written by David Ayer, story by James Ellroy
Perry (Kurt Russell): Jack Van Meter asked me to say a few words today... so I guess I'll say a few words. Law enforcement has taken a lot of dings lately... and I'd like to congratulate... our four fellow officers on their acquittal today. It's a hell of a job we got. A cop's the last person a civilian wants to see... until some shitbag shoves a gun in his face... and then we can't get there fast enough, right? You know, law enforcement... it's been my family's business... since Los Angeles was a frontier township. I actually remember sitting on my granddaddy's lap... Iistening to stories about chasing horse thieves... and rustlers into the Santa Monica mountains... and coming back with a bad guy tied to his Appaloosa. And when my dad got into the business... there was black and whites, traffic signals. But the job hadn't changed. My dad preyed on the predators that preyed on this city. There was never any doubt what I was going to be. I was a Police Explorer by the age of nine. I was a teenager when the Watts Riots came around. Anyway, I can remember... going out with my dad on the second night. There was this Woolworth's that was burning. And I remember these looters running in and out. Every time they'd run out... my dad would take a potshot at them... with this deer rifle he'd brought from home. Anyway, he gave it to me and this looter ran out. I winged him in the arm and he ran back inside. That's when the roof collapsed... and the whole goddamned building caved in. I guess they all burned up. Nobody got out. That was my dad.
Jack Van Meter (Brendan Gleeson): Tell Jimmy to get him down. He's drunk.
Officer: Jack says he's drunk again and wants him off the stage.
Jimmy Barcomb (Jonathan Banks): I will take care of it. Leave it alone.
Perry: That's Eldon Perry III... right there next to his mom. He'll never be a cop. He hates cops. I love him. And I thank God that I was just too busy... to pass on to him what my granddaddy... passed on to my daddy and he passed on to me. I was raised up to be a gunfighter. I made a career of going after the most dangerous... parasitic sons of bitches to walk this planet... and I was happier than the devil in Hell. I'd fabricate evidence to bring some asshole in... or I'd lie on reports and to investigators... and I'd sure as hell stretch the truth in court. And if anybody would mess with us... we just muscled them, right, Jack? Or blackmail them. What the hell? Everybody's got a secret. It's a tough job, but I was a good soldier. Yeah. Just taking orders... from my commanding officer Jack Van Meter. Whenever Jack said, "Eldon, do what you do"... I carved "Case cleared" on a casket with my knife... because I figured, "What the hell? Jack's God." Sometimes, Jack, you work like God. You work in some mysterious ways, man. Thanks a lot, Eldon. Thank you. It was Van Meter that ordered me... to pin the Jack O'Hearts homicides... on a couple of ex-cons... that didn't have anything to do with it. He ordered me to set them up for the kill, too. So, acting on some information from me... SWAT took one down during a raid. But I made my partner kill the other one in cold blood. You got to be heartless in my line of work. And my partner Bobby Keough... He had a good one... and it cost him. The real Jack O'Hearts killers... turned out to be a couple of snitches of Van Meter's. Bobby tried to arrest them, but he didn't make it. They cut him in half. He's lying dead on a concrete slab... somewhere in South Central right now... because he walked into an ambush Van Meter set up for me. Isn't that right, Jack?
Credit and many thanks to Zack for this monologue, it is very much appreciated.
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