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The Usual Suspects (1995)

"The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist ...."
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The Cast

Stephen Baldwin .... Michael McManus
Gabriel Byrne .... Dean Keaton
Benicio Del Toro .... Fred Fenster
Kevin Pollak .... Todd Hockney
Kevin Spacey .... Verbal Kint
Chazz Palminteri .... Dave Kujan
Pete Postlethwaite .... Kobayashi
Suzy Amis .... Edie Finneran
Giancarlo Esposito .... Jack Baer
Dan Hedaya .... Jeff Rabin
Paul Bartel .... Smuggler
Carl Bressler .... Saul Berg
Phillip Simon .... Fortier
Jack Shearer .... Renault
Christine Estabrook .... Dr. Plummer

Director: Bryan Singer
Screenplay: Christopher McQuarry

Arguably one of the best crime movies ever - clever, full of surprises, and you have to watch out for every single word in order not to miss anything.

SPOILER WARNING: Don't read if you haven't seen the movie yet!!

The Story


The whole story is
told by "Verbal" Kint

It starts with the ending - the results of a massacre at a ship in the harbour, then the story is told by the one of the two survivors - Roger "Verbal" Kint, a cripple, who reveals what happened to David Kujan from the US customs in a police interrogation room.


It all started in New York six weeks ago, when a truck loaded with gun parts got jacked. The only hint the police have is that one of the drivers heard a voice.

Five criminals get arrested and put on a line-up together to possibly identify the robber by his voice.

Keaton: How many times have you been in linup, Fenster? 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 up five felons the same row. No way. And what the hell is a voice-linup? A public defender could get you off of that.

The five are planning a coup together still in the police cell - to rob "New Yorks Finest Taxi Service", a group of corrupt cops providing escort services to criminals.


The "voice-linup"

Keaton has to be convinced, cause his plans have been to stay honest with his restaurant business and his lawyer wife Edie Finneran.

Verbal has a plan how to do it without killing anybody, and he can convince Keaton to participate.


New Yorks finest taxi service

Another coup follows, and then the five are getting an "invitation" to do a job for the legendary "Keyser Söze". The invitation is brought to them by the mysterious lawyer Kobayashi, who gives them no choice - either they work for Keyser Söze, or they will be "punished" for interfering with his "business" earlier - Kobayashi hands them a full record of their previously commited crimes, and each of them has done - unknowingly - something that interfered with Keyser Sözes plans.


Verbal, McManus and Fenster are planning a new coup while still in police custody

Kobayashi:
The offer is this, gentlemen. Mr. Söze's primary interest, as I am sure you all know, is narcotics. He's been - competing, shall we say, with a group of Argentinians for several years. Competing with Mr. Söze has takenits toll. These Argentinians are negotiating the sale of 91 million dollars in cocaine in three day's time. Needless to say, this purchase will revitalize the diminishing strength of their organization. Mr. Söze 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 Marina Del Rey. Mr. Söze wants you to take the boat out to sea and sink it with the cocaine on board. When you feel you are safe, you are to inform us of the location of the boat. Then you are free of your obliagation to Mr. Söze.


Keaton, Hockney, McManus and Verbal listen to Kobayashi's offer

After Kobayashi leaves, the five are argueing whether to accept the offer or not, and about the little that is known about the mysterious Keyser Söze.

Verbal tells Kujan the story:

"He is supposed to be Turkish. First generation, maybe second. All kinds of stores about him. What he's done, who he's killed. 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 Söze. 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 this gang of Hungarians that wanted into the mob, any mob. They tried the Chinks and the Guineas. They even tried the Jews - nothing doing. They realized they had no blood and they would never rise to power in another man's mob, so they made their own. After a while they learned the only trick they had. To be in power you didn't need guns or money or numbers. You just needed the will to do what the other guy wouldn't."


David Kujan and Jeff Rabin listen to Verbals story

We are in Turkey, perhaps the early '70s. We see the small Hungarian mob destorying the deli, beating up the proprietor and his wife. One of them cuts off the deli owner's fingers and drops them into the pickle barrel, laughing as he does it.

"After a while, they come to pwer, and then they come after Söze. He was small-time then, just running dope, they say."

Three of the Hungarians come bursting into Keyser Söze's home. They grab his five children and round them up in the front room. One of the men grabs Söze's wife and backhands her across the face.

"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 Söze."

The front door opens and in walks Keyser Söze. We are never allowed to see his face. Söze's wife lies in the corner, beaten and bruised. Her dress is tattered to shreds. She cannot look up at her husband. The three Hungarians stand to greet him. Two hold guns in their hands. The third holds a straight razor. He grabs Söze's youngest boy and holds the razor to his throat.

"He comes home to his wife raped and his children screaming. The Hungarians knew Söze was tough. Not to be trifled with. So they let him know they meant business."

The Hungarian smiles. Söze's wife screams in horror. The Hungarian holds up a blood-soaked razor. Suddenly, he grabs another child. A little girl no older than six.

"They tell Söze they want his territory - all his business. Söze looks over the faces of his family. Then he showed these men of will what will really was."

Suddenly, Söze pulls out a pistol and shoots the two men with guns. He turns and aims at the third man holding his child. The man threatens to cut the child's throat, slicing just enough to draw blood.

Söze fires.

The stunned Hungarian watches the child fall from his arms.

Söze turns the pistol on the next child, then the next and the next. He kills his children one by one in front of the Hungarian.

"He tells him he would rather see his family dead than live another day after this.

Söze walks over to his wife, crying and beaten on the floor, and holds up her head. She gives him the strangest look. One of trust, perhaps, saturated with fear and humiliation. He puts the gun between her eyes and fires.


Keyser Söze

"He lets the 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."

We see glimpes of Keyser Söze's rampage. Bodies upon bodies in homes and in the streets. Then, the fires. Stores and homes burn, engulfed in flames.

"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. If you rat on your pop, Keyser Söze will get you. And nobody really ever believes."

"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 Söze."

Fenster tries to get away, and the next day, the four get a call from Kobayashi who tells them where Fenster is - they find him dead on the beach.

The four want their revenge - or at least get rid of Kobayashi.

They work out a plan, and they get hold of Kobayashi, trying to "persuade" him to call the "job" off. But Kobayashi won't.

"I believe you, Mr McManus. I quite sincerely do. You would not have been chosen if you were not so capable, but I cannot make this decision. Whatever you threaten me with is .. ludicrous to what will be done to me if I do not carry out my orders in full."

Then Kobayashi pulls his trump. He has Edie Finneran in his office - with an escort!

"Get your rest, gentlemen. The boat will be ready for you on Friday. If I see you or your friends before then, or fail to check in every half hour with that unpleasant looking man in there, Ms Finneran will find herself the victim of a 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?!

The four have no other choice and prepare for their attack on the boat.

What follows is a massacre - everybody except of Verbal is killed during the fight, and he watches the end of Keaton, hidden on the pier.

Keaton is wounded, his spine broken, and he lies on the deck.

Verbal tells there appeared another men on the scene - a tall, slim man in a suit, but he couldn't see his face.

This man - Keyser Söze! - shot Keaton on the boat.


The mysterious other man on the dock -
Keyser Söze?

But Kujan does not believe Keaton was shot. He was always suspecting the man behind everything - from the line-up to the killings on the boat - was Keaton.

And in the end, Verbal confesses it was all Keaton - Keatons plan.

WARNING: SPOILER!!

If you want to know the end, mark below to highlight and read.

Spoiler in here:

Verbal is released and walks out of the police station - while the other survivor, a deadly wounded Hungarian from the boat, finally has delivered a description of the supposed Keyser Söze whom he saw on the boat. A composite sketch of Keyser Söze is faxed to the police station, while Kujan is watching the bulletin board in Rabins office - and suddenly realizes the truth - that everything Verbal told him was made up! The sketch shows Verbals face - but it is too late - Verbal/Keyser Söze is already vanished without a trace


Verbal suddenly is no longer crippled