As corruption grows in 1950s LA, three policemen - one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.

Lynn Bracken: I see Bud because I want to. I see Bud because he can't hide the good inside of him. I see Bud because he treats me like Lynn Bracken and not some Veronica Lake look-alike who fucks for money.
[last lines]
Lynn Bracken: Some men get the world. Others get ex-hookers and a trip to Arizona.
[She kisses Exley on the cheek]
Lynn Bracken: Bye.
Ed Exley: Bye.
Captain Dudley Smith: Have you a valediction, boyo?
Jack Vincennes: [gasping out a name] ... Rollo Tamasi.
Captain Dudley Smith: I wouldn't trade places with Edmund Exley right now for all the whiskey in Ireland.
Captain Dudley Smith: Edmund, you're a political animal. You have the eye for human weakness, but not the stomach.
Ed Exley: You're wrong, sir.
Captain Dudley Smith: Would you be willing to plant corroborative evidence on a suspect you knew to be guilty, in order to ensure an indictment?
Ed Exley: Dudley, we've been over this.
Captain Dudley Smith: Yes or no, Edmund?
Ed Exley: No!
Captain Dudley Smith: Would you be willing to beat a confession out of a suspect you knew to be guilty?
Ed Exley: No.
Captain Dudley Smith: Would you be willing to shoot a hardened criminal in the back, in order to offset the chance that some... lawyer...
Ed Exley: No.
Captain Dudley Smith: Then, for the love of God, don't be a detective. Stick to assignments where you don't have...
Ed Exley: Dudley, I know you mean well, but I don't need to do it the way you did. Or my father.
Lynn Bracken: You say "fuck" a lot.
Bud White: You fuck for money.
Bud White: I'd like to see you again.
Lynn Bracken: Are you asking me for a date, or an appointment?
Bud White: ...I don't know.
Lynn Bracken: Well, if you're asking me for a date, I should know your first name.
Bud White: [embarrassed] Forget I asked. It was a mistake.
Captain Dudley Smith: Go back to Jersey, sonny. This is the City of the Angels, and you haven't got any wings.
Lynn Bracken: You're the first man in five years who didn't tell me I look like Veronica Lake inside of a minute.
Bud White: You look better than Veronica Lake.
Jack Vincennes: I'm the technical advisor. I teach Brett Chase how to walk and talk like a cop.
Jack's Dancing Partner: Brett Chase doesn't walk and talk like you.
Jack Vincennes: Well, that's 'cause he's the television version. America isn't ready for the real me.
Johnny Stompanato: You want an autograph? Write to MGM.
Ed Exley: Since when do two-bit hoods and hookers give out autographs?
Johnny Stompanato: What'd you say to me?
Ed Exley: LAPD. Sit down.
Lana Turner: Who in the hell do you think you are?
Jack Vincennes: Ed...
Ed Exley: Take a walk, honey, before I haul your ass downtown.
Johnny Stompanato: You are making a large mistake.
Lana Turner: Get away from our table!
Ed Exley: Shut up! A hooker cut to look like Lana Turner is still a hooker.
Johnny Stompanato: Hey!
Ed Exley: She just looks like Lana Turner.
Jack Vincennes: She *is* Lana Turner.
Ed Exley: [stunned] What?
Jack Vincennes: She *is* Lana Turner.
[Lana throws a drink in Ed's face]
Bud White: Merry Christmas.
Lynn Bracken: Merry Christmas to you, officer.
Bud White: That obvious, huh?
Lynn Bracken: It's practically stamped on your forehead.
Captain Dudley Smith: You'll do as I say, and ask no questions. Do you follow my drift?
Bud White: In technicolor, sir.
Ed Exley: Do you make the three Negroes for the Nite Owl killings?
Jack Vincennes: [puzzled] What?
Ed Exley: It's a simple question.
Jack Vincennes: Why in the world do you wanna go digging any deeper into the Nite Owl killings... Lieutenant?
Ed Exley: ...Rollo Tamasi.
Jack Vincennes: Is there more to that, or am I supposed to guess?
Ed Exley: [aftre gathering his thoughts] Rollo was a purse snatcher. My father ran into him off duty, and he shot my father six times and got away clean. No one even knew who he was. I just made the name up to give him some personality.
Jack Vincennes: What's your point?
Ed Exley: Rollo Tamasi is the reason I became a cop. I wanted to catch the guys who thought they could get away with it. It's supposed to be about justice. Then somewhere along the way, I lost sight of that... Why'd you become a cop?
Jack Vincennes: [long pause] I don't remember.
[brief hesitation]
Jack Vincennes: What do you want, Exley?
Ed Exley: I just wanna solve this thing.
Jack Vincennes: The Nite Owl *was* solved.
Ed Exley: No; I wanna do it right.
Jack Vincennes: Even if it means paying the consequences?
[Exley nods his head, Vincennes stands up from his chair]
Jack Vincennes: All right, college boy, I'll help. But there's a case you boys in Homicide don't care about, you think it's just another Hollywood "homo"-cide. Well, I don't. You help me with mine, I'll help you with yours. Deal?
Ed Exley: Deal.
City Councilman: [told by Bud to leave Lynn's house] Maybe I will. Maybe I won't.
Bud White: [flashes his badge] LAPD, shitbird. Get the fuck outta here or I'll call your wife to come get you!
[while Lynn hides a smile, the client gathers up his clothes, and walks out front door]
City Councilman: Officer.
Bud White: Councilman.
Ed Exley: A naked man with a gun? Do you really expect anyone to believe that?
Bud White: Get the fuck away from me.
Ed Exley: How's it gonna look in your report?
Bud White: It'll look like justice. That's what the man got. Justice.
Ed Exley: You don't know the meaning of the word, you ignorant bastard.
Bud White: Oh yeah, well you think it means getting your picture in the paper. Why don't you go after criminals for a change, instead of cops?
[punches Exley in the shoulder and then starts to walk away]
Ed Exley: Stensland got what he deserved, and so will you.
[a furious White tries to attack Exley, only to be restrained by the Captain and by several other cops]
Captain Dudley Smith: It's best to stay away from a man when his blood is up.
Ed Exley: His blood is always up.
Captain Dudley Smith: Then perhaps you should stay away from him altogether.
Bud White: Something's wrong with the Nite Owl. I know it in here,
[points to his chest]
Bud White: I know it. That prick Exley shot the wrong guys. Whoever killed my partner, is still out there. I... If I could work cases like a real detective, I could prove it. But I'm not smart enough. I'm just the guy they bring in to scare the other guy shitless.
Lynn Bracken: You're wrong. You found Patchett, you found me. You're smart enough.
Sid Hudgens: Off the record, on the QT, and very hush-hush.
Ed Exley: All I ever wanted was to measure up to my father.
Bud White: Now's your chance.
Bud White: [after Exley gives him a puzzled look] He died in the line of duty, didn't he?
[White approaches Loew in the bathroom, after he refused to answer Exley's questions]
Ellis Loew: Unless you came in here to wipe my ass, I believe we're through.
[White looks at him, silently]
Ellis Loew: Come on, don't try this "Good Cop-Bad Cop" crap on me. I practically invented it. So what if some homo actor is dead? Boys, girls, ten of them step off the bus to L.A. every day.
[White proceeds to smash Loew's head into the mirror and then sticking it into the toilet]
Ellis Loew: Pull him off me, Exley!
Ed Exley: I don't know how.
Bud White: Now, I know you think you're the A-number one hotshot. Well, here's the juice: if I take you out, there'll be ten more lawyers to take your place tomorrow. They just won't come on the bus, that's all!
[White drags Loew into his office and dangles him out of the window by his legs until he confesses]
Ed Exley: Was that how you used to run the "Good Cop-Bad Cop?"
Sid Hudgens: Are you tight with the DA, Jackie?
Jack Vincennes: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. He tried to throw me off the force last Christmas as a little joke.
Captain Dudley Smith: Bud White is a valuable officer.
Ed Exley: White's a mindless thug.
Captain Dudley Smith: No, Edmund, he's just a man who can answer yes to those questions I've asked you from time to time.
Bud White: The Nite Owl case made you. Do you want to tear all that down?
Ed Exley: With a wrecking ball... You want to help me swing it?
Captain Dudley Smith: [Captain Smith briefs the squad room on Jack Vincennes' death; Exley is standing beside him] Sergeant Vincennes was killed by a .32 slug to the heart. Time of death, approximately 1 a.m. Although he was found in Echo Park, preliminary forensics indicates his body was most likely moved. I want two-man teams to scour that entire neighborhood. Our justice must be swift and merciless. That is all.
Captain Dudley Smith: [Exley starts to leave with the other officers] Edmund, might I have a word with you? We're trying to run down a lead on an associate of Vincennes. The records check has led to a dead end.
Ed Exley: What's the name?
Captain Dudley Smith: Rollo Tomasi. Have you ever heard Vincennes mention him?
Ed Exley: [poker-faced] No. No, I haven't.
Captain Dudley Smith: Well, it's probably nothing. Still, keep your eyes open, eh, boyo?
[Captain Smith exits as Exley glares at him from behind]
Captain Dudley Smith: I admire you as a policeman - particularly your adherence to violence as a necessary adjunct to the job.
[White catches a parolee beating his wife]
Wife Beater: Who in the hell are you?
Bud White: The ghost of Christmas past. Why don't you dance with a man for a change?
Wife Beater: What are you, some kind of smart ass?
[tries to attack Bud]
Bud White: [after beating up and handcuffing the wife beater] You'll be out in a year and a half. I'll get cozy with your parole officer. You touch her again, I'll have you violated on a kiddie raper beef.
Bud White: [grabs wife beater by the head] You know what they do to kiddie rapers in Quentin, don't ya?
Lynn Bracken: [to Ed] Fucking me and fucking Bud aren't the same thing, you know.
Bud White: Bullshit. How would a two-bit hick like Meeks get his hands on a large supply of heroin?
Johnny Stompanato: You're right, it's probably bullshit. Even if he did, he could never unload it. Not without drawing all kinds of attention.
Bud White: Maybe that's why he's under a house in Elysian Park and he don't smell too good, paisano.
Sid Hudgens: '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 dopefiends everywhere!' Ya like it, Jackie boy?
Jack Vincennes: Yeah, subtle.
Jack Vincennes: Oh, great. You get the girl, I get the coroner.
Pierce Patchett: I use girls that look like movie stars. Sometimes I employ a plastic surgeon. When the work had been done, that's when you saw us.
Bud White: That's why her mother couldn't I.D. her. Jesus fucking Christ.
Pierce Patchett: No, Mr. White. Pierce Morehouse Patchett.
Dick Stensland: You're like Santa Claus with that list, Bud, except everyone on it's been naughty.
[lying in bed, Lynn touches a scar on Bud's shoulder]
Lynn Bracken: Where'd this come from?
Bud White: When I was twelve, my old man went after my mother with a bottle. I got in the way.
Lynn Bracken: You saved her.
Bud White: ...Not for long.
Lynn Bracken: I'm sorry, Bud, it's none of my...
Bud White: He tied me to the radiator. I watched him beat my mother to death with a tire iron. Then he left us there. Three days before a truant officer found us... They never found the old man.
Lynn Bracken: Was that why you became a cop? To get even?
Bud White: ...Maybe.
[first lines]
Sid Hudgens: [voiceover] 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.
Jack Vincennes: Oh, lookee here: the great jerkoff case of 1953.
Dick Stensland: I got a hot date.
Bud White: Yeah? Who is she and what did you arrest her for?
Captain Dudley Smith: Hold up your badge, so they'll know you're a policeman.
[Exley has to perform the interrogation]
Jack Vincennes: Are you sure Golden Boy is up to the task, Cap?
Captain Dudley Smith: Oh, I think you'd be surprised what the lad is capable of.
[Bud grabs Johnny Stompanato by the testicles to get him to talk]
Bud White: What do I get if I give you your balls back, you wop cocksucker?
[to Ray Collins]
Ed Exley: They called you 'Sugar', 'cause you liked to give it out... so sweet.
Lynn Bracken: I was wondering when you'd knock on my door again, Officer White.
Bud White: It's Bud.
Lynn Bracken: Bud...
Jack Vincennes: How's it hanging, Sid?
Sid Hudgens: Down around my ankles.
Ed Exley: Bud hates himself for what he did.
Lynn Bracken: I know how he feels.
Captain Dudley Smith: Don't start tryin' to do the right thing, boy-o. You haven't the practice.
Jack Vincennes: Karen, this is Sid Hudgens of Hush-Hush Magazine.
Sid Hudgens: Hellooooo, Karen!
Jack's Dancing Partner: Hello yourself!
[walks off angrily]
Jack Vincennes: What's that about?
Sid Hudgens: Eh, we ran a piece last year, "Ingenue Dykes in Hollywood." Her name got mentioned.
Lynn Bracken: There's blood on your jacket. Is that an integral part of your job?
Bud White: Sometimes.
Lynn Bracken: Do you enjoy it?
Bud White: When they deserve it.
Lynn Bracken: Did they today?
Bud White: I don't know.
Lynn Bracken: But you did it anyway.
Bud White: Yeah, just like the half-dozen guys you screwed today.
Lynn Bracken: Well, actually, it was two.
Dick Stensland: We'll do the town one night... on me.
Bud White: I'll bring my wallet, just in case.
Captain Dudley Smith: [interrogation at the Victory Motel] Reciprocity, Mr. Hudgens, is the key to every relationship.
Sid Hudgens: Get me some narco skinny. I want to do an all-hophead issue. You know, schwartze jazz musicians and movie stars. You like it?
Captain Dudley Smith: I doubt you've ever taken a stupid breath. Don't start now.
[Before killing Sid Hudgens]
Captain Dudley Smith: Hush hush.
[to Lynn]
Bud White: Don't ever try to fucking bribe me or I'll have you and Patchett in shit up to your ears.
Ray Pinker: Stomach of the week. Unemployed actor had frankfurter, french fries, alcohol, and sperm. Hell of a last supper, don't you think?
Jack Vincennes: Why don't you and I go someplace quiet, cause I'd love to give you the low-down on Mitchum.
Ed Exley: I'm talking about the gas chamber, and you haven't even asked me what this is about. You've got a big "Guilty" sign around your neck.
Ed Exley: [as Bud White is beating him up] Think, goddamn you, *think!*
[when Sid Hudgens is found dead]
Bud White: What happened?
Detective at Hush-Hush Office: Somebody beat him to death and stole a bunch of files. Must've dug up garbage on the wrong guy. Got it narrowed down to a thousand suspects.
[Stocking a box with liquor for the police's Christmas party]
Liquor Store Owner: If I ever get held up, you guys better be here.
[Dick Stensland arrives with liquor for a party]
Officer: What took you, Stensland?
Dick Stensland: My partner stopped to help a damsel in distress. He's got his priorities all screwed up.
Jack Vincennes: I'll need another fifty dollars. That's two twenties for the two arresting officers and a dime for the watch commander.
Brett Chase: Excuse me, ma'am; just the facts.
Sid Hudgens: [voiceover] Something has to be done, but nothing too original, because hey, this is Hollywood.
Ed Exley: I heard you like to shoot dogs.
Ray Collins: Dogs got no reason to live.
Bud White: Well, Captain, what do you want?
Captain Dudley Smith: Call me Dudley.
Bud White: Dudley... what do you want?
Captain Dudley Smith: You're a bit of a puzzlement to me these days, Wendell. You don't seem to be your old cruel self anymore. And I had such grand plans for your future.
Captain Dudley Smith: Our justice must be swift and merciless.
Captain Dudley Smith: Wendell - I'd like full and docile co-operation on every topic.
Ray Pinker: Bud White - what brings *you* to the basement?
Bud White: I got a couple Nite Owl questions.
Ray Pinker: I don't know if you'd read the papers, but that case is closed.
Bud White: Is there anything bothering you about it, Ray?
Ray Pinker: Yeah, the fact that the pack-up boys haven't carted this shit out of here yet.
[Bud sees all the boxes of case files, and starts to look through the crime scene photos]
Ray Pinker: I got three shotguns, taken from the suspects, that match the strike marks on the shells from the Nite Owl. What more do you want?
Bud White: [suddenly spotting a detail in a photo] There's blood on the wall here. I thought everybody but the cook got shot in the men's room?
Ray Pinker: That is Stensland's blood.
Bud White: Stensland?
Ray Pinker: He took a blow to the head. Was probably unconscious when they dragged him in the john.
Bud White: Did they hit anybody else?
Ray Pinker: No. But he was a cop, he probably tried to "do something."
Bud White: [remembering that Stensland said he had a date that night, he studies a photo showing a table with two settings, including a coffee mug smudged with lipstick] Grilled cheese, black coffee... two of the victims were women, right?
Ray Pinker: Yeah - Patti DeLuca, the night-shift waitress, and a Susan Lefferts.
Bud White: Susan Lefferts...
Ray Pinker: Yeah, what about her?
[Bud runs out of the room]
Ray Pinker: You're welcome!
Sid Hudgens: He's on a night train to the big adios.

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