They Write By Night, Episode 7

Money Can’t Buy. . .

What’s it all about, Alfie? Oh, wrong genre. What’s it all about, Walter Neff? You tell me.

“You want to know who killed Dietrichson?. . . I killed Dietrichson – me, Walter Neff, insurance salesman. . . Yes, I killed him. I killed him for money and for a woman. I didn’t get the money and I didn’t get the woman.”

Sex and money — What else is there? Poetry. Yeah, thank goodness for sex and money — wouldn’t be many stories without those. And zero noir. And thanks for poetry, without that there wouldn’t be. . . poetry.

There are a million stories in the Naked City and many involve money — so many desperate people, desperate for such different reasons. Asphalt Jungle tells a great story re. all that, why all these different kinds of folks came together to risk everything for one last heist, make one grand haul for the sake of freedom.  You almost want them to succeed, but. . .

It’s noir.

Recent poet laureate Dana Gioia turned out a snapping good, crackerjack poem on money. And what’s more, he told me Asphalt Jungle just happens to have been one of his favorite movies as a young guy. So, there you go — the right poem meets the right movie.

Money. Money. Money. For all that, there’s something it can’t buy. What can’t it buy? Think about it. Your billionaire dad could stake you fourteen million in start-up funds and you still couldn’t buy this. You could scam, cheat, tax evade and money launder your way to billions more dollars and you still couldn’t buy this. Money Can’t Buy. . . To find the answer, watch They Write by Night #7.

– Suzanne Lummis

Top image credit to www.Poetry.LA

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