The Usual Suspects

Christopher McQuarrie, Bryan Singer

contributed by Tim Nolan

VERBAL: New York. - six weeks ago. A truck loaded with stripped gun parts got jacked outside of Queens. The driver didn't see anybody, but somebody fucked up. He heard a voice. Sometimes, that's all you need.

VERBAL: It didn't make sense that I'd be there. I mean these guys were hard-core hijackers, but there I was. At that point, I wasn't scared. I knew I hadn't done anything they could do me for. Besides, it was fun. I got to make like I was notorious.

VERBAL: It was bullshit. The whole rap was a set-up. Everything is the cops' fault. You don't put guys like that in a room together. Who knows what can happen?

MCMANUS: This has to be embarrassing for you guys, huh? I mean you know and I know this is a load of shit, but at least I don't have a captain with his dick in my ass making me play along. That has got to suck.

COP: Are you done?

McManus: Do you work for a broad? That would have to be the worst.

COP: Are you done?

McMANUS:: Still, I guess dignity is a small price to pay for medical and a pension. A small pension, mind you, but a pension nonetheless.

COP: That's not what McManus said.


COP: McManus. He told us another story altogether.

FENSTER:: Was it the one about the hooker with Dysentery?

HOCKNEY: You guys don't have a fucking leg to stand on.

COP: You think so, tough guy? I can put you in Queens the day of the hijacking.

HOCKNEY: Really? I live in Queens. Did you put that together yourself Einstein? What have you got, a team of monkeys working round the clock on this?

COP: You know what happens if you do another turn in the joint?

HOCKNEY: I'll fuck your father in the shower and then have a snack. You gonna charge me, dick-head?

McMANUS:: I heard you were dead.

KEATON: Yeah? Well you heard right.

HOCKNEY: Word is you hung up your spurs, man. What's that allabout?

McMANUS:: What's this?

HOCKNEY: Rumour has it, Keaton's gone straight. I hear he's tapping Edie Finneran.

McMANUS:: Who's that?

HOCKNEY: She's a heavyweight criminal lawyer from uptown. I hear she's Keaton's meal ticket.

McMANUS:: How about it, Keaton? You a lawyer's wife? What sort of "retainer" you giving her?

KEATON: This whole thing was a shakedown.

McMANUS: What makes you say that?

KEATON: How many times have you been in a line-up? It's always you and four dummies. The P.D. pays homeless guys ten bucks a head half the time. No way they'd line five felons in the same row. No way. And what the hell is a voice line-.up? A public defender could get you off of that.

FENSTER: So why the hell was I hauled in and cavity searched tonight?

KEATON: It was the Feds. A truckload of guns gets snagged, Customs comes down on N.Y.P.D. for some answers - they come up with us.

FENSTER: I had a guy's fingers in my asshole tonight.

HOCKNEY: Is it Friday already?

HOCKNEY: Fuck who did it. What I want to know is, who's the gimp?


HOCKNEY: Says you. How do I know that? How about it, pretzel-man? What's your story?

KEATON: His name is Verbal. Verbal Kint.

McMANUS: Verbal?

VERBAL: Roger really. People say I talk too much.

HOCKNEY: Yeah, I was gonna tell you to shut up.

KEATON: I don't want to hear anything from you. I don't care about your "job". I want nothing to do with any of you – I beg your pardon, but you can all go to hell.

KUJAN: Why can't I see him?

RABIN: Dave, I told you. The D.A. came down here last night ready to arrange even before they moved him to county. Kint's lawyer turns up, five minutes later, the D.A. comes out of the office looking like the bogeyman smacked him around. They take his statement, then, they cut him a deal.

KUJAN: Well did they charge him with anything?

RABIN: Yeah, weapons. Misdemeanour two.

KUJAN: What is that?

RABIN: Listen, I give the D.A. credit for getting that much to stick. This whole thing has turned political. The Mayor was here last night, the Chief… this morning, the Governor called, OK? This guy is protected from up on high by the prince of darkness.

KUJAN: If it was a dope deal, where's the dope, if it was a hit, who called it in?

RABIN: And I am sure you have a host of wild theories to answer these questions.

KUJAN: You know damn well what I think.

RABIN: That's crazy. And besides, it doesn't even matter. The guy's got total immunity. His story checks out. He doesn't know what you want to know.

KUJAN: I don't think he does. Not exactly. But there's a lot more to his story. I want to know why twenty-seven men died on that pier for what looks to be ninety-one million dollars worth of dope that wasn't there. Above all, I want to be sure that Dean Keaton is dead.

VERBAL: Can I get some coffee?

KUJAN: In a while. Let's talk about the line-up.

VERBAL: I'm really thirsty. I used to dehydrate as a kid. One time I got so bad my piss came out like snot-

RABIN: I'll get your fuckin' coffee.

VERBAL: I told the D.A. everything I know.

KUJAN: According to your statement you are a short-con operator. Run of the mill scams.

VERBAL: That's been suppressed. Anything in there is inadmissible.

KUJAN: Oh, I know. Sweet deal you have. Totalimmunity .

VERBAL: Well I do have the weapons charge. I'm looking at six whole months hard time.

KUJAN: You know a dealer named Ruby Deemer, Verbal?

VERBAL: You know a religious guy named John Paul?

KUJAN: You know Ruby is in Attica?

VERBAL: He didn't have my lawyer.

KUJAN: I know Ruby. He's very big on respect. Likes me very much. Now I know your testimony was sealed. Ruby is well connected. He still has people running errands for him. What do you think he'd say if he found out you dropped his name to the D.A.?

VERBAL: There's nothing in there about Ruby.

KUJAN: I'll be sure to mention that to him. The first thing I learned on the job, know what it was? How to spot a murderer. Let's say you arrest three guys for the same killing. Put them all in jail overnight. The next morning, whoever is sleeping is your man. If you're guilty, you know you're caught, you get some rest - let your guard down, you follow?


KUJAN: I'll get right to the point. I'm smarter than you. I'll find out what I want to know and I'll get it from you whether you like it or not.

VERBAL: Fenster and McManus had a cagey proposition. A fast jump, high risk, long money. We all knew it could be done. The way I figured, to do it wrong meant killing. To do it right meant five men. Five men meant Keaton. Keaton took convincing.

VERBAL: New York's finest Taxi Service was not your normal taxi service. It was a ring of corrupt cops in the N.Y.P.D. that ran a high-profit racket, driving smugglers and drug dealers all over the city. For a few hundred dollars a mile, you got your own black and white and a police escort. They even had their own business cards. After a while, somebody started asking questions and the taxi service shut down. Ever since then, Internal Affairs had been waiting to catch them in the act. And that was how we started. McManus came to us with the job; Fenster got the vans; Hockney supplied the hardware; I came through with how to do it so no one got killed - but Keaton - Keaton put on the finishing touch. A little "Fuck you" from the five of us to the N.Y.P.D.

VERBAL: The papers got Keaton's call that day and were on the scene before the cops were. Strausz and Rizzi were indicted three days later. Within a few weeks, fifty more cops went down with them. Everybody got it right in the ass, from the chief on down. It was beautiful.

MCMCANUS: To Mr Verbal, the man with the plan

KUJAN: Let me tell you something. I know Dean Keaton. I've been investigating him for the past three years. The guy I know is a cold-blooded bastard. IAD indicted him for three counts of murder before he was kicked off the force, so don't sell me the hooker with the heart of gold.

VERBAL: You got him all wrong.

KUJAN: Do I? Keaton was under indictment a total of seven times when he was on the force. In every case, witnesses either reversed their testimony to the grand jury, or died before they could testify. When they finally did nail him for fraud, he spent five years in Sing Sing. He killed three prisoners inside. Of course, I can't prove this. But I can't prove the best part either. Dean Keaton was dead. Did you know that? He died in a fire two years ago during an investigation into the murder of a witness who was going to testify against him. Two people saw Keaton enter a warehouse he owned just before it went up. They said he had gone in to check a leaking gas main. It blew up and took all of Dean Keaton with it. Within three months of the explosion, the two witnesses, they were dead. One killed himself in his car, the other fell down an open elevator shaft. Six weeks ago I get an anonymous call telling me I can find Keaton eating at Mondino's with his lawyer, and there he is. Now because he never profited from his alleged death and because someone else was convicted for the murder we tried to pin on Keaton, we had to let him go. He was dead just long enough for a murder rap to blow over. And then he had lunch.

VERBAL: He wasn't behind anything. It was the lawyer.

KUJAN: What lawyer?

KUJAN: What lawyer, Verbal?

VERBAL: You know back when I was in that barber shop quartet in Skokie, Illinois -


VERBAL: The D.A. gave me immunity.

KUJAN: Not from me You've got no immunity from me, you piece of shit. Every criminal I have put in prison, every cop who owes me a favour, every creeping scumbag that works the street for a living, will know the name of Verbal Kint. Now you talk to me, or that precious immunity they've seen so fit to grant you won't be worth the paper the contract put out on your life is printed on.

VERBAL: There was a lawyer. Kobayashi.

KUJAN: Is he the one that killed Keaton?

VERBAL: No. But I'm sure Keaton's dead.

KUJAN: Convince me. Tell me every last detail.

BODI: He needs guarantees. He says... his life is in danger... He has seen the Devil... looked him in the eye.

METZHEISER: I'll be on my way.

BAER: Tell him to tell this man what he was telling me before. Who is the Devil? Who did he see?

KOVASH: Keyser Soze

BODI: He says he saw him in the harbour. He was shooting... Killing... Killing many men.

METZHEISER: Did he say Keyser Soze? He saw Keyser Soze?

VERBAL: We arrived in Los Angeles and met McManus' fence, Redfoot. He had a good reputation. Seemed like a good guy – still, we should have known better.

REDFOOT: You guys interested in any more work?

McMANUS: We're always looking for extra work -

KEATON: We're on vacation.

REDFOOT: That's too bad. I've got a ton of work and I don't have any good people. Not like you guys.

McMANUS: What's the job?

REDFOOT: There's this jeweller out of Texas named Saul. He rents a suite in some downtown hotel, does free appraisals for people. Sometimes he buys, sometimes he doesn't. Anyway, word is he carries around a lot of cash. So I figure, I keep the merchandise, you keep the green. Simple.

HOCKNEY: What about security?

REDFOOT: Couple of bodyguards. Nothing you couldn't handle.

McMANUS: Give me time to check it out?

REDFOOT: I'd expect nothing less from you, man.

McMANUS: What am I supposed to do with that?

REDFOOT: I don't know, feed it to the gimp, ease his pain. I don't know what that is.

KEATON: What do you mean you don't know?

REDFOOT: I don't know. I got thrown this job by some lawyer.

KEATON: Yeah? Who?

REDFOOT: I don't know, some Limey. He's a middleman for somebody, OK? He doesn't say, I don't ask.

McMANUS: You're fuckin' full of shit

REDFOOT: Fuck you.

McMANUS: Fuck you.

KEATON: Listen to me. We want to meet him, OK?

REDFOOT: That's funny. Called me last night, says he wants to meet you guys.

KEATON: OK. We'll meet him.

BAER: They tell me you got the cripple from New York in there. He mention Keyser Soze?

KUJAN: Who ?

BAER: Bear with me here...

KUJAN: Who is Keyser Soze?


KOBAYASHI: Mr Hockney, do stay. Mr Keaton. Mr. Fenster I recognize from his mug shots, as well as Mr. McManus. I can only assume that you are Mr. Kint, the gentleman who disposed of Saul Berg. My employer sends his gratitude. A most unexpected benefit. I am Mr Kobayashi. I have been asked by my employer to bring a proposal to you gentlemen.

KEATON: What do you want?

KOBAYASHI: My employer requires your services gentlemen. One job. One day's work. Very dangerous. He don't expect all of you to live, but those who do will have ninety-one million dollars to divide between you in any way you see fit.

KEATON: Who's your boss?

KOBAYASHI: I work for Keyser Soze.

VERBAL: Who's Keyser Soze?

KOBAYASHI: Judging by the sudden change in mood, I am sure the rest of your associates can tell you, Mr. Kint. I have come with an offer directly from Mr. Soze. An order actually.

KEATON: An order.

KOBAYASHI: In 1981, Mr. Keaton, you participated in the hijacking of a truck in Buffalo, New York. The cargo was raw steel. Steel that belonged to Mr. Soze and was destined for Pakistan to be used in a nuclear reactor. A most profitable violation of U.N. Regulations. You had no way of knowing this Mr Keaton, because the man shipping the steel was working for Mr. Soze without his knowledge. Earlier this year Mr. Fenster and Mr. McManus hijacked a two-prop cargo flight out of Newark airport. The plane was carrying gold and platinum wiring. Also set for Pakistan. Two months ago, Mr. Hockney stole a truck carrying gun parts through Queens - guns which were set to be destroyed by the state of New York. They were to be "lost" in a weigh station and routed to Belfast. Again, Mr. Soze using pawns who had no knowledge. Which brings us to Mr. Kint. Nine months ago, one of Mr. Soze's less than intelligent couriers was taken in a complicated confidence scam. By a cripple. He was relieved of sixty-two thousand dollars. Now - It has taken us some time to find you. Our intention was to approach you after your apprehension in New York.

KEATON: You set up the line-up.

KOBAYASHI: Yes. You were not to be released until I came to see you. It seems Mr. Keaton's attorney, Ms. Finneran, was a little too… effective, in expediting his release. Holding the rest of you became a moot point.

KEATON: What about Redfoot?

KOBAYASHI: Mr. Redfoot knew nothing. Mr. Soze rarely works with the same people for very long, and they never know who they're working for. One cannot be betrayed if one has no people.

FENSTER: So why tell us?

KOBAYASHI: Because you have stolen from Mr. Soze, Mr Fenster. All of you. That you did not know you stole from him is the only reason you are still alive, but he feels you owe him. You will repay your debt.

KOBAYASHI: The offer is this, gentlemen. Mr. Soze's primary interest, as I am sure you all know, is narcotics. He's been - competing shall we say, with a group of Argentineans for several years. Competing with Mr. Soze has taken its toll. These Argentineans are negotiating the sale of ninety-one million dollars in cocaine in three days' time. Needless to say, this purchase will revitalize the diminishing strength of their organization. Mr. Soze wants you to stop the deal. If you choose, you may wait until the buy. Whatever money changes hands is yours. The transaction will take place on a boat in San Pedro. Mr. Soze wants you to get to the boat and destroy the cocaine on board. Then you are free of your obligation to Mr. Soze.

HOCKNEY: They fucking know everything

KEATON: There is no Keyser Soze

VERBAL: Who is Keyser Soze?

VERBAL: He is supposed to be Turkish. Some say his father was German. Nobody believed he was real. Nobody ever saw him or knew anybody that ever worked directly for him, but to hear Kobayashi tell it, anybody could have worked for Soze. You never knew. That was his power. The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. One story the guys told me - the story I believe - was from his days in Turkey. There was a petty gang of Hungarians that wanted their own mob. They realized that to be in power you didn't need guns or money or even numbers. You just needed the will to do what the other guy wouldn't. After a while they come to power, and then they come after Soze He was small time then, just running dope, they say... They come to his home in the afternoon, looking for his business. They find his wife and kids in the house and decide to wait for Soze. He comes home to his wife raped and his children screaming. The Hungarians knew Soze was tough, so they let him know they meant business. They tell him they want his territory -all his business. Soze looks over the faces of his family... Then he showed these men of will what will really was. He tells him he would rather see his family dead than live another day after this. He lets the last Hungarian go, and he goes running. He waits until his wife and kids are in the ground and he goes after the rest of the mob. He kills their kids, he kills their wives, he kills their parents and their parents' friends. He burns down the houses they live in and the stores they work in, he kills people that owe them money. And like that - he was gone. Underground, no one has ever seen him again. He becomes a myth, a spook story that criminals tell their kids at night. Rat on your pop, and Keyser Soze will get you. And nobody really ever believes.

KUJAN: Do you believe in him, Verbal?

VERBAL: Keaton always said: "I don't believe in God, but I'm afraid of him." Well I believe in God, and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Soze

KUJAN: And this is why you never told the D.A.

VERBAL: You tell me, Agent Kujan. If I told you the Loch Ness Monster hired me to hit the harbour, what would you say?

KUJAN: Turn state's evidence. Take the stand on this and we'll hear it out.

VERBAL: I've got immunity now. What can you possibly offer me?

KUJAN: If there is a Keyser Soze he'll be looking for you.

VERBAL: Where's your head, Agent Kujan? Where do you think the pressure's coming from? Keyser Soze - or whatever you want to call him - knows where I am right now. He's got the front burner under your ass to let me go so he can scoop me up ten minutes later. Immunity was just to deal with you assholes. I got a whole new problem when I post bail.

KUJAN: So why play into his hands? We can protect you.

VERBAL: Gee, thanks, Dave. Bang-up job so far. Extortion, coercion. You'll pardon me if I ask you to kiss my pucker. The same fuckers that rounded us up and sank us into this mess are telling me they'll bail me out? Fuck you. You think you can catch Keyser Soze? You think a guy like that comes this close to getting fingered and sticks his head out? If he comes up for anything, it will be to get rid of me. After that, my guess is you'll never hear from him again.

KEATON: IT'S NOT PAYBACK. I don't answer to you. It's precaution. You want payback? You want to run? I don't care. I'm going to finish this thing. Not for Fenster, not for anybody else, but for me. This Kobayashi cocksucker isn't going to stand over me.

KOBAYASHI: Get your rest, Gentlemen. The boat will be ready for you on Friday. If I see you or your friends before then,Ms. Finneran will find herself the victim of a most gruesome violation before she dies. As will your father, Mr. Hockney. and your Uncle Randall in Arizona, Mr. Kint. I might only castrate Mr. McManus' nephew, David. Do I make myself clear?

KEATON: It's a logistical nightmare. Close quarters, no advance layout, ten men, maybe twenty.

HOCKNEY: Can we stealth these guys?

KEATON: No way. With all that coke, they'll be ready - which brings me to sunny spot number two. Even if one of us gets through and jacks the boat, we get nothing.

McMANUS: And if we wait for the money?

KEATON: Ten more men at least. In my opinion, it can't be done. Anyone who walks into this won't come out alive.

McMANUS: I'm for waiting for the money.

HOCKNEY: Me too.

VERBAL: Did you hear what he just said?

HOCKNEY: If I'm going in, I want a stake.

McMANUS: So do I.

VERBAL: I just can't believe we're just gonna walk into certain death.

McMANUS: One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Hah Oswald was a fag.

McMANUS: Old McDonald had a farm, ee-aye, ee-aye, oh. And on this farm he shot some guys. Ba-da-bip, ba-da-bing, bang-boom.

KUJAN: I'll tell you what I know. Stop me when it sounds familiar. There was no dope on that boat.


KUJAN: Don't shine me, Verbal. No more stalling. You know what I'm getting at.

VERBAL: I don't.


VERBAL: It was Keyser Soze, Agent Kujan. I mean the Devil himself. How do you shoot the Devil in the back? What if you miss?

KUJAN: There were no drugs on that boat. It was a hit. A suicide mission to whack out the one man that could finger Keyser Soze so Soze had a few thieves put to it. Men he knew he could march into certain death.

VERBAL: But how - wait. You're saying SOZE sent us to kill someone?

VERBAL: He wanted me to live.

KUJAN: Why did he want you to live? A one-time dirty cop without a loyalty in the world finds it in his heart to save a worthless rat-cripple? No, sir. Why?


KUJAN: I don't buy that reform story for a minute. And even if I did, I certainly don't believe he would send you to protect her. So why?

VERBAL: Because he was my friend.

KUJAN: No, Verbal. You weren't friends. Keaton didn't have friends. He saved you because he wanted it that way. It was his will.


KUJAN: Keaton was Keyser Soze


KUJAN: The kind of guy who could wrangle the wills of men like Hockney and McManus. The kind of man who could engineer a police line-up THE KIND OF MAN THAT COULD HAVE KILLED EDIE FINNERAN. They found her yesterday in a hotel in Pennsylvania. Shot twice in the head.

VERBAL: Edie...

KUJAN: He used all of you to get him on that boat. He couldn't get on alone and he had to pull the trigger himself to make sure he got his man. The one man that could identify him.

VERBAL: This is all bullshit.

KUJAN: He left you to stay behind and tell us he was dead. You saw him die, right? Or did you? You had to hide when the first police cars showed up. You heard the shot, just before the fire but you didn't see him die.

VERBAL: I knew him. He would never -

KUJAN: He programmed you to tell us just what he wanted you to. Customs has been investigating him for years. He knew we were close. You said it yourself. Where is the political pressure coming from? Why are you being protected? It's Keaton making sure you tell us what you're supposed to. Immunity is your reward.

VERBAL: BUT WHY ME? WHY NOT HOCKNEY, OR FENSTER, OR McMANUS:? I'm a cripple. I'm stupid. Why me?

KUJAN: Because you're a cripple, Verbal. Because you're stupid. Because you were weaker than them. If he's dead, Verbal - if what you say is true, then it won't matter. It was his idea to hit the Taxi Service in New York, wasn't it? Tell me the truth.

VERBAL: It was all Keaton. We followed him from the beginning. I didn't know. I saw him die. I believe he's dead. Christ

KUJAN: A rumour is not a rumour that doesn't die.