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A priest tries to stop a gangster from corrupting a group of street kids.
Soapy: Hey! Call a fair game or I'll slap you right in the kisser! Rocky Sullivan: You'll slap me? You slap me in a dream, you better wake up and apologize.
[repeated lines] Rocky Sullivan: Whadda ya hear! Whadda ya say!
Rocky Sullivan: 'Morning, gentlemen. Nice day for a murder.
Rocky Sullivan: [to Soapy] Next time you roll a guy for his poke, make sure he don't know your hideout.
Rocky Sullivan: [to Jim Frazier] Look, I know you're a smart lawyer - very smart - but don't get smart with me.
William 'Rocky' Sullivan, as a boy: Always remember: Don't be a sucker.
Rocky Sullivan: No! I don't want to die! Oh, please! I don't want to die! Oh, please! Don't make me burn in hell. Oh, please let go of me! Please don't kill me! Oh, don't kill me, please!
[Father Jerry is returning the $10,000 Rocky has sent him 'anonymously' to help build the recreation center] Rocky Sullivan: Suppose the dough is hot? Nobody knows that but you and me. Father Jerry: That's just it. Rocky Sullivan: Oh, come on, don't be such an angel. You wanna get the center built, don't you? Well, go ahead - get it started. Father Jerry: Sure I wanna get it started; but I don't wanna get it started on rotten foundations. Rocky Sullivan: Aw, don't be a sucker! Father Jerry: All right, Rocky, supposin' I take the money... and I kid myself that it's a means to an end - well it isn't. It never will be. Inside the center my boys would be clean... and outside they'd be surrounded by the same rotten corruption and crime and criminals. Yes, yourself included. Criminals on all sides for my boys to look up to and revere... and respect and admire and imitate. What earthly good is it for me to teach that honesty is the best policy when all around they see that dishonesty is a better policy? That the hoodlum and the gangster is looked up to with the same respect as the successful businessman or the popular hero? You and the Fraziers and the Keefers and all the rest of those rotten politicians you've got in the palm of your hand. Yes, and you've got my boys, too. Whatever I teach them, you... you show me up. You show them the easiest way - the quickest way is with a racket or a gun. Rocky Sullivan: Well, it's so, ain't it? Father Jerry: Yes, it's so... God help us.
Rocky Sullivan: Laury Martin? That little fresh kid with the pigtails? Well, hello. Whadda ya hear! Whadda ya say! Laury Ferguson: Hello. [slaps him] Rocky Sullivan: Hey! Wait a minute! Laury Ferguson: I've waited fifteen years to do that!
Laury Ferguson: Why are you hounding Rocky? Why are you trying to send him to prison for life? You can't do that to Rocky. I won't let you. It's not his fault, Father. He was just a kid who made a mistake and got sent to reform school. They made a criminal out of him. But he's not bad, not really bad. You know that. And whatever they've done to him, no matter what he is now, no matter whether he's right or wrong, we both love him Father. Father Jerry: Yes, Laury we both love him. I've loved him since we were kids, six years old. We worked together, fought together, stole together. Oh, I'm not blaming Rocky for what he is today. But for the grace of God, there walk I. I'd do anything for him, Laury. Anything in the world to help him. I'd give my life if I thought it would do any good, but it wouldn't. You see Laury, there's all those other kids, hundreds of them, in the streets and bad environment, whom I don't want to see grow up like Rocky did. I can't sacrifice them for Rocky. You see, Laury, they have lives too. I can't throw them away. I can't.
[last lines] Father Jerry: All right, fellas... let's go and say a prayer for a boy who couldn't run as fast as I could.
Father Jerry: We haven't got a lot of time. And I want to ask you one last favor. Rocky Sullivan: There's not left than I can do, kid. Father Jerry: Yes, there is, Rocky. Perhaps more than you could do under any other circumstances. If you have the courage for it, and I know you have. Rocky Sullivan: You mean, walking in there? That's not gonna take much. Father Jerry: I know that, Rocky. Rocky Sullivan: It's like a barber chair. And when they ask me "you got anything to say?". I'll say, "sure, give me a haircut, a shave, and a massage, with one of those nice new electric massages".
Father Jerry: What's on your mind, Son? Rocky Sullivan: Not very much, Father. It's just been bothering me about fifteen years. What did you do with those fountain pens you stole out of the freight cart? Father Jerry: [recognizing him] Rocky! You old... Rocky Sullivan: Jerry, glad to see you. Whadda ya hear! Whadda ya say! Father Jerry: Whadda ya hear! Whadda ya say! I'm glad to see you. Rocky Sullivan: Good to see you. Fifteen years. Hasn't changed a bit.
James Frazier: Listen, Rocky. I'm pulling every string I can. I'm seeing the all right people. And I think I can get you off with about three years. Rocky Sullivan: You talk like I can do that three years in a handstand. It's a long time. That ain't no picnic. You'll be outside having it soft right on those cushions. James Frazier: I know it's a tough break, Rocky. But I'm not gonna mark time. I'm gonna scout around, make connections. Not only for me, but for both of us. You understand? Rocky Sullivan: Why should I take the fall? James Frazier: There's no other way out. Now, be sensible. If they get me too, I'll not only be disbarred, but they'll check on my vault box and grab that hundred grand. You don't want to lose that dough, do you? Rocky Sullivan: Alright, Frazier. It's my rap and I'll take it. But it's my hundred grand and I'll take that too, the day that I get out.
Jerry, As a Boy: [to Rocky] Come on, Rocky. Jump!
Rocky Sullivan: [to Soapy and the gang] Say your prayers, mugs.
Rocky Sullivan: Asking questions again, huh? Listen, someday you're gonna stick your nose, and you're gonna get something in it. Bim: I only thought it was. Rocky Sullivan: Shut up! Now, look, you don't know anything about this, see? Huh? Bim: No, no. No, I don't know nothing. Rocky Sullivan: But you do know what guys get who talk.
Rocky Sullivan: You've done very alright. Very alright, Frazier. I'm mighty proud of you. Why shouldn't I be. We're partners ain't we? James Frazier: Of course, Rocky. Of course. Rocky Sullivan: Just like we said three years ago, huh?
James Frazier: [to Mac] Sullivan picked me up at my home. He's got everything that was in my safe: Account books, receipts, names, addresses, bank books, everything. If he's prosecuted for this kidnapping hell talk. And he's got evidence to back it up. He'll tear this whole town wide open.
Rocky Sullivan: So long, kid. Father Jerry: Goodbye, Rocky. May God have mercy on you.
Father Jerry: Rocky? Rocky? Rocky Sullivan: What are you doing up here? Go on, get out of here! Beat it! Father Jerry: I'm coming in, Rocky. Rocky Sullivan: What's the matter with you? You want to get your skull full of lead? Get out of here! I thought you were smarter than trying to stick your kisser in a place like this. Father Jerry: I couldn't stand by and watch them shoot you down, Rocky. They've got you covered from every angle. Your only chance is to give yourself up. You're through, Rocky. You're finished. Rocky Sullivan: Yeah, I was until you stepped into it.
Rocky Sullivan: Personal foul. Free throw over here. Bim: I didn't do nothing. Rocky Sullivan: Foul! Swing: Foul? What did he do? Hit me?
Mac Keefer: Where's Frazier? Rocky Sullivan: Where's that hundred grand? Mac Keefer: You think we're gonna pay off huh? Rocky Sullivan: Certainly. If I don't get that dough in three minutes, Frazier's gonna be splashed all over the best hideout in town.
Father Jerry: Well, as long as you're sponsoring the gym, let's go and take a look at it. Rocky Sullivan: You mean now? Father Jerry: Sure. Come on, Rocky. I want to show you what I'm doing. You remember old Krausmeyer's store, don't you? Rocky Sullivan: Yeah, sure. We used to rob it. Father Jerry: Yes.
Father Jerry: [to Rocky] I'm gonna use your case of kidnapping Frazier as a crowbar to pry open and uncover this cesspool. I'm gonna force the law, corrupt or not, to indict and prosecute and bring to the light of day this entire filthy affair.
[first lines] Jerry, As a Boy: Bulls eye! William 'Rocky' Sullivan, as a boy: It's as dead as a door nail around here. Jerry, As a Boy: Yeah.
James Frazier: [to Rocky and Mac] Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute, gentleman. There's no sense in running too far ahead of ourselves. Don't forget, there are all kinds of grand juries and there's all kinds of ways of handling them. That's why you got me for.
Rocky Sullivan: Who's the leader? Soapy: I am. Rocky Sullivan: Come here. Collect that dough, and fast!
James Frazier: Well, well, Rocky! Say, this is a surprise! Rocky Sullivan: Whadda ya hear! Whadda ya say!
Laury Ferguson: Look, just because you got me seeing things straight now, there's no reason why I should wear it. I still remember what Rocky's kind is like. Father Jerry: I don't know. Somehow I feel that Rocky could be straightened out.
Rocky Sullivan: I'll take the room. What's the tariff? Laury Ferguson: Five dollars a week. Rocky Sullivan: Sold. Laury Ferguson: In advance. Rocky Sullivan: Oh. Alright. Write me a receipt. Laury Ferguson: You can trust me.
Rocky Sullivan: [to the gang] Shower down. Right there. All those nickels. You, you, you, and you. Right there.
William 'Rocky' Sullivan, as a boy: Hi Jerry. Jerry, As a Boy: Hello. William 'Rocky' Sullivan, as a boy: Whadda ya hear! Whadda ya say!
Rocky Sullivan: [on the phone to Mac] Mac, did I get you out of bed? Oh, I'm so sorry. [to James] Rocky Sullivan: I think he's sore.
Policeman: Alright, give him the tear gas.
James Frazier: Rocky? Rocky Sullivan: Yeah, Rocky. I ain't dead yet. Give me those keys. Get going.
Mac Keefer: I'm taking care of this job myself. Get Blackie up here right away. James Frazier: Now, listen Mac. I don't care how you handle Sullivan. But it's got to look like an accident with that priest. Mac Keefer: Leave that to me.