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Michael Mann





It started like any other night.





MAX: How ya' doin'? Where to?

ANNIE: Downtown. 312 North Spring Street. Take Sepulveda to Slauson to La Brea. La Brea north to 6th into downtown.

MAX: I'll take 105 east and up the 110. It's faster.

ANNIE: What?

MAX: 105 to the 110 is faster.

ANNIE: 110 turns into a parking lot around USC.

MAX: This late, the 110 is moving, but La Brea north of the Santa Monica is jammed.

ANNIE: 110 north of the 10 you get people going to Pasadena and they drive slow.

MAX: That's why I jump off at Grand. But, hey, surface streets is cool. That's what you want, that's what we do...

ANNIE: Are we taking bets? What if you're wrong?

MAX: Your ride is free.

ANNIE: You got yourself a deal.





ANNIE: Go ahead, say it. Go ahead.

MAX: ...lucky with the lights.

ANNIE: You weren't "lucky with the lights." What you were was right. I was wrong...





ANNIE: You mind turning this up?

MAX: You like Bach?

ANNIE: I used to play this piece in high school.

MAX: Let me guess. Woodwinds?

ANNIE: Viola. I never had the lungs for wind instruments.

MAX: Could'a fooled me, the way you were unloading into that cell phone.





ANNIE: You know, if you'd only listened to me, we'd be all bogged down in traffic right now, and you would have made an extra five bucks.

MAX: Yeah? Keep it. Buy yourself something. Go wild.

ANNIE: A gentleman. I thought chivalry was a necessary casualty of gender politics...

MAX: Not a big thing, you know...?

ANNIE: How many cabbies get you into an argument to save you money?

MAX: There were two of us. I killed the other guy. I don't like competition...





MAX: You like being a lawyer?

ANNIE: You psychic?

MAX: I'm starting an 800 hotline. Caught your phone call. And even if I hadn't, there's the dark pinstripe. Elegant, not too hip, which rules out advertising, plus a top drawer briefcase, that you live out of, purse looks like a Bodega...

ANNIE: Bottega.

MAX: ...Bottega. Guy gets in my cab with a machete? I figure he's a sushi chef. You? Clarence Darrow.





ANNIE: You got us here fast...

MAX: You never answered my question. You like what you do?

ANNIE: Yeah.

MAX: But not right now...?

ANNIE: No, I do... like I can't wait. ...I love standing up in that courtroom. At the same time...I always get this clenched-up thing the night before the first day...

MAX: Clenched-up how...?

ANNIE: I think I'm gonna lose. I think I suck. I think my case sucks. I haven't prepared enough. My exhibits aren't in order. People are gonna figure out that I don't know what I'm doin'. And I've had this charade going for years. I represent the Department of Justice of the United States government and my opening statement is gonna fall flat at the really important point and the jury's gonna laugh at me.

Then I cry... I don't throw-up. A lot of people throw-up. I have a strong stomach. Then I get it together. And rewrite my opening statement. Work the exhibits. For the rest of the night. That's my routine. In the morning, it starts. I'm fine.

MAX: You need a vacation.

ANNIE: I just had a vacation. On the Harbor Freeway.

MAX: No. Not in a cab. You need your head straight, gotta get your unified self up, get harmonic...you know...

ANNIE: When was the last time you took a break?

MAX: I take little ones all the time.

ANNIE: How often?

MAX: Dozen times a day. Maldives Islands. It gets heavy, I take five. Go there.





MAX: Where to?

VINCENT: 452 South Union Street. How long you think this'll take?

MAX: Fourteen minutes.

VINCENT: Fourteen? Not fifteen? Not thirteen?

MAX: Two minutes to get onto the 101. Transition to the 110 to the 10 and exit on Normandie is four minutes. North on Normandie is five minutes. Two minutes to South Union 'cause there's roadwork. Thirteen plus one for "shit happens."

VINCENT: Mind if I time you? What do I get if you're wrong? A free ride?

MAX: An apology. I already offered up the free ride today.





MAX: First time in LA?

VINCENT: No. To tell the truth, whenever I'm here, I can't wait to leave. Too sprawled-out. Disconnected. You know...? But that's me. You like it here?

MAX: It's home.

VINCENT: 17 million people. This was a country, it would be the fifth biggest economy in the world. But nobody knows each other. Too impersonal. But that's just me...you know... I read about this guy. Gets on the MTA, here, and dies. Six hours he's riding the subway before anybody notices. This corpse doing laps around LA, people on and off, sitting next to him, nobody notices.





VINCENT: Cleanest cab I've ever been in. Your regular ride?

MAX: Yeah. I share it with the dayshift guy.

VINCENT: Prefer nights?

MAX: People are more relaxed, you know? Less stress, less traffic, better tips.

VINCENT: You get benefits?

MAX: Like sick leave?

VINCENT: Retirement? Health and welfare?

MAX: It's not that kind of job.

VINCENT: Start a union.

MAX: Me, specifically?

VINCENT: Why not?

MAX: Last thing I need is a reason to keep driving a cab.





VINCENT: Fourteen minutes. Man, you're good...

MAX: Lucky with the lights.

VINCENT: Yeah, sure. You probably know the light schedules, too. Listen...I'm in town on a real estate deal. A closing. One night. I got five stops to make, collect signatures. See some friends. Then I got a six a.m. out of LAX. Why don't you hang with me for the night...?

MAX: I'm not a hire car. It's against regs...

VINCENT: Regulations? These guys don't pay you sick leave. How much you pull down a shift?

MAX: Two-fifty, four hundred.

VINCENT: I'll make it six hundred. Plus an extra hundred if you get me to LAX and I don't have to run for the plane.





MAX: You - you killed him?

VINCENT: No. I - I shot him. The bullets and the fall killed him.





VINCENT: 7565 Fountain. You know it?

MAX: West Hollywood.

VINCENT: How long, you figure?

MAX: Seventeen minutes. Why? Oh. Oh, no. You're kidding. We...

VINCENT: I told you we had other stops to make tonight.

MAX: You said you were visiting friends!

VINCENT: They're somebody's friends... You drive a cab. I make my rounds. We both do our jobs, you might make it through the night and come out seven hundred bucks ahead.

MAX: I...I'm not trying to piss you off, see? Okay? But I can't drive you around so you can murder people... Man, that's not my job...

VINCENT: Tonight it is.





VINCENT: Here's the deal. You were gonna drive me around and never be the wiser. But because of El Gordo's high dive, we're into Plan B. Still breathing? Now. We have to make the best of it. Improvise. Adapt to the environment. Darwin. "Shit happens." The I Ching... whatever. Roll with it...

MAX: I Ching? You threw a man out a window!

VINCENT: I didn't throw him, he fell.

MAX: What'd he do to you?

VINCENT: Nothing. I only met him one time.

MAX: Then how can you kill him like that?

VINCENT: I should only kill people after I get to know 'em? Six billion people on the planet and you get bent out of shape 'cause of one fat guy?





MAX: Who, who was he?

VINCENT: What do you care? Ever hear of Rwanda?

MAX: Rwanda. Yeah.

VINCENT: Tens of thousands killed before sundown. Nobody's killed people that fast since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Did you bat an eye, Max? Did you join Amnesty International, Oxfam or something? No. I off one Angeleno, you throw a hissy fit...

MAX: I don't know Rwandans.

VINCENT: You don't know the guy in the trunk, either.





VINCENT: Get rid of 'em.

MAX: How?

VINCENT: You're a cabby. Talk yourself out of a ticket.

MAX: Please. Don't do anything.

VINCENT: Then don't let me get cornered. You don't have the trunk space.





VINCENT: Tell him to stick the cab up his fat ass.

MAX: I can't do that. He's the Man.

VINCENT: So what?

MAX: I need the job.

VINCENT: No you don't.

LENNY: You still there? I'm talking to you! Max? Max?

VINCENT: He's not paying you a damn thing!

LENNY: Who the hell are you?

VINCENT: Richard Riccardo, Assistant U.S. Attorney. A passenger in this taxicab, and I'm reporting you to the DMV...

LENNY: Let's not get excited.

VINCENT: Not excited? How am I supposed to not get excited, listening to you try to extort a working man? You know goddamn well your collision policy and general liability umbrella would cover the damages. What are you trying to pull, you sarcastic prick?

LENNY: I'm just tryin' to... to...

VINCENT: Tell it to him. Tell him he's an asshole.

MAX: You're an asshole.

VINCENT: Tell him next time he pulls any shit, you're gonna stick this yellow cab up his fat ass.

MAX: Next time you pull any shit, I'm gonna stick this yellow cab up your fat ass.





MAX: Vincent?

VINCENT: Yes, Max?

MAX: Am I collateral?

VINCENT: I haven't decided.





FANNING: Remember fall, 2001? That Bay Area deal? Oakland. Cabbie drove around all night. Killed three people...

WEIDNER: Then he flipped out, put the gun to his head. So what?

FANNING: So the Oakland PD detective, whatshisname, never bought it.

WEIDNER: Why?

FANNING: The Cabbie had no criminal record. No history of mental illness. Pops three people, then himself? And the victims weren't random. Two were involved in some pharmaceuticals scam... Anyway, the detective always thought there was somebody else in that cab.





MAX: I never learned to listen to jazz.

VINCENT: You don't learn to listen...anymore than you learn to breathe. Open your ears.





MAX: Tell her I can't make it tonight, okay?

LENNY: What am I, related to you? You tell her yourself!

VINCENT: Show up for what?

MAX: She's in the hospital.

VINCENT: You visit every night?

MAX: Yeah. What difference does it make?

VINCENT: Cause if you don't show it breaks a routine.

MAX: So?

VINCENT: So people start looking for you, this cab. That is not good.

MAX: No. I can't take you to see my mother...

VINCENT: Since when was any of this negotiable?





VINCENT: Flowers?

MAX: Waste of money. Won't mean a thing to her.

VINCENT: She carried you in her womb for nine months.





MAX: I brought you flowers.

IDA: What am I gonna do with flowers?

MAX: You're gonna cheer up.

IDA: How? By worrying that you spend money on things that all they're gonna do is wilt and die?

MAX: See? I didn't buy 'em. He did.

IDA: Who? Come in. What I got is not contagious. Why didn't you tell me we had company? And what's your name? Sorry. My son is rude.

VINCENT: No harm done, madam.

IDA: You paid for my flowers? They're beautiful.





IDA: To what do we owe this pleasure?

VINCENT: Well, I was with Max when he got the call.

IDA: And you came all the way here to see me?

VINCENT: It's nothing.

IDA: Tell my son. You have to hold a gun to his head to get him to do anything.

VINCENT: Tell me about it.





VINCENT: Stop or I'll go back and kill her.

MAX: You'd do her a favor.





VINCENT: They project onto you their flaws, what they don't like about themselves, their lives, whatever. And then they rank on you, instead...

MAX: How do you know?

VINCENT: I had a father like that.

MAX: Mothers are worse.

VINCENT: Mine died when I was one.

MAX: What happened?

VINCENT: He hated whatever I did. Got drunk. Beat me up all the time.

MAX: Then what?

VINCENT: I killed him. I was 12. He was the first. I'm kidding. He died of liver cancer.

MAX: I'm sorry.

VINCENT: No you're not.





FELIX: Do you believe in Humpty Dumpty?

MAX: No.

FELIX: Do you believe in Santa Claus?

MAX: No.

FELIX: Neither do I. But my children do. They are still small. But do you know who they like even better than Santa Claus? His helper, Pedro Negro. Black Peter. There's an old Mexican tale that tells of how Santa Claus got so very busy looking out for the good children that he had to hire some help to look out for the bad children. So he hired Pedro. And Santa Claus gave him a list with all the names of all the bad children, and Pedro would come every night to check them out. And the people, the little kids that were misbehaving, that were not saying their prayers, Pedro would leave a little wooden donkey on their windows. And he would come back and if the children were still misbehaving, he would take them away and nobody would ever see them again. Now, if I am Santa Claus and you are Pedro, how do you think jolly old Santa Claus would feel if one day Pedro came into his office and said, 'I lost the list.'? How FUCKING FURIOUS do you think Santa Claus would get?!





VINCENT: Head downtown...

MAX: What's downtown?

VINCENT: How are you at math? I was hired for five hits. I did four.

MAX: One more.

VINCENT: There you go...!





MAX: Whyn't you kill me and find another cab.

VINCENT: 'Cause you're good. We're in this together. You know...fates intertwined. Cosmic coincidence. All that crap...

MAX: You're full of shit.

VINCENT: I'm full of shit? You're a monument of it. You even bullshitted yourself, all I am is taking out the garbage. Bad guys killing bad guys...

MAX: 'Cause that's what you said...

VINCENT: And you believe me...?

MAX: What'd they do?

VINCENT: How do I know? But, they all got that "witness for the prosecution" look to me. It's probably some major federal indictment against somebody who majorly does not want to get indicted... I dunno.

MAX: That's the reason?

VINCENT: That's the "why." There is no reason. No good reason; no bad reason. To live or to die.

MAX: Then what are you?

VINCENT: ...indifferent.





MAX: What's with you...?

VINCENT: As in...?

MAX: Man, if someone had a gun to your head and said: "You gotta tell me what's goin' on with that person across the street, there, what they think, who they are, how they feel, or I will kill you"... they'd have to kill you...wouldn't they...? 'Cause you don't have a clue about anyone. ...I don't think you, you have a clue, period. Did anyone "do" for you in your life? Ever? When you draw breath in the morning? Open your eyes in the a.m.? You anticipate anything? Want anything? Expect anything? I don't think so... 'Cause you are low, my brother, way low... and some standard parts that are supposed to be there?... with you, aren't. So what happened to you, man? What happened to you?

VINCENT: ...all the cabbies in LA, I get Max, Sigmund Freud meets Dr. Ruth...





VINCENT: Well. That was brilliant.

MAX: Was your seatbelt fastened, honey?





VINCENT: Guy. Gets on a subway. Dies. Think anybody'll notice?



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