So Long, It’s Been Good To Know Ya!

Great (or at least memorable) Conclusions in Private Eye Fiction & Films

WARNING: These contain spoilers. A few of ’em may also break your heart.

  • “It was easy.”
    I, The Jury, by Mickey Spillane
    Charlotte asks Mike Hammer how he could shoot her in the stomach.
  • “The stuff that dreams are made of.”
    — the film version of The Maltese Falcon, directed by John Huston
    Based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett
    According to legend, Bogart’s ad-libbed the line, a response to one of the cops asks who asks Sam Spade what “that” thing is.
  • “Forget it, Jake! It’s Chinatown.”
    — Chinatown, directed by Roman Polanski
    When Jake’s pals hold him back, one of them offers these cynical words of wisdom.
  • “My name is Matt… and I’m an alcoholic.”
    Eight Million Ways to Die by Lawrence Block
  • “There isn’t any use to tell about the trial. It was in all the papers. The only defense I had was the fact that I was a good soldier during the war. My lawyer passed my medals around the jury box, and they were closely examined. They didn’t help a bit.”
    Wild Wives by Charles Willeford
  • She spoke with the authority of a senator’s daughter and the more terrible authority of a woman who had killed two other women and two men.
    “No more guns for you,” I said.
    No more anything, Letitia.
    The Chill by Ross MacDonald
  • We are here, and there is music and there are bad jokes, and so we are all a little bit longer in the tooth and have seen life go up, down, and sideways without any rhyme or reason anyone can determine. We laugh at old jokes because they are old and tired and familiar, and it is good to laugh.
    — The Lonely Silver Rain by John D. MacDonald (not the last lines, but close)
  • “Forgive the bitch. Case closed.”
    — the film version of The Monkey’s Mask
    Based on the “novel” by Dorothy Porter.


Preliminary list compiled by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to Bill Campbell and Nick Anez for their suggestions. Further suggested additions welcome.

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