Shelby Carpenter: I can afford a blemish on my character, but not on my clothes.
Waldo Lydecker: I don't use a pen. I write with a goose quill dipped in venom.
Waldo Lydecker: [narrating off screen] I shall never forget the weekend Laura died. A silver sun burned through the sky like a huge magnifying glass. It was the hottest Sunday in my recollection. I felt as if I were the only human being left in New York. For with Laura's horrible death, I was alone. I, Waldo Lydecker, was the only one who really knew her, and I had just begun to write Laura's story when another of those detectives came to see me. I had him wait. I could watch him through the half-open door.
Waldo Lydecker: I noted that his attention was fixed upon my clock. There was only one other in existence, and that was in Laura's apartment, in the very room where she was murdered.
Shelby Carpenter: I don't know a lot about anything, but I know a little about practically everything.
Waldo Lydecker: Love is eternal. It has been the strongest motivation for human actions throughout history. Love is stronger than life. It reaches beyond the dark shadow of death.
Mark McPherson: I must say, for a charming, intelligent girl, you certainly surrounded yourself with a remarkable collection of dopes.
Waldo Lydecker: You'd better watch out, McPherson, or you'll finish up in a psychiatric ward. I doubt they've ever had a patient who fell in love with a corpse.
Waldo Lydecker: My dear, either you were born on a extremely rustic community, where good manners are unknown, or you suffer from a common feminine delusion that the mere fact of being a woman exempts you from the rules of civilized conduct.
Shelby Carpenter: I forgot to tell you, I also read palms, I swallow swords, I mend my own socks, I never eat garlic or onions, what more could you want of a man?
Mark McPherson: [about the list of suspects] You know you are on the list too.
Waldo Lydecker: Good. It would insult me to be overlooked.
Mark McPherson: When a dame gets killed, she doesn't worry about how she looks.
Waldo Lydecker: Will you stop calling her a dame?
Waldo Lydecker: In my case, self-absorption is completely justified. I have never discovered any other subject quite so worthy of my attention.
Waldo Lydecker: I'm not kind, I'm vicious. It's the secret of my charm.
Shelby Carpenter: I knew there was something on my mind. Ah yes, will you dine with me tomorrow night?
Laura Hunt: Yes.
Shelby Carpenter: No, it's not that - it's the next night. And what about three weeks from tonight? And all the nights in between?
Laura Hunt: Shelby, you talk as if I had no other engagements!
Shelby Carpenter: And two months from now? And the month after that?
Laura Hunt: What about next year?
Shelby Carpenter: Oh, that's all settled. What about breakfast?
Laura Hunt: What about dancing?
Shelby Carpenter: What about lunch? Beautiful lunches, day after day after day?
Waldo Lydecker: Goodbye, Laura.
Waldo Lydecker: [narrating off screen] Goodbye, my love.
Waldo Lydecker: How singularly innocent I look this morning.
Mark McPherson: Yeah, dames are always pulling a switch on you.
Waldo Lydecker: I should be sincerely sorry to see my neighbor's children devoured by wolves.
Waldo Lydecker: I cannot stand these morons any longer. If you don't come with me this instant, I shall run amok.
Waldo Lydecker: [Scene deleted from theater version and restored in 1990] She was quick to seize upon anything that would improve her mind or her appearance. Laura had innate breeding, but she deferred to my judgment and taste. I selected a more attractive hairdress for her. I taught her what clothes were more becoming to her. Through me, she met everyone: The famous and the infamous. Her youth and beauty, her poise and charm of manner captivated them all. She had warmth, vitality. She had authentic magnetism. Wherever we went, she stood out. Men admired her; women envied her. She became as famous as Waldo Lydecker's walking stick and his white carnation.
Mark McPherson: Nice little place you have here, Mr. Lydecker.
Waldo Lydecker: It's lavish, but I call it home.
Mark MacPherson: On Saturday when our men went to the hotel to tell you that Laura Hunt was dead you seemed sincerely shocked.
Shelby Carpenter: I was. I hadn't expected that mistake.
Mark MacPherson: But you had your alibi ready no matter who was dead.
Waldo Lydecker: I just dropped in to inquire about the state of your health? Insipid, I hope.
Shelby Carpenter: For the last time, Louise, will you marry me?
Louise, Ann's Cook: No, but I cooked some chicken liver for you.
Waldo Lydecker: If you come a little bit closer, my boy, I can just crack your skull with my walking stick.
Waldo Lydecker: Have you ever been in love?
Mark McPherson: A doll in Washington Heights once got a fox fur outta me.
Mark McPherson: I suspect nobody and everybody. I am strictly trying to get at the truth.
Waldo Lydecker: Let's not be psychiatric. But in a word, yes.
Waldo Lydecker: [to McPherson after he walks through the door unannounced] Haven't you heard of science's newest triumph, the doorbell?
Bessie Clary: I ain't afraid of cops. I was brought up to spit whenever I saw one.
Mark McPherson: OK, go ahead and spit if that'll make you feel better.
Laura Hunt: [Explaining why she broke a promise] You forced me to give you my word. I never have been and I never will be bound by anything I don't do of my own free will.