bottle will help.

And I was the smart guy that knew all the answers.

Relax, Max.

You found Olivera's the guy you wanted and...

It wasn't Olivera.

No, there's been one name from the beginning. Just one.

St. Paul.

That's who Olivera was working for.

That's who Varkas was really afraid of.

And Elder...

Elder was working for St. Paul, too.

He tried to double-cross him,

St. Paul made an appointment and knocked him off.

Polish off the bottle, Max.

Get yourself some rest.

You know, it wasn't only that ripped pack of cigarettes

that made me come back here.

It was something to do...

getting a gun from you...

That's it, the telephone.

Now you're getting yourself all worked up over nothing, Max.

Now look, Smitty, I called you from Georgia's and I asked you for a gun.

I told you I was going down to Varkas' warehouse to get Mace.

And Olivera got there first.

How'd he know about it?

It was somebody...

Somebody could listen in on our phone conversation.

And somebody in this hotel loused me up with a phony gun.

Now you're really going off the deep end, son.

No.

I'm right, Smitty.

I'm right, I feel it.

St. Paul

gave the order to Olivera.

St. Paul

is the one that knew about our telephone call.

It makes sense.

Max, my own name don't make sense when it gets to be this late.

How about adjourning?

He walked right in and...

and blasted Elder with that .25...

with that .25 caliber.

Elder was scared that night.

He was ready and waiting with a pop gun all his own.

But he didn't pull the trigger.

Why didn't he pull the trigger?

He must've seen St. Paul's gun.

No.

That's it.

He didn't shoot because he didn't see the gun.

He couldn't, nobody could.

It was concealed.

Smitty, you remember reading in the paper about...

about how Elder was poked in the neck

with a sharp instrument before he was shot?

Remember?

That was it!

St. Paul had to knock out Elder

before he could even get at the gun.

It was probably carried around

in something very ordinary looking like a, like a cane.

Or a crutch.

Yes, or a crutch.

It had to be somebody who could listen in.

Somebody who knew everything that was going on.

Have another drink, Max.

It wasn't Harvey.

It wasn't a crutch.

Smitty.

Let's see your umbrella.

Give me the umbrella.

You.

You're St. Paul.

I always said you were smart, kid.

Might've figured you'd get too smart.

My friend.

Standing behind the desk, giving me advice,

and all the time you knew about my boy.

I've nothing to do with your boy.

But you had some idea, didn't you?

- Didn't you?
- No.

An idea, maybe.

Why didn't you tell me?

Was your tongue ripped out?

Stakes were big, Max. Needed your help.

My help?

First, I tried to keep you out of it.

When I found I couldn't,

I decided to use your brain to help me find Mace.

So I could get my hands on him.

Then on the diamonds.

It was a good plan, Max.

It worked.

You murdered.

You stole.

You kept my boy away from his mother.

Oh, I know what you're thinking.

But you don't know what it's like to be old

with nothing to look back on, nothing to look forward to,

except more of the same.

Five years ago I started,

first small jobs then big ones.

Then this job.

The biggest of the lot.

String of diamonds that would keep me like a queen

for the rest of my life.

Oh, shut up!

You make me sick!

I'm telling you because I want you to know.

It's my big chance, Max.

And nothing or nobody's gonna stop me.

You understand?

Nobody.

Not even you.

Where's my boy, Smitty? Where's my boy?

Answer me!

First you do the answering.

- What are you gonna tell Tonetti?
- Tonetti?

That's right.

Tonetti.

What is it, Max?

Cop or friend?

Which side are you on when the chips are down?

Not your side, Smitty.

Say, that ain't a smart answer

for a guy in a spot you are.

- Thought you wanted to get your kid back?
- Oh, I'm getting him back.

What did Olivera do with Mace?

Mace?

Mace is in there.

Maybe you can get him to talk to you.

Fred.

Fred.

Fred.

It's Max. Max Thursday.

Max.

Max.

Fred,

what happened to Jeff? Where is he?

That's why I haven't talked.

I was afraid they'd kill me.

You'd never know.

I had to do it, Max.

I owed Elder five thousand.

He said...

It's all right, Fred.

Where is Jeff?

Boarding house where I picked up the diamonds.

I left him there.

It's just for an hour.

Cause she was a nice woman, Max.

I was being followed.

That's not important right now.

What's the address of this boarding house?

Camden,

01:28:26,440 --> 01:28:28,120
Spruce.

793 Spruce.

Max.

Max, those diamonds...

I don't want any part of them.

I mailed them to...

I'll whisper it to you, Max.

No, that's not important now. Later, later.

Please, Max. You gotta know.

All right.

Don't move.

Behind you.

Door.

Get you a doctor as soon as I leave here. Send him around.

Thanks for taking care of Jeff as long as you could.

You're gonna be all right.

See you later.

Okay, Smitty.

Start backing up.

I never did like him, Max.

One less to split with.

I said start backing up.

All right, Max.

Now open the door.

What do you got in mind, kid?

Cut you in for half, Max.

Just you and me, nobody else.

Why, you gotta gain, son.

Police department.

Maybe get yourself back on the force for peanuts a month.

Maybe, I said.

Hello, this is Thursday, Max Thursday.

I'm holding a prisoner at the Riverview Hotel.

Two hundred thousand.

That's a lot of money, Max.

You can get yourself a lot of things with that.

I'm getting what I want.

Max, we...

we're friends.

You won't... you wouldn't pull that trigger on me.

That's cop stuff.

You're talking to a cop.