Mickey King: [voice-over] I am famous for such books as "My Gun is Long". I have many aliases. I am authors Susan Eager and Paul S. Coming. I am those and others. I am Paul Strong, Gary Rough and Les B. Han.
Mickey King: Then I read in The Guiness Book of Records about Erle Stanley Gardner, the world's fastest writer, who can dictate up to the rate of 10,000 words a day. That was for me. None of that romantic stuff with a typewriter. I had better uses for those two particular fingers.
Preston Gilbert: I figured I had already paid my debt to society. I was killed in over 80 movies, wasn't I?
Mickey King: You like being the wife of a politician, kissing babies and all that bit?
Princess Betty Cippola: I don't stop at babies.
Mickey King: Are you trying to canvas me, princess?
Princess Betty Cippola: [laughs] I can always use a floating voter.
Mickey King: But I don't have a title.
Princess Betty Cippola: King's good enough. Come up to my castle sometime. This weekend's fine with me.
Liz Adams: [cattily] Betty, What special qualities do you need to be a princess?
Princess Betty Cippola: Only one - I'm very good in bed.
Preston Gilbert: So I've been told.
Princess Betty Cippola: So, you're Mickey King, Superstar's Boswell. Did he tell you about... me?
Mickey King: If you're Lon Chaney - yes.
Mickey King: You are my very first princess.
Princess Betty Cippola: Am I?
Mickey King: I'll bet that was a fairy tale romance.
Princess Betty Cippola: On the contrary, the prince was very hetero.
Princess Betty Cippola: [to Gilbert] Isn't that right, superstar?
Preston Gilbert: Heh, heh, heh.
Mickey King: Isn't he big in the New Front?
Princess Betty Cippola: Yes, but he was a Christian Democrat when I met him.
Mickey King: She looked like a distant relative of Rocky Marciano. It looked like her honor was on the missing list. So was her cash. I got the feeling it was too late to retrieve either.
Mickey King: [as phone rings] That's probably Gilbert to tell you that he's arrived safely.
Ben Dinuccio: Don't fool around. I believe in a hereafter.
Mickey King: You have to the way you shoot.
Mickey King: Suddenly I was a cop lover. They couldn't keep me at that station long enough. I needed time to think and a place to do it. The killer had tried to get me as well. I wasn't a joke anymore. Gilbert didn't laugh all the way to the mortuary.
Mickey King: The writer's life would be ideal, but for the writing.
Mickey King: [said about the clairvoyant] He had eyes like blood-shot oysters.
Mickey King: [voiceover] The day started quietly enough... then I got out of bed. That was my first mistake. My second was to get from here, to here. That's how it all began. That bizarre adventure which put five people in the cemetery. And ruled me out as a customer for laxatives.
Mickey King: [voiceover] At the time, I was living abroad. I was already a writer, having three years before left London - and a lucrative job as a funeral director. It was the family business of my wife, whom I'd deserted together with my three children. Handling stiffs was hardly the life for someone with a burning creative urge. So I elbowed the loved ones.
Mickey King: [voiceover] My full name is Chester Thomas King, although most people call me Mickey, for reasons I won't go into. You may have read some of my early works - not that you'd know them. My publisher didn't see "Chester Thomas King" as the name of a best-selling author. He preferred such authors as "Guy Strange," "Gary Rough," "Dan Wild," and "Les Behan". I was all those, and others.
Mickey King: [voiceover continues] I was co-authors "Susan Eager" and "Paul S. Cumming," the newly-discovered Indian writer, "Dr. O. R. Gann" - spelled with two "n"s - and the struggling Nigerian writer, "S. Odomi" - with the emphasis on the "O".
Mickey King: [voiceover continues] None of them exactly made Book of the Month club.
Mickey King: [voiceover] The writer's life would be ideal but for the writing. That was a problem I had to overcome. Then, I read in the Guinness Book of Records about Erle Stanley Gardner - the world's fastest novelist - who can dictate up to the rate of ten thousand words a day. That was for me. None of that romantic stuff with a typewriter. I had better uses for those two particular fingers.
Miller: What do you write?
Mickey King: Gangster fiction... "Pulp" would be less pompous and more accurate.
Ben Dinuccio: [Talking to Mickey] I've been with Preston for 32 years. I started with him as a gopher. I used to go for coffee, go for this, go for that. After nine years, he made me a partner. Gilbert was one of the screen's immortal mobsters. Hero-worshipped and imitated around the world. The way he talked and acted - beating up the big boys, manhandling the women - appealed to audiences everywhere. His father was a nothing, a real nothing. A small-time gun who had botched his first contract and disappeared when Preston was three. Personally, I think he wound up as an automobile fender.
Ben Dinuccio: [continues] I remember, he used to send a broad, after his first date, eleven yellow tea roses, with a card which said, "The twelfth is you". He didn't get that from no screen script, he thought of that himself. He had class. Boffed every leading lady he ever worked with.
Preston Gilbert: I married five times. All of them hard bitches, Mick. She was my third. You should meet the other four.
Mickey King: [voiceover] The whole town seemed to be in the grip of a fatal disease: lockjaw.
Mickey King: [voiceover] The air in that place had the musty smell of dried-up dreams.
Partisan: I am communist. You communist?
Mickey King: No.
Partisan: What are you?
Mickey King: I am an imperialist lackey.