Rogue Cop: Oh, My Word!

Rogue Cop (MGM, 1954) tells the story of Chris Kelvaney (Robert Taylor), a corrupt cop who turns on his mob cronies when they threaten the life of his straight-laced police officer brother, Eddie (Steve Forrest).  The story also includes mob boss Dan Beaumonte (George Raft); his alcoholic moll, Nancy Corlane (Anne Francis); Eddie’s would-be wife, Karen Stephanson (Janet Leigh); Chris’s fellow detective Sid Myers (Robert Ellenstein); and hired killer Langley (Vince Edwards).

Rogue Cop is rife with some of the best dialogue in all of noir, courtesy of writer Sidney Boehm, who also penned the screenplays for The High Wall, Side Street, Union Station, and one of my all-time faves, The Big Heat. Just by reading the film’s many great lines, you can practically track the plot from beginning to end (watch out for spoilers!). And even if you can’t tell what’s going on, you’ll love what the characters have to say and the way they say it…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Francis and Raft bring Nancy and Dan to life.

Francis and Raft bring Nancy and Dan to life.

Dan: Be a nice girl and stay away from the bar.

Nancy: Don’t be dull, Dan, you’ll spoil my afternoon.

Dan: There’s a lot of refined people here. Friends of mine. You get out of line and I’ll spoil more than your afternoon.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Karen: Who do you think you are?  What gives you the right to barge in here and cross-examine me? Get out.

Chris: Just relax and talk nice. I know who you are and what league you played in. You were Frankie Nemo’s girl, weren’t you?

Karen: Yes.

Chris:  Yes. Yes. Is that all you have to say? Where’s the cute story? Didn’t he hold a mortgage on the old plantation, wasn’t he threatening the virtue of your little sister – that kind of routine?  I go for cute stories.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Eddie: I’ve gotta clean up and get going. I’m due to talk to Father Ahearn about Karen and me.

Chris: You gonna marry her?

Eddie: I’m hoping to.

Chris: You’re dumber than I thought. Better check the merchandise carefully before you buy it.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Eddie: Everything in the world is twisted and dirty to you because you’re always looking in the mirror.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sid: Look, I been in this business long enough to know the world isn’t run the way Father Ahearn would like it run. But I still got some pride in my job, in the department. And in this squad. I’m tired of the fix.  I’m tired of cops that do business with lice. I’m tired of you, Chris…G’wan, hit me. If you think it’ll make you feel any cleaner.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Nancy and Chris exchange words over the bar.

Nancy and Chris exchange words over the bar.

Nancy: How come you don’t get blind drunk like the rest of us?

Chris: I don’t know – I guess I just don’t want to be somebody else.

Nancy:  I do.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Dan (to Nancy): Beat it before I kick you back to the gutter.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Chris: It’s a little late for me to put on sackcloth and ashes. I’m a crooked cop. Those are dirty words, but they fit.  They’re stuck to me with glue.  I can’t get rid of them by crossing myself and saying Hail Marys.

Karen: You’re a friend of the man who killed him. You said we were the same kind of dirt, didn’t you?  But we’re not, oh no. You let them kill your own brother – I’m not in that class.



Chris: I don’t want speeches.  There’ll be enough of those – the mayor, the Commissioner, the newspapers. Priests, ministers – all kinds of speeches. And when they’re through, Eddie’ll be just as dead. So don’t waste my time.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Chris: They promised me 48 hours and I bought it. Wanted me out of the way so they could get to him.

Karen: You’ll go after them – not because of Eddie. But because your pride is hurt. Not because they’re cruel and evil people. Their crime is they made a fool out of Christopher Kelvaney.

Chris: I told you to skip the sermons.

Karen: You don’t want to hear anything about right or wrong, good or evil. It hurts to listen, doesn’t it?

Chris: Shaddup.

“You’re not talking to a bellhop.”

Karen: You don’t want anyone to tell you the kind of man you are – you laugh and sneer at the whole world, yet you’re too sensitive to listen to its judgment on you. Well, one day you’ll have to listen. Because you helped fire those bullets that killed Eddie.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Dan: This organization’s not big enough for guys like you. Get out.

Chris: You’re not talking to a bellhop. I don’t come and go when you push buttons.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Nancy: Why did Dan do this to me, Chris? I was as good to him as I knew how to be. I tried my best to be what he wanted. He must’ve liked me a little. And all the time, he never went with another girl. He used to laugh about it – say he was getting old. But that wasn’t the reason. He liked me.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sid Myers (center) -- the cop in the thirty-buck suit.

Sid Myers (center) — the cop in the thirty-buck suit.

Sid: You don’t think I’m much of a cop, do you?

Chris: I never said so.

Sid: You didn’t have to say it. I could see it in your face. Sid Myers – another dumb cop, who’ll wait around in his thirty-buck suit of clothes until it’s time to collect his pension.

Chris: Maybe I felt that way once, but no more. Maybe I even wish I was the cop in the thirty-buck suit.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Chris: Beaumonte wants you to clear out. I’m setting it up for him. I work for Dan – I’m a cop.

Langley: Cop?  Hey, I don’t like this, mister – this set-up stinks out loud.

Chris: Don’t get nervous, sonny, you act like it was your first job.

Langley: I’m just making sure it ain’t my last, that’s all . . .

Chris: It was your last job, sonny.

Langley: I’d cut off my hands and feet for another chance at you.

Chris: You’re not big-time – you’re all mouth. You’ll find out how much when I turn you over to my brother’s friends downtown.

Langley: I don’t scare.

Chris: We don’t scare, sonny – both of us. We’re big and tough. That’s why we wind up like this –  little men, begging for a break.

Langley: Who’s little?

Chris: You’re little enough to fit in the chair. That’s all that matters.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Chris: Sid?

Sid: Take it easy.

Chris: There’s too much to think about.  All the things I’ll never get to tell Eddie.  You’re a lot like him, Sid.  A lot better cop than I’ll ever be.

Sid: Shut up and get some sleep.

Chris: There’s something I’d like to ask you.

Sid: Sure.

Chris: Would you forgive me?  Could you do that?  Forgive me?

Sid: For what – for letting me in on the biggest job of my life?  Go to sleep.


(If you’re never seen Rogue Cop – and chances are, you haven’t – try to snag a copy of it or catch one of its rare TV or cable airings. It has some outstanding performances to match the socko dialogue – you only owe it to yourself to check it out!)

~ by shadowsandsatin on July 3, 2013.

10 Responses to “Rogue Cop: Oh, My Word!”

  1. Excellent take on one of my favorite flics.

  2. Wow, you included some great quotes from this picture (which features one of Robert Taylor’s best performances). My favorite line, which I plan to use during my day job: “This set-up stinks out loud.”

  3. Great quotes. thanks

  4. The European TCM occasionally show Rogue Cop, so of course, being a noir fan, I’ve seen it. But why hasn’t Warner Archive released it yet? Still, since they’ve finally released The Mask Of Dimitrios, chances are that they also come around to Rogue Cop.

  5. Some FANTASTIC lines here! They sure don’t write ’em like this anymore, do they?

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