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Smoking guns, sharp hats, dangerous dames, fast talking and high trousers – what’s not to love about Film Noir? We can’t seem to get enough of these hard-boiled detective flicks, full of billowing cigarette smoke, bright sun shining through venetian blinds, and some of the snappiest dialogue this side of Chinatown.
We’ve rooted out ten of our favourite killer Film Noir quotes, so hold tight to that cheap cigar of yours, Keyes, and get to reading them (preferably out loud to yourself in the slickest gangster voice you can muster).
"How could I have known that murder could sometimes smell like honeysuckle?"
From: Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944).
By Fred MacMurray as Walter Neff.
"If there’s one thing in this world I hate, it’s a double-crossing dame"
From: The Killers (Robert Siodmak, 1946).
By Albert Dekker as Big Jim Colfax.
"Death’s at the bottom of everything, Martins. Leave death to the professionals"
From: The Third Man (Carol Reed, 1949).
By Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins.
"You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together, and…blow"
From: To Have and Have Not (Howard Hawks, 1944).
By Lauren Bacall as Marie 'Slim' Browning.
"You can’t top this. They said they’d let me breathe"
From: Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955).
By Juano Hernandez as Eddie Yeager.
Starts (Mike Hammer): "Ok, how much did they give you? I’ll top it.".
"It was the bottom of the barrel, and I was scraping it"
From: Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur, 1947).
By Robert Mitchum as Jeff Bailey.
"What else is there to think about, except my job, my dirty job?"
From: Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958).
By Orson Welles as Hank Quinlan.
"But, Mrs Mulwray, I goddamn near lost my nose. And I like it. I like breathing through it"
From: Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974).
By Jack Nicholson as J.J. Gittes.
"Well, you're about as romantic as a pair of handcuffs"
From: The Big Heat (Fritz Lang, 1953).
By Gloria Grahame as Debby Marsh.
"Those are harsh words to throw at a man, especially when he’s walking out of your bedroom"
From: The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks, 1946).
By Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (Robert Zemeckis, 1988)
Is that a rabbit in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?