A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.

[Kathie is playing roulette]
Jeff Bailey: That's not the way to win.
Kathie Moffat: Is there a way to win?
Jeff Bailey: There's a way to lose more slowly.
Leonard Eels: All women are wonders, because they reduce all men to the obvious.
Meta Carson: So do martinis.
Whit Sterling: Joe couldn't find a prayer in the Bible.
Jeff Bailey: [answering the door] Well, the last guy in the world...
Whit Sterling: I hate surprises myself. You wanna just shut the door and forget it?
Jeff Bailey: You can never help anything, can you? You're like a leaf that the wind blows from one gutter to another.
Jeff Bailey: I didn't know you were so little.
Kathie Moffat: I'm taller than Napoleon.
Jeff Bailey: You're prettier, too.
Jeff Bailey: Why me?
Whit Sterling: Well, I know a lot of smart guys, and a few honest ones. And you're both.
Jeff Bailey: How big a chump can you get to be? I was finding out.
Kathie Moffat: 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 Bailey: Baby, I don't care.
Kathie Moffat: Can't you even feel sorry for me?
Jeff Bailey: I'm not going to try.
Kathie Moffat: Jeff...
Jeff Bailey: Just get out, will you? I have to sleep in this room.
Kathie Moffat: Don't you see you've only me to make deals with now?
Jeff Bailey: Build my gallows high, baby.
Jeff Bailey: I sell gasoline, I make a small profit. With that I buy groceries. The grocer makes a profit. We call it earning a living. You may have heard of it somewhere.
Whit Sterling: My feelings? About ten years ago, I hid them somewhere and haven't been able to find them.
Ann Miller: She can't be all bad. No one is.
Jeff Bailey: Well, she comes the closest.
Marny, diner owner: Two things I can smell inside a hundred feet: a burnin' hamburger and a romance.
Jim 'Jimmy': You got a customer.
Marny, diner owner: [to Joe] What'll ya have?
Joe Stephanos: [not bothering to take the cigarette out of his mouth] Coffee.
Marny, diner owner: Nothing else?
Joe Stephanos: Cream.
Leonard Eels: Your uh... cousin is a very charming young lady.
Jeff Bailey: No he isn't. His name is Norman, and he's a bookmaker in Cleveland Ohio.
Jeff Bailey: You say to yourself, "How hot can it get?" Then, in Acapulco, you find out.
Whit Sterling: You just sit and stay inside yourself. You wait for me to talk. I like that.
Jeff Bailey: I never found out much listening to myself.
Joe Stephanos: I often wondered what happened to him. Then one day I'm breezing through here, and there's his name up on a sign.
Marny, diner owner: It's a small world.
Joe Stephanos: Yeah. Or a big sign.
Kathie Moffat: I don't want to die.
Jeff Bailey: Neither do I, Baby, but if I have to, I'm going to die last.
Jeff Bailey: [allowing one slap but blocking a second] That evens us. Now fold your hands or I'll fold 'em for you!
Kathie Moffat: There's a cantina down the street called Pablo's. It's nice and quiet. The man there plays American music for a dollar. Sip bourbon and shut your eyes... it's like a little place on 44th Street. I sometimes go there.
Kathie Moffat: I think we deserve a break.
Jeff Bailey: We deserve each other.
Kathie Moffat: Oh Jeff, you ought to have killed me for what I did a moment ago.
Jeff Bailey: [dryly] There's time.
Jeff Bailey: You know, maybe I was wrong and luck is like love. You have to go all the way to find it.
Ann Miller: You do to keep it.
Jack Fisher: You know, a dame with a rod is like a guy with a knitting needle.
Whit Sterling: You're gonna take the rap and play along. You're gonna make every exact move I tell you. If you don't, I'll kill you. And I'll promise you one thing: it won't be quick. I'll break you first. You won't be able to answer a telephone or open a door without thinking, 'This is it.' And it when it comes, it still won't be quick. And it won't be pretty. You can take your choice.
Jeff Bailey: It was the bottom of the barrel, and I was scraping it.
[Petey and Jeff watch Meta walking away]
Petey: Nice!
Jeff Bailey: Awfully cold around the heart.
Meta Carson: You are an idiot.
Jeff Bailey: So's he.
Meta Carson: You think so?
Jeff Bailey: Why not? He's in love with you.
Jeff Bailey: Let's go down to the bar. We can cool off while we try to impress each other.
Jeff Bailey: I never saw her in the daytime. We seemed to live by night. What was left of the day went away like a pack of cigarettes you smoked. I didn't know where she lived. I never followed her. All I ever had to go on was a place and time to see her again. I don't know what we were waiting for. Maybe we thought the world would end.
Kathie Moffat: I'm sorry he didn't die.
Jeff Bailey: Give him time.
Kathie Moffat: Oh, Jeff, I don't want to die!
Jeff Bailey: Neither do I, baby, but if I have to I'm gonna die last.
Jeff Bailey: Nothing in the world is any good unless you can share it.
Ann Miller: They say the day you die your name is written in the clouds.
Kathie Moffat: Did you miss me?
Jeff Bailey: No more than I would my eyes.
Jeff Bailey: Very difficult girl.
Jose Rodriguez: Is there one who is *not* so, SeƱor?
Jeff Bailey: Now, do you wanna talk business, or do you wanna play house...?

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