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Double Indemnity

Screen Guild Theatre

Double Indemnity

Feb 16 1950



CAST:


The Camel Team:

SMITH and BARCLAY, the announcers

and a singing QUARTET 


Dramatis Personae:

WALTER NEFF

PHYLLIS DIETRICHSON

KEYES

JACKSON




SMITH: (COLD) The Camel Screen Guild Theatre!


MUSIC: FIRST PHRASE OF "HOW MILD"


SMITH: Our stars tonight...Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor.


MUSIC: SECOND PHRASE OF "HOW MILD"


SMITH: Our play....."Double Indemnity".


MUSIC: COMPLETE "HOW MILD". 


SMITH: Our hosts the makers of Camel Cigarettes.


QUARTET: How mild, 

How mild,

How mild can a cigarette be? 

Make the Camel thirty-day test 

And you'll see...


SMITH: Not one single case of throat irritation due to smoking Camels -- that's what noted throat specialists reported in a coast-to-coast test of hundreds of people who smoked only Camels for thirty days! That's how mild Camels are!


BARCLAY: Make a note. Remember your throat. Try Camels today!


MUSIC: FULL INTO PLAY THEME AND FADE OUT INTO: 


SMITH: And now, while you discover the smoking enjoyment of Camel Cigarettes, for your listening enjoyment the Camel Screen Guild Theatre brings you one of the great stories of our time. A best selling novel and a tremendous motion picture hit....The Screen Guild Players are proud to present -- "Double Indemnity" -- based on the novel by James M. Cain, and starring Robert Taylor and Barbara Stanwyck with Elliot Lewis.


MUSIC: (FULL INTO PLAY THEME...AND DOWN, TO HOLD UNDER) 


SOUND: TOWER CHIMES, FULL...AND FADE SLOWLY UNDER:

 

SMITH: It's midnight. Downtown Los Angeles is dark and deserted - but high above the quiet streets one window shows a splash of light...Walter Neff, star agent for Pacific All-Risk Insurance, is in his private office typing a report. (MUSIC CUTS AS:)

 

SOUND: TYPEWRITER STARTS...KEYS HITTING IRREGULARLY

 

NEFF: Office Memorandum...To Barton Keyes, Claims Manager...July Sixteenth, 1948..Dear Keyes...Well, you old so-and-so, you did it again. I mean, you were right on that Dietrichson claim -- Accident and Double Indemnity...You said it wasn't an accident. Check. You said it wasn't suicide. Check. You said it was murder. Check and double check.

 

SOUND: TYPEWRITER CUTS, AS:

 

MUSIC: (SHARP VIBRATO CHORD..TO HOLD UNDER)


SMITH: He pauses -- fumbles for a cigarette with his right hand. The other hand hangs limp and useless at his side. And, spreading from below his shoulder, a dark red stain discolouring his shirt. He draws deeply on the cigarette, crushes it out, and then goes on... (MUSIC CUTS AS:)

 

SOUND: TYPEWRITER RESUMES

 

NEFF: I'll admit it, Keyes -- you can always smell a phoney claim. And you were pretty good on this one for a while. You only made one little mistake. You picked the wrong guy for the murderer - and that's where I want to set you straight. I'm going to tell you who it was...(MUSIC IN, VERY FAINTLY) It started one afternoon about the end of May. I'd stopped at this house over on Los Feliz to check up on some auto renewals..The maid who answered the bell was the nasty kind, and just as I was trying to talk my way in -- (MUSIC CUTS)

 

PHYLLIS: (OFF) What is it, Nettie? Who's at the door?

 

MUSIC: (ACCENTS SOFTLY...AND CONTINUES UNDER:)

 

NEFF: That was her. That was the first time I ever saw her. She was up on a little balcony - standing there wrapped in a big beach towel and showing plenty of curves. And I guess I must've goggled a bit because she sort of smiled. And then -

 

MUSIC: (MUSIC: CUTS)

 

PHYLLIS: (OFF) I'm Mrs. Dietrichson. What is it, please?

 

NEFF: It's about the renewals on the automobiles. The insurance ran out on the fifteenth. I'd hate to think of your getting a smashed fender or something while you're not fully covered.

 

PHYLLIS: (OFF) I think I know what you mean. I've just been taking a sun bath.

 

NEFF: No airplanes around, I hope....Look, Mrs. Dietrichson, about these policies....

 

PHYLLIS: (OFF) Would you mind going into the living room, please? I'll slip something on and be right down.

 

MUSIC: (ACCENTS SOFTLY..AND CONTINUES UNDER:)

 

NEFF: That was all. Except the way she looked at me. Sort of giving me the come-on, if you know what I mean..I know. Especially after she came downstairs.


MUSIC: (CUTS)


PHYLLIS: I hurried so. I hope my face is on straight.

 

NEFF: It's perfect for my money, Mrs. Dietrichson.

 

PHYLLIS: Won't you sit down, Mr. -- Mr. --?

 

NEFF: Walter Neff is the name. Neff...with two f's, like in Philadelphia. If you know the story.

 

PHYLLIS: What story?

 

NEFF: The Philadelphia Story. What are we talking about?

 

PHYLLIS: (FAINT SMILE) Insurance.

 

NEFF: Oh..You see it's on both cars. Both policies are -- (SUDDENLY) Say, that's a honey of an anklet you're wearing, Mrs. Dietrichson.

 

PHYLLIS: Maybe I ought to cover it, so you can keep on talking..about insurance.

 

NEFF: Well I've been trying to get in touch with your husband. He never seems to be at the office.

 

PHYLLIS: He's been very busy down at Long Beach - in the oil fields.

 

NEFF: Maybe I could catch him at home some evening?

 

PHYLLIS: I suppose so. But he's never home before eight.

 

NEFF: That's swell, I'll (AGAIN) Say, I wish you'd tell me what's engraved on that anklet.

 

PHYLLIS: Just my name.

 

NEFF: As for instance?

 

PHYLLIS: Phyllis.

 

NEFF: Phyllis. I think I like that.

 

PHYLLIS: But you're not sure?

 

NEFF: I'd have to drive it around the block a few times.

 

PHYLLIS: Let's say tomorrow night at eight thirty. He'll be in then.

 

NEFF: Who?

 

PHYLLIS: My husband. Didn't you want to talk to him?

 

NEFF: Sure, but I'm getting over it - if you know what I mean.

 

PHYLLIS: Mr. Neff, there's a speed limit in this state. Forty-five miles an hour.

 

NEFF: How fast was I going, officer?

 

PHYLLIS: I'd say about ninety.

 

NEFF: Suppose you get down off your motorcycle and give me a ticket.

 

PHYLLIS: Suppose I let you off with a warning this time.

 

NEFF: Suppose it doesn't take.

 

PHYLLIS: Suppose I have to whack you over the knuckles.

 

NEFF: Suppose I bust out crying and put my head on your shoulder.

 

PHYLLIS: Suppose you try putting it on my husband's shoulder.

 

NEFF: That tears it. I'll drop in tomorrow night.

 

PHYLLIS: I'll see you to the door.

 

SOUND: STEPS.

 

NEFF: About eight-thirty. Will you be here, too?

 

PHYLLIS: I usually am.

 

SOUND: DOOR OPENS.

 

NEFF: Same chair, same anklet, same perfume?

 

PHYLLIS: I wonder if I know what you mean.

 

NEFF: I wonder if you wonder. (CHUCKLES)

 

SOUND: DOOR SLAMS.

 

MUSIC: (ACCENTS...AND FADES OUT INTO:)

 

NEFF: Maybe you can't understand that, Keyes. You've got an insurance policy where your heart ought to be...But I tell you I couldn't wait to get back - to see her again. And when she phoned the next morning and changed the appointment to the afternoon, I almost broke my fool neck getting over there...(MUSIC IN, VERY FAINTLY) She met me at the door herself - explaining it was the maid's day off...then she told me her husband couldn't make it, either. So there we were alone. Well, we sat around and had some light palaver. And pretty soon we were Phyllis and Walter. And then, when she thought I'd taken the hook -- sort of casual-like she started pulling me in.


MUSIC: (CUTS)


PHYLLIS: Walter, I'm a little worried about my husband.

 

NEFF: Should I be, too?

 

PHYLLIS: Silly...I mean he's always down in those oil wells with the drilling crews. It's very dangerous.

 

NEFF: Sure, but it's mighty profitable.

 

PHYLLIS: Why, only last week a crown block fell. It caught the foreman and broke his back.

 

NEFF: Bad.

 

PHYLLIS: Don't you think he should carry accident insurance?

 

NEFF: The foreman?

 

PHYLLIS: My husband...What kind of policy could he get?

 

NEFF: Oh, say a hundred and twenty-five a week cash benefit. Around fifty thousand capital sum.

 

PHYLLIS: Capital sum? What's that?

 

NEFF: That's if he got killed. Maybe I shouldn't have said that.

 

PHYLLIS: I suppose you have to think of everything...(A PAUSE) Walter -- could I get an accident policy for him without bothering him about it?

 

NEFF: How's that again?

 

PHYLLIS: I have a little allowance of my own. I could pay the premium and not even tell him about it. 

 

NEFF: Why shouldn't you tell him?

 

PHYLLIS: Because I know he doesn't like accident insurance. He's superstitious.

 

NEFF: A lot of people are. Funny, isn't it?

 

PHYLLIS: If there was a way to get it like that, all my worries would be over....You see what I mean....

 

NEFF: Sure. I've got good eyesight...He wouldn't know about the policy. And the insurance company wouldn't know he doesn't know...Isn't that the set-up?

 

PHYLLIS: Is there anything wrong with it?


NEFF: I think it's lovely. And then, some dark wet night, if that crown block fell -


PHYLLIS: What crown block?


NEFF: Of course it doesn't have to be a crown block. A car can back over him, or he can fall from a window. Any little thing like that, as long as it's a morgue job.


PHYLLIS: Are you crazy?


NEFF: Not that crazy. Good afternoon.


PHYLLIS: Walter - what's the matter?


NEFF: Look, baby, you can't get away with it.


PHYLLIS: Get away with what?


NEFF: You want to knock him off, don't you, baby?


PHYLLIS: That's a horrible thing to say!


NEFF: What did you take me for? A guy that walks up to a good-looking dame and says "Hello, I sell accident insurance on husbands. You got one that's been around too long?" Not me, baby, I'm getting out. I'm getting out of here, but quick!


MUSIC: (SHARP ACCENT...AND FADE OUT INTO:)


NEFF: That's the truth, Keyes. I walked right out. She didn't fool me for a minute...No, and I didn't fool myself, either...(MUSIC IN, VERY FAINTLY) Moping around my apartment that night, I knew I hadn't walked out on anything. She had the hook in me too strong...and when the doorbell rang a little later - (DOORBELL, OFF) I didn't have to guess. I knew who'd be there when I opened the door -- (DOOR OPENS)


MUSIC: CUTS


PHYLLIS: Hello..(SLIGHT PAUSE) You forgot your hat this afternoon.


NEFF: And I see you forgot to bring it back tonight.


PHYLLIS: Do you want me to come in?


NEFF: Sure. Why not? (DOOR CLOSES) How did you know where I live?


PHYLLIS: It's in the phone book.


NEFF: How'd you get out? Your husband away?


PHYLLIS: He telephoned from Long Beach. Said he wouldn't be home till late...(A PAUSE) You know, it's about time you said you're glad to see me.


NEFF: I knew you wouldn't leave it like that.


PHYLLIS: Like what?


NEFF: Like it was this afternoon.


PHYLLIS: Walter, you must have misunderstood. You must never think anything like that about me.


NEFF: Okay.


PHYLLIS: It's not okay. Not if you don't believe me.


NEFF: What do you want me to do?


PHYLLIS: Be nice to me. Like the first time you came.


NEFF: It can't be like the first time. Something has happened.


PHYLLIS: I know it has. It's happened to us...(A PAUSE) Maybe I oughtn't to have come.


NEFF: Maybe you oughtn't.


PHYLLIS: You want me to go?


NEFF: If you want to.


PHYLLIS: Right now?


NEFF: Sure. Right now. (LOW INTENSE) But not till I've had my arms around you. Not till I've kissed you - like I've wanted to from the minute I saw you -


PHYLLIS: (PAUSE)...(THEN SOFT, BREATHLESS) Walter...

 

NEFF: (A PAUSE) How were you going to do it?

 

PHYLLIS: Do what?

 

NEFF: Kill him.

 

PHYLLIS: Walter, for the last time --

 

NEFF: Slow down. I'm crazy about you, baby.

 

PHYLLIS: I'm crazy about you too, Walter.

 

NEFF: (PAUSE) You know, last year a guy slipped in the bath tub and knocked himself cold and drowned. Only he had accident insurance. So they had an autopsy and she didn't get away with it.

 

PHYLLIS: Who didn't?

 

NEFF: His wife....How about a drink?

 

PHYLLIS: No thanks, Walter.

 

NEFF: All she got was a two-to-ten stretch at Tehachapi.

 

PHYLLIS: (SLOWLY) Maybe it was worth it to her.

 

NEFF: Take it easy. You don't dislike him that much.

 

PHYLLIS: You don't have to live with him.

 

NEFF: Ever think about a divorce?

 

PHYLLIS: He wouldn't give me one.

 

NEFF: And that makes you hate him all the more?

 

PHYLLIS: He's so mean to me. He keeps me shut up -- won't let me go anywhere. And when he gets drunk he slaps me around.

 

NEFF: So you lie awake in the dark and listen to him snore and get ideas.....Sometimes you sort of wish he was dead.

 

PHYLLIS: Maybe I do.

 

NEFF: And you wish it was an accident and that you had that policy. For $50,000. Is that it?

 

PHYLLIS: Maybe that too....but I've never done anything about it, Walter. I'm not going to.

 

NEFF: You'd better not, baby. Not if there's an insurance company in the picture....We have a guy in our office called Keyes. He knows more tricks than a carload of monkeys. He'd hang you as sure as ten dimes will buy a dollar.


PHYLLIS: (STARTS TO CRY SOFTLY)


NEFF: Steady now....pull yourself together....Just stop thinking about it, baby.


MUSIC: ACCENTS SOFTLY.........AND CONTINUES UNDER


NEFF: So we just sat there and she kept on crying. And maybe after a while she forget about it...Maybe she did. But me, I couldn't. I'm not trying to alibi myself.....I fought it, only maybe I didn't fight it hard enough. And pretty soon I was into it so deep I didn't even hear her when she said --

 

MUSIC: CUTS

 

PHYLLIS: I've got to go now, Walter...(NO ANSWER) Will you call me, Walter? (NO ANSWER) Walter --

 

NEFF: (COMING TO) Huh?

 

PHYLLIS: I hate him. I loathe going back to him. You believe me, don't you, Walter?

 

NEFF: Sure I believe you.

 

PHYLLIS: I can't stand it any more. Sometimes I think it would be better to hang.

 

NEFF: You're not going to hang, baby. Not ever. 


PHYLLIS: (LOW, PUZZLED) Walter --?


NEFF: Because you're going to do it the smart way. Because I'm going to help you.

 

PHYLLIS: You?

 

NEFF: Me. 

 

PHYLLIS: Do you know what you're saying?

 

NEFF: Sure I know. We're going to do it together. We're going to do it right.


PHYLLIS: Walter - my arm! You're hurting me!

 

NEFF: Call me tomorrow. But not from your house. From a booth. And watch your step. Every single minute. It's got to be perfect, understand. Straight down the line.


PHYLLIS: (SLOWLY) All right, Walter, straight down the line.


MUSIC: (SHARP ACCENT ... AND FADE OUT INTO:)

 

NEFF: The first step looked like the tough one, Keyes - to get her husband's signature on an accident policy. But that turned out to be a cinch. He thought he was signing the auto renewals. And after that everything seemed right in the groove. (MUSIC IN, VERY FAINTLY) Phyllis told me he was going north at the end of the month - to a college reunion. That suited me fine. There was a little clause in the policy - double indemnity for death by train.....A hundred grand instead of fifty. And then, with only a week to go --


MUSIC: CUTS


PHYLLIS: (LOW, AGITATED) Walter, he had an accident at the well! He broke his leg. The trip is off!

 

MUSIC: (ACCENTS ..... AND CONTINUES UNDER:)

 

NEFF: And that's how it stood till a few days later. I guess you'll remember that afternoon Keyes. You'd come into my office and you were kind of hot --


MUSIC: CUTS 

 

KEYES: Can you imagine a stupid lunk like Gorlopis trying to put a fast one over on me!

 

NEFF: I guess he didn't figure on your little man!

 

KEYES: Yes, my little man - right here inside of me.

 

NEFF: That's what I said.

 

KEYES: Walter, you can kid me about my little man, but he ties my stomach up in knots every time a phoney claim comes in! Know what we found at Gorlopis' place? Wood shavings soaked in kerosene! So I hauled him in here - and - (PHONE RINGS) Go ahead, take it. It's probably for you.

 

NEFF: Why not? It's my phone. (RECEIVER UP) Hello. Walter Neff speaking.

 

PHYLLIS: (FILTER) Walter, I had to call you. It's terribly urgent. Are you with somebody?

 

NEFF: Uh - yes, I am. Can't I call you back .... Margie?

 

PHYLLIS: (FILTER) Walter, I've only got a minute. It can't wait. Listen. He's going tonight. On the train. Are you listening? ..... Walter -- !

 

NEFF: (CONTROLLED) Sure. I'm listening.....Margie.

 

PHYLLIS: (FILTER) He's on crutches. The doctor says he can go if he's careful...It's wonderful, Walter. Just the way you wanted it. Only with crutches it's ever so much better, isn't it? 

 

NEFF: A hundred percent. Hold the line a minute...Say, Keyes, suppose I join you in your office --

 

KEYES: I'll wait. Tell Margie not to take all day.

 

NEFF: Hello, Margie. Go ahead.

 

PHYLLIS: (FILTER) It's the ten-fifteen from Glendale. I'm driving him to the station. Is it still that same dark street?

 

NEFF: Yeah - sure.

 

PHYLLIS: (FILTER) I'll leave the garage door open - you can hide in the back of the car .... The signal is three honks on the horn. Is there anything else?

 

NEFF: What color did you pick?

 

PHYLLIS: (FILTER) Color?...Oh, yes...The blue suit, Walter, and the cast is on his left leg.

 

NEFF: Navy blue. I like that fine.

 

PHYLLIS: (FILTER) This is it, Walter. I'm shaking like a leaf. But it's just like you said....Straight down the line.


MUSIC: (IN FULL FOR CURTAIN)


(APPLAUSE)


(BREAK FOR COMMERCIAL)


SMITH: And now a brief intermission and time for a smoke. Are you enjoying a mild cigarette?


QUARTET: How mild,

How mild, 

How mild can a cigarette be? 

Make the Camel thirty-day test 

And you'll see...

Smoke Camels and see!


SMITH: Not one single case of throat irritation due to smoking Camels -- that's what noted throat specialists reported in a coast-to-coast test.


BARCLAY: The hundreds of men and women in this test smoked Camels exclusively for thirty days -- on an average of one to two packs a day. Each week, their throats were examined by well-known specialists. These doctors made two thousand four hundred and seventy examinations in all and they reported: Not one single case of throat irritation due to smoking Camels! 


SMITH: That's how mild Camels are! But try Camels yourself -- smoke only Camels for thirty straight days and see how mild, how flavorful a cigarette can be!


BARCLAY: Make a note. Remember your throat. Try Camels today!


SMITH: Camel Cigarettes now present the Screen Guild Players in Act II of "Double Indemnity" starring Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor with Elliot Lewis.


MUSIC: FULL INTO PLAY THEME...AND DOWN, TO HOLD UNDER:


SMITH: We're back in Walter Neff's office again. We can see the dark red stain on his shirt....It's larger now. And the pain lines cut deeper into his face....For a somber moment, he stares at the wall -- (TYPEWRITER STARTS) -- then hunches over the typewriter again.


SOUND: TYPEWRITER FADES OUT SLOWLY UNDER:

 

NEFF: We killed him, Keyes -- in the car on the way to the station -- just the way we'd planned it. I don't think he ever knew what hit him.


MUSIC: ACCENTS SOFTLY...AND CONTINUES UNDER

 

NEFF: We stopped at a place I had all picked out. We shoved him into the back of the car, and tossed an automobile robe over him. Then, I wrapped some stuff around my leg - made it look like I was wearing a cast. And that's how I got on the train - wearing that and a pair of crutches....Do you get it now? See how carefully I'd worked it out? Dietrichson's body was in the back of the car, and still he was getting on that train.

 

MUSIC: ACCENTS SOFTLY....AND CONTINUES UNDER:

 

NEFF: Phyllis kissed me goodbye at the train, and told the porter to make up my berth...I said I'd go back to the observation platform. And that's where I had the first hint of trouble...There was somebody out on the platform already. Name of Jackson, he told me. The type that always introduces himself...(TRAIN STARTS SLOWLY) I had to think fast. We were moving now. I didn't have much time...so I started fumbling around in my pockets...And then he noticed it, and grinned ---

 

MUSIC: CUTS:

 

SOUND: TRAIN EFFECT HOLDS UNDER:

 

JACKSON: I bet you forgot something. I always do.

 

NEFF: My matches. I was going to smoke. Must have left them in my topcoat back on my seat.

 

JACKSON: I've got a lighter, Mr --?

 

NEFF: Dietrichson. Thanks.

 

SOUND: (LIGHTER RASPS...THEN AGAIN)

 

JACKSON: (LAUGHS) Darn things never work when you need 'em, do they?

 

NEFF: Too windy. I guess maybe if I could get the porter --

 

JACKSON: No need to bother. I could fetch your matches for you. Be glad to.

 

NEFF: That's darn nice of you. It's car eleven, section four, if you're sure it's not too much trouble.

 

JACKSON: Don't mention it, Mr. Dietrichson.

 

SOUND: TRAIN DOOR OPENS:

 

JACKSON: No trouble at all.

 

SOUND: TRAIN DOOR SLAMS:

 

MUSIC: ACCENTS...AND CONTINUES UNDER:

 

NEFF: That gave me my chance to hop off the train...Luckily, it was just about the spot we'd picked, and Phyllis was waiting there in the car with all the lights off...We dragged the body out, and dropped it on the tracks. The crutches, too. Then, we started the motor - (SOUND: CAR STARTS) -- and got away from there fast.

 

MUSIC: FULL AND FADE OUT INTO:

 

SOUND: MOVING CAR:

 

NEFF: You better drop me off here. I'll walk the extra block to my place. Just in case.

 

PHYLLIS: All right.

 

SOUND: CAR SLOWS TO STOP.....CAR DOOR OPENS:

 

NEFF: Goodnight.

 

PHYLLIS: Walter ---

 

NEFF: Yes?

 

PHYLLIS: Aren't you going to kiss me?

 

NEFF: Okay.

 

PHYLLIS: (SLIGHT PAUSE) It's straight down the line, isn't it? (NO ANSWER) Isn't it.........Walter, what's the matter?

 

NEFF: You nervous at all?

 

PHYLLIS: No. Are you?

 

NEFF: Yes.

 

PHYLLIS: You mustn't be. I love you, Walter.

 

NEFF: Me too, baby. I love you, too.

 

MUSIC: IN FOR BRIDGE....AND FADE OUT INTO:

 

NEFF: You know what happened after that, Keyes. They found the body on the tracks. The autopsy showed a broken neck. They figured he'd fallen off the train. (MUSIC: IN, VERY FAINTLY) Even you, Keyes. You thought so too. And if we got by you, the worst was over...I was really beginning to feel relaxed. And then, the following night -----

 

MUSIC: CUTS:

 

PHYLLIS: Walter, I had to come. I had to see you.

 

NEFF: (LOW) You sure nobody noticed you?

 

PHYLLIS: I'm sure. I looked all around first and --

 

SOUND: DOORBELL OFF:

 

PHYLLIS: (FRIGHTENED WHISPER) Walter --! 

 

NEFF: (TENSE WHISPER) Get in the bedroom. Don't make any noise.

 

SOUND: DOORBELL OFF:

 

NEFF: (CALLS) All right. Just a minute.

 

SOUND: STEPS....DOOR OPENS:


KEYES: Hello, Walter.

 

NEFF: Hello, Keyes. What's on your mind?

 

SOUND: DOOR CLOSES:

 

KEYES: Say, Walter, you got any bicarbonate?

 

NEFF: No, I'm sorry.......Anything wrong?

 

KEYES: That broken leg. The guy broke his leg.

 

NEFF: What are you talking about?

 

KEYES: About Dietrichson. He had accident insurance. And then, he broke his leg.

 

NEFF: So what?

 

KEYES: He didn't put in a claim. Why didn't he?

 

NEFF: What the dickens are you driving at?

 

KEYES: Walter, I ate dinner two hours ago. It struck half way. The little man is acting up again. There's something wrong with the Dietrichson case.

 

NEFF: Maybe Norton was right. Maybe it was suicide.

 

KEYES: No. Not suicide. But, not an accident, either.

 

NEFF: What else? (A PAUSE) Murder?

 

KEYES: I'll tell you better when I've checked on his wife.

 

NEFF: His wife?

 

KEYES: She's the beneficiary.

 

NEFF: That's crazy. You haven't got a thing to go on, Keyes.

 

KEYES: Not too much. Twenty-six years' experience, all the percentage, and this lump of concrete in my stomach....say, I've got to get to a drugstore. I'll see you tomorrow. (FADES, MUTTERING) Can you imagine....no bicarbonate in the place! 

 

SOUND: DOOR OPENS, SLAMS.....OFF:

 

PHYLLIS: (SLIGHT PAUSE..THEN A WHISPER, OFF) Walter...........?

 

NEFF: (SHARP WHISPER) Be careful!

 

PHYLLIS: (COMING IN) How much do you think he knows?

 

NEFF: It's not what he knows. It's those stinking hunches...(SLOWLY) Baby, from here in we've got to really watch it.


MUSIC: (SHARP ACCENT...AND FADE OUT INTO:)

 

NEFF: I knew you, Keyes. I knew how you worked. I felt like I was holding a time-bomb in my hand, without knowing what time it was set to go off....

 

KEYES: Say, Walter, I picked up something today. From Mrs. Dietrichson's maid....She saw Mrs. D. trying on a hat. A black hat. Like a widow might wear.....Only it was a week before Dietrichson died.

 

MUSIC: (ACCENTS......AND OUT:)

 

KEYES: Walter, I heard from Jackson today. You know - the fellow on the train....He sent back those pictures of Dietrichson. With an affidavit. He swears it isn't the man he talked to that night.

 

MUSIC: (ACCENTS ... AND OUT:)

 

KEYES: Walter, it's coming apart at the seams. When I knew it wasn't Dietrichson on the train, I knew that dame must have had some help....She's got a boyfriend, Walter. He's been dropping in there every night around twelve.....I'm going to pick them both up.....Anytime I want. 

 

MUSIC: (SHOCK ACCENT.....AND CONTINUE UNDER:) 

 

NEFF: It's funny, but that's the thing that hit me the hardest. That boy friend of hers....I'd killed a man. I'd killed him for money - and for a woman. And now I knew I wouldn't get either. All along she'd been dealing with a crooked deck....I did a lot of thinking that afternoon. I was on the raw edge, all right. And then I knew what I had to do..... I called up Phyllis and said I was coming over that night - to keep the lights off and leave the door unlocked....I was all set now. Yeah, that's what I thought. What I didn't know was that she was set, too. And when I let myself into the house that night --

 

MUSIC: (CUTS, AS:)

 

SOUND: DOOR CLOSES QUIETLY, OFF

 

PHYLLIS: (CALLS, QUIETLY) In here, Walter. The living room. 

 

NEFF: (COMING IN) Hello, baby. Anyone else in the house?

 

PHYLLIS: No. We're all alone.

 

SOUND: RADIO STARTS, IN DISTANCE

 

NEFF: What's that music?

 

PHYLLIS: A radio up the street...Sit down, Walter.

 

NEFF: Just like the first time I was here. We were talking about automobile insurance. Only you were thinking about murder. And I was thinking about that anklet.

 

PHYLLIS: And what are you thinking about now?

 

NEFF: I'm all through thinking. This is goodbye.

 

PHYLLIS: Goodbye? Where are you going?

 

NEFF: Nowhere. It's you that's going, baby.

 

PHYLLIS: (A PAUSE) So you've got it all arranged, Walter.

 

NEFF: You arranged it for me. You and your boy friend. It's been you and him all along, hasn't it?

 

PHYLLIS: That's not true.

 

NEFF: That's what Keyes thinks. And what he thinks is good enough for me.....It's simple when you figure it out. The boy friend'll be here in fifteen minutes. And the cops right behind him. I fixed that. They'll just charge another one off to him. 

 

PHYLLIS: Maybe I don't figure it that way.

 

NEFF: Maybe I do....Say, I don't like that music any more. It's too close. (SLIGHT FADE) Mind if I shut this window? (WINDOW SLIDES...OFF)

 

PHYLLIS: (LOW, SHARP) Walter...

 

NEFF: (OFF) Yes? (SHOT..THEN A PAUSE) So you crossed me again...(A PAUSE) What's the matter? Why don't you finish me off? (COMING IN) Maybe if I came a little closer...like this? (A PAUSE) No, huh? All right, I'll take the gun....Why didn't you shoot again, baby?

 

PHYLLIS: (TORTURED) Walter...

 

NEFF: Don't tell me it's because you loved me all this time?

 

PHYLLIS: No. I never loved you, Walter. Not you or anyone...until a minute ago...I didn't think anything like that could ever happen to me.

 

NEFF: I'm sorry, baby. I'm not buying.

 

PHYLLIS: I'm not asking you to buy. Just hold me close.

 

NEFF: Sure...sure...

 

PHYLLIS: (PAUSE) Walter.... The gun....!

 

NEFF: (SOFTLY) Goodbye, baby...

 

PHYLLIS: Oh, no - no --!

 

SOUND: TWO DELIBERATE SHOTS...A FRACTIONAL PAUSE, THEN:

 

MUSIC: IN SHARPLY....HOLD....AND FADE OUT INTO:

 

SOUND: TYPEWRITER....VERY SLOW AND RAGGED

 

NEFF: (WEAK) Now I'm back here in the office, Keyes. It's pretty late. Maybe they've found her by now. But I had to make my report. I had to tell you all the... 

 

KEYES: (SLIGHTLY OFF, QUIETLY) It won't be necessary, Walter.

 

NEFF: (SLIGHT PAUSE, THEN EVENLY) Hello, Keyes...How long have you been standing there?

 

KEYES: (SLIGHTLY OFF) Long enough.

 

NEFF: What happened? Your little man pull you out of bed? 

 

KEYES: (COMING IN) No. The janitor. Seems you leaked a little blood on the way in here...You're all washed up, Walter.

 

NEFF: Not yet. You don't have to find this report till tomorrow morning. I can be across the border.

 

KEYES: (QUIETLY, IMPASSIVELY) You'd never make it. 

 

NEFF: Sure I could...If I started right now. (CHAIR PUSHES BACK) That's all I'm asking Keyes. Just this one break. Just a chance to - (WAVERING) ...a chance...(HE CRASHES TO FLOOR)


SOUND: SLIGHT PAUSE...THEN RECEIVER UP...PHONE DIAL 

 

KEYES Hello, Headquarters? This is Barton Keyes over at Pacific All Risk. Better send a couple of your boys over here. Yeah, and they'd better bring an ambulance. Friend of mine just reached the end of the line.

 

SOUND: RECEIVER DOWN

 

MUSIC: IN FULL FOR CURTAIN


(APPLAUSE)


SMITH: Our stars Robert Taylor and Barbara Stanwyck will return to the microphone in just a moment.


BARCLAY: What cigarette do you smoke, doctor?


SMITH: That question was asked of one hundred thirteen thousand, five hundred and ninety-seven doctors -- doctors in every branch of medicine, doctors in all parts of the country.


BARCLAY: What cigarette do you smoke, doctor?


SMITH: The brand named most was Camel! Yes, according to this nationwide survey, more doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette!


BARCLAY: Try Camels yourself! You'll see how rich and full-flavored Camels costly tobaccos are. You'll see how cool and mild a cigarette can be!


SMITH: When you buy your Camels, by them the handy, thrifty way -- by the carton. Yes, that way you'll always have Camels when you want them!


QUARTET: How mild, 

How mild,

How mild can a cigarette be? 

Make the Camel thirty-day test 

And you'll see...

Yes, you'll see

How mild a cigarette can be!

Smoke Camels and see!


SMITH: Now, before our curtain falls, one final word of thanks to our stars....Bob and Barbara, you were both wonderful!


STANWYCK: Thanks, Verne. It's a swell story and we were happy we could do it with the Screen Guild Players for the greatest cause in our industry - The Motion Picture Relief Fund and its Country House and Hospital.....Bob, I'm sure I can speak for our entire family, can't I?


TAYLOR: Well....(THEN GRINS) Of course!.....But may I add one word to what you said, Mrs. Taylor?


STANWYCK: Well.....Of course!


TAYLOR: It's about our sponsor, the Makers of Camel Cigarettes...Every week of the year, the makers of Camels send gift-cigarettes to servicemen's and veterans' hospitals. This week, the Camels go to: Veterans' Hospitals, Alexandria, Louisiana and Fargo, North Dakota....U. S. Army Fitzsimmons General Hospital, Denver, Colorado..U. S. Naval Hospital, San Diego, California. More than one hundred ninety million gift Camels have now been sent to servicemen, servicewomen and veterans.


STANWYCK: Happy smoking, fellows! Your free cigarettes are on their way to you now with the compliments of Camels!


(APPLAUSE)


MUSIC: THEME


SMITH: Remember, every Thursday night -- the Camel Screen Guild Theatre! Next week, a strange and absorbing story that will hold you spellbound! A great motion picture brought to the air with the three famous stars who made it outstanding! Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney and Clifton Webb in "Laura"! Don't miss it!


BARCLAY: And for fun and hilarity, don't miss Camel Cigarettes other great show over these same stations. Tomorrow night - the Jimmy Durante Show with Don Ameche and Vera Vague. 


SMITH: The Camel Screen Guild Theatre is directed by Bill Lawrence. The adaptations are by Harry Kronman. "Double Indemnity" was presented through the courtesy of Paramount Pictures whose current release is the Pine-Thomas production, "Captain China."


BARCLAY: Barbara Stanwyck is now appearing in the Paramount-Hal Wallis production, "Thelma Jordan." Robert Taylor can currently be seen in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer production, "Ambush."


SMITH: And remember, next Thursday night - the Camel Screen Guild Theatre presents "Laura" starring Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney and Clifton Webb. 


This is Verne Smith speaking.


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NOTE: Another version of this play aired March 05 1945 on a Lady Esther-sponsored episode of SCREEN GUILD. Here's a transcript of the dialogue from the 1945 version of the train scene, which was apparently changed because the 1950 episode was sponsored by a cigarette company:



SOUND: TRAIN EFFECT HOLDS UNDER:

 

JACKSON: (CHEERFUL) I bet you forgot something. You know, I always do.

 

NEFF: (NERVOUS) Yeah, my - my cigar case. I must have left it in my topcoat back on the seat.

 

JACKSON: Care to roll yourself a cigarette, Mister--?

 

NEFF: Dietrichson. Thanks. I really prefer cigars. Maybe if I could get the porter--

 

JACKSON: Oh, no need to bother. I could fetch your cigars for you. Be glad to.

 

NEFF: Oh, that's very nice of you. It's car eleven, section four, if you're sure it's not too much trouble.

 

JACKSON: Don't mention it, Mr. Dietrichson.

 

SOUND: TRAIN DOOR OPENS

 

JACKSON: No trouble at all.

 

SOUND: TRAIN DOOR SLAMS

 

MUSIC: ACCENT ... AND CONTINUES UNDER:

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