The New York State sentence for a Peeping Tom is six months in the work house...They got no windows in the work house. You know, in the old days, they used to put your eyes out with a red-hot poker. Any of those bikini bombshells you're always watchin' worth a red-hot poker? Oh dear, we've become a race of Peeping Toms. What people ought to do is get outside their own house and look in for a change. Yes, sir. How's that for a bit of home-spun philosophy?
Jeff: You've got to get me out of here. Six weeks sitting in a two-room apartment with nothing to do but look out the window at the neighbors. ..If you don't pull me out of this swamp of boredom, I'm gonna do something drastic...like what? I'm gonna get married and then I'll never be able to go anywhere.
Editor: It's about time you got married, before you turn into a lonesome, bitter old man.
Jeff: Yeah, can't you just see me, rushin' home to a hot apartment to listen to the automatic laundry and the electric dishwasher and the garbage disposal, the nagging wife.
Editor: Jeff, wives don't nag, they discuss.
Jeff: Is that so, that so? Maybe in the high rent district they discuss, in my neighborhood they still nag.
Editor: Well, um, you know best.
Stella: I got a nose for trouble. I can smell it ten miles away...I can smell trouble right here in this apartment. First you smash your leg. Then you get to lookin' out the window. See things you shouldn't see. Trouble. I can see you in court now, surrounded by a bunch of lawyers in double-breasted suits. You're pleading: 'Judge, it was only a little bit of innocent fun. I love my neighbors like a father.' And the Judge says, 'Well, congratulations, you've just given birth to three years in Dannemora.'
Jeff: Yeah, right now I'd welcome trouble...You know, I think you're right. I think there is going to be trouble around here.
Stella: ...What kind of trouble?
Jeff: Lisa Fremont.
Stella: Are you kidding? She's a beautiful young girl and you're a reasonably healthy young man.
Jeff: She expects me to marry her.
Stella: That's normal.
Jeff: I don't want to.
Stella: That's abnormal.
Jeff: I'm just not ready for marriage.
Stella: Every man's ready for marriage when the right girl comes along. And Lisa Fremont is the right girl for any man with half a brain who can get one eye open.
Jeff: Oh, she's all right.
Stella: What did you do? Have a fight?
Stella: Her father loading up the shotgun?
Jeff: What? Please, Stella.
Stella: It's happened before you know. Some of the world's happiest marriages have, uh, started under the gun, as you might say.
Jeff: No, she's just not the girl for me.
Stella: Yeah, she's only perfect.
Jeff: She's too perfect. She's too talented, she's too beautiful. She's too sophisticated. She's too everything but what I want.
Stella: Is, um, what you want something you can discuss?
Jeff: Well, it's very simple, Stella. She belongs to that rarified atmosphere of Park Avenue, you know. Expensive restaurants, literary cocktail parties...Can you imagine her tramping around the world with a camera bum who never has more than a week's salary in the bank? If she was only ordinary.
Stella: You ever gonna get married?
Jeff: I'll probably get married one of these days, and when I do, it's gonna be to someone who thinks of life not just as a new dress, and a lobster dinner, the latest scandal. I need a woman who's willing...to go anywhere and do anything and love it. So the honest thing for me to do is just to call the whole thing off and let her find somebody else.
Stella: Yeah, I can hear you now. Get out of my life. You're a perfectly wonderful woman - you're too good for me. Look, Mr. Jefferies, I'm not an educated woman, but I can tell you one thing. When a man and a woman see each other and like each other they ought to come together - wham! Like a couple of taxis on Broadway, not sit around analyzing each other like two specimens in a bottle.
Jeff: There's an intelligent way to approach marriage.
Stella: Intelligence! Nothing has caused the human race so much trouble as intelligence. Hah! Modern marriage!
Lisa: You don't think either one of us could ever change?
Jeff: Right now, it doesn't seem so.
Lisa: [preparing to leave] I'm in love with you. I don't care what you do for a living. I'd just like to be part of it somehow. It's deflating to find out the only way I can be part of it is to take out a subscription to your magazine. I guess I'm not the girl I thought I was.
Jeff: There's nothing wrong with you, Lisa. You've got this town in the palm of your hand.
Lisa: Not quite it seems. Goodbye, Jeff. [She turns and starts for the doorway]
Jeff: You mean, 'Good night.'
Lisa: I mean what I said.
Jeff: Well, Lisa, couldn't we just, uh, couldn't we just keep things status quo?
Lisa: Without any future?
Jeff: Well, when am I gonna see you again?
Lisa: Not for a long time...[pause]...at least not until tomorrow night.
Lisa: How far does a girl have to go before you notice her?
Jeff: Well if she's pretty enough, she doesn't have to go anywhere. She just has to be.
Lisa: Well, ain't I? Pay attention to me.
Jeff: Well, I'm, I'm not exactly on the other side of the room.
Lisa: Your mind is. When I want a man, I want all of you.
Jeff: I've seen it through that window. I've seen bickering and family quarrels and mysterious trips at night, knives and saws and ropes, and now since last evening, not a sign of the wife. All right, now you tell me where she is...
Lisa: Maybe he's leaving his wife, I don't know, I don't care. Lots of people have knives and saws and ropes around their houses and lots of men don't speak to their wives all day. Lots of wives nag and men hate them and trouble starts. But very very few of them end up in murder if that's what you're thinking.
Jeff: It's pretty hard for you to keep away from that word isn't it?
Lisa: You could see all that he did, couldn't you?
Jeff: Of course, I...
Lisa: You could see because the shades were up and, and he walked along the corridor and the street and the back yard. Oh Jeff, do you think a murderer would let you see all that? That he wouldn't pull the shades down and hide behind them?
Jeff: Just where he's being clever. He's being nonchalant about things...
Lisa: Oh, and that's where you're not being clever. A murderer would never parade his crime in front of an open window.
Jeff: Why not?
Lisa: [pointing to the newlyweds' window] Why, for all you know, there's probably something a lot more sinister going on behind those windows.
Jeff: Where? Oh, no comment.
Lisa: It doesn't make sense to me...Women aren't that unpredictable...A woman has a favorite handbag and it always hangs on her bedpost where she can get at it easily. And then all of a sudden, she goes away on a trip and leaves it behind. Why?
Jeff: Because she didn't know she was going on a trip. And where she's going she wouldn't need the handbag.
Lisa: Yes, but only her husband would know that. And that jewelry. Women don't keep their jewelry in a purse, getting all twisted and scratched and tangled up.
Jeff: Well, do they hide it in their husbands' clothes?
Lisa: They do not. And they don't leave it behind either. Why, a woman going anywhere but the hospital would always take makeup, perfume, and jewelry...That's basic equipment. And you don't leave it behind in your husband's drawer in your favorite handbag.
Lisa: [Listening to the composer play his piano] Where does a man get inspiration to write a song like that? It's utterly beautiful. Wish I could be creative.
Jeff: Oh sweetie, you are. You have a great talent for creating difficult situations.
Lisa: I do?
Jeff: Sure. Staying here all night, uninvited.
Lisa: Surprise is the most important element of attack. And besides, you're not up on your private eye literature. When they're in trouble, it's always their Girl Friday who gets them out of it.
Jeff: Well, is she the girl that saves him from the clutches of the seductive showgirls and the overpassionate daughters of the rich?
Lisa: The same.
Jeff: That's the one, huh? It's funny, he never ends up marrying her, does he, huh? That's strange.
Lt. Doyle: You didn't see the killing or the body. How do you know there was a murder?
Jeff: Because everything this fellow's done has been suspicious: trips at night in the rain, knifes, saws, trunks with rope, and now this wife that isn't there anymore.
Lt. Doyle: I admit it does have a mysterious sound. But it could be any number of things for the wife disappearing. Murder is the least part.
Jeff: Now, Doyle, don't tell me that he's just an unemployed magician amusing the neighborhood with his sleight of hand. Don't tell me that.
Lisa: You can't ignore the wife disappearing, and the trunk, and the jewelry.
Lt. Doyle: I checked the railroad station. Yesterday at 6:20 am, he bought a ticket. Ten minutes later, he put his wife on a train. Destination: Meritsville. I assure you, the witnesses are that deep.
Lisa: That might have been a woman, but it couldn't have been Mrs. Thorwald. That jewelry...
Lt. Doyle: Look, Miss Fremont, that feminine intuition stuff sells magazines, but in real life it's still a fairy tale. I don't know how many times I chased down leads based on women's intuition.
Jeff: You know, much as I hate to give Thomas J. Doyle too much credit, he might have gotten ahold of something when he said that was pretty private stuff going on out there. I wonder if it is ethical to watch a man with binoculars and a long-focus lens. Do you, do you suppose it's ethical even if you prove that he didn't commit a crime?
Lisa: I'm not much on rear-window ethics.
Jeff: Of course, they can do the same thing to me. Watch me like a bug under a glass if they want to.
Lisa: Jeff, you know if someone came in here, they wouldn't believe what they'd see.
Lisa: You and me with long faces, plunged into despair because we find out a man didn't kill his wife. We're two of the most frightening ghouls I've ever known. You'd think we could be a little bit happier that the poor woman is alive and well. Whatever happened to that old saying: 'Love thy neighbor'?
Jeff: You know, I think I'll start reviving that tomorrow. I'll begin with 'Miss Torso.'
Lisa: Not if I have to move in to an apartment across the way and do the Dance of the Seven Veils every hour. [She lowers the blinds] The show's over for tonight. [She picks up her overnight kit of lingerie] Preview of coming attractions.
Lisa: What's he doing? Cleaning house?
Jeff: He's washing and scrubbing down the bathroom walls.
Stella: Must've splattered a lot.
[both Jeff and Lisa look at Stella with disgust]
Stella: Come on, that's what were all thinkin'. He killed her in there, now he has to clean up those stains before he leaves.
Lisa: Stella... your choice of words!
Stella: Nobody ever invented a polite word for a killin' yet.