The Cheap Detective (1978)
Peter Falk: Lou Peckinpaugh
Lou Peckinpaugh : This signature's been tampered with. Your name isn't Denise Manderley, is it?
Mrs. Montenegro : No. It's Wanda Coleman.
Lou Peckinpaugh : Then why does your driver's license say Gilda Dabney?
Mrs. Montenegro : I believe my life is in danger; that's why I've taken so many precautions. My real name is... Chloe Lamar.
Lou Peckinpaugh : Well, thank you, Miss Lamar. I appreciate your honesty. Now can you tell me why you let yourself in with this passkey to search my office? What is it that you were looking for?
Mrs. Montenegro : Uh, to be perfectly frank, your bathroom.
Lou Peckinpaugh : I don't have any.
Mrs. Montenegro : Yes! I found that out a little too late...
Lou Peckinpaugh : All right, can we stop playing games now? It isn't Manderley, or Coleman, or Dabney, or even Lamar, is it? The initials on this handkerchief are A.P. - what does A.P. stand for?
Mrs. Montenegro : Alma Chalmers.
Lou Peckinpaugh : Chalmers begins with a C! This is a P!
Mrs. Montenegro : Palmers. Alma Palmers.
Lou Peckinpaugh : You give me the runaround one more time and I'm going to slap you around this office. I don't care what your name is any more. Just make one up, so I know what to call you!
Mrs. Montenegro : Vivian Purcell.
Lou Peckinpaugh : That's better.
Mrs. Montenegro : Carmen Montenegro. That's my last one, I promise!
Lou Peckinpaugh : Are you sure the police didn't follow you here?
Georgia Merkle : I'm positive. They came with me.
[the door opens and the police come in]
Lou Peckinpaugh : This is definitely our last date, Georgia.
Lieutenant DiMaggio : Mind answering a few questions downtown, Lou?
Lou Peckinpaugh : We *are* downtown.
Lieutenant DiMaggio : [thinks a moment] Then this will be fine.
Lou Peckinpaugh : Miss De Vega, I presume.
Mrs. Montenegro : Mr. Peckinpaugh, you look startled.
Lou Peckinpaugh : Oh, no, it's just that, uh, you look like... fourteen other dames that was here the other night.
Mrs. Montenegro : Yes, I know. They were my sister.
Lou Peckinpaugh : Well, that explains the resemblance.
Mrs. Montenegro : Not to me - she was adopted!
Lou Peckinpaugh : Yeah? Well, so am I, but... I don't look like your sister either.
Betty DeBoop : Hello, Fred, I was hoping you'd drop by.
Lou Peckinpaugh : The name is Lou, and we've never met.
Betty DeBoop : Let's not get in a sweat about details. - Aren't you going to light my fire?
Lou Peckinpaugh : Certainly.
[He lights her cigarette]
Lou Peckinpaugh : I was just looking over your kindling wood.
Betty DeBoop : If you're not busy, Fred, I get off at two. Don't you think two's a good time to get off on?
[Marlene slaps Lou]
Paul DuChard : Anything wrong?
Lou Peckinpaugh : Oh, no, no. No, it's, uh, my mistake here, uh. For a second here I thought that this young lady was a girl that I knew in France; I was wrong; the girl I know is dead.
Paul DuChard : Oh, a natural error, monsieur. My wife has been mistaken for dead girls by many men.
Lou Peckinpaugh : I'm using rented bullets for my gun. We all got problems.
Jasper Blubber : The murderer is a Rumanian sailor by the name of Vladimir Tserijemiwtz.
Lou Peckinpaugh : Can you say that again?
Jasper Blubber : Not without spitting. - Well, sir, I have spent sixteen years, and every penny I have, sir, tracking this man down, and at last I have found him! He is here in San Francisco, just as sure as you're sitting there. He's changed his name by making an anagram out of his original name. Seven years I've tried to unscramble it, to no avail.
Marlene DuChard : Did you think my heart didn't stop last night in the club when I saw you standing there?
Lou Peckinpaugh : I almost forgot what you looked like. Day by day I erased your face from my mind, little by little, till all I had left... was your right ear and three front teeth on the bottom.
Marlene DuChard : I still carry your picture in my locket. Naturally, I had to cut off your head in case Paul found it.
Lou Peckinpaugh : Suddenly it all seems as though it was yesterday. I stood in that train station, I waited for you for over six hours. Then when your letter came, it started to rain. And I opened it, and the ink ran all over the page. The most important letter of my life... I still don't know what the hell it said!
Marlene DuChard : It said: "Dear Louis, I love you more than life itself. But to run off with you now, when my country is in danger, would be an act of cowardice. I'm marrying Paul DuChard, because - " and that's all I can remember.
Lou Peckinpaugh : You can't remember why you married him?
Marlene DuChard : That letter was written a long time ago - I've written thousands of letters since!
Lou Peckinpaugh : [Phone rings. Lou picks it up] Yeah?
Georgia Merkle : Lou, it's Georgia.
Lou Peckinpaugh : Oh, hello, Georgia. I just had you on my mind. What's new, kid?
Georgia Merkle : Floyd is dead.
Lou Peckinpaugh : Say that again?
Georgia Merkle : Lou, it's Georgia.
Lou Peckinpaugh : No, after that.
Georgia Merkle : Floyd is dead.
Lou Peckinpaugh : Being a private eye may not be much, but we do have a code of honor. It's all right to fool around with your partner's wife, but once he's dead it makes it all so dirty. That's the way it is, angel. You marry yourself a nice guy, have a couple of swell kids. Once you're all set up and happy, maybe we can fool around again.
Lou Peckinpaugh : You mean you married your own father?
Mrs. Montenegro : It's not like you think. It was a simple wedding, done very tastefully.
Lou Peckinpaugh : I'm sure it was. If you could just give me his name...
Mrs. Montenegro : Vladimir Tserijemiwtz.
Lou Peckinpaugh : Vladimir Tserijemiwtz. How do you spell that?
Mrs. Montenegro : I'm not sure. Well, we were never that close.
Lou Peckinpaugh : [answering phone] Yeah?
Mrs. Montenegro : Mr. Peckinpaugh, I think I have some information regarding the untimely death of your late, deceased, murdered partner.
Lou Peckinpaugh : Who is this?
Mrs. Montenegro : As the Chinese say, never mind. We must be careful; I'm being watched. Can we meet in your office in fifteen minutes?
Lou Peckinpaugh : All right. What time is it now?
Mrs. Montenegro : I'd rather not tell you that until I know I can trust you.
Lou Peckinpaugh : Did you ever stop to worry that I might have killed myself over you?
Marlene DuChard : And if you had, it would have been easier than what I went through. Sleeping night after night with a man I didn't really love. Feeling his hands on my skin. Watching me undress. Taking baths and showers with me. Making me wear all sorts of...
Lou Peckinpaugh : All right, I got the picture. I heard it. Let's go on to something new.
Jezebel Dezire : Just, mmm, a few trinkets and bourbles.
Lou Peckinpaugh : Trinkets and what?
Jezebel Dezire : Bourbles. You know, like "bourbles and bangles."
Lou Peckinpaugh : The word you're looking for, Mrs. Dezire, is "baubles." If you were an American you would know that. But the fact is, it's only Romanians that pronounce it "bourbles"! And that's why it's difficult for you, isn't it - Mrs. Vladimir Tserijemiwtz?
Jezebel Dezire : Oooh, ungh!
[now with heavy accent]
Jezebel Dezire : I told you we would not get away with it! I told you it was stupid idea! I told you I could not say "bourbles"! You are pretty fast on your tippy-toes, Mr. Peckinbush!
Ezra Dezire : But not quite tippy-toe enough!
Ezra Dezire : Yes, Mr. Peckinpaugh. Is very clever how you figured out that I am Vladimir Tsijeremi - Tsijiza - Ts-Tsetsamuncze - Tsetzunseti - It's been so long since I said it, I forgot how to pronounce it! How does it go?
Lou Peckinpaugh : Tserijemiwtz.
Lou Peckinpaugh : No point crying over spilt husbands.
Lou Peckinpaugh : See ya around, Slinky!
Bess : Hold onto your hat. Vladimir Tserijemiwtz is Ezra C.V. Mildew Dezire Jr.!
Lou Peckinpaugh : Wait a minute. Tserijemiwtz has two T's. The name you come up with don't have none.
Bess : That was the whole key. Some people spell the Czar of Russia T-S-A-R. But in America we spell it C-Z-A-R.
Lou Peckinpaugh : Any fool knows that.
Bess : So when I tried the American spelling, I came up with Ezra...
Lou Peckinpaugh : Of course! - Who the hell is he?
Bess : The owner of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Lou Peckinpaugh : Right. You did fine, angel. Now forget you ever heard that name. Don't ever repeat it to anyone.
[the phone rings]
Bess : [into phone] Hello? - Yes, he is. Who's calling, please?
Bess : It's him! Ezra C.V. Mildew Dezire Jr.!
Lou Peckinpaugh : I told you not to repeat it!