It’s Not a Threat, It’s a Promise: Film Noir Quotes Part II

The Maltese Falcon,"Thieves’ Highway (1949)",Kiss of Death (1947)Previously on MovieFanFare guest blogger Karen Burroughs Hannsberry presented an assortment of her favorite film noir quotes. Today she’s back with more of her favorite selections of hard-boiled dialogue:

You gotta love the language of film noir. Hard-boiled, cynical, straight to the point and unmistakable — this era of filmmaking offers some of the best quotes in all cinema. Here, I offer for your consideration, Part 2 of my favorite noir quotes — and these ain’t no idle threats . . .

“Touch my truck and I’ll climb into your hair.” Richard Conte in Thieves’ Highway (1949)

“Be still or I’ll snap your arm like a wishbone.” Ted deCorsia in The Naked City (1948)

“The first guy that talks or tries to identify anyone is gonna get a headache he can’t cure.” Alan Ladd in Appointment with Danger (1951) “Get outta here while you can still walk.” Glenn Ford in The Big Heat (1953)

“People lose teeth talkin’ like that. You want to hang around, you’ll be polite.” Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon (1941)

“You got a head on your shoulders. Now take it outta here before I bust it.” Sheldon Leonard in Somewhere in the Night (1946)

“If I ever catch you around here again, they’ll have to pick you up with a sieve.” Victor Mature in I Wake up Screaming (1942)

“I kept remembering that pretty face of yours, Jardine, all the time I was in hock. If you’re not sharp, you’re not going to have that pretty face. You’re not going to have any face at all.” Mark Stevens in The Dark Corner (1946)

“For a nickel, I’d grab him. Stick both thumbs right in his eyes. Hang on ‘til he drops dead.” Richard Widmark in Kiss of Death (1947)

Richard Conte (with Jack Oakie): Don’t touch his truck, okay?

“One bad move outta you and I’ll put you on your back for good.” Jack Webb in Appointment with Danger (1951)

“Do me a favor, Castro, while I’m on the phone. Try to jump me. I’d love nothing better than shooting you right in the belly.” Dick Powell in Cry Danger (1951)

“I’d just as soon see you with all your guts hanging out.” John Garfield in The Breaking Point (1950)

“You like to shoot? So do I. So I’m warnin’ you – don’t try anything smart with me.” William Talman in The Hitch-Hiker (1953)

“I’m gonna take a smack out of him right now. I’d give my right arm to smash his face in. I can’t stand the sight of it.” Elisha Cook Jr., in The Gangster (1947)

“You’re in the same boat that I am, but you’re gonna be in it dead.” Lloyd Nolan in Lady in the Lake (1947)

“You ever cross me again, or look like it, I’ll bury you. Now beat it.” John Garfield in Nobody Lives Forever (1946)

Stay tuned for My Favorite Quotes, Part 3 . . .

What do you think about film noir as a genre? Sound off in the comments!

Karen Burroughs Hannsberry is the author of Shadows and Satin, a blog devoted to her two cinematic passions: pre-Code Hollywood and the film noir era.  She has written two books on film noir, Femme Noir:  Bad Girls of Film and Bad Boys: The Actors of Film Noir, and is the editor-in-chief of the bimonthly, hard copy film noir newsletter, The Dark Pages

  • Robert Voss

    Give me any one of those quotes and the noir they came from over all the car crashes and bigger-is-better pyro-technics now substituting for authenticity and good story line.

  • Victoria Balloon

    Another from The Maltese Falcon — “I’ll tell you right out, I am a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk.” (Kasper Gutman, aka “the Fat Man”) Greenstreet is a joy to watch in this film.

  • OZ Rob

    Desperate,handcuffed but armed, Morgan, (Lawrence Tierney),threatens his pursuers.
    ` Now get this and get it straight,you know I got nothin to lose, so one move out of anybody and I’m gonna let em have it `
    The Devil Thumbs a Ride..47

  • decoman

    The incomparable Jan Sterling after being asked to go & pray for her trapped husband ” kneeling bags my nylons” . The film “Ace in the Hole” aka “The Big Carnival”

  • OZ Rob

    “If you’re lying, you get a bullet right between the eyes…”
    Honest Joe, not for much longer… Charles McGraw
    Roadblock,1951

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.jodrie Brian Jodrie

    Your a good man,sister.
    Humphrey Bogart to Lee Patrick
    Maltese Falcon