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Dashiell Hammett quotes (showing 1-30 of 137)

“The problem with putting two and two together is that sometimes you get four, and sometimes you get twenty-two.”
Dashiell Hammett, The Thin Man
“He looked rather pleasantly, like a blonde satan.”
Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon
“Who shot him? I asked.
The grey man scratched the back of his neck and said: Somebody with a gun.”
Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest
“You're drunk, and I'm drunk, and I'm just exactly drunk enough to tell you anything you want to know. That's the kind of girl I am. If I like a person, I'll tell them anything they want to know. Just ask me. Go ahead, ask me.”
Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest
“If you have a story that seems worth telling, and you think you can tell it worthily, then the thing for you to do is to tell it, regardless of whether it has to do with sex, sailors or mounted policemen.”
Dashiell Hammett
“Nora: "How do you feel?"
Nick: "Terrible. I must've gone to bed sober.”
Dashiell Hammett, The Thin Man
“Joel Cairo: You always have a very smooth explanation ready.
Sam Spade: What do you want me to do, learn to stutter?”
Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon
“She grinned at me. 'You got types?'
'Only you darling - lanky brunettes with wicked jaws.”
Dashiell Hammett, The Thin Man
“We didn't exactly believe your story.'
Then --?'
'We believed your two hundred dollars.'
'You mean --' She seemed not to know what he meant.
'I mean that you paid us more than if you'd been telling the truth,' he explained blandly, 'and enough more to make it all right.”
Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon
“I don t mind a reasonable amount of trouble.”
Dashiell Hammett
tags: humor
“I haven't laughed so much over anything since the hogs ate my kid brother.”
Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest
“The people who lie the most are nearly always the clumsiest at it, and they're easier to fool with lies than most people, too. You'd think they'd be on the look-out for lies, but they seem to be the very ones that will believe almost anything at all.”
Dashiell Hammett, The Thin Man
tags: lies
“When a man's partner is killed he's supposed to do something about it. It doesn't make any difference what you thought of him. He was your partner and you're supposed to do something about it. Then it happens we were in the detective business. Well, when one of your organization gets killed it's bad business to let the killer get away with it. It's bad all around-bad for that one organization, bad for every detective everywhere.
Sam Spade”
Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon
“He felt like somebody had taken the lid off life and let him see the works.”
Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon
“I distrust a man that says when. If he's got to be careful not to drink to much it's because he's not to be trusted when he does.”
Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon
“My way of learning is to heave a wild and unpredictable monkey-wrench into the machinery.”
Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon
“The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.”
Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon
“Brigid O'Shaughnessy: “I haven't lived a good life. I've been bad, worse than you could know.”
Sam Spade “You know, that's good, because if you actually were as innocent as you pretend to be, we'd never get anywhere”
Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon
“I couldn't be fonder of you if you were my own son. But, well, if you lose a son, its possible to get another. There's only one Maltese Falcon. (Kasper Gutman)”
Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon
“The face she made at me was probably meant for a smile. Whatever it was, it beat me. I was afraid she'd do it again, so I surrendered”
Dashiell Hammett, The Continental Op
tags: noir, wry
“Nick: "Don't you think maybe a drink would help you to sleep?"
Nora: "No, thanks."
Nick: "Maybe it would if I took one.”
Dashiell Hammett, The Thin Man
“I found I was repeating myself. It is the beginning of the end when you discover you have style.”
Dashiell Hammett
“Nora said: 'I love you, Nicky, because you smell nice and know such fascinating people.”
Dashiell Hammett
“I once knew a man who stole a Ferris Wheel...”
Dashiell Hammett
“Listen, Dundy, it's been a long time since I burst into tears because a policeman didn't like me.”
Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon
“When you write, you want fame, fortune and personal satisfaction. You want to write what you want to write and feel it's good, and you want this to go on for hundreds of years. You're not likely ever to get all these things, and you're not likely to give up writing and commit suicide if you don't, but that is -- and should be -- your goal. Anything else is kind of piddling.”
Dashiell Hammett
“He said: "I'm going to send you over. The chances are you'll get off with life. That means you'll be out again in twenty years. You're an angel. I'll wait for you." He cleared his throat. "If they hang you I'll always remember you.”
Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon
“...I guess I can put two and two together."
"Sometimes the answer's four," I said, "and sometimes it's twenty-two...”
Dashiell Hammett, The Thin Man
“To get what he wanted, a man had to give other people what they wanted.”
Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest
tags: want
“Talking is something you can't do judiciously unless you keep in practice.”
Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon
tags: humor

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