L.A. Confidential (1997) - full transcript

1950's Los Angeles is the seedy backdrop for this intricate noir-ish tale of police corruption and Hollywood sleaze. Three very different cops are all after the truth, each in their own style: Ed Exley, the golden boy of the police force, willing to do almost anything to get ahead, except sell out; Bud White, ready to break the rules to seek justice, but barely able to keep his raging violence under control; and Jack Vincennes, always looking for celebrity and a quick buck until his conscience drives him to join Exley and White down the one-way path to find the truth behind the dark world of L.A. crime.

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 workingman 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.

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.

Yep, you'd think this place
was the Garden of Eden.

But there's trouble
in paradise...

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
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.

What worked for Al Capone
would work for the Mickster.

Mr. Cohen, you're under arrest.
Non-payment of federal income tax.

But all is not well.

Sending Mickey up has created a vacuum,
and it's only a matter of time...

before someone with balls
of brass tries to fill it.

"Remember, dear readers,
you heard it here first."

Off the record, on the q. t...

"and very hush-hush."

You're like Santa Claus with that list,
Bud, except everyone on it's been naughty.

Guy's been out of Q two weeks.

Leave it for later.

We gotta pick up the booze
and get it to the station.

Hollywood, this is 6-Adam-7.

Have Central send a prowler
to 4216 Evergreen.

Parole violation. Assault
arising from a family dispute.

We won't be here, but
they'll see him.

Quit your whining.

Quit whining all the time.
It makes me sick.

Shut up.

- Who in the hell are you?
- The ghost of Christmas past.

- Dance with a man for a change.
- What are you, some kind of smart-ass?

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.

You know what they do to
kiddie rapers in Quentin.

You got someplace you can go?

Go get yourself fixed up.

Merry Christmas, huh?

- Merry Christmas, ma'am.
- Let's go, Bud.

The guys will be waiting.

What do you do on
"Badge of Honor", Jack?

I'm the, um, technical adviser.

I teach Brett Chase how to
walk and talk like a cop.

Brett Chase doesn't
walk and talk like you.

Well, that's because he's
the television version.

America isn't ready
for the real me.

Is it true you're the one
who arrested Bob Mitchum?


These "Badge of Honor"
guys like to pretend...

but being the real thing
must be a thrill.

Why don't you and I
go someplace quiet?

I'd love to give you the
lowdown on Mitchum.

- Big V. Jack Vincennes.
- Hey.

- May I have this dance?
- Of course.

Karen, this is Sid Hudgens
from Hush-Hush magazine.

- Hello, Karen.
- Hello, yourself.


What's that about?

We did a piece, "ingénue Dykes in
Hollywood." Her name got mentioned.

Hey, Jackie boy...

a friend just sold some
reefer to Matt Reynolds.

He's tripping the "Light
Fantastic" with Tammy Jordan.

Sorry, I lost you
for a second, Sid.

Contract players, Metro. You pinch
them, I do a nice feature next issue.

- Plus the usual 50 cash.
- No, I need another 50.

Two 20s for two patrolmen, and a
dime for the watch commander.

Jackie, it's Christmas.

No, it's not.

It's felony possession
of marijuana.

Actually, it's circulation
36,000 and climbing.

There's no telling where this is gonna go.
Radio, television.

Once you whet the public's appetite
for the truth, the sky's the limit.

Sergeant Ed Exley, son of the
legendary Preston Exley.

Must be a hard act to follow.

Why not make a mark somewhere else?
Why become a cop, Ed?

I like to help people.

We heard two officers were
assaulted this evening.

- What do you think about that?
- Goes with the job.

I took the report.
Luckily, they're okay.

Aren't you young to
be watch commander?

It's only tonight.

The married men have
Christmas Eve off.

- That's a good lead for the story.
- Sure.

Merry Christmas, captain.

- Captain Smith.
- Drop the formalities, Bobby.

- It's Christmas Eve. Call me Dudley.
- I came up with a title for the story.

I'm calling it "Silent
Night With the L.A.P.D."

That's grand.

Now, remember, Bobby,
that's "Smith." With an S.

- Thank you, gentlemen. Merry Christmas.
- Thank you.

Hold on there, lads.

- Merry Christmas.
- Merry Christmas to you.

I saw the test results on
the lieutenant's exam.

First out of 23.
What'll it be, then?

Patrol Division? Internal Affairs?

I was thinking Detective Bureau.

Edmund, you're a
political animal.

You have the eye for human
weakness, but not the stomach.

You're wrong, sir.

Would you be willing to plant evidence
on a suspect you knew to be guilty...

in order to ensure
an indictment?

- We've been over this.
- Yes or no?


Would you beat a confession out of
a suspect you knew to be guilty?


Would you shoot a hardened
criminal in the back...

in order to offset the
chance that some lawyer...?


Then for the love of God,
don't be a detective.

Stick to assignments where you
don't have to make those choices.

Dudley, I know you mean well...

but I don't need to do it the
way you did, or my father.

At least get rid of the glasses.

I can't think of a man in
the bureau who wears them.

If I get held up, you
guys better be here.

Hi, Nick. I need a delivery.

A case each of gin, rum, Scotch.

That sounds like a hell of a party.
Be right with you.

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you, officer.

That obvious, huh?

It's practically stamped
on your forehead.

There you go, White.

See what he wants, Buzz.


Get lost, why don't you?

Down. Get your
fucking head down.

I got a license for that.

Cut me some slack. I
used to be a cop.

"Leland Meeks."
Never heard of you.

They call me Buzz.

I don't give a rat's ass what they
call you. Keep your head down.

And stay there, Buzz.

- You okay?
- She's fine.

I'm not asking you, sir.

- Somebody hit you?
- It's not what you think.

What is it, then?

You got the wrong idea, mister.
I'm fine.

But it's nice to know you care.

Drive safely.

What's going on?

- You know him?
- Yeah, I've seen him around.

He used to be a cop.

They're sitting in the dark,
goofing on a Christmas tree.

All right. Put your
camera right there.

When I walk out, I'll stop here. Get
the movie premiere in the background.

I like it. I like it. "The
Movie Premiere Pot Bust."

When I walk out, I don't want
those floodlights in my eyes.

Big V, consider it done.
You hear that, Chip?

All right, come on. Get down.

Go. Pop them.

Freeze. Police.

Hold it. Come on.
Come on, let's go.

I got my family coming...

- it'll be a nice Christmas gift.
- Hi, Tammy. Hi, Matt.

Right over here.

- Just turn.
- Hold it. Got it.

- "The Movie Premiere Pot Bust."
- Take them in. I'll get the evidence.

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 crime-stopper
Jack Vincennes...

scourge of grasshoppers and
dope fiends everywhere.

You like it, Jackie boy?

Yeah, subtle.

What took you?

My partner stopped to help
a damsel in distress.

His priorities are
all screwed up.

Up to your old
tricks again, Bud?


Hollywood Jack, what brings you
to our humble station house?

- How are you?
- What are you doing here?

You know me. Keeping the
streets safe, boys.

Take these two, get them
dressed and book them.

- The party's upstairs.
- Okay, I'll be right up. Exley.

What's that for?

Well, you are watch commander
tonight, aren't you?

Yeah. So?

A gratuity from Hush-Hush magazine.
Buy yourself a new pair of loafers.

No, thanks, Jack. You
keep your payoff.

I'm not interested.

- What the hell's this?
- Six spics.

Mexicans, sir. The ones who
assaulted Brown and Helenowski.

I heard Helenowski lost six pints
of blood and Brown's in a coma.

They're home with bruises.

- That's not what I heard.
- Get these men into the lockup.

Stens, you guys hear what those taco
benders did to Helenowski and Brown?

Helenowski lost an eye, and they're
reading Brown his last rites.

That ought to make for a very merry
Christmas for Helenowski and Brown.

Hey, guys. Guys. They
brought the Mexicans in.

They're downstairs.

- Let's do it.
- Come on, guys. Let's get them.

Stensland, the party's upstairs.

This doesn't concern you.

Come on, guys. Haven't
you got work to do?

Go back to the party.

- Come on, it's Christmas. Help me out.
- Out of the way. Move it.

- I just got a few more questions.
- You don't all have to be down here.


Hey, White? You better put a leash on
your partner before he kills somebody.

Teach him a lesson.
Get him, Stens.

This is for ours, Pancho.

Get him, Stens.

Let me through.

No. He didn't do nothing.

What are you looking at?
What are you looking at?

- Tell that Mexican to shut up.
- Move. Move.

You're sick.


- Stens. Hey. Hey. Come on. Come on.
- Don't break it up.

Get back. Get back.

- Yeah, and fuck your mother.
- Fuck you.

- Come on!
- Stop, officer. That's an order.


Yeah, all right.

- You're all going in my report.
- Let's go, Exley.

"Bloody Christmas."

The press love to label.

You should know this is
bigger than the police board.

The grand jury's convening.
Indictments may be handed down.

- Will you testify?
- No, sir. I won't.

District Attorney Loew?

You and Officer Stensland brought
the liquor to the station.

Stensland was already drunk.

Do you see how appearing as a
voluntary witness against him...

could offset the damage
you've done to yourself?

Sir, I won't testify against
my partner or anyone else.

This man is a disgrace.

Your badge and gun, officer.
You're suspended from duty.



We need police witnesses to offset
the damage done to the department.

- I'm asking you...
- Justice has to be served.

Of course I'll testify.

I'm glad you feel that way, Edmund.
Most of the men don't.

They think silence and
integrity are the same thing.

Not exactly the image of the new L.A.P.D.
we're trying to create.

Welcome to Los Angeles,
the city of the future.

- May I make a suggestion, sir?
- By all means.

The public will expect the
department to protect its own...

and sweep this under the carpet.

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,
your new L.A.P.D...

will not tolerate officers who
think they're above the law.

Dick Stensland is an
embarrassment as a policeman.

He's had rotten fitness reports
from every CO he's served under...

but Bud White is a
valuable officer.

White's a mindless thug.

No, Edmund.

He's just a man who can answer "yes"
to those questions I've asked you.

The department and the
public need role models.

Clean-cut, forthright men
the public can admire.

Sergeant, I'll promote you...

to lieutenant,
effective immediately.

Detective lieutenant.

Ed, you're 30.

Your father didn't make
lieutenant until he was 33.

I know that, sir.

I also know when he made
lieutenant, it was as a detective.

Before we start polishing
our laurels...

it'd look better if we had
a corroborative witness.

That won't be easy to come by.
The men hate a stool pigeon.

Jack Vincennes.

He hit one of the Mexicans
and saw the whole thing.

A veteran like Vincennes might be
willing to admit his own culpability...

but he'd never rat out
a fellow officer.

Jack's the technical adviser
on "Badge of Honor".

He lives for it.

That's the way to get to him.

I'd like you to observe, Ed.

Call Sergeant Vincennes.

Bright kid.

You may well reap
the benefit, Ed...

but are you prepared to be
despised in the department?

Yes, sir, I am.

So be it.

Well, sergeant, we'll
get right to it.

Nine civilian witnesses have identified
you as hitting Ezekiel Garcia.

But we have a stellar witness
who will name names...

and also testify that you hit
back only after being hit.

- And?
- And you will testify against three officers...

who have already earned
their pension...

and plead ignorance to
questions at the other men.

No, thanks. I'm not a snitch.

I'll guarantee you a slap on the
wrist, a brief suspension...

followed by a temporary transfer
from Narcotics to Vice.

When you transfer out of Vice,
you'll be back on the show.

The show?

"Badge of Honor", Vincennes.

We need to tone down
your profile for a bit.


I doubt you've ever taken a stupid breath.
Don't start now.

Okay, I'll do it.

The grand jury will hear
your testimony tomorrow.

Dismissed, Vincennes.

And so it goes...

detective lieutenant.

Ace them at the grand
jury tomorrow, son.

Wear a smart-looking
suit and ace them.

And, Ed, lose the glasses.

So you're the stellar witness.

I should have known. What's
the chief throwing you?

- Throwing me?
- Yeah, Exley, what's the payoff?

You're the payoff expert.

I'm just doing my duty.

Come on, you're playing an angle
here, college boy, right?

You're getting something so you
don't have to hobnob with cops...

who are gonna hate
you for snitching.

Well, if they're making
you detective, watch out.

Some bureau guys are
gonna burn in this...

and you're gonna work
with friends of theirs.

What about you?

I'm snitching three old-timers who'll
be fishing in Oregon next week.

Next to you, I'm clean...

and smart.

Edmund J. Exley to chambers.

And remember...

Bud White will fuck you for this if
it takes him the rest of his life.

Captain, what do you want?

Call me Dudley.

Dudley, what do you want?

Look, 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 adjunct to the job.

And I'm most impressed with your
punishment of women-beaters.

Do you hate them, Wendell?

What do you want?

They're yours.

Go ahead, take them.

There's no goddamn bill on me?

- Four witnesses recanted their testimony.
- Why?

- They had a change of heart.
- What about Stensland?

Your partner's through.

Departmental scapegoat
on the chief's orders.

A year from his pension.


Exley made his play and
got what he wanted.

As a politician, he
exceeds even myself.

The department needs
smart men like Exley...

and direct men like you.

Look, lad, I need you for an assignment
the chief's given me the go-ahead on.

A duty few men are fit for,
but you were born for.

You'd be working out of
Homicide down at City Hall.


Working cases?

Your talents lie
elsewhere, Wendell.

It's a muscle job.

You'll do as I say and ask no questions.
Do you follow my drift?

In Technicolor, sir.

Meet Tony Brancato and
Anthony Trombino...

two rising lieutenants in
the Mickey Cohen rackets.

With the dapper little
gent in prison...

who knows how far they'll go?
The sky's the limit.

Oh, well.

Meet Deuce Perkins, Mickey
Cohen's narcotics lieutenant.

Could he be behind the hits?

Is he consolidating
organized-crime power?

I suppose not.

One thing's for sure:

Two-man triggers are punching the
tickets on the Mickster's muscle.

Meanwhile, rumor has
it the L.A.P.D...

has set up a not-so-welcome wagon to
dishearten out-of-town criminal element...

from filling the void
left by Mickey's absence.

When I know more, dear
readers, so will you.

Off the record, on the q. t...

and very hush-hush.

With Mickey Cohen in prison, Los
Angeles is organized-crime free.

The chief wants to
keep it that way.

Now, in Cleveland, you're an
organized-crime associate...

in desperate needs of re-education
in the ways of polite society.

I hear things.

Like those two-man
shooter teams.

Bang, bang. They're eighty-sixing Cohen's
lieutenants. Tell me, what do you want?

We want you to go home.

Picture-book smut, gentlemen.

There's been a bunch of this found
at collateral crime scenes lately.

Quality ranges from piss-poor
to very well done.

- Look who's back from suspension.
- Here, Jack.

We're honored, Sergeant Jack.

Ah, look at that. The great
jerk-off case of 1953.

There someplace you'd
rather be, Vincennes?

Yeah, working Narcotics,
looking for Cohen's missing H.

Yeah, finding 25 pounds of heroin
would get you plenty of ink.

Maybe you should've thought of
that before "Bloody Christmas."


Make a major case, sergeant.

It's the only way you're
getting out of here.

Dismissed, gentlemen.

Go get the facts, Jack.

Just the facts.

Whatever you desire.

Hi. I'd like to get a
delivery to Beverly Hills.

I don't know you.

Well, a friend just gave me this number
and I just wanted to find out if...

Ginger, you grab a reverse directory
and shag a name and address for me?

Crestview 2239.

Hush-Hush, off the
record, on the q.t.

Sid, it's Vincennes.

Jackie! Hey, you back on Narco?
I need some good copy.

No, but I do have something
going with Vice.

Something juicy for the Sidster?

Tracking porn. Arty,
high-class stuff.

What do you know about Fleur-de-Lis?
Slogan's "Whatever you desire."

No, I've heard bupkes.

Get me some Narco skinny. I want
to do an all-hophead issue.

Shvartze jazz musicians and movie stars.
You like it?

Yeah, I'll talk to you later, Sid.
What do you got?

- Number's not assigned, sergeant.
- Thanks, Ginger.

A bootleg.


Take it easy.

Tough break, Stens.

Good man. We're gonna
miss you around here.

Raw deal, Stensland.

Here comes the snitch.

Sorry about that, lieutenant.

Stay out of trouble, Bud.

I got a couple hours.
I'll buy you a drink.

- Rain check. No, I got a hot date.
- Come on.

Yeah? Who is she and what
did you arrest her for?

It's confidential.

Like that magazine that
Vincennes scams for. Hush-Hush.

I'll see you later in the week.

We'll do the town, on me.

Yeah. I'll bring my
wallet just in case.

- See you tomorrow.
- Hang on a minute.

I'll walk down with you.

Punk kid. Who the hell
is he trying to impress?

- Yeah, I wonder.
- Got himself a real career going.

Sergeant Williams,
pick up, please.

Sergeant Williams?

Is there anybody up
there in Homicide?

Anybody there?

Lieutenant Exley.

You've got a homicide downtown.

- The Nite Owl Coffee Shop.
- I got it. It's mine.

Sir, at least one person's dead.
I stopped for coffee.

No one comes through the front door.

Yes, sir.

I want barricades at both ends
of the street. Make sure...

Sir? I took the call.
It's my case.

You don't want it, Edmund,
and you can't have it.

- I took the call.
- It's mine.

I'll make you my

Captain Smith?
Over here, please.

- The back door.
- Nobody else inside.

Looks like the cook drew a
handgun and set it off.

The rest were killed
in the men's room.


we got a total of 15 spent
12-gauge Remington shotgun shells.

I'm betting three men, five-shot capacity
pumps, all of them emptying once.

Excuse me, sir, we got an
ID on one of the victims.

It's Dick Stensland.

When I first saw her, I thought
she was Rita Hayworth.

Yeah, me too.

Hell of a way to avoid
a prison sentence.

You tell me what happened?

Appears three men held
up a coffee shop.

The guy at the register pulled
a .38, so they killed him.

Then they took everyone else
out back and killed them too.

Lieutenant, we're ready
with that Nite Owl ID.

Is this your daughter, Mrs.

I don't know.

We know this is difficult.
Just take your time.

It seems like my Susan...

but my Susan was a
blond, not a redhead.

When was the last
time you saw her?

Just before Christmas.

We'd fought. I didn't
like her boyfriend.

Mrs. Lefferts, does your daughter have
any distinguishing characteristics?

You got the wrong idea, mister.
I'm fine.

She has a birthmark on her hip.

It's her.

My baby.

I'm sorry, Mrs. Lefferts.

Who's in charge of
this investigation?

Captain Smith and myself. Why?

"The Nite Owl Massacre."

Hyperbole aside...

this is a heinous crime that
requires swift resolution.

Six victims.

One of them one of our own.
Dick Stensland.

As it happens, he was a Nite Owl regular,
in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Robbery is the likely motive.

We have rubber-glove
smears on the register...

and preliminary forensics strongly
tend towards a trio of shooters.

We do have one hot
lead, so listen well.

Three Negro juveniles...

were seen discharging shotguns
last night in Griffith Park.

A park ranger ID'd them as driving
a 1948 to 1950 Mercury coupe...

maroon in color.

An hour ago, a canvassing crew
turned up a news vendor...

who saw a maroon Merc parked across
from the Nite Owl around 1 a.m.

DMV has come up with a
registration list of Merc coupes.

Forty-eight two-man teams will
shake three names apiece.

Interrogations will be led
by Lieutenant Edmund Exley.

Enough on that.

Gentlemen, just go out and get them.
Use all necessary force.

The people of Los
Angeles demand it.


Why not just put a
bounty on them?

You ready to roll?

Take them. I got
something I gotta do.

- What if one of these names...?
- Get somebody else.

Well, I got our
assignments, Big V.

We go by this list, we got zero
chance of making this collar.

I got a guy who knows what's
going on south of Jefferson.

- He can put us at fifty-fifty.
- Jack, what are you doing?

Same sort of thing that got
you in trouble last time.

I'll take those odds.

We got it from here.

Between the two of you, you
should bring a photographer.

I need an address on a customer of yours.
Her name is Lynn.

- That's all I got to go on?
- Yeah.

I think you already know who
I mean, so cough it up.

There's a billing address
and a delivery address.

Are you Pierce Patchett?

I am.

Are you soliciting for police charities?
Last time you called at my office.

Go on down to the driveway.
We'll talk there.

What can I do for you?

- Where were you last night?
- I was here hosting a party.

- Tell me about Dick Stensland.
- I don't know him, Mr ...?

Officer White.

Sue Lefferts? You know her?

You know I do. You
saw me with her.

How did you find me?

Nick's Liquor. This is where
Lynn Bracken's booze bills go.

Of course.

Sue Lefferts died
at the Nite Owl.

I'm investigating.

- Everything all right?
- Fine, Phillip. Thank you.

What happened to the
other guy, Buzz?

Buzz Meeks no longer
works for me.

Lefferts looked beat-up Christmas
Eve but didn't act it.

I think she'd been hit in the face
with a tennis racket. She is...

Was a big doubles fan.

You're a known associate of a
woman killed in a mass murder.

Wanna go downtown and
discuss this officially?

Is that what this is? Official?

Somehow I have the feeling this is
more personal with you, Mr. White.

All right, then...

are you concerned about criminal matters
peripheral to the Nite Owl murders?

- Not at the moment.
- You wouldn't feel obligated to report them?

Why were Lefferts' eyes black?

I needed a Rita Hayworth to
fill out my little studio.

What little studio?

Well, there's Gardner,
Russell, Monroe, Turner...

Lynn Bracken is
my Veronica Lake.

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.

That's why her mother
couldn't ID her.

Jesus fucking Christ.

No, Mr. White, Pierce
Morehouse Patchett.

I sense you're on your best behavior,
but that's all I'm gonna tell you.

If you persist, I'll meet
you with my attorney.

Now, would you like
Lynn Bracken's address?

I got her address.

Find Susan's killer, Mr. White.

I'll give you a handsome reward.

Whatever you desire.

Come on. I know
you're not asleep.

You talking to me?
What do you want?

My 5 bucks.

It was the only one I had.

Right now?

Hey, doll face, tell
him to leave us alone.

I understand. Okay, fine.

Oh, baby...

bad news.

You have to go.


Something very important has
come up and you have to go...

but I'll make it
up to you, okay?

I will, I promise. Excuse me.

Is it the cops?

Miss Bracken, I'm Officer White.

I've been expecting you,
just not this soon.

Pierce called. He told
me what happened to Sue.

Everything all right, doll?
Want me to get rid of him?

Hit the road, pal.

Maybe I will...

maybe I won't.

L.A.P.D., shit-bird. Get out of here or
I'll call your wife to come get you.

- Officer.
- Councilman.

- Would you care for a drink?
- Yeah, Scotch straight.

I was friendly with Sue Lefferts,
but we weren't friends.

You know what I mean?

You sorry she's dead?

Of course I am.

What kind of question is that?

Do you know why Pierce
is humoring you?

Use words like that,
you might make me mad.

- But do you know?
- Yeah, I know.

Patchett's running whores cut
to look like movie stars.

And judging by his address, probably
something bigger on the side.

He doesn't want any attention.

That's right. Our motives are
selfish, so we're cooperating.

So cooperate. Why was Susan
Lefferts at the Nite Owl?

I don't know. I never heard
of the Nite Owl till today.

- How did she meet Patchett?
- Pierce meets people.

Sue came on a bus with dreams of Hollywood
and this is how they turned out.

Thanks to Pierce, we still
get to act a little.

Tell me about Pierce.

He's waiting for you
to mention money.

- You want some advice, Miss Bracken?
- It's Lynn.

Miss Bracken, don't ever try to
fucking bribe me or threaten me...

or I'll have you and Patchett
in shit up to your ears.

I remember you from
Christmas Eve.

You have a thing for helping
women, don't you, Officer White?

Maybe I'm just fucking curious.

- You say "fuck" a lot.
- You fuck for money.

There's blood on your shirt. Is
that an integral part of your job?

- Yeah.
- Do you enjoy it?

- When they deserve it.
- Did they deserve it today?

I'm not sure.

- But you did it anyway.
- Yeah.

Just like the half-dozen
guys you screwed today.

Well, actually, it was only two.

You're different, Officer White.

You're the first man in five years who
didn't tell me I look like Veronica Lake.

You look better
than Veronica Lake.

Pierce Patchett?

He takes a cut of our earnings
and invests it for us.

He doesn't let us use narcotics
and he doesn't abuse us.

Can your policeman's mentality
grasp those contradictions?

He had you cut to look
like Veronica Lake.


I'm really a brunette,
but the rest is me.

And that's all the news
that's fit to print.

It was nice meeting
you, officer.

- I'd like to see you again.
- You asking for a date, or an appointment?

I don't know.

- For a date, I should know your first name.
- Forget I asked.

It was a mistake.

Leonard Bidwell?

Come on down here
and talk to us.

- How's the left these days?
- What's it to you?

Oh, I saw you fight Kid Gavilan.
I like your style.

What do you want, Mr. Policeman?

You got a brother in Folsom.
I know, I put him there.

Until 19-fucking-70.

How'd you like to make it 1960?

I know the judge, and
Lieutenant Exley here...

is very good friends
with the DA.


We're looking for three colored
guys who like to pop off shotguns.

One owns a maroon Mercury coupe.

- Wanna give me a snitch jacket?
- Wanna buy your brother 10 years?

- It was 10 years, right?
- Yeah, 10 years.

You don't have to say anything,
just look at this list...

and point.

He's bad, so I'll just tell you.

Sugar Ray Collins.

Drives a maroon '49 coupe.

Beautiful ride.

Don't know about shotguns, but he
gets his thrills killing dogs.

He's righteous trash.

Look at that. It's five
minutes from here. Thanks.

So I'll hear from you, right?

- About my brother?
- Keep it up, Lenny. Up.

There it is. It's in the back.

- One of ours.
- Shit, somebody beat us here.

- Damn it.
- What?

- My glasses.
- You're kidding.

Well, just don't shoot me.

What are you guys doing here?

We were just in
the neighborhood.

What do you got?

Three 12-gauge pumps, an empty box
of double-aught buck, and some cash.

So long, Vice. "Badge
of Honor", here I come.

- Fuck you, Vincennes. This is our collar.
- Quiet.

I'm ranking officer here. We go as a team.
End of story.

Yeah, right.

- How many ways in?
- Only one. Up the stairs.

He's very serious.

- Police.
- Don't shoot.


- Don't move.
- Ace him, Jack.

- Shut up.
- Anxious, aren't you?

Don't kill them.

- Hey.
- Back, back, back.

- Man, get off me.
- Against the wall. Against the wall.

- Put your hands up.
- Get over there. Come on.

Now, shut up. Hands
behind your back.


how's it feel getting
out of the office?

This just came up
from Forensics.

"Burning clothes.

Casitas Youth Camp ..."

- it's crowded in here, White.
- These guys killed Stensland.

Ejection marks on the shells
from the suspects' shotguns...

are identical to the marks on the
shell casings at the Nite Owl.

I want confessions, Edmund.

A night's stewing ought
to have softened them up.

Oh, I'll break them, sir.

Are you sure Golden Boy
is up to the task, cap?

Oh, I think you'd be surprised
what the lad is capable of.

You're 22. Aren't you, Ray?

Did one of the officers
work you over?

- You're 22, right?
- Why do you keep asking that?

Twenty-two makes it a
gas-chamber bounce.

You should've pulled
this caper years ago.

Get life, do a little
Youth Authority jolt...

transfer to Folsom a big man.

- Get yourself a sissy...
- Hey, I don't truck with no sissies.

- Louis.
- What?

You did the Casitas
Youth Camp with Louis.

Why do you keep asking me about Louis?
His business is his business.

Sugar, Louis told me you
went sissy up at Casitas.

You couldn't do the time, so you got
a big white boy to look after you.

Said they called you "Sugar"
because you gave it out so sweet.

Louis gave it up at Casitas, man.
I was the boss jock in my dorm.

Louis was the sissy.

Louis gave it up for fucking candy bars.
He ain't got the sense of a goddamn dog.

- I heard you like to shoot dogs.
- Dogs got no reason to live.

- You feel the same way about people too?
- What you trying to say?

- We got the shotguns, Ray.
- I don't own no shotguns.

Why were you throwing
clothes in the incinerator?

Say what?

A neighbor said she saw you throwing
clothes in the backyard incinerator.

It doesn't look good.

I ain't got shit to say
till I see a judge.

Were you on hop? You were passed out
when we arrested you. You hopped up?

Ty and Louis fuck with
that shit, not me.

Where do they get their stuff?

- Man...
- Come on.

Give me one to feed the DA.
It'll make me look good...

and I'll say Sugar Ray's not a
punk like his sissy partners.

All right, Raymond.

Tell me one more thing
about Jones and Fontaine.

Where do they get drugs?

Roland Navarette.

He runs a hole-up
on Bunker Hill.

And he sells red devils.

- Exley's good, I'll give him that.
- I'm gonna take a break.

You know, Ray, I'm talking
about the gas chamber...

and you haven't even asked
me what this is about.

You got a big "guilty"
sign around your neck.

That was masterful, Edmund.
This one's ready to go.

Give Jones the newspaper.
I want him primed.

Take the cuffs off,
so he can read it.

Ray Collins just ratted you off.
Said the Nite Owl was your idea.

I think it was Ray's idea. You talk,
I think I can save your life.

Son, six people are dead, and
someone has to pay for it.

Now, it can be you,
or it can be Ray.

Louis, he called you queer.

- Said at Casitas, you took it up the ass.
- I didn't kill nobody!


you know what's gonna happen
to you if you don't talk.

You'll go to the gas chamber. So for
God's sake, admit what you did.

I didn't mean to hurt her.

- Maybe she's okay.
- Okay?

These people are all in the morgue.
They were dead when you left them.

I just wanted to lose my cherry.
She don't die, so I don't die.

She don't die, so I don't die.

Louis, who's the girl?
What's her name?

Who are you talking about?

Was she at the Nite Owl?

Louis, listen to me. Was
she at the Nite Owl?

- This newspaper shit ain't shit.
- Where's the girl?

Did you kill her?

You wanted Louis to lose his cherry.
That wasn't enough.

Things got out of hand.
You made her bleed.

She bled on your clothes,
so you burned the clothes.

Who told you that?

Now, listen to me.

If that girl is alive, she's
the only chance you've got.

- I think she's alive.
- You think? Then where is she now?

Did you leave her someplace?
Sell her out?

- Tell me where she is.
- Move.

What are you doing, man? Don't.


- One in six. Where's the girl?
- White, I have this under control.

- Put the weapon down.
- Where is the girl?

- Sylvester.
- What?

Sylvester Fitch, 109 Avalon...

brown corner house, upstairs.

- Captain, just give me one minute.
- You got it.

Nobody moves. The rest of
us are going in the front.

Stay put until I give the word.

He went around back, sir.

Miss, I'm Lieutenant Exley.
I'm sorry to ask you this.

- I need to know what time they left you.
- Get her to the hospital. Excuse me.

Give your career a rest.

Leave her alone.

A naked guy with a gun? You
expect anyone to believe that?

Get the fuck away from me.

- How's it gonna look in your report?
- It'll look like justice.

That's what the man got.

You don't know the
meaning of the word.

Yeah? Well, you think it means
getting your picture in the paper.

Go after criminals for a
change, instead of cops.

Stensland got what he
deserved and so will you.

Whoa, whoa, whoa.

Take it easy. Come on, Bud.

Come on. Let it go.

It's best to stay away
when his blood is up.

His blood's always up.

You should stay away
from him altogether.

Raymond Collins, Ty Jones
and Louis Fontaine.

They are considered armed
and extremely dangerous.

Repeat. The Nite Owl
suspects have escaped.

How did they get out the window?

They jumped from
the second floor.

Girl made her statement.
Jigs left her at midnight.

Time to be at the Nite Owl by 1.

The question was where did they get
their drugs. What was the answer?

I haven't gotten that far yet.

"Roland Navarette, lives on
Bunker Hill, runs a hole-up..."

Anyone seen Jack Vincennes?

- Is something up, lieutenant?
- I need some backup. Come on.

- What?
- Nothing. Let's go.

This should be it.


Nobody moves.

- Stay right there. You're under arrest.
- Don't shoot.

- Please don't shoot.
- Don't move. Don't move.

There he is. You did good, kid.

You should've seen the place. It
was a nightmare. Blood everywhere.

Who would have thought?
Shotgun Ed.

- Shotgun Ed.
- Somebody get him cleaned up.

Come on, kid.

Edmund J. Exley has amassed
a brilliant record...

in his seven years with the Los
Angeles Police Department.

Recently, he evinced spectacular
bravery in the line of duty.

It is our privilege to present
him with our highest honor:

The Medal of Valor.

- What kind of car was it?
- It was a Ford.

My husband always drove a Ford.
I know what they look like.

Excuse me, ma'am. Just the facts.
Light or dark?

Light. And that's really
all I remember, officer.

Thank you, ma'am.
You've been a big help.

Cut. That's a print.

- Hey, Big Jack.
- He's back.

Hey. Jack's back. Ha-ha.

Tell Mr. Patchett that I have no
intention of changing my vote.

It may surprise some that a man in office
would admit to making a mistake...

but after due consideration...

I am changing my position on
the matter before the council.

"Go west, America," was the
slogan of Manifest Destiny.

Today is that last step
westward with no stop signs...

no traffic signals, from downtown
to the beach in 20 minutes.

What were you gonna start with?



Go back to Jersey, sonny. This
is the City of the Angels...

and you haven't got any wings.

Nice to see you again.
Take care.

I wondered when you might knock
on my door again, Officer White.

It's Bud.


Why me?

I don't know.

This election...

is about the future of law
enforcement in Los Angeles.

City Councilman Rogers
represents that future.

So let's dig deep...

and let's get a moral man re-elected.
Ellis Loew would like a few words.

Thank you. Thank you, Brett Chase, the
very talented star of "Badge of Honor".

Let me tell you, I am so thrilled to be
here on the set of "Badge of Honor".

Big V. Jackie.

Good to see you back.

- How they hanging, Sid?
- Down around my ankles.

- You tight with the DA, Jackie?
- Oh, yeah. Yeah.

He tried to throw me off
the force last Christmas.

How about some
payback, big-time-?

Plus the usual $50 donation to the
Jack Vincennes retirement fund.

- Did you know the DA was a swish?
- No kidding.


Remember Matt Reynolds? Christmas Eve?
"The Movie Premiere Pot Bust"?

- He just got off the honor farm.
- What's he doing here?

Reynolds is acey-deucey,
not to mention broke.

I'm getting him to fuck
the DA for 100 bucks.

That's twice the 50 you got
for wrecking his career.

- Hey, Matt. Come here, come here.
- Jesus, don't bring him...

That's DA Loew right there.


You need a drink, kid?

- Yeah.
- Jack, look after him a minute.

Matt, this is Jack. No
secrets between me and him.

- How you doing?
- Oh, I'm okay. How are you?

I'm good. Yeah.

Have we, uh, met before?


- Was it at a party?
- Well, it was something like that.

Fleur-de-Lis party, right?



"Whatever you desire."

Dope, hookers that look
like movie stars...

- Pierce Patchett has it all.
- Ha-ha-ha.

Boy, you could say that again.

Pierce, he's not like regular guys.
I mean, I dig him, but...

you know, he, um, scares me too.

Really? How?

When I came out to L.A., this isn't
exactly where I saw myself ending up.

Yeah, well, get in line.

That's courage, kid. Drink up.

You know, I don't think
I should do this.

It's not like you
don't know how.

And Jack here's got connections
with "Badge of Honor".

You pull this off, there'll
be a part for you.

I smell a comeback,
don't you, Jack?

Go on. The DA's free. Go
introduce yourself. Go on.

Talk to him, Jack. Tell him
about the opening on the show.

Oh, yeah. I'm pretty sure I can
get you a part on this show.

But, uh, that's later on.

You know, tonight, just go on over
there and pretend it's an acting job.

- Like show biz.
- Acting, that's it.

- Right.
- Yeah.

- No one's gonna know about this, right?
- No.

It'll be our secret.

Okay. All right.

- Show biz.
- That's it. Go on.

Show biz. Man.

If Reynolds works his charms,
which I know he will...

they'll be at the Hollywood
Center Motel, Room 203.

Meet me there at midnight
for a photo shoot.

Maybe we can work in the
Hollywood sign this time.

What do you know about
Pierce Patchett?

Patchett? I know what you know.
He's very rich.

Just invested in freeway construction,
which is gonna make him richer.

Why do you ask?

I just keep hearing
rumors, you know.

High-class porn, drugs, hookers
that look like movie stars.

Ha. Patchett's what I call twilight.
He ain't queer and he ain't red.

He cannot help me in my quest
for prime "sinnuendo."

As though "Badge of Honor" would touch
that guy with a 10-foot pole...

after he's been Hush-Hush
cover boy twice in one year.

See you in a few hours, Sid.

Yeah, midnight. I guarantee all
kinds of illegal activity.

- Another, Jack?
- Yeah.



Come on, kid, you don't
have to do the...

Thank you for what
you did for me...

for killing those
animals who raped me.

Will you thank Officer
White for me, please?


Seeing him come through the door is
about the only thing I remember.

Thank God.

You remember what time the
Negroes left you, right?

In your statement, you said
they left you at midnight.

They might have.

- What do you mean, they might have?
- I don't know what time they left me.

I wanted them dead.

Would anyone care that they
raped a Mexican girl...

if they hadn't killed those
white people at the Nite Owl?

I did what I had
to do for justice.

Inez? Exley, over here.
Smile, Inez.

So is he your hero, Miss Soto?

Fellas, how about this? "Rape Victim
Wheeled out of Hospital by Nite Owl Hero."


All they get is Veronica Lake.

I get Lynn Margaret Bracken.



I grew up there.

I'm going back in a couple of
years, open up a dress shop.

The girls in Bisbee
need a little glamour.

Where'd this come from?

When I was 12, my old man went after my
mother with a bottle. I got in the way.

So you saved her.

Not for long.

- I'm sorry. It's none of my business.
- 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.

They never found the old man.

Is that why you became a cop?

To get even?


Do you like it?

I used to.

Now it's all strong-arm,
sitting-duck stuff.

I mean, if I could...

If I could get a chance
to work Homicide...

like a real detective...

That prick Exley, he
shot the wrong guys.

Whoever killed Stensland's still around.
I know it in here. I know it.

There's something wrong
with the Nite Owl.

I just can't prove
it, that's all.

I'm not smart enough.

I'm just the guy they bring in
to scare the other guy shitless.

You're wrong.

You found Patchett.
You found me.

You're smart enough.

Bud White. What brings you
down to the basement?

I got a couple of
Nite Owl questions.

Don't know if you read the
papers, but that case is closed.

Anything bother you
about it, Ray?

The fact that the pack-up boys haven't
hauled this shit out of here yet.

We got three shotguns taken
from the suspects...

which match the strike marks
on the shell casings.

What more do you want?

There's blood on the wall here.

I thought everyone got
shot in the men's room.

That is Stensland's blood.


Blow to the head. Probably unconscious
when they dragged him in the john.

Did they hit anyone else?

No, but he was a cop. He
probably tried to do something.

Grilled cheese, black coffee.
Someone sitting next to him.

Two of the victims were women?

Yeah, Patti DeLuca, the night shift
waitress, and a Susan Lefferts.

Susan Lefferts.

Yeah, what about her?

You're welcome.

Mrs. Lefferts.

Mrs. Lefferts? I'm
Officer White, L.A.P.D.

Tell me about the boyfriend. The one
you mentioned at the coroner's office.

I told you I didn't approve
of that boyfriend.

He was too old for you. And
you let him be fresh with me.

They came here one day
when I wasn't home.

Mrs. Jensen next door said...

she thought she saw Susie's
boyfriend and another man...

and she heard a ruckus.

- What was the boyfriend's name?
- We weren't properly introduced.

Susie gave him a nickname,
"Muns" or "Luns."

Stens? Was it Stens?

- Maybe. I don't know.
- Look at a picture for me.

That's him. That's him.

You said a neighbor
heard a ruckus.

Was it outside? Inside?


And then Mrs. Jensen said they
kept going under the house.

You have to leave now, officer.

- What's through here?
- Just a room full of old things.

Don't move that.


Don't mind the smell. I think
a rat died behind the wall.

My Susie was a good girl.

She was never in any
kind of trouble at all.


"Leland Meeks."
Never heard of you.

They call me Buzz.

Was it a rat?

Yeah, a great big one.

Here. Compliments of the Los
Angeles Police Department.

Stomach of the week
from a motel homicide.

Unemployed actor had frankfurter,
french fries, alcohol and sperm.

Hell of a last supper, don't
you think, lieutenant?

Anything bothering you about
the, uh, Nite Owl case?

Yeah, the fact that you guys
won't let it get filed away.

- What do you mean?
- Bud White grilled me on it this morning.

- Bud White?
- You know, he's not as dumb as I thought.

Did he say where he was going
after he talked to you?

Let my daughter rest in peace.

Mrs. Lefferts, I just wanna
ask a few questions.

Officer White already
checked under the house.

Under the house?

- Where?
- Out back.

All he found was rodents.

I need an ID on this as soon as possible.
You talk only to me on this one.

Vincennes, I need your
help with something.

I'm busy right now. Why don't you just
go ask some of your boys in Homicide?

I can't. I need someone
outside of Homicide.

I want you to tail Bud White till
he goes on duty this evening.

Do me a real favor
and leave me alone.

Do you make the Negroes for
the Nite Owl killings?

- What?
- It's a simple question.

Why in the world do you wanna
go digging any deeper...

into the Nite Owl
killings, lieutenant?

Rollo Tomasi.

Is there more to that, or
am I supposed to guess?

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 made the name up to
give him personality.

What's your point?

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?


I don't remember.

- What do you want, Exley?
- I just wanna solve this thing.

- Nite Owl was solved.
- No.

I wanna do it right.

Even if it means paying
the consequences?


All right, college
boy, I'll help...

but there's a case your boys
in Homicide don't care about.

They think it's just another
Hollywood "homo-cide," but I don't.

You help me with mine,
I'll help you with yours.

- Deal?
- Deal.

Johnny Stompanato.

Officer Wendell White.
How's tricks, paisano?

I ain't your paisano.

I ain't in the snitch
business anymore.

You know a guy named Buzz Meeks?

Works for Pierce Patchett.

Should I?

You're muscle for hire.
Meeks is muscle for hire.

You tell me.

Oh, yeah. Yeah, I remember now.

Meeks is a run-down ex-cop. Same
as you're gonna be someday.

And that's all you're gonna get.

And you can keep your 20 bucks.

What do I get if I give you your
balls back, you wop cocksucker?

Okay. Okay.

There was a rumor
going around...

that Meeks had a line
on a large supply of H.

- And?
- And nothing. He skipped out.


How would Meeks get his hands
on a large supply of heroin?

You're right. It's
probably bullshit.

Even if he did, he
could never unload it.

Not without drawing all
kinds of attention.

Maybe that's why he's under a house in
Elysian Park and he don't smell too good...


Maybe White's not
so dumb after all.

We got Rita Hayworth at the morgue,
and now Veronica Lake with White.

I think your case and my case are
connected. It's Fleur-de-Lis again.


Yeah. "Whatever you desire."


High-class whores cut to
look like movie stars.

Who knows what else. Reynolds, the
kid that got killed, was involved.

So is Pierce Patchett.

The millionaire?

Yeah, I think we
should go talk to him.

First I wanna brace Stompanato.

Want an autograph? Write to MGM.

Since when do two-bit hoods and
hookers give out autographs?

- What did you say to me?
- L.A.P.D. Sit down.

Who the hell do you
think you are?

Take a walk, honey, before
I haul your ass downtown.

- You are making a large mistake.
- Get away from our table.

Shut up.

A hooker cut to look like
Turner is still a hooker.

- Hey!
- She just looks like Lana Turner.

- She is Lana Turner.
- What?

She is Lana Turner.

How was I supposed to know?

I believe the Nite Owl's your
area of expertise, Mr. Exley.

I saw you on television
getting your medal.

And you're...

that other Hollywood celebrity
policeman, aren't you?

The Veronica Lake look-alike works for you.
She's one of your whores, correct?

- A vulgar term.
- Why's she seeing Bud White?

Why do men and women usually
see each other, Mr. Exley?

Let's try this on for
size: Fleur-de-Lis.

"Whatever you desire."

An actor named Matt Reynolds.

No? Nothing?

- No?
- We want some answers, Patchett.

We all want something.

- Lieutenant Exley, come in.
- Guy's as cool as they come.

Lieutenant Exley, come in, please.

This is Exley.

The coroner wants to talk to you.
He says he has your ID.

Tell him Sergeant Vincennes
is coming in to talk to him.

- Roger.
- I'll drop you at your car.

- Where the hell are you going?
- Lynn Bracken's.

I'm gonna find out why Patchett
has her seeing Bud White.

See you at the Frolic Room.

Oh, great. You get the
girl, I get the coroner.

Hush-Hush, off the
record and on the q.t.

Hey, I was just coming up to see you.
You get that ID?

Thank God for dental records. Stiff
used to be a cop. Leland Meeks.

Buzz Meeks?

- You knew him?
- Of him.

He was around when I joined the force.
Bad rep. Thanks.

Hey. "Just the facts," Jack.
"Just the facts."

Anything else, sergeant?

Leland Meeks worked Vice '39 -'41.
I need to see his arrest records.


Miss Bracken, I'm
Lieutenant Exley.

I know who you are. Bud
told me all about you.

Is that so?

And what did White have to say?

He said you were smart.

He also said you were a coward, and
that you'd screw yourself to get ahead.

Well, let's concentrate
on my smarts.

Pierce Patchett made you, didn't he?
Taught you how to dress, talk and think.

I am very impressed
with the results...

but I need answers.

And if I don't get them, I'm gonna
take you and Patchett down.

Pierce Patchett can
take care of himself.

And I'm not afraid of you.

And you forget one
thing, lieutenant...

Pierce also taught
me how to fuck.

And he tells you who to fuck. Why
does he have you fucking Bud White?

What makes you think I'm not
seeing Bud because I want to?

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 can handle Bud White.
- Can you?

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.

Don't underestimate
me, Miss Bracken.

The way you've
underestimated Bud White?

Fucking me and fucking Bud
aren't the same thing, you know.

Stop talking about Bud White.

Come on.


Jack Vincennes.

It's going on midnight, Jack.

I need two minutes, Dudley.

It's important.

Good thing for you my wife and daughters
are at the beach in Santa Barbara.

- Do you remember Buzz Meeks, Dudley?
- A disgrace as a police officer.

Straight D fitness reports from every CO
he ever served under. What about him?

Twelve years ago, he was on a
Vice roust with Dick Stensland.

They questioned Pierce Patchett
about a blackmail scam.

Patchett had Sid Hudgens photographing
prominent businessmen with hookers.

Anyway, charges were dropped.
Insufficient evidence.

You were the supervising
officer on that case.

I was wondering if you
remember anything about it.

What's this all about, boyo?

Part of it has to do with a murder.
I've been working with Ed Exley on it.

You're Narco, Jack,
not Homicide.

Since when do you work
with Edmund Exley?

It's a private investigation.


I messed something up. I'm
trying to make amends.

Don't start trying to do
the right thing, boyo.

You haven't had the practice.

Buzz Meeks and Dick Stensland.

So, what does Exley
make of this?

I haven't told him yet. I just
came from the records room.

Have you a valediction, boyo?



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,
forensics indicates the body was moved.

I want two-man teams to scour
that entire neighborhood.

Our justice must be
swift and merciless.

That is all.

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.

What's the name?

Rollo Tomasi.

You ever heard
Vincennes mention him?

No. No, I haven't.


It's probably nothing. Still...

keep your eyes open, eh, boyo?

I know it's unlikely, but
suppose, just for a moment...

somebody did have that much heroin,
who would they go to to move it?

- White, in my office.
- Captain. Look, just give me a name.

Mickey Cohen.


I could use your fearsome
habits at the Victory Motel.

Uh, when?

Now, Wendell.


Close the door, lad.

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.

What plans?

You have your extracurricular
activities and I have mine.

We must have a clarification
session one of these days.

However, right now...

we're gonna brace a man who may
know who killed Jack Vincennes.

So the question is...

can I count on you, lad?

- Yes or no?
- Yes, sir.

I wanna know everything you and Jack
Vincennes talked about last night.

Start with the ID on the corpse.

An ex-cop. Leland "Buzz" Meeks.

An ex-cop?

What did Jack say?
Did he know him?

Only by reputation.

Wendell, this is Sid Hudgens.

I'm willing to cooperate.
There's no need to tie me down.

It's for your own safety.

Now, what can you tell us about
Sergeant Jack Vincennes?

Hollywood Jack? The Big V?

I can tell you he's on the
night train to the big adiós.

I didn't have anything to do with him
getting killed, if that's what you mean.

- But you were business associates.
- What's that got to do with anything?

Okay, okay, so we
worked together.

It was an information exchange.

I got him first-class collars,
he got me good stories.

We were friends, for chrissake.

We'll drop that for the moment.

Care to comment on
Pierce Patchett?

Patchett? You think he had something
to do with Vincennes getting iced?

Wendell, I'd like full and docile
cooperation on every topic.

Okay, okay, okay. All right.

Everybody knows that Patchett's
worth a boatload of greenbacks.

But the man has hobbies too.

He bankrolls B-movies
under the table.

And try this one on:

He's rumored to be a
periodic heroin sniffer.

All in all, a powerful
behind-the-scenes strange-o.

- And?
- And what?

Reciprocity, Mr. Hudgens, is
the key to every relationship.

He runs call girls.

Primo tail fixed up to
look like movie stars.

- And?
- Blackmail shit.

In my car, in the
trunk, under the rug...

Patchett got me to photograph this cop
screwing this gorgeous slut named Lynn.

Looks just like Veronica Lake.

Wendell. Wendell. Leave him be.
I said, leave him be.

- Get him off me. Get him away from me.
- Back off, Wendell. Back off.

I wouldn't trade places with Edmund Exley
right now for all the whiskey in Ireland.


Dudley, I thought you were gonna
let the dumb bastard kill me.

And you, learn to pull your
punches a little better.

You can uncuff me now, fellas.


Dudley, we had a deal.

You, me and Patchett,
we're a team.


- Anything?
- Nothing.

Meeks never made an arrest the
entire time he worked Vice?

Someone must've
pulled the files.

What about the daily
report books?

They'd be buried
in the basement.

Find them.

Did you talk to Exley?

Come in out of the rain.

I wanna know what
happened with Exley.

Just come in.

Are you gonna tell me what
happened with you and Exley?

We talked.

- So tell me about him.
- Later.

No! Now.

You fucked him.

I thought I was helping you.

Bud, I'm glad you're here.
I need you to see this.


Dudley killed Jack.

He wants you to kill me.

He showed you the
photo, didn't he?

Didn't he?

Think. Goddamn you, think!

Get the fuck out of here.


I checked the daily
report books.

Dudley, Buzz Meeks and
Stensland go way back.

I knew Stensland lied to me.

Lefferts' mother ID'd Stensland
as Lefferts' boyfriend.

Stensland pretended he didn't know
Meeks or her the night that I met...


Stensland and Meeks...

what the hell were they up to?

I don't know, but I think Stens
killed Meeks over heroin.

What heroin?

Johnny Stompanato told me that
Meeks had heroin for sale.

Meeks ends up dead.

Stensland dies at the Nite Owl.

It wasn't the Negroes.

The rape victim lied
in her statement.

The first guys to the Mercury
coupe were Breuning and Carlisle.

Dudley's guys.

They planted the shotguns.

And they'd have killed the Negroes,
too, if Jack and I hadn't shown up.

Dudley framed them because they
were Negroes and had records.

He knew there'd be no
questions asked...

if they were killed
resisting arrest.

Somehow this is all
connected to Jack's angle.

Sid Hudgens...

the pictures to
blackmail Ellis Loew...

A kid got murdered.

If we're gonna figure this
out, we need to work together.

Why are you doing this?

The Nite Owl made you.

You wanna tear all that down?

With a wrecking ball.

You wanna help me swing it?

Let's go see Ellis Loew.

Find out what the
district attorney knows.

May I...?

Hey. You can't go in there.

Want me to call the police, Mr.

Ask for Captain Dudley Smith.

Tell him we're having a discussion about
the death of an actor at a motel.

These are the police.

What do you want?

I want DA bureau men to tail Dudley
Smith and Patchett 24 hours a day.

I want you to get a judge to authorize
wiretaps on their home phones.

I want authorization to
check their bank records.

On what evidence?

Call it a hunch.

Absolutely not.

Dudley Smith is a highly decorated
member of this department.

I'm not gonna smear his
and Patchett's name...

Without what?

Them smearing yours first?

What do they have? Pictures of you and
Matt Reynolds with your pants down?

You have any proof?

The proof had his throat slit.

So far, you're not denying it.

I'm not gonna dignify
this with answers.

Now, if you gentlemen
will excuse me...

I have a press conference for Jack
Vincennes that I have to prepare for.

Unless you came in to wipe my
ass, I believe we're through.

Don't pull that good-cop-bad-cop crap.
I practically invented it.

So what if some
homo actor is dead.

Boys, girls, 10 of them get off
the bus to L.A. every day.

- Pull him off me, Exley!
- I don't know how.

I know you think you're the A-number-one
hotshot, but here's the juice.

If I take you out, 10 lawyers
will take your place tomorrow.

They just won't come on a bus.

All right! Okay!

Dudley and Patchett, they...
Oh, my God.

I wouldn't play ball, so they set me up. I
gave in, but the kid heard everything...

- so they killed him.
- Why?

- What are Dudley and Patchett up to?
- Taking over Mickey Cohen's rackets.

Because of those pictures,
I couldn't prosecute them.

Oh, Jesus. Help me up.

Is that how you used to
run the good-cop-bad-cop?


Looks like his bodyguard had
a conflict of interest.

Suicide note.

Says he killed Jack because Jack had
figured out a pornography scam.

Slicing himself open
wasn't his idea.

- Two of his fingers are broken.
- They must have held him there.

Or drugged him.

I'd say Dudley's tying
up his loose ends.

Patchett's dead. He
sent you after me.


West Hollywood.

- They're closer than we are.
- I'll get the car. Keys.

Hey. We took her to the
station for safekeeping.

Hold her as Joan Smith. And no
one sees her unless I okay it.

Somebody worked her over.
She wouldn't say who.

- See you, Exley.
- Sure.

- We should talk to Lynn.
- You do it.

What are you gonna do?

I'm gonna talk to Sid Hudgens.

Compliment him on his performance
at the Victory Motel.

- Remember, Bud, we need evidence.
- I'll get the evidence.

Are you okay?

You okay?

Bud hates himself
for what he did.

I know how he feels.

I need to know what you can
give me on Dudley Smith.

He's a police captain. He's
in business with Patchett.

I've never heard of him.

Do you have someplace
you can stay?

I'll be okay.

Nobody goes in
without official ID.

He's okay. Let him through.

What happened?

Somebody beat him to death
and stole a bunch of files.

Must have dug up garbage
on the wrong guy.

We got it narrowed down
to 1,000 suspects.

Sergeant White...

Dispatch got a call for you.

Lieutenant Exley wants you to
meet him at the Victory Motel.

You wanted to meet here?

- You called it. I thought Hudgens was...
- Hudgens is dead.

Let's get out of here.

It's too late.

You figured this was a setup
and showed up anyway?

A lot of bad stuff
happened here.

It's as good a place
as any for it to end.

Here. Clip.

All I ever wanted was to
measure up to my father.

Now's your chance.

He died in the line
of duty, didn't he?


Goddamn it!

- You okay?
- Yeah.

Come on. Easy. Come on.


Rollo Tomasi.

- Who is he?
- You are.

You're the guy who
gets away with it.

Jack knew it and so do I.

Are you gonna shoot
me or arrest me?

Good lad.

Always the politician.

Let me do the talking.

After I'm done, they'll make
you chief of detectives.

Hold up your badge so they'll
know you're a policeman.

You think you can talk your
way out of this, lieutenant?


but I think I can
tell the truth.

During our investigation...

of events surrounding
the Nite Owl case...

Jack Vincennes, Bud White and
I learned the following.

Your golden boy's throwing
his whole life away.

The three Nite Owl suspects...

while guilty of
kidnapping and rape...

were innocent of the multiple
homicides at the Nite Owl.

The actual gunmen
were most likely...

Los Angeles Police Department officers
Michael Breuning and William Carlisle...

and a third man...

who may or may not have
been Captain Dudley Smith.

The objective:

The elimination of another
police officer...

Richard Stensland...

who, along with former L.A.P.D.
Officer Leland "Buzz" Meeks...

also committed multiple homicides
on behalf of Captain Smith...

and then betrayed him over
25 pounds of heroin...

the retrieval of which...

was the ultimate motivation
behind the Nite Owl killings.

Beginning with the incarceration
of Mickey Cohen...

Captain Smith has been assuming control
of organized crime in Los Angeles.

This includes the

of an unknown number of
Mickey Cohen lieutenants...

the systematic blackmail
of city officials...

and the murders of Susan Lefferts,
Pierce Patchett, Sid Hudgens...

and Sergeant Jack Vincennes.

Captain Smith admitted
as much to me...

before I shot him at
the Victory Motel.

That's it.


the press is gonna
have a field day.

This... Christ, it'll stain
the department for years.


If we can get the
kid to play ball...

who's to say what happened?

Maybe Dudley Smith died a hero.

- Good idea.
- If we get the press to play.

You wanna tell me what
you're smiling about?

A hero.

How'd he know what
we're talking about?

He couldn't have heard us.


In this situation...

you'll need more than one.

It is with great pleasure
that I present this award...

to Detective Lieutenant
Edmund Exley...

two-time Medal of
Valor recipient.

Next year, the L.A.P.D. will
move into its new facility.

With leaders like
Edmund Exley...

the image of fat cops stealing
apples will be left behind...

and Los Angeles will finally have
the police force it deserves.

You just couldn't resist.

They're using me, so for
a while, I'm using them.

Come on.


Thanks for the push.


Lieutenant Exley.

Some men get the world...

others get ex-hookers
and a trip to Arizona.

- Bye.
- Bye.