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Threatisms: Samuel L. Jackson delivers Shane Black’s ‘Long Kiss Goodnight’

20 September 2010

Poster for "The Long Kiss Goodnight" written by Shane BlackThreatism (noun): creative manner of warning delivered by fictional characters.

There’s a soft spot in my heart for The Long Kiss Goodnight.  Maybe it’s because it combined two sub-genres I am a sucker for: spy chicks and amnesia.  Or maybe because Geena Davis’ Charlene Baltimore could certainly take down Angelina Jolie’s Evelyn Salt in a fight.  Or maybe because it had director Renny Harlin doing his very best John Woo impression.

Certainly, Shane Black’s quirky script helped elevate the material above its genre conventions, as seen when Samuel L. Jackson’s grimy private detective delivers a cavalcade of threats to a man he is conning.  It’s funny in its profane creativity, and made all the better with Sam Jackson letting it fly.

I’m not quite sure why his character is “Young Man” in dialogue, but you can watch the exchange on YouTube to see what Sam Jackson does with it.

  A DOOR KICKED OPEN, WHAM-! Splintered. Lock shattered.

               INT. MOTEL ROOM - AKRON, OHIO - NIGHT

               A NUDE COUPLE on the bed. They look up, startled -- as three
               men burst through the door. The LEADER: a haggard-looking
               man sporting a soup-stain on his tie, whoops, that's the
               design, sorry. MITCH HENESSEY, private investigator and con
               man extraordinaire. He flashes a phony badge:

                                     YOUNG MAN
                         POLICE. DON'T MOVE.

                                     MAN ON BED
                         What the hell is this...?!!

                                     YOUNG MAN
                         Don't give me an attitude, sir. You're
                         assuming I won't shoot your sorry
                         ass, and everyone knows when you
                         make an assumption, you make an ass
                         out of u and mption. I'm Sergeant
                         Madigan, Vice, and if you cop a 'tude,
                         jerkoff, I will see to it you spend
                         the next ten years in prison getting
                         ass-fucked, and if the case is thrown
                         out because my arrest is too violent,
                         then I will personally HIRE men to
                         ass-fuck you for ten years. So if
                         you're an ass-fucking fan, go ahead
                         and mouth off, but meanwhile you're
                         under arrest for the crime of
                         prostitution, now shut the fuck up
                         before I cut out your kneecaps and
                         use 'em as ashtrays.
                              (beat)
                         Officer Donleavy, read him his rights.

You can read the full script at IMSDb.

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