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directed by Curtis Hanson

Off the record, on the QT, and very hush-hush...


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Sid Hudgens: Come to Los Angeles! The sun shines bright, the beaches are wide and inviting, and the orange groves stretch as far as the eye can see. There are jobs aplenty, and land is cheap. Every working man can have his own house, and inside every house, a happy, all-American family. You can have all this, and who knows... you could even be discovered, become a movie star... or at least see one. Life is good in Los Angeles... it's paradise on Earth." Ha ha ha ha. That's what they tell you anyway, because they're selling an image. They're selling it through movies, radio and television. In the hit show "Badge of Honor," the L.A. cops walk on water, as they keep the city clean of crooks. Yup, you'd think this place was the Garden of Eden. But there's trouble in paradise...

Sid: ... and his name is Meyer Harris Cohen, Mickey C, to his fans. Local L.A. color to the nth degree. And his number one bodyguard, Johnny Stompanato. Mickey C's the head of organized crime in these parts. He runs dope, rackets and prostitution. He kills a dozen people a year. And the dapper little gent does it in style. And every time his picture's plasterd on the front page, it's a black eye for the image of Los Angeles. Because how can organized crime exist in the city with the best police force in the world? Something has to be done. But nothing too original, because, hey, this is Hollywood.

Officer Wendell "Bud" White
Dick Stensland: You're like Santa Claus with that list, Bud, except everyone on it's been naughty.

Sergeant Jack Vincennes
Girl: What do you do on "Badge of Honor", Jack?
Jack: I'm the, um, technical advisor. I teach Brett Chase how to walk and talk like a cop.
Girl: Brett Chase doesn't walk and talk like you.
Jack: Well, that's because he's the television version. America isn't ready for the real me.

Sergeant Ed Exley
Capt. Dudley Smith: Would you be willing to shoot a hardened criminal in the back in order to offset the chance that some lawyer...
Exley: No.
Dudley: Then for the love of God, don't be a detective.

Lynn Bracken
Bud: Merry Christmas.
Lynn: Merry Christmas to you, officer.
Bud: That obvious, huh?
Lynn: It's practically stamped on your forehead.

Stensland: My partner stopped to help a damsel in distress. He's got his priorities all screwed up.

Sid: "It's Christmas Eve in the City of Angels and while decent citizens sleep the sleep of the righteous, hopheads prowl for marijuana not knowing that a man is coming to stop them! Celebrity crimestopper Jack Vincennes, scourge of grasshoppers and dopefieds everywhere!" Ya like it, Jackie-Boy?
Jack: Yeah. Subtle.

Jack: I heard Helenonowski bled 6 pints and Brown's in a coma.
Exley: They are home with bruises and muscle pulls.

Exley: The public will expect the Department to protect its own and sweep this under the carpet. Don't. Shift the guilt to men whose pensions are secured. Force them to retire. But somebody has to swing. So indict, try and convict Richard Stensland and Bud White. Secure them jail time. The message will be very clear. This Department, new LAPD, will not tolerate officers who think they're above the law.
Dudley: Dick Stensland is an embarrassment as a policeman. He's gotten rotten fitness report from every CO he served under. But Bud White is a valuable officer.
Exley: White's a mindless thug.
Dudley: No, Edmund, he's just a man who can answer "yes" to those questions I asked you from time to time.

Sid: Hush-Hush, off the record and on Q.T.
Jack: . . . What do you know about Fleur-de-Lis? Slogan's "Whatever you desire."
Sid: No, no, no. I've heard bupkes. Get me some narco skinny. You know, I want to do an all-hophead issue. Shvartze jazz musicians and movie stars. You like it?

Bud: Sorry about that, Lieutenant.

Dudley: 'Nite Owl Massacre.' Hyperbole aside, this is a heinous crime that requires a swift resolution. Our justice must be swift and merciless.

Dudley: At least get rid of the glasses.

Chief: Gentlemen, just go out and get them. Use all necessary force. The people of Los Angeles demand it.
Exley: He might as well have put a bounty on them.

Pierce Patchett: I needed a Rita Hayworth to fill out my little studio.
Bud: What little studio?
Patchett: There's Gardner, Hepburn, Grable, Turner. Lynn Bracken is my Veronica Lake. I use girls who look like movie stars. Sometimes I employ a plastic surgeon. When the work had been done, that's when you saw us.
Bud: That's why her mother couldn't I.D. her... Jesus fucking Christ.
Patchett: No, Mr. White. Pierce Morehouse Patchett. Now, I sense you're on your best behavior, but that's all I'll give you.

Bud: L.A.P.D., shitbird. Get the fuck out of here or I'll call your wife to come get you.
Councilman: (leaving) Officer
Bud: Councilman

Lynn: You're different, Officer White. You're the first man in five years who didn't tell me I look like Veronica Lake inside of a minute.
Bud: You look better than Veronica Lake.

Jack: So long, Vice. Badge of Honor, here I come.

Jack: Are you sure Golden Boy is up to the task, Cap?
Dudley: Oh, I think you'd be surprised what the lad is capable of.

Exley: Sugar, Larry told me you went sissy up at Casitas. You couldn't do the time so you found yourself a big white boy to look after you. He said they call you 'Sugar' because you gave it out so sweet.

Bud: One in six. Where's the girl?

Dudlye: Lad, I admire your refusal to testify and your loyalty to your partner. I admire you as a policeman, particularly your adherence to violence as a necessary adjutant to the job. And I am most impressed with your punishment of wife beaters. Do you hate them, Wendell?

Bud: Give your career a rest. Get her to the fucking hospital.
Exley: A naked guy with a gun? You expect anyone to believe that?
Bud: Get the fuck away from me.
Exley: How's it going to look on your report?
Bud: It'll look like justice. That's what the man got. Justice.
Exley: You don't know what the word means, you dumb bastard.
. . .
Dudley: It's best to stay away from a man when his blood is up.
Exley: His blood's always up.
Dudley: Then perhaps you should stay away from him altogether.