Noir Nook: Quoteable Noir

Noir Nook: Quotable Noir

As we enter a new year, I thought I’d ring in 2019 at the Noir Nook with 10 of my favorite noir quotes. Enjoy! And Happy Noir Year!

The Woman in the Window (1944) Edward G. Robinson and Joan BennettEdward G. Robinson and Joan Bennett in The Woman in the Window (1944).

There are only three ways to deal with a blackmailer. You can pay him and pay him and pay him until you’re penniless. Or you can call the police yourself and let your secret be known to the world. Or you can kill him.
Edward G. Robinson in The Woman in the Window (1944)

What I like about you is you’re rock bottom. I wouldn’t expect you to understand this, but it’s a great comfort for a girl to know she could not possibly sink any lower.
— Barrie Chase in Cape Fear (1962)

In Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonard Da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock.
Orson Welles in The Third Man (1949)

Don’t your nose get sore, sticking it all the time in other people’s business?
– Myrna Dell in Nocturne (1946)

They Won't Believe Me (1947) Robert Young and Susan HaywardRobert Young and Susan Hayward in They Won’t Believe Me (1947).

She looked like a very special kind of dynamite, neatly wrapped in nylon and silk. Only I wasn’t having any. I’d been too close to an explosion already. I was powder-shy.
Robert Young in They Won’t Believe Me (1947)

I ain’t afraid of cops. I was brought up to spit whenever I saw one.
– Bessie Clary in Laura (1944)

If this were fiction, I would fall in love with Vera, marry her, and make a respectable woman out of her. Or else she’d make some supreme, Class A sacrifice for me – and die.
– Tom Neal in Detour (1945)

Kiss me, Mike. The liar’s kiss that says I love you and means something else.
Gaby Rodgers in Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

I never confuse business with sentiment. Unless it’s extremely profitable, of course.
Clifton Webb in The Dark Corner (1946)

Out of the Past (1947) Jane GreerJane Greer in Out of the Past (1947).

Sure, I shot him. I’m not sorry about that.
Jane Greer in Out of the Past (1947)


– Karen Burroughs Hannsberry for Classic Movie Hub

You can read all of Karen’s Noir Nook articles here.

Karen Burroughs Hannsberry is the author of the Shadows and Satin blog, which focuses on movies and performers from the film noir and pre-Code eras, and the editor-in-chief of The Dark Pages, a bimonthly newsletter devoted to all things film noir. Karen is also the author of two books on film noir – Femme Noir: The Bad Girls of Film and Bad Boys: The Actors of Film Noir. You can follow Karen on Twitter at @TheDarkPages.
If you’re interested in learning more about Karen’s books, you can read more about them on amazon here:


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6 Responses to Noir Nook: Quoteable Noir

  1. Gloria Elizabeth says:

    A favorite exchange between the lovers in OUT OF THE PAST, just before they fall into a passionate kiss on the beach:
    Kathie: I didn’t know what I was doing. I, I didn’t know anything except how much I hated him. But I didn’t take anything. I didn’t, Jeff. Don’t you believe me?
    Jeff: Baby, I don’t care.

  2. Happy Noir Year to you!

    I read these quotes with a wry smile on my face (that probably looked like indigestion).

  3. But so fitting for noir! LOL

  4. Sara Stewart says:

    These are great! I like this one too: “Flossie had looks, brains, and all the accessories. She was better than a deck with six aces. But I regret to report that she also knew how to handle a gun. My gun.

  5. Brad Harju says:

    The quotes of these Noir films are pretty good. I like the quote from Orson Welles and The Third Man was the beat!

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