Best 155 quotes in «noir quotes» category

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    (In) most cop shows, every cop in the squad speaks exactly the same and the same kind of short clipped film noir-ish talk.

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    Robert Pattinson has the face of a film-noir dupe. It's a face that is searching and open and kind. It's a face that a certain type of woman might want to fool because, in its intensely old-fashioned kindness, the face says, I love you. Fool me.

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    I pity those born of the lighter side. They have no understanding of how seductive cruelty is. The music made out of screams and pleas for mercy. Mmmm. Nothing better. (Noir)

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    It's a noir world. Unfair things happen.

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    One difference between film noir and more straightforward crime pictures is that noir is more open to human flaws and likes to embed them in twisty plot lines.

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    A Dick and Jane story written in blood and battered bone. See Spot. See Spot run. See Spot run from a gaping chest wound. Run Spot run. See Detective smear Spot into a baggy for DNA testing.

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    The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.

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    The noir universe hates do-gooders so it tries to pound them and punish them.

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    This is what noir is, what it can be when it stops playing nice--blunt force drama stripped down to the bone, then made to dance across the page.

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    There is something missing in a lot of digital filmmaking, something I call "poetic reality." That's something you see played out in film noir, where the technique establishes the mood.

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    Where are we? (Jericho) Noir’s happy place. It’s where he brings the beings he wants to play with. (Asmodeus) Punish. (Jericho) You say ta-mah-to. I say to-mah-to. (Asmodeus)

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    [after Sammy struggles to unhook Stilton's bra] She rolled onto her face to give him a good shot at the hook in the back. "Free my people!" "I will. I am the Harriet Tubman of your breasts.

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    All I knew was where it had started, a year before. The three strikes against me and all the reasons I couldn’t say no. I couldn’t have explained the girls, the women, who had briefly entered my life. Briefly changed it. [He] wouldn’t have understood their laughs, their indignations, their secrets. For the rest of the night my eyes drifted to the people on the street, the girls, the women, and I felt like I was seeing the lives they wouldn’t live.

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    All guys are scared of each other, didn't you know that? I'm not the only one. We're all born afraid. ("New York Blues")

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    All we can do about this nightmare we live in is to create, if we are very lucky, a few islands of love and trust to sustain us and help us forget. But love dies while the lovers go on living, and Woolrich excels at making us watch while relationships corrode. He knew the horrors that both love and lovelessness can breed, yet he created very few irredeemably evil characters; for with whoever loves or needs love, Woolrich identifies, all of that person's dark side notwithstanding. ("Introduction")

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    A quick butchers shows up Old Bill three-handed, also a particularly nasty female grass–-and if looks were acid baths the two she collects from us would reduce her to gristle quicker than Mrs. Durand-Deacon.

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    And then, with a shock like high-voltage coursing through me, the phone beside me started pealing thinly. I just stood there and stared at it, blood draining from my face. A call to a tollbooth? It must, it must be a wrong number, somebody wanted the Information Booth or-! It must have been audible outside, with all I had the slide partly closed. One of the redcaps passing by turned, looked over, then started coming across toward where I was. To get rid of him I picked up the receiver, put it to my ear. 'You'd better come out now, time's up,' a flat, deadly voice said. 'They're calling your train, but you're not getting on that one - or any other.' 'Wh-where are talking from?' 'The next booth to yours,' the voice jeered. 'You forgot the glass inserts only reach halfway down.' The connection broke and a man's looming figure was shadowing the glass in front of my eyes, before I could even get the receiver back on the hook. I dropped it full-length, tensed my right arm to pound it through his face as soon as I shoved the glass aside. He had a revolver-bore for a top vest-button, trained on me. Two more had shown up behind him, from which direction I hadn't noticed. It was very dark in the booth now, their collective silhouettes shut out all the daylight. The station and all its friendly bustle was blotted out, had receded into the far background, a thousand miles away for all the help it could give me. I slapped the glass wearily aside, came slowly out. One of them flashed a badge - maybe Crow had loaned him his for the occasion. 'You're being arrested for putting slugs in that phone. It won't do any good to raise your voice and shriek for help, try to tell people different. But suit yourself.' I knew that as well as he; heads turned to stare after us by the dozens as they started with me in their midst through the station's main-level. But not one in all that crowd would have dared interfere with what they mistook for a legitimate arrest in the line of duty. The one with the badge kept it conspicuously tilted in his upturned palm, at sight of which the frozen onlookers slowly parted, made way for us through their midst. I was being led to my doom in full view of scores of people. ("Graves For The Living")

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    And he's alone there, with the unconscious pilot lying a little way off for company, and some other guy he's never even seen, only spoken to over the radio. He wants to sleep so badly - dying they call it - and he can't. Something's bothering him to keep him awake. ("Jane Brown's Body")

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    A woman could do a lot of crazy things for a pair of fine-looking dimples.

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    A second red-orange spearhead leaps straight at O'Shaughnessy. The whole world seems to stand still. Then the gun behind it crashes, and there's a cataclysm of pain all over him, and a shock goes through him as if he ran head-on into a stone wall. A voice from the car says blurredly, while the ground rushes up to meet him, 'Finish him up, you guys! I'm getting so I don't trust their looks no more, no matter how stiff they act!' ("Jane Brown's Body")

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    Carrying a shotgun makes you less amusing.

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    Call me Dudley. We're of equal rank. I'm older, but you're far better looking. I can tell we're going to be grand partners.

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    Catboy slept that night curled up on the Kid’s chest. There was a huge windstorm that blew canopies of rain between the buildings of the apartment complex. Vanjii, of course, slept through it, but the Kid spent most of the night somewhere between waking and sleeping. He could hear the wind and rain all the time, and sometimes he could feel Catboy’s claws on his chest, kneading. He dreamed that the wind was an old bruja, a witch, wandering the deserted streets outside, looking for Catboy so she could take him away and hurt him.

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    Being a Berlin cop in 1942 was a little like putting down mousetraps in a cage full of tigers.

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    But suspense presupposes uncertainty. No matter how nightmarish the situation, real suspense is impossible when we know in advance that the protagonist will prevail (as we would if Woolrich had used series characters) or will be destroyed. This is why, despite his congenital pessimism, Woolrich manages any number of times to squeeze out an upbeat resolution. Precisely because we can never know whether a particular novel or story will be light or dark, allegre or noir, his work remains hauntingly suspenseful. ("Introduction")

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    El habia esclarecido inninterrumpidamente, durante los cinco años siguientes, cuatro asesinatos, de un modo que a sus colegas les habia parecido alucinante, es decir injusto, provocador. -No pegas ni golpe, Adamsberg-le decían-. Estás ahí, vagando, soñando, mirando la pared, haces dibujitos deprisa y corriendo sobre las rodillas, como si poseyeras ciencia infusa y tuvieras la vida ante ti, y luego, un día, te presentas, lánguido y amable, y dices: "Hay que detener al cura, ha estrangulado al niño para que no hable".

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    Ciemność jest naturalnym środowiskiem reportera. Świat jasno oświetlony nie jest dla reportera tematem.

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    Did you ever think much about jobs? I mean, some of the jobs people land in? You see a guy giving haircuts to dogs, or maybe going along the curb with a shovel, scooping up horse manure. And you think, now why is the silly bastard doing that? He looks fairly bright, about as bright as anyone else. Why the hell does he do that for living? You kind grin and look down your nose at him. You think he’s nuts, know what I mean, or he doesn’t have any ambition. And then you take a good look at yourself, and you stop wondering about the other guy… You’ve got all your hands and feet. Your health is okay, and you make a nice appearance, and ambition-man! You’ve got it. You’re young, I guess: you’d call thirty young, and you’re strong. You don’t have much education, but you’ve got more than plenty of other people who go to the top. And yet with all that, with all you’ve had to do with this is as far you’ve got And something tellys you, you’re not going much farther if any. And there is nothing to be done about it now, of course, but you can’t stop hoping. You can’t stop wondering… …Maybe you had too much ambition. Maybe that was the trouble. You couldn’t see yourself spending forty years moving from office boy to president. So you signed on with a circulation crew; you worked the magazines from one coast to another. And then you ran across a little brush deal-it sounded nice, anyway. And you worked that until you found something better, something that looked better. And you moved from that something to another something. Coffee-and-tea premiums, dinnerware, penny-a-day insurance, photo coupons, cemetery lots, hosiery, extract, and God knows what all. You begged for the charities, You bought the old gold. You went back to the magazines and the brushes and the coffee and tea. You made good money, a couple of hundred a week sometimes. But when you averaged it up, the good weeks with the bad, it wasn’t so good. Fifty or sixty a week, maybe seventy. More than you could make, probably, behind agas pump or a soda fountain. But you had to knock yourself out to do it, and you were standing stil. You were still there at the starting place. And you weren’t a kid any more. So you come to this town, and you see this ad. Man for outside sales and collections. Good deal for hard worker. And you think maybe this is it. This sounds like a right town. So you take the job, and you settle down in the town. And, of course, neither one of ‘em is right, they’re just like all the others. The job stinks. The town stinks. You stink. And there’s not a goddamned thing you can do about it. All you can do is go on like this other guys go on. The guy giving haircuts to dogs, and the guy sweeping up horse manute Hating it. Hating yourself. And hoping.

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    Don't make a career out of underestimating me." — Claire de Haven

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    Cherchez la femme, Bucky. Remember that.

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    Dash shoved his hands on his hips and looked down into the bowl. ‘You gave my fish pink rocks?’ he said as he turned to face her. Joy shrugged. ‘I didn’t really look at the colour I just grabbed the nearest bag.’ ‘It had to be pink?’ ‘There’s some blue as well.’ He looked into the bowl again. ‘Not really.’ Joy couldn’t believe she was having a conversation about pink rocks when the bigger question of what the hell he’d found out about the robberies was still unanswered. ‘You think it’s going to turn Ralph gay?’ she asked sweetly. ‘Given that he’s living his life out solo it’s kind of a moot question, don’t you think?’ ‘You’re right, I think he needs a girlfriend. Or a boyfriend.’ ‘With those rocks? I think he needs Fishtank Barbie in there.’ ‘Is your masculinity threatened because your fish has pink rocks?’ Dash folded his arms. ‘He’s a bloke. He doesn’t do pink.’ Joy glanced at the bowl. ‘It works,’ she said. ‘It...blends.’ ‘He’s orange,’ Dash said. ‘Since when have pink and orange gone together?

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    De pronto le pareció, que el amor erótico y el amor romántico, no era nada más que una forma o varias formas del ego. Por consiguiente, lo que había que hacer era dirigir el ego de uno mismo hacia destinatarios que no fuesen personas, o hacia personas de las que uno no esperase nada. El amor podia ser puro, pero sólo si no era egoista.

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    Downtown, a dress for Meg- I do it every time I kill a man.

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    Evans made himself their spokesman. "Charlie and Joe," he offered. "Remember us? We brought a friend back with us this time." Girls evidently didn't count in this little subdivision of the underworld; a miscalculation many a shady character has made.

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    Fine by me, Jack. I just have to plug in the machine. The City will have to change its name to Sunny Beach.” “We don’t have a beach.” “Well, you know what I mean …” Conversation on Radio Fake 112.8 MHz In The Shadow of Sadd

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    Ever since I could remember, She was all that mattered.

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    Gory frontline memories from war in the Philippines returned to Mitch as he submerged himself in the brush. He sunk deep into the leaves and mud, and stayed there. He remembered scenes from the jungle. The tremors of falling bombs. The smell of smoke.

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    Freedom breeds uncertainty; uncertainty invites chaos.

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    He began as a minor imitator of Fitzgerald, wrote a novel in the late twenties which won a prize, became dissatisfied with his work, stopped writing for a period of years. When he came back it was to BLACK MASK and the other detective magazines with a curious and terrible fiction which had never been seen before in the genre markets; Hart Crane and certainly Hemingway were writing of people on the edge of their emotions and their possibility but the genre mystery markets were filled with characters whose pain was circumstantial, whose resolution was through action; Woolrich's gallery was of those so damaged that their lives could only be seen as vast anticlimax to central and terrible events which had occurred long before the incidents of the story. Hammett and his great disciple, Chandler, had verged toward this more than a little, there is no minimizing the depth of their contribution to the mystery and to literature but Hammett and Chandler were still working within the devices of their category: detectives confronted problems and solved (or more commonly failed to solve) them, evil was generalized but had at least specific manifestations: Woolrich went far out on the edge. His characters killed, were killed, witnessed murder, attempted to solve it but the events were peripheral to the central circumstances. What I am trying to say, perhaps, is that Hammett and Chandler wrote of death but the novels and short stories of Woolrich *were* death. In all of its delicacy and grace, its fragile beauty as well as its finality. Most of his plots made no objective sense. Woolrich was writing at the cutting edge of his time. Twenty years later his vision would attract a Truffaut whose own influences had been the philosophy of Sartre, the French nouvelle vague, the central conception that nothing really mattered. At all. But the suffering. Ah, that mattered; that mattered quite a bit.

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    His deadpan expression turned bitter with a curl of his lip. “Save your sermon for some other sap. Nobody shares money—not even dead people. Why do you think they invented wills and trust funds?

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    He looked as if he'd got a lot of pleasure out of going ten rounds with your grandmother and making sure she went the whole distance.

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    He's prowling back and forth like a lion with distemper now. There's a shiny streak down one side of his face. "I shouldn't have let her go ahead - I ought to be hung! Something's gone wrong. I can't stand this any more!" he says with a choked sound. "I'm starting now -" "But how are you -" "Spring for it and fire as I go if they try to stop me." And then as he barges out, the fat lady waddling solicitously after him, "Stay there; take it if she calls - tell her I'm on the way-" He plunges straight at the street-door from all the way back in the hall, like a fullback headed for a touchdown. That's the best way. Gun bedded in his pocket, but hand gripping it ready to let fly through lining and all. He slaps the door out of his way without slowing and skitters out along the building, head and shoulders defensively lowered. It *was* the taxi, you bet. No sound from it, at least not at this distance, just a thin bluish haze slowly spreading out around it that might be gas-fumes if its engine were turning; and at his end a long row of un-colored spurts - of dust and stone-splinters - following him along the wall of the flat he's tearing away from. Each succeeding one a half yard too far behind him, smacking into where he was a second ago. And they never catch up. ("Jane Brown's Body")

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    He was a scoundrel and a saint and a survivor. A tangled Celtic knot of thorns and roses. Ragged and sincere. It moved her deeply. Like a forgotten melody that suddenly struck a vibrant chord inside her heart. He was almost irresistible.

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    His most characteristic detective stories end with the realization that no rational account of events is possible, and his suspense stories tend to close with terror not dissipated but omnipresent, like God. ("Introduction")

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    Home? What is home? Home is where a house is that you come back to when the rainy season is about to begin, to wait until the next dry season comes around. Home is where your woman is, that you come back to in the intervals between a greater love - the only real love - the lust for riches buried in the earth, that are your own if you can find them. Perhaps you do not call it home, even to yourself. Perhaps you call them 'my house,' 'my woman,' What if there was another 'my house,' 'my woman,' before this one? It makes no difference. This woman is enough for now. Perhaps the guns sounded too loud at Anzio or at Omaha Beach, at Guadalcanal or at Okinawa. Perhaps when they stilled again some kind of strength had been blasted from you that other men still have. And then again perhaps it was some kind of weakness that other men still have. What is strength, what is weakness, what is loyalty, what is perfidy? The guns taught only one thing, but they taught it well: of what consequence is life? Of what consequence is a man? And, therefore, of what consequence if he tramples love in one place and goes to find it in the next? The little moment that he has, let him be at peace, far from the guns and all that remind him of them. So the man who once was Bill Taylor has come back to his house, in the dusk, in the mountains, in Anahuac. ("The Moon Of Montezuma")

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    Human beings shouldn't have to enter such doors, shouldn't have to stay behind them. No moon ever entered there, no stars, no anything at all. They were worse than the grave, for in the grave is an absence of consciousness. And God, she reflected, ordered the grave for all of us; but God didn't order such burrows in a third-class New York City Hotel.

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    I couldn't see why it shouldn't be my one hundred dollars.

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    I'd done it, I'd crossed the line between accepted behavior and behavior most of the population would consider a lynching offense, and that morning I felt as real as any of the men in the Escape commercials. It had been dirty and nasty but I wanted more.

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    I had killed a man, for money and a woman. I didn't have the money and I didn't have the woman.

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    I hate the world. Everything comes into it so clean and goes out so dirty. (from COVER CHARGE - currently not listed)