“When woman, fully the equal of man, can love in her strength and not in her weakness, love will become for her as for man a source of life and not of mortal danger.”
-Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
Category Archives: Noir Quotes
The instant she saw the letter she squinted her eyes and bent her lips in a tough tiny smile that advanced her age immeasurably. “Darling” she instructed me, “would you reach in the drawer there and give me my purse. A girl doesn’t read this sort of thing without her lipstick.”
– Holly Golightly
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
This Capote novel is full of gems, but few compare to the splendor of this noir quote. He has possibly the most elegant prose I’ve ever read.
“I never wanted to kill, I am not naturally evil. Such things I do, just to make myself more attractive to you. Have I failed?”
(The Last of the Famous International Playboys)
Leave it to Morrissey to deliver such a fabulously unsettling noir quote. If you’ve never paid attention to his lyrics before, please do yourself a favor and start.
“Burglary, I thought, and the more I thought the more I liked it.It seemed somehow akin to writing— you set your own hours, you avoided human contact, and, if you were successful, you managed to touch the lives of people you never even met.”
-Lawrence Block, Introduction to The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling (1999)
I’m so sorry that it has been so long since I’ve posted anything, my world has been upended for the last two weeks. The morning of Tuesday January 10th my wife went into labor with our first child, and I haven’t had time to blog since then. For pics of the little devil check my About Me page and here is a link to his birth story.
Now back to the business of noir:
Desk Sgt.: “Can I help you?”
Bigelow: “I want to report a murder.”
Desk Sgt.: “Where was this murder committed?”
Bigelow: “San Francisco, last night.”
Desk Sgt.: “Who was murdered?”
Bigelow: “I was.”
This noir quote comes from the 1950 film noir D.O.A. directed by Rudolph Maté and starring Edmund O’Brien, Pamela Britton, and Luther Adler. Oozes noir.
*Special thanks to “Movie Memories”
Strangers on a Train
Leo:”She was a tramp.”
Patricia:”She was a human being. And let me remind you that even the most unworthy of us has a right to life and the pursuit of happiness.”
Leo:”From what I hear, she pursued it in all directions.
“An old man dies. A little girl lives. Fair trade.”
This noir quote comes from the first chapter of Sin City Volume 4: That Yellow Bastard. Hartigan is the only good cop in Sin City, a distinction not easily earned or free of consequences. He utters this line as he shields 11 year old Nancy Callahan from rape and death with his own life. Interestingly enough, it seems that Hartigan is the only “true” hero in the entire series; at least he is the only one who follows the archetype. All of his struggles are from outward forces (save his health and old age), and he never falters in his conviction to serve and protect Nancy. He is such a redemptive character because he understands self-sacrifice for the good of others, and in this way he fits the role of savior easily.
“Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.” — Marilyn Monroe
I really love this noir quote because I think it captures perfectly the bleak and seedy underworld that serves as the backdrop for the noir genre. Layered in Ms. Marilyn Monroe’s words are the individuals that give the underworld its grit. Hollywood isn’t dealing in souls, but the crooked and powerful individuals that rule its production companies, booking and talent agencies, and nightlife are daily accepting customers; If you have a kiss to sell, then your credit is good here. A potent noir quote from a potent femme fatale.
noir quote via latinamericana.tumblr.com
“I treated her like a pair of gloves. When I was cold, I called her up.”
Noir Quote from The Big Combo (1955), spoken by Cornel Wilde. This quote is a classic example of the misogyny that pervades the noir genre. A woman is an object that only has utility when needed. Also, there are heavy sexual connotations here that lend to the idea that a woman is only worth her ability to physically gratifying the male that desires her. Two short sentences, volumes of meaning. (Special thanks to fuzionbits.com)