Thursday, May 21, 2020

JEffrey or LEgal

From The Hidden Eye (dir. Richard Whorf, 1945). Duncan “Mac” Maclain (Edward Arnold), a blind detective, stands outside the door to the Neptone Hair Tonic Co., listens carefully as someone dials a telephone, and later works out the details with his sidekick Marty Corbett (William “Bill” Phillips):

“Now let’s see what we’ve got. Our first two numbers are five and three.”


“Well, five on the dial represents the letters J, K, and L. Number three represents the letters D, E, and F. That means there can only be nine combinations in that sequence. Now what is our first possibility? JD.”

“There’s no exchange startin’ with JD.”

“No, but there’s an LE — LEgal. And since there’s no LF, the prefix I heard dialed on that phone was JEffrey or LEgal.”

“The rest was, uh, uh, three, one, four, five, two.”

“Why, of course. Our man either called JEffrey 3-1452 or LEgal 3-1452. I don’t know what Jeffrey is, but LEgal 3-1452 is —”
And there’s the answer, which I won’t reveal here.

comments: 4

Anonymous said...

Growing up in the midwest, JE was also Jefferson. And I still remember that phone number!

And no calling the house after 10 pm.


Michael Leddy said...

Yes, the cut-off. There’s an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm in which the time of the cut-off is the subject of heated debate. (Warning: there’s language.)

I meant to leave this comment yesterday — I hope you see it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for pointing to that!! Moat of the time I just told my friends 9 pm to avoid any static from the 'rents.

Of course, Olympia Dukakis said it best in Moonstruck-- "Who died?"


ps I am going to guess that it was "LE"

Michael Leddy said...

I love that line. So true to (a certain) reality.

It is LEgal — but whose number? The movie is free (for now) at YouTube. Not great but worth watching for Edward Arnold.