L.A. Confidential

From Quotes
Happiness is a sunbeam which may pass through a thousand bosoms without losing a particle of its original ray; nay, when it strikes on a kindred heart, like the converged light on a mirror, it reflects itself with redoubled brightness. It is not perfected till it is shared.
Jane Porter
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L.A. Confidential is a 1997 film.

Screenplay by Brian Helgeland & Curtis Hanson based on the novel by James Ellroy; Directed by Curtis Hanson


  • 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.
  • Remember dear readers, you heard it here first: off the record, on the QT, and very Hush-Hush.


  • Go back to Jersey, Sonny. This is the City of the Angels and you haven't got any wings.
  • You may well reap the benefit, Edmund, but are you truly prepared to be despised within the department?
  • Don't start tryin' to do the right thing, boy-o. You haven't the practice.
  • Who'd have thought? Shotgun Ed.
  • Wendell, I'd like full and docile co-operation on every topic...
  • I wouldn't trade places with Edmund Exley right now for all the whiskey in Ireland.
  • Good lad. Always the politician. But let me do the talking. After I've done they'll make you Chief of Detectives.
  • Hold up your badge — so they know you're a policeman.


  • Merry Christmas to you, officer.
  • It's not what you think… but it's nice to know you care.
  • You have a thing for helping women, don't you Officer White?
  • Are you asking me for a date or an appointment?
  • It would be easier for you if there was an angle wouldn't it? You're afraid of Bud because you can't figure out how to play him. He doesn't follow the same rules of politics as you do. It makes him dangerous.
  • 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 makes me feel like Lynn Bracken and not some Veronica Lake look-alike who fucks for money. I see Bud because he doesn't know how to disguise who he is. I see Bud for all the ways he's different from you.
  • Some men get the world. Others get ex-hookers and a trip to Arizona.


  • Hey. All they get is Veronica Lake. I get Lynn Margaret Bracken.
  • He tied me to the radiator. I watched him beat my mother to death with a tire iron... and he left me there... three days before a truant officer found us.


  • [At the end of an interrogation session] 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.
  • They're using me — so for a little while I'm using them.
  • Thanks for the push.
  • Is that how you used to run the good cop, bad cop?
  • You figured this was a set up and you showed up anyway?


  • CORONER: Stomach of the week from a motel homicide; unemployed actor had frankfurters, french fies, alcohol, and sperm. Hell of a last supper, don't you think?
  • JACK: Oh great, you get the girl, I get the coroner.
  • JACK: All right, college boy, I'll help — but there's a case your boys in Homicide don't care about. They think its just another Hollywood Homo-cide, but I don't. You help me with mine, I'll help you with yours. Deal?


[White catches a parolee beating his wife]
WIFE-BEATER: Who in the hell are you?
BUD: 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: [after beating up and handcuffing the wife beater] You'll be out in a year and a half. I'd get cozy with your parole officer. You touch her again, I'll have you violated on a kiddie raper beef. [grabs wife beater by the head] You know what they do to kiddie rapers in Quentin.

DUDLEY: Would you be willing to plant corroborative evidence on a suspect you knew to be guilty, in order to ensure an indictment?
ED: Dudley, we've been over this.
DUDLEY: Yes or no, Edmund?
ED: No.
DUDLEY: Would you be willing to beat a confession out of a suspect you knew to be guilty?
ED: No.
DUDLEY: Would you be willing to shoot a hardened criminal in the back, in order to offset the chance that some...lawyer...
ED: No.
DUDLEY: Then, for the love of God, don't be a detective. Stick to assignments where you don't have to make those kinds of choices.

[Bud goes to question Lynn Bracken and encounters a client in his underwear who refuses to leave]
MAN: Who is it, dollface? Want me to get rid of him?
BUD: Take a hike, pal.
MAN: [stepping closer] Maybe I will... and maybe I won't.
BUD: [showing his badge] LAPD, shitbird. Get the fuck outta here or I'll call your wife to come get you.
[The man stares blankly for a moment, collects his clothes, and leaves]
MAN: [nods] Officer.
BUD: [nods] 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.

DUDLEY: It's best to stay away from a man when his blood is up.
ED: His blood's always up.
DUDLEY: Then it's best to stay away from him altogether.

[Lying in bed, Lynn notices a scar on Bud's shoulder]
LYNN: Where'd this come from?
BUD: When I was twelve, my old man went after my mother with a bottle. I got in the way.
LYNN: You saved her.
BUD: Not for long.
LYNN: I'm sorry, Bud, it's none of my...
BUD: He tied me to the radiator. I watched him beat my mother to death with a tire iron. He left us there. It was three days before a truant officer found us. They never found the old man.
LYNN: Was that why you became a cop? To get even?
BUD: I don't know.
. . .
BUD: I'm not smart enough. I'm just the guy they bring in to scare the other guy shitless.
LYNN: You're wrong. You found Patchett. You found me. You're smart enough.

ED: You remember what time the negros you? In your statement, you said they left you at midnight.
INEZ SOTO: They might have.
ED: What do you mean, "they might have?"
INEZ SOTO: I don't know what time they left me. I wanted them dead. Would anyone care that they had raped a Mexican girl from Royal Heights if they had not killed those white people at the Nite Owl? I did what I had to do for justice.

JACK: Why in the world do you want to go digging any deeper into the Nite Owl Killings, Lieutenant?
ED: Rollo Tomasi.
JACK: Is there more to that, or am I supposed to guess?
ED: 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. Rollo Tomasi's the reason I became a cop. I wanted to catch the guys who thought they could get away with it. It was supposed to be about justice. Then somewhere along the way I lost sight of that. Why'd you become a cop?
Long pause
JACK: I don't remember.

JOHNNY STOMPANATO: You want an autograph? Write to MGM.
ED: Since when do two-bit hoods and hookers give out autographs?
JOHNNY: What'd you say to me?
ED: LAPD. Sit down.
WOMAN: Who in the hell do you think you are?
JACK: Ed...
ED: Take a walk, honey, before I haul your ass downtown.
JOHNNY: You are making a large mistake.
WOMAN: Get away from our table.
ED: Shut up! [leans in] A hooker cut to look like Lana Turner is still a hooker.
ED: She just looks like Lana Turner.
JACK: [grinning] She is Lana Turner.
ED: What?
JACK: She is Lana Turner.
[Lana throws a drink in Ed's face]

DUDLEY: Have you a valediction, boyo?
JACK: Rollo… Tomasi.

BUD: Why are you doing this? The Nite Owl made you. You want to tear all that down?
ED: With a wrecking ball. You want to help me swing it?

[White approaches District Attorney 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 glares silently]
LOEW: Come on, don't try to pull this "Good Cop-Bad Cop" crap on me. I practically invented it. So what if some homo actor is dead, eh? 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 stick it into the toilet]
ED: I don't know how.
[White dunks his head in the toilet again]
BUD: Now, I know you think you're the A-number-one hotshot. But 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, leaving him whimpering on the floor]
ED: Was that how you used to run the "Good Cop-Bad Cop?"

ED: Bud hates himself for what he did.
LYNN: I know how he feels.

ED: All I ever wanted was to measure up to my father.
BUD: Here's your chance. He died in the line of duty, didn't he?

DETECTIVE: You think you can talk your way out of this Lieutenant?
ED: No... but I can tell the truth.


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