Ask the Dust

Synopsis: L.A. in the early 1930's: racism, poverty, and disease color the Bunker Hill neighborhood where Arturo Bandini, a lover of men and beasts alike, has arrived from Colorado to write the great Los Angeles novel. After six months and down to his last nickel, he orders a cup of coffee, served by Camilla Lopez, beautiful, self-possessed, and Mexican. Arturo gets advice, encouragement, and an occasional check from H.L. Mencken, so he keeps writing and he keeps seeing Camilla. But, he's mean to her for no apparent reason, so the relationship sputters. A housekeeper from back East suggests a way out of his jealously and fears. "Camilla Bandini": is it in the cards?
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Robert Towne
Production: Paramount Pictures
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
117 min

and comes up to my room for a while.

- That's not much of a plan, Hellfrick.

- No, kid, no.

while he's having one with me,

you get 10 minutes

to help yourself to the milk.

So what do you think?

If he's your friend,

why not just ask him for it?

Kid, come on. who's kidding who?

He knows I don't drink milk.

I'm doing this for you.

No, thanks, Hellfrick.

I like to consider myself an honest man.

It certainly makes me wonder

about your ideas of friendship.


Only trying to do you a favor.

You wanna do me a favor?

Pay me the money I loaned you.

- How much was that?

- Fifteen cents.

- Don't have it.

- Well, how about 10 cents? A nickel?

Can't give you any hard cash, kid,

but I'll see you get all the milk you need.

Mencken. Editor of the greatest

magazine in the country.

Do you wanna let him down?

Good evening,

Mr. And Mrs. North and South America

and all the ships and clippers at sea.

Akron, Ohio.

A big strike in the Goodrich

rubber plant here was called off today

when workers agreed

on a six cent raise in pay per hour.

Boston, Massachusetts.

The condition

of Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr.,

who was hurt today in a motorcar crash

near Walpole, Massachusetts,

is not serious.

Think of something

besides stealing a bottle of milk.

You're an author, not a thief.

The streets are full of them,

blondes and brunettes.

One in a red fox fur just getting out

of a fancy foreign car.

Girls in the plaza.

They're everywhere,

and none of them mine.

One glance and they know

I'm an inexperienced jerk,

ignorant of women and life,

and afraid of both.

You have nice hands.

I do?



You're Italian.

That'll be two cents a day

every day it's overdue.

St. Teresa, when I was little,

I prayed to you for a fountain pen.

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Robert Towne

Robert Towne (born Robert Bertram Schwartz; November 23, 1934) is an American screenwriter, producer, director and actor. He was part of the New Hollywood wave of filmmaking. His most notable work was his Academy Award-winning original screenplay for Roman Polanski's Chinatown (1974), which is widely considered one of the greatest movie screenplays ever written. He also wrote its sequel The Two Jakes in 1990, and wrote the Hal Ashby comedy-dramas The Last Detail (1973), and Shampoo (1975), as well as the first two Mission Impossible films (1996, 2000). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"Ask the Dust" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 12 Aug. 2020. <>.

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