House of Horrors (1946) - full transcript

Marcel De Lange is a struggling sculptor whose work and sanity are derided by the New York art critics. After waspishly officious critic F. Holmes Harmon ruins a sale for De Lange by dismissing his expressionistic cubist work as "tripe" and later gloating about it in his column, the distraught artist goes to the river to drown himself. There he discovers the half-drowned body of the notorious serial killer, the Creeper, and takes him back to his studio to recover. Feeling empowered by the friendship of the acromegalic sociopath, De Lange tasks him with murdering the critics who have pilloried him in print. When successful commercial artist Steve Morrow is wrongly suspected of the crimes, his art critic girlfriend Joan Medford decides to follow her instinct about a mysterious bust De Lange has suspiciously covered in his studio, and she decides to snoop around.

Oh, are you hungry?

I'm sorry, Pietro, there's no
milk, only bread and cheese.

But tonight, when Mr. Samuels
pays us for the statue,

there will be money and you shall have

all the milk you wish and
liver from the butcher

and we shall have the
electricity turned on again,

so we needn't work by candlelight.

Now come on, have some cheese.

Oh, you don't like cheese.

Confidentially, neither do I,

but it was the best I could
borrow from my neighbor.

However, Pietro, I think you
are really very fortunate.

You see, you don't need
money to get your dinner.

With diligence, you can
go out and catch a mouse.

I, I have to catch a
customer in order to eat

and customers are much
harder to get than mice,

especially customers who
understand the product of genius.

Now, run along, Pietro,
and catch your dinner

and Pietro, be very
thankful that nature is

so kind to little cats like you.

Oh good evening, Mr.
Samuels, please come in.

Hello, de lange.

You know Holmes harmon, don't you,

art critic of Manhattan magazine.

Yes, we have met.

I didn't recognize you
for a moment, Mr. harmon,

please forgive me, the
light, it isn't good.

Welcome to my studio.

You needn't bother to
Fawn over me, Marcel,

my visit is strictly professional.

What a dreary place.

I'm sorry you don't approve.

Are you with Mr. Samuels?


I brought him along to
have a look at the statue

before we close our deal.

After all, I'm new to this business

of collecting art objects.

Oh, I see.

Well where is this priceless gem?

Let's have a look at it.

This way, please.

My latest creation.

Intriguing, don't you think?

And I call it tripe,
pure unadulterated tripe,

with an overtone of sheer lunacy.

Oh, you don't care for it?

= t loathe it.

You can certainly thank your lucky stars

that you asked me to
come around here tonight.

For a man who's only
recently acquired money,

you have some rather nice
things in your collection.

Now why should you want to clutter it up

with this abomination,

this meaningless jumble
of anatomical accidents...


You will leave my house immediately.

Now now, de lange,

there's no reason to get excited.

No reason you say, I suppose
I should stand quietly by

and allow this charlatan,
this destroyer of true artist

to condemn my finest work?

Get out, both of you!

And I call it tripe,
pure unadulterated tripe,

with an overtone of sheer lunacy.

Magnifique, the perfect neanderthal man.

Good morning.

I brought you some breakfast.


Because you must eat and
get your strength back.

Had a close call last night.

Why are you good to me?

Oh, I am doing only
what anybody would do

for a man who was injured
and almost drowned.

You know who I am?

I don't care who you are.

I only know that I need you.

= you heed me?

Yes, I want you to pose for a statue.

It will be my crowning achievement,

a masterpiece, it will live forever.

= you ain't afraid of me?

Why should I be afraid of you?

I owe you my life.

You see, I was going
to jump into the river,

destroy myself and then I found you,

the inspiration I needed to carry on.

I owe you even more than my life.

When I was drying your clothes,

I found money in them, $3.00.

I have a confession
to make, I have no money,

so I have already used $2.00
of it to buy some food.

For me?


You're my friend.


And you will stay here with
me and pose for the statue?

= sure.

That's all for the night.

Oh it's coming along very nicely.

What is it?

To you it looks like
nothing at the moment,

but to me, an artist, it's
beginning to take form

to reveal the promise of stark beauty.

= mud.

Have it your way.

I'm turning in.

Got a match, mister?

Go away.

Don't touch me!

Stop yelling.

I won't stop, you go away.

You say her spine was snapped, doc?


Roll her back, Jerry.

Back you go, my lovely.

Remember the Dawson girl?

You mean the one who was
murdered up on riverside drive?

That's right.

Anything in this killing
reminds you of that one?

= sure it does.

Dawson girl's spine was snapped too.


That was one of the
creeper's little jobs.

This dame couldn't have been
murdered by the creeper,

he's dead.

So I read in the papers,
but they didn't find his body

when they dragged the river, did they?

No, they didn't.

Gee, if the creeper's still alive,

I'm gonna put in some overtime.

Dinner is ready, such as it is.

Not a sumptuous repast,

but enough to keep us from starving.

= no meat?

No money.

I made your $3.00 last for a week.

Now we are without funds again.

Use plenty of salt and pepper
on your potatoes, it helps.

I see by the evening paper
that a woman was murdered

in the neighborhood last night.

= yeah.

Yes, her spine was snapped.

I've often wondered why a man would want

to snap a woman's spine.

= she screamed.

An annoying habit on the
part of women, screaming.

You know, you and I are puppets,

dancing on strings,
pulled by an art critic

named f. Holmes harmon.

What's puppet?

But for this man harmon,
we would have money,

plenty of it.

I was about to sell a statue,
one of my best, for $1,000

until he interfered.

Listen to what he says in this column.

"I am pleased to report
that I played the role

"of a knight in shining
armor in a recent evening,

"preventing a patron of the arts

"who has far more money than judgment

"from being roped into
paying $1,000 for one of

"Marcel de lange's fantastic
and worthless creations.

"There must be a place
for fellows like de lange.

"I haven't quite decided where,

"but I lean strongly toward the theory

"that a cozy institution
surrounded by a high stone wall,

"featuring hot and cold
running straight jackets

"would be eminently suited
to artists of his ilk."


Stupid cruel fool.

You don't like the guy.

= like him?

If I were able, I would tear
him apart with my two hands.

He has crucified me,
robbed me time and again

and he sits there in his office,

in the Dover tower, night after night,

blasting the hopes and dreams
of artists like myself.

And we are helpless to
do anything about it.

If you're the janitor, come back later.

If you're anyone else,
you'll find a window

at the end of the hall, jump out of it.

Thanks for the cordial
welcome my kindly colleague.

Oh, it's you.

Mmhmm, in the flesh and not bad either.

Several young men in my mirror

tell me that everyday.

Well, I take it you're in the throes

of tearing Steve morrow's
one-man show to pieces

because he quarreled with you tonight.


Ti knew it.

Steven morrow, a young man
utterly lacking in talent,

flaunted his artistic
endeavors before the public

in a one-man show last Tuesday evening

at the 57th street galleries.

His paintings are devoted
exclusively to girls,

luscious blonds, sultry brunettes,

all wearing the save vacuous expression

and very little else.

I wanna talk to you about Steve, Holmes.

Naturally, what else
would bring you here?

I suppose you've already
written up his show

in glowing terms.

I thought his show deserved it.

Why don't you overlook his hot headed-ness

and give him a break?

You're in love with
the young man, I'm not.

You know, sometimes
I feel sorry for you.

You must be very unhappy.

You're wasting your pity.

I'm really a very happy fellow,

especially when I'm deflating the egos

of artistic pretenders.

Steve morrow is not a pretender.

He's honest and he has talent

and on top of that, he's successful.

Judged by the dollar sign, yes.

Unfortunately the general
public's appreciation of art

is limited to billboards
and magazine covers.

The morons wallow in
a sea of girls, girls,

unbelievably beautiful and
well proportioned girls.

Are you saying that Steve should paint

ugliness instead of beauty?

Oh, I don't say that
anyone should do anything,

I merely say, as a critic,
what he actually does.

Then why don't you temper
your criticism with the truth?

Well sure, you have a right to
say you don't like apple pie,

but it's certainly unfair to
say that apple pie isn't good.

You're a clever wench, Joan,

but we're not talking about apple pie,

we're talking about cheesecake.

Here, for example, is a little
bit of your Mr. morrow's art.

= is that bad?

It's revolting.

Did you ever see a girl that perfect?

You don't get around much, do you?

That's why I feel sorry for you, Holmes.

You crawl into your bottle
of acid and stay there,

dripping vitriol indiscriminately,
always destroying.

Look, I didn't come here
to log roll for Steve.

I only hoped you'd review
his show for what it is,

solid commercial art.

Forget that I came and have your fun.

Joan, just a minute.

You know, maybe there's
something in what you say.

I'm rather envious of young morrow

having a defender as beautiful as you are.

Why Mr. harmon, that
sounds like there might be

blood in your veins instead of acid.

Maybe I don't get around enough.

You know, my entire attitude
towards life and art

might change if I had the proper guide,

someone like you, for instance, hm?

Is that what we girls
jokingly call a pass?

There's nothing joking about it.

It's a very serious suggestion

that we might have dinner
together one evening.

What do you say?

We might.

Call me.

Now I want you to think hard.

Try and remember the people you hauled

to and from this floor after 8:00.

Oh, that's easy.

I brought Mr. harmon up just before 8:00.

Then there was just one more passenger.

She came up about a quarter after 8:00

and went down again in 10 minutes.

A girl?

What'd she look like?

Oh, slim blond with plenty of class,

a tricky hat and very sheer nylons.

You don't miss a thing, do you?

Gets lonesome here at night.

You think she did it?

Well not if she fits your description.

Slim blonds don't go around
snapping men's spines.

Gee, is that the way you got it?

That's what the deputy coroner says.

That's how he was killed,

just like that girl we looked
at in the 12th street morgue.

Did you see anybody come
up here during the evening?

Oh no sir, not a soul.

That ain't strange, I get
so absorbed in my work

that I don't even notice
what's going on around me

and I don't make a
practice of snooping around

because sometimes one of the tenants

wants to do some night work

and they don't want
nobody snooping around.

You shooped enough
to find harmon's body.

Well yes I did.

I came in to snap off the
lights and to tidy up a bit.

Okay, you can go.

You think maybe the creeper or his ghost

pulled this job too?

Same technique.

= can't tell.

You got any thoughts about
who might have done it?

At least one thought.

Relax, Stella.

Busy place.

Good morning, Mr. morrow.

Good morning.

Mind if I come in,
I'd like to talk to you.

I'm sorry, but if you're
selling anything, I'm very busy.

No, no I'm not selling anything.

In fact, I might buy something from you.

Well, nice work.

Yeah, but you can't get it.

My name's Larry Brooks, gorgeous,

just a John law guy, but I
appreciate art when I, uh,

see it in the flesh.

You're something extra special.

Well thanks, Mr. Brooks.

My name is Stella
McNally, parkway 24041.

I'll remember that, never forget a name.

Take a rest, Stella.

You mentioned buying something.

What's on your mind?

Your story of what happened between

you and Holmes harmon at
his office last night.

If it's good, I'll buy it,

if it isn't we take a walk
to the nearest station house.

Oh I haven't the slightest
idea how harmon was killed

if that's what you mean.

= that's what I mean.

Does this look familiar to ya?

Read it carefully.

He certainly tore my back
off with a shovel, didn't he?

Yeah, somebody tore into me like that,

I'd wanna twist his spine.

You're a big strong
fella, aren't you, morrow?

Sorry to disappoint you,
officer, I didn't kill the man.

= no?

= no.

Did I hear
someone mention killing?

That's right, who are you?

Joan medford, who are you?

Lieutenant Brooks, homicide detail.

Oh, I see and you think that
Steve killed Holmes harmon

because he... - Because he

and harmon had a clash at the 57th street

art galleries last night.

Are you denying that, Mr. morrow?

No, he sneered at my show

and I threatened to ring his neck.

And you kept your promise
when you went to his office

and he taunted you with
that review he was writing.

Oh that's lovely logic, lieutenant,

but there's a catch to it,

Steve couldn't have gone to
harmon's office last night.

Why not?

Because he was with me at my apartment,

from the time we left the galleries

'til 3:30 this morning, drinking coffee

and talking about the show.

My paper says the body
was discovered at 11:00.

Is that true?

= yeah.

Well then, don't you think

you ought to be hunting the real murderer?

Every minute counts you know.

Okay miss medford, the alibi
stands 'til I check on it.

Oh uh, both of you know
New York pretty well?

=t do.

How about you, darling?
Lived here all my life.

Good then you're familiar
with the city limits.

Stay inside them, I wanna
talk to you again, soon.

And why did you say you
were with me last night?

To give you time to think in
case you did call on harmon.

= well I didn't.

= t did.

= you what?

I was in harmon's office last night.

Must have been just a few
minutes before he was killed.

What were you doing with that heel?

Leading him on with my feminine wiles

so he'd make a pass at me.

He did and I killed him
with my own two hands.

I know that's supposed
to be funny, but it isn't.

You do too much of that sort of thing.

What sort of thing?

Going to people's offices and studios

at all hours, I won't stand for it.

Hey, hey, wait a minute, Stevie,

look at me, I'm a big girl and
definitely not the homebody.

My job happens to take me to
odd places at strange hours,

but it's a living and I like it.

= well I don't.

Oh, well then you'd better find yourself

a nice comfortable fireside type.

She'll bore you to death,

but you'll always know where to find her.

I'll take that Clay if you don't mind.

= sure.

I noticed by this morning's
paper that my hated enemy,

Mr. harmon, was murdered last night.

You glad?

Very glad.

He deserved to be killed.

His death will be welcome
by many artists in New York.

Good, everybody happy.

We have a caller, perhaps
you'd better not be seen.

Quick, behind that scaffold.

Good morning, genius.

Oh it's you, miss medford.

I couldn't imagine who would be calling

at my poor studio at this hour.

Please come in.

Thank you.

What can I do for you?

Oh, talk a little, tell
me what you're doing.

Art news is scarce, except for
the murder of Holmes harmon

and I'm not a crime reporter.

Tragic thing, Mr. harmon's death.

He will be terribly missed.

By whom?

= Mr. harmon was a Dean of the critics.

= he also was a heel.

Don't kid me, little man,

plenty of people are glad
he's gone, including you.

Yes, that's right, miss medford.

I really feel no pangs of
grief, the man was a devil.

Well now that that's settled,
tell me about yourself.

What's this little number, may I peek?

Oh please miss medford, not yet.

I have only just started to work on it.

It's, well, it's entirely different

from anything I've done before.

I promise, you shall
be the first to see it

when it is completed.

For the present, it's a secret.

Okay, keep your secret.

What have you sold lately, Marcel?


I came very close to
making an important sale,

but Mr. harmon spoiled it.

Oh yes, I remember, he
bragged about it in his column.

Well cheer up, Marcel, he'll
spoil no more sales for you.

True and if you will
not think me too assuming,

miss medford, I should like
to open a bottle of wine

in honor of his passing.

It's the only luxury I have left.

Go right ahead, I'll browse
around while you're doing it.

Help yourself.

The wine is ready, miss medford.

Thank you.

Come in lieutenant Brooks.

How did you know it was me?

Oh, I thought you'd drop in and check up

when you found out I wasn't
with Joan last night,

but I still have an
airtight alibi, I was...

I know, you were cutting touches

with a dozen other artists

at a basement restaurant on 56th street.

It was a fairly quiet party
'til about 2:00 in the morning.

Then all of a sudden, things got very gay.

Yeah, that was when
somebody brought in a paper

with the news of harmon's death.

Naturally, we celebrated.

Think of any reason why miss medford

should lie to me about being with you?

The poor misguided
girl is in love with me.

She did it to protect me.

= or herself.

She was in harmon's office
about the time he was killed.

Look, she didn't kill him...

= t did too!

Don't be telling lieutenant
Brooks I'm innocent!

I'm a female desperate Desmond,

always going places and killing people.

I killed Holmes harmon because
he made improper advances.

What kind of improper advances?

Why the man asked me
to go to dinner with him.

That, coming from harmon,
made a justifiable homicide.

Do you wanna put the
bracelets on me, copper?

No, I know you're guilty,

but you've got a lot
of redeeming qualities,

including your undying
love for this lucky stiff.

So I'm letting you go free, gal.

Oh, that's mighty nice of you, sheriff.

Well I gotta run along.

Sorry to bother you, Mr. morrow,

but in my line, a clue"s a
clue, you know how it is.

= sure.

I'm gonna miss dropping in here.

Too bad we had to open
and close in two baby,

but I'll always remember your name.

= oh that's sweet.

Look it up in the phone book sometime.

There's a number right after it.

Oh, I never forget a number.

That'll be all for today, Stella.

Anymore office experiences?

I dropped in to see Marcel
de lange and guess what?

He chased you around the studio

with a sculpture's hammer and you escaped

by the skin of your teeth.

Don't be silly.

I'm not, I'm serious.

It'll happen sooner or later

if you keep on going up there alone.

The man's completely nuts.

You can't tell what he might
decide to do for amusement.

That's ridiculous,

Marcel's just a harmless little screwball

and believe it or not,

he started to work on something
that seems to make sense.

It's supposed to be a
big secret, but I peeked.

What is it?

Well it has all the
earmarks of being a head.

Of course, it could turn out
to be something horrible.

= it'll have at least two heads

before Marcel gets through with it.

How about a cocktail?

= I'd love it.

We'll drink to our vindication.

And who may I ask are you?

Are you Mr. ormiston?

= tt am.

Do you mind removing
your feet from my desk?

I think better with my feet up.

Sit down Mr. ormiston.

My dear fellow, you happen
to be sitting in my chair

in my office and your feet are on my desk.

I haven't the slightest idea who you are

or why you're here, but I must insist...

= sit down.

I wanna ask you a few
questions, most of 'em academic.

Here's my diploma.

You're from the police?

That's right, lieutenant Brooks.

Then I know why you're here

and I can explain about
that traffic ticket.

I, I, I've been intending
to take care of it...

No, forget about the traffic ticket.

I'm here to talk about murder.

= murder?

= yeah.

How well did you know f. Holmes harmon?

Quite well, but I assure you,

I had nothing to do with killing him.

No, I'm sure you didn't,
you're not the killer type.

Had a lot of enemies, didn't he?

Yes indeed, 90% of
the artists in New York

hated the man's insides.

Just as they hate mine.


Because 90% of the people
who think they are artists

should be house painters,
brick layers or hard carriers.

= is Steven morrow in that class?

No, I wouldn't say that.

Morrow has a faint spark
of talent, very faint,

but discernible.

You think morrow killed harmon?

= that's what I wanna find out.

Mr. ormiston, how would
you like to be the bait

in a police trap?

It sounds positively intriguing.

Tell me more.

Well, Holmes harmon was
writing a nasty review

of Steve morrow's show
the night he was murdered.

Morrow has what looks
like a perfect alibi.

He's supposed to have been
with a dozen other artists

the time of the murder.

However, if most artists
hated harmon, as you say...

They may have cooked
up the alibi for morrow?

Yeah, could be.

What do you want me to do?

Well, I want you to write
a column about morrow.

Tearing him to pieces?

= you catch on fast.

Think you can do it?

My dear fellow, words
are my meat and drink

and in the interest of justice,

I shall make them crackle
with venomous fire.

In fact, I shall compare Mr.
Morrow's artistic endeavors

with a bizarre and meaningless effusions

of a sculpture of my acquaintance

who is the laughing stock
of New York art circles.

No insult could be more
effective, I assure you.

That ought to do it.

Write it and we'll see how it goes.

One moment, lieutenant Brooks,

naturally you will be around
if and when it does happen?

Oh naturally.

Wait here, I'll be right back.

Yes sir.

You don't mind if I
go home early tonight,

do you, darling?

I've got a deadline to meet tomorrow

with that magazine cover.

Are you sure you're going right home?

What do you mean?

Well that's a very
sharp looking cab driver.

Say, she is sharp.

Maybe I can spare her a
couple of hours at that.

That was just to let you
know I'll be thinking of you

every moment I'm with her.

Oh thank you, darling,
that's why I love you,

you're always scattering
crumbs of happiness.

Good night.

Good night.

727 afton square.

Yes, sir.

Listen closely, Clarence, my lad,

I have penned a deathless
masterpiece of barbed invective.

Yeah, don't kid me, Mr.
Ormiston, you don't use a pen.

I saw you do it on the typewriter

and not very fast either.

Merely a figure of speech, my boy

and please don't interrupt.

I devote my stick of type
today to a frank appraisal

of the very doubtful talents
of a young brush wielder

named Steven morrow.

You will note that I do
not dignify young morrow

with the term artist.

He definitely is not an artist
in any sense of the word.

The empty faced girls morrow paints

have no more artistic significance

than the crazily conceived creations

of that well known madman
of the sculpting profession,

Marcel de lange.

Another one.

Harmon dies and another
persecutor arises to hound me.

Am I always to be beaten down
by heartless ignorant critics

who find strange delight
in singling me out

as a subject for their cruelty?

Why am I not big and strong

so that I could throttle
this man, ormiston?

I can see him now, a drink at his elbow,

chuckling over his
cleverly turned phrases.

He has money and food and
drink while we must starve.

It is unfair, I tell you.

= where does he live?

At the Bagley terrace
on east 54th street.

I changed my mind, driver,

take me to the Bagley
terrace on east 54th street.

Yes, sir.

Keep the change.

= gee thanks.


Hello ormiston, I'm
Steve morrow, remember me?

Oh yes, I do remember you.

That was your one-man show
at the 57th street galleries

last week, wasn't it?

= you know it was.

What can I do for you?

We're gonna talk about that
column of yours I just read.

Do we do it out here and
wake up the neighbors

or am I invited in?

Well I must say...

I'll do the saying, make up your mind.

Come in, by all means.

Ti detest brawls in halls.

I refer the verbal brawls, of course.

I'm not so sure this
is going to be verbal.

Just what was your idea
in taking me apart?

Please sit down Mr. morrow
and I'll try to explain.

I'll stand on my
feet, it better be good.

Are you threatening me?

Take it as you like, I asked a question.

As a critic, I voice my own opinions.

I sincerely believe
what I wrote about you.

= that's a lie.

You wrote a very good
review of my show last week

and now all of a sudden,

you decide I haven't got any talent.

What are you trying to pull,

the same kind of stuff harmon used to,

slapping artists around
just for the fun of it?

Mr. morrow, I will not be
intimidated in my own home.

Your mention of poor harmon convinces me

you are capable of any violence.

I must insist that you leave immediately,

otherwise I shall call the police.

Very well.

Get away from that phone
before I ring your neck.

Take your hands off him, morrow.

Oh, lieutenant Brooks,

the well known police trap, huh?

Very old stuff, lieutenant.

Old, but still good.

You don't think this really proves

I killed harmon, do you?

Figure it out for yourself.

Harmon was writing a column about you.

He was murdered before
it was even finished.

Ormiston wrote and printed his

and you barge in here
and try to ring his neck.

He's the murderer, I'm sure of it.

I've been through a
terrible ordeal, lieutenant.

I don't know how you feel about it,

but I feel the need of a drink.

Will you join me?

Why not?

I'll get it right away.

Sounds like ormiston dropped the bottle.

Don't go away.


Joe, out that door.

Good afternoon, Picasso,
how's the masterpiece coming?

Think you'll make the deadline?

I'll make it just in
time to take you to dinner.

Where's your police guard?

Oh, lieutenant Brooks sent a man over,

but the fellow made me nervous,

reminded me of a great
Dane with reproachful eyes,

so I sent him back.

= you shouldn't have done that.

Nobody knows who the
killer's gonna pick next

and he seems to specialize in art critics.

Nobody's going to murder me, darling,

t have too much to live for

and you're my biggest much.

'Sides, I have work to do.

I have to dig up enough
material for a Sunday column

and I haven't the slightest idea

where I'm going to find it.

Are you sure it won't disconcert you

if I drop in around dinner time?

You always disconcert
me, darling, but I love it.

You lovely man.

See you later.

Take care of yourself.

You happy?

Very happy, ours is a very
fortunate alliance, my friend.

Before you came into my
life, I felt put upon.

I was haunted constantly by the feeling

that I was persecuted,
helpless to fight back,

but now I have a feeling
of power, limitless power.

No one shall stand in my way.

So when every critic will
recognize my greatness.

They'd better.

Greetings, Marcel.

What's doing in the realm of genius?

Ah, miss medford, you do me
the favor to visit me again.

Please come in.

Marcel, I'm stuck for a Sunday column

and you've gotta help me out.

I'll do whatever I can,

but there's very little news with me.

How's this little number coming along?

Ready for me to crack
a big story on it yet?

No, not yet, but very soon it will be

and again, I promise you,
when it is completed,

you shall be the first to see it.

Good, but that gets me no news now.

Maybe I'd better interview you
on the hal ormiston murder.

After all, he lambasted
you as well as my boyfriend

in that column of his.

Did you kill him, Marcel, and if so, how?

Surely you can't
be serious, miss medford?

Of course not, nice
harmless little guy like you

wouldn't hurt a fly.

Hey, Marcel, you're holding out on me.

You mean about poor Mr. ormiston?

No, you sold the horns of the dilemma.

Oh that, yes, I sold it,

but I didn't consider the sale

important enough to mention it.

Who bought it?

= that I can't disclose.

My client requested that
there be no publicity.

Mm, well at least I
can write a line or two

saying you sold it.

Oh, and by the way, I'm a
little surprised at you.

= t don't understand.

= you make a sale and don't even

offer a hardworking art
critic a glass of wine.

Oh, my profound apologies.

I'll fetch the wine immediately.

That's better.

Knock off a copy of
this for a quick look.

Coming up.

Evening, Walter.

Oh hello joanie, what's cookin'?

Big favor for me if you'll do it,

ti lifted this little number and I have to

get it back to where it
came from in a hurry.

How about rushing it right through for me?

Sure, how big do you want it?

Oh, a three column
cut for my Sunday page

and rush the original back to my office.

Meanwhile, I'll shoot through a caption.


Rush, rush, rush, that's
all you get around here.

That statue of yours is
beginning to take form.

Do you approve of it, my friend?

It's pretty.

Yes, you're right, it does
have beauty and strength,

although those who do
not appreciate true art

will probably call it ugly.

That's funny, where's my sketch?

It's gone.

That girl took something.


Are you sure?

= yeah.

Walter sent this up, miss medford.

Oh thanks, Pete, I have
something for him too.

See that he gets it right away, will you?


Hey, wait a minute,
you unhappy about it?

I'm very unhappy about it,

Walter called me just when I was about

to make my fifth straight pass

and now you give me a rush job.

I thought you told me last week

you were through shooting craps forever.

That, my dear young woman,
was the day before payday.

Get me that man, Nora, will you?

Tired, aren't you Stella?

= a little.

Few more minutes'll do it.
Think you can stick it out?

= sure.

= hello?

Oh, hello sweetheart.

Look darling, I'll be a
little late for our engagement,

t have an errand to do.

Oh come on, let the errand wait.

I'll be all finished in a few minutes

and ready to do the town.

Sorry, can't put it off,
gotta see a man about a sketch.

Oh, so it's that kind of an errand, huh?

What do you expect me to do,

sit around here and twiddle my
thumbs 'til I hear from you?

Oh please, not thumb twiddling.

Awful things are said
about thumb twiddlers,

but if nothing better occurs to you,

you might meet me here.

I won't be long, bye.

Hey smitty, come here.

Take a look at this.

What about it?

Remind you of anything?

Well let's see now,

ves, it does, reminds me

of that big gorilla down at the zoo.

My kids are sure crazy about him.

Is that what you had in mind?

Nope, not exactly.

See what I mean?


Miss medford, why don't
you identify this guy

as the creeper or is it a secret?

Maybe she's trying
to mystify her readers.

Yeah, hey boy, come here.

Take this up to miss medford right away.


This is a conspiracy.

I telephoned miss medford at her office.

She isn't there.

= you scared?


And you should be
frightened also, my friend,

she has that sketch I made of you.

= is that bad?

Yes, it is.

She must be showing it around town.

At this very moment,

she's probably showing
it to Steven morrow.

The operator said she might be with him.

He has a studio at 727 afton square.

Well that winds it up.

Another morrow girl is waiting
to make the pinup fans drool.

= not bad.

So you think I might get a movie contract

if the right people see it?

Why not?

The hungry maw of the cinema

is always waiting to devour a new beauty.


Yeah, she's here.

It's for you, Stella.

= hello?

Hello beautiful,

this is a man who never
forgets a name or a number,

only when I called your number
just now, nobody answered.

= well I wasn't home.

But lieutenant Brooks, how
did you know I was here?

Well a smart cop has
to know all the answers.

I even figured that
the answer might be yes

if I asked you to go to
dinner with me tonight.

Why, why ves, I'd love it, I guess.

Hold the phone a moment.

Say, is it all right if I
meet lieutenant Brooks here?

Sure, you can even buy him a drink.

Hello, lieutenant, it's a date.

Great, great, I'll
be there in 20 minutes.


Do you think it would be safe
going out with a detective?

It's your constitutional
right to call your attorney

when you're in the custody
of an officer of the law.

But I haven't an attorney.

Then remember, anything you say or do

will be held against you and you'd better

put on some clothes too
unless you're planning

on playing tennis with the guy.

Good luck.

Pietro, my greatest work is haunted.

The meddling girl is
planning to cause trouble,

just as I am about to give the
world a deathless masterpiece.

If only header here would strangle her.

But perhaps my friend the creeper

has already taken care of that detail.

= just a minute.

Who are you?

What do you want?

Stop screaming.

Help, help!



= hello Marcel.

Well why the astonished look?

Is my hat on cockeyed or something?

= no.

Your hat is beautiful.

It's only that I didn't expect
you to be calling at night.

Oh, now don't tell me

you're putting a curfew
on visiting art critics?

Well, aren't you going to invite me in?

Yes, of course, come in.

I'll tell you why I came back, Marcel,

I'm still stuck for a Sunday feature

and I thought if we sat down and talked,

I might coax a story out of you.

Perhaps a history of your career

from the time you decided
to be a sculpture.

It would make good,

why are you startled?

Is it that my statue frightens you?

Oh, I'm not startled, Marcel

and I'm certainly not
frightened of a statue.

The sheer artistry of your
work overwhelms me, that's all.

Why it's magnificent.

= you think it worthwhile then?

Oh, not only that, it's masterful.

Such strength, the
perfect neanderthal man.

You have described it faithfully.

Oh, don't speak, Marcel.

Just let me admire it
silently from all angles.

Certainly, there's no hurry.

I'll fetch some wine.

Okay you can come out now,
gorgeous, the law is here.

And there I found him,
half drowned, unconscious,

the inspiration for my greatest work.

All thoughts of destroying
myself disappeared.

I was afire with a
determination to work again,

to create a statue that would bring cheers

instead of sneers from the critics.

And you were the first
to see it, miss medford,

just as I'd promised.

And you've given me
a great story, Marcel.

Oh, it's really big.

Wait'll you see it in print.

You mustn't leave yet, you
haven't heard the whole story.

I'll fetch some more wine.

Oh please don't bother,
I have a deadline to meet.

I promise you that you
will not miss your deadline.

Observe, the bottle is covered with dust.

It's a memento of more prosperous days.

I'm opening it because
it is a special occasion.

But really
Marcel, I must be going now.

You will find that this
is worth waiting for.

Hello Nora, this is Steve morrow.

Any idea where my adored one might be?

No I haven't, Mr. morrow.

What's the matter, you
got that stood up feeling?

I'm beginning to get it.

Well she should call in.

Tell her I'm on the verge
of thumb twiddling, will ya?

Yes, Mr. morrow.

Okay sweetheart.

You have no idea what this
experience has done for me,

miss medford.

You remember me when I was
a frustrated beaten man,

but now I fear no one, not even you.


Why should you be afraid of me?

Why did you steal my sketch?

Oh, oh, so you know about that.

Yes, why did you steal it?

Well, I thought I was
doing you a big favor.

I don't have to tell you that
artists thrive on publicity

and I thought you'd appreciate my running

a sketch of your statue
in the Sunday art section.

Very generous motive, if true.

Are you sure there was no other reason?

= what other reason could there be?

I thought perhaps you might have guessed

the identity of my model.

Sorry, all I know about
him is what you told me

about fishing him out of the river.

I am greatly relieved.

So am I.

I really can't stay any longer, Marcel.

I'm sorry, but I must ask you to stay.

I wouldn't think of having you leave

without meeting my model in person.

He'll be here presently.

You'll find him very interesting.

Look little man,

this may be your idea of a joke,

but there's nothing funny about it to me.

You are right, there's
nothing funny about it.

It's tragic.

I regret very much that a
beautiful girl like you must die

just as your colleagues
harmon and ormiston died.

Marcel, you're mad.

Things like this just don't happen.

You can't go on killing people.

= but I can.

My devoted friend is
my symbol of strength,

of power, for him, I shall
destroy all of my enemies,

including you.

It's not at all complicated.

You will meet the creeper.

The river is close by.

You will simply disappear.

You'll never get away with it.

That sketch of the creeper
is in the engraving plan

of my newspaper right now.

Someone's bound to recognize it.

Perhaps, but even if
someone does recognize it,

they can't possibly
suspect that you are here.

= you think not?

You're forgetting a
little detail, aren't you?

Possibly, what is it, may I ask?

Your signature on that sketch.

Newspaper people aren't dummies, Marcel.

That signature definitely links you

with your ugly little pet.

The police are going to ask
you plenty of questions.

In that case, I shall
insist that I had no idea

that I was harboring a murderer.

In fact, I shall be properly horrified

by discovering that my
model was this monster.

The police, naturally, will arrest him

and there will be no
doubt about his conviction

and the publicity will make
my statue famous overnight.

You let the police get me, huh?

Certainly he would.

You heard him say it.

He's gonna show that statue to the world

and the moment he does,

people will know that you posed for it.

You'll die for the murders he planned,

but he'll live, he'll be famous.

He doesn't care what happens to you.

= yeah.

Stop, you fool!

Don't touch it.

= come here.

= wait.

Open up in there!

Joan, are you in there?

Yes, Steve, help!

Shut up.

Open up in there.

= Steve!

Hurry, Steve!


Oh Steve.

You certainly got
here at the right time.

How'd you manage it?

I saw that sketch on
miss medford's desk too.

Gimme a hand,

we've got to get this man
to a hospital in a hurry.

What I can't understand is
why you went back to Marcel's

when you knew his model was the creeper.

= but I didn't know.

Well how could that
be, you saw the sketch?

Well I had no idea it was
a sketch of the creeper.

You call yourself an art critic.

= Steve,


I don't wanna be an art critic anymore.

Does anything occur to you?