The Big Sleep

The Big Sleep quotes

54 total quotes (ID: 75)

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Philip Marlowe
Vivian Sternwood Rutledge


Carmen: Can I have my picture now?
Marlowe: No.
Carmen: Can I have my gun back?
Marlowe: Later.
Carmen: You're cute. I like you.
Marlowe: What you see's nothing. I've got a Balinese dancing girl tattooed across my chest.


Agnes: Well, so long copper. Wish me luck. I got a raw deal.
Marlowe: Your kind always does.

Agnes: [on the phone] Is Harry there?
Marlowe: Yeah, yeah, he's here.
Agnes: Put him on, will you?
Marlowe: He can't talk to you.
Agnes: Why?
Marlowe: Because he's dead. Your little man died to keep you out of trouble.

Marlowe: By the way, how's Mrs. Mars these days?
Mars: You take chances, Marlowe.
Marlowe: I get paid to.

Vivian: So you're a private detective. I didn't know they existed, except in books. Or else they were greasy little men snooping around hotel corridors. My, you're a mess, aren't you?
Marlowe: I'm not very tall either. Next time, I'll come on stilts, wear a white tie and carry a tennis racket.
Vivian: I doubt if even that would help. Now this business of Dad's. You think you can handle it for him?
Marlowe: It shouldn't be too tough.
Vivian: Really? I would have thought a case like that took a little effort.
Marlowe: Not too much.
Vivian: What will your first step be?
Marlowe: The usual one.
Vivian: I didn't know there was a usual one.
Marlowe: Oh sure there is. It comes complete with diagrams on page forty-seven of 'How to Be a Detective in Ten Easy Lessons' correspondence school textbook. And, uh, your father offered me a drink.
Vivian: You must have read another one on how to be a comedian.
Marlowe: Did you hear what I said about the drink?
Vivian: I'm quite serious, Mr. Marlowe, my father...
Marlowe: I said your father...
Vivian: Help yourself! Now look, Mr. Marlowe. My father's not well, and I want this case handled with the least possible worry to him.
Marlowe: That's just the way I was going to handle it.
Vivian: I see. No professional secrets?
Marlowe: Nope.
Vivian: I thought you wanted a drink.
Marlowe: I've changed my mind.
Vivian: Then what - ? How did you like Dad?
Marlowe: I liked him.
Vivian: He liked Sean, Sean Regan. I suppose you know who he is.
Marlowe: Uh, huh.
Vivian: You don't have to play poker with me, Mr. Marlowe. Dad wants to find him, doesn't he?
Marlowe: Do you?
Vivian: Of course I do. It wasn't right for him to go off like that. He broke Dad's heart, although he won't say much about it. Or did he?
Marlowe: Why don't you ask him?
Vivian: You know, I don't see what there is to be cagey about, Mr. Marlowe. And I don't like your manners.
Marlowe: I'm not crazy about yours. I didn't ask to see you. I don't mind if you don't like my manners. I don't like them myself. They're pretty bad. I grieve over them long winter evenings. And I don't mind your ritzing me, or drinking your lunch out of a bottle, but don't waste your time trying to cross-examine me.
Vivian: People don't talk to me like that.
Marlowe: Ohhh.
Vivian: Do you always think you can handle people like, uh, trained seals?
Marlowe: Uh, huh. I usually get away with it, too.
Vivian: How nice for you.
Marlowe: Just what is it you're afraid of?
Vivian: Dad didn't want to talk to you about Sean at all, did he?
Marlowe: Didn't he?
Vivian: Would you find him if Dad wanted you to?
Marlowe: Maybe...I'm wasting your time. Goodbye, Mrs. Rutledge.

Sternwood: How do you like your brandy, sir?
Marlowe: In a glass.
Sternwood: I used to like mine with champagne. Champagne cold as Valley Forge and with about three ponies of brandy under it...I like to see people drink...You may take off your coat, sir...Too hot in here for any man who has any blood in his veins. You may smoke, too. I can still enjoy the smell of it. Nice state of affairs when a man has to indulge his vices by proxy.

Marlowe: She'll be all right in the morning.
Vivian: Did you do this?
Marlowe: That! Oh yes, that's a little special service I always provide all my clients.
Vivian: Including being insolent. Where did you find her?
Marlowe: I didn't find her...
Vivian: Well then, how did you...?
Marlowe: I haven't been here, you haven't seen me, and she hasn't been out of this house all evening.
Vivian: That bad.
Marlowe: Hmm, hmm.
Vivian: Just what did happen, Mr. Marlowe?
Marlowe: You're pretty fond of your sister, aren't you?
Vivian: Yes, I am.
Marlowe: You'd do anything for her, wouldn't you?
Vivian: Anything.
Marlowe: Then drop this whole thing.
Vivian: But I still think I should know what...
Marlowe: Unh, unh. Don't even ask her.
Vivian: She never remembers anyway.
Marlowe: Just what did she forget about Sean Regan?
Vivian: What did she tell you?
Marlowe: Not half as much as you just did. [He grabs her fists that are poised to strike] Take it easy. I don't slap so good around this time of the evening.
Vivian: You go too far, Marlowe.
Marlowe: Those are harsh words to throw at a man, especially when he's walking out of your bedroom.

Vivian: Hello. Police Headquarters, please. Hello, this is Mrs...
Marlowe: [He grabs the phone and stops her call] Hello. What do you want, please?
Police: I don't want a thing.
Marlow: What?
Police: You called me.
Marlowe: I called you? Say, who is this?
Police: This is Sergeant Riley at headquarters.
Marlowe: Sergeant Riley? Well, there isn't any Sergeant Riley here.
Police: I know that! Now look brother...
Marlowe: Wait a minute. You'd better talk to my mother.
Police: I don't want to talk to your mother. Why should I want to talk to your mother...
Vivian: Hello. Who is this?
Police: This is the police.
Vivian: The police! Well, this is no police station.
Police: I know that!
Vivian: Well if you know it, then why don't ya...Look, this is not a police station.
Police: This is silly...
Vivian: What was that you said?...My father should hear this.
Police: I don't want to talk to your father...
Marlowe: Hello. Who is this?
Police: This is the police talking.
Marlowe: Yeah, but she just told you that...
Police: She just rang the police!
Marlowe: Oh, you're the police. Oh, well that's different. What can I do for you?
Police: You can...
Marlowe: I can do what? Where? Oh, no. I wouldn't like that, neither would my daughter. [Hangs up the phone] I hope the sergeant never traces that call.
Vivian: You like to play games, don't you?
Marlowe: Mmm hmm.
Vivian: Why did you stop me phoning?
Marlowe: 'Cause I'm working for your father or because I think I'm beginning to like another one of the Sternwoods.
Vivian: I prefer the second reason.

Sternwood: You are looking, sir, at a very dull survival of a very gaudy life - crippled, paralyzed in both legs, very little I can eat, and my sleep is so near waking that it's hardly worth the name. I seem to exist largely on heat, like a newborn spider. The orchids are an excuse for the heat. Do you like orchids?
Marlowe: Not particularly.
Sternwood: Nasty things! Their flesh is too much like the flesh of men, and their perfume has the rotten sweetness of corruption.

Marlowe: I want some information - about Sean Regan.
Mars: I heard you got that already from the Bureau of Missing Persons.
Marlowe: You get around.
Mars: My boys do.
Marlowe: Where is he?
Mars: I haven't any idea.
Marlowe: You didn't bump him off, did ya?
Mars: No. You think I did?
Marlowe: Well, that's what I came up here to ask ya.
Mars: You're kidding.
Marlowe: All right. I'm kidding. You didn't do it yourself and none of your boys are good enough to do it. I used to know Regan.
Mars: I thought you told me you weren't looking for Regan?
Marlowe: I wasn't then. Maybe I just got curious. You see, I finally got it through my thick skull that half the General's worries were that Regan might be mixed up in this blackmail business.
Mars: Well, Sternwood can turn over now and go back to sleep. It was Geiger's own racket. I did some inquiring myself today. When Geiger and Brody got gunned, that washed the whole thing up - that, I'm sure of it.
Marlowe: It's finished then.

Marlowe: Leave her [Vivian] out of it. She's alright Eddie. She made a deal with you and she kept it. She didn't tell me a thing except that she killed Regan but I didn't believe that. Regan's dead all right, but she didn't do it. It was Carmen, wasn't it? How'd it happen, Eddie?
Mars: You mean she didn't tell ya?
Marlowe: I asked ya how it happened.
Mars: Well, Carmen liked Regan but...
Marlowe: But he liked your wife. He said no to Carmen. She gets mad when anybody says that. I've seen her that way. Go on.
Mars: She was pretty high. By the time it was over, she couldn't remember much about it.
Marlowe: Yeah, I've seen her that way too. Then you hid the body.
Mars: You can't prove that!
Marlowe: It would be just as bad for you if I prove it to myself. Then you started to blackmail Mrs. Rutledge by telling her what Carmen had done. How did you prove to her that Carmen had done it? Go ahead, prove it to me.
Mars: You've seen Carmen when she's that way.
Marlowe: Sure I have, have you?
Mars: Well, how do you suppose...?
Marlowe: Then why didn't you know her when you walked in that day? Tell me that. You're pretty smart, Eddie, but I've been waiting for this one.
Mars: What are you gonna do about it?
Marlowe: I told you you were smart. You walked in here without a gun. You were gonna sit there and agree to everything just like you're doing now. When I went out that door, things were gonna be different. That's what those boys are doing out there. But everything's changed now, Eddie, because I got here first.

Marlowe: My, my, my! Such a lot of guns around town and so few brains. You know, you're the second guy I've met today that seems to think a gat in the hand means the world with the tail. Ha, ha, ha. Put it down, Joe. The other guy's name was Eddie Mars. You ever hear of him?
Brody: Nope.
Marlowe: If he ever gets wise to where you were last night in the rain, you'll hear of him.

Sternwood: [about Sean Regan] You knew him too?
Marlowe: Yes, in the old days, when he used to run rum out of Mexico and I was on the other side. We used to swap shots between drinks, or drinks between shots, whichever you like.
Sternwood: My respects to you, sir. Few men ever swapped more than one shot with Sean Regan. He commanded a brigade in the Irish-Republican Army - you knew that.
Marlowe: No I didn't...I know he was a good man at whatever he did. No one was more pleased than I when I heard you had taken him on as your...whatever he was.
Sternwood: My friend, my son almost.

Marlowe: What do you think's gonna happen now? Now what are your boys gonna think? What'll they do to the first one that goes out that door? Who's it gonna be Eddie? You or me?
Mars: Now look, Marlowe.
Marlowe: You look at this. What's the matter? Haven't you ever seen a gun before? What do you want me to do? Count three like they do in the movies? That's what Canino said to little Jonesy.
Mars: Now don't go crazy.
Marlowe: And Jonesy took it better than you're taking it.

Marlowe: If Eddie Mars' wife gets my car fixed and he finds out what happened, there's gonna be plenty of trouble, and you'll be in it just as much as I will.
Vivian: I don't mind as long as you're around.
Marlowe: I didn't have a chance to thank you for what you did back there. You looked good, awful good. I didn't know they made 'em like that anymore.
Vivian: I guess I'm in love with you.