Q & A

Synopsis: A young district attorney seeking to prove a case against a corrupt police detective encounters a former lover and her new protector, a crime boss who refuses to help him in this gritty crime film.
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Director(s): Sidney Lumet
Production: TriStar Pictures
Rotten Tomatoes:
132 min

[Salsa music playing in distance]

Where's Julio's old lady, man?

[Repeats himself in Spanish]

Jesus! A set-up!

Call the police.

Call an ambulance! Comprende?

- What do you see?

- Nothing.

Bullshit! What do you see?

Nada, Lieutenant!

The gun, honey dripper.

You see it in his hands?

S, Lieutenant.

What do you see?

- I see a gun, seor!

- Where?

His right hand! His right hand got a gun.

[Crashes against the door]

Okay. Calm down.

Calm down!


Wait right here!

[Phone rings]



Is this Assistant District Attorney

Aloysius Francis Reilly?


This is Kevin Quinn,

Chief of Homicide Bureau...

...Office of the District Attorney,

County of New York.

You've heard of me?

Jesus. Yes, this is me.


Al Reilly, sir.

Aloysius Francis Reilly.

All right. That's better.

Are you catching tonight?

Yes, sir, I am.

A squad car is on the way to pick you up.

I've already alerted the duty stenographer.

Make note of the time.

It's 3:
05 a.m. You have time to shower.

Be here by 4:
00 a.m.

What precinct, sir?

Tony Vasquez has been shot,

it belongs to us, Homicide Bureau.

I know this is your first case for us.

Don't make me feel like an idiot

for requesting you here.

Homicide Bureau, my office, sixth floor.

[Tense instrumental music]

[Tense pop song]

[Pop song escalates]

Come in, please.

Shut the door behind you.

Sit down, please.

Aloysius Francis Reilly?

Yes, sir. My friends call me Al.

Background, Francis. Tell me about it.


Queens. Grew up in Elmhurst.

Catholic school.

Enough minor league ball

to find out I couldn't hit a curve.

Law degree?


Why not St. John's?

My father thought the Jesuits

were too left wing.

Your father's death was a tragedy.

Not only for your family...

...but for the police force as well.

Yes, sir. He was killed

in the line of duty in the 23.

I see you served in Harlem, also.

It's bad there.

Yes, sir. It is.

Those people have a tough time.

If you want to serve as the house liberal...

...I can transfer you back

to Mr. Bloomenfeld's office.

I don't care if a man

is black, white, green, polka-dot...

...or was thrown in the garbage at birth...

...or he started wearing

women's clothes at 14.

If he breaks the law

and it crosses this desk, he pays for it.

You understand?

Yes, sir.

And you agree?

Yes, sir.


Your father was everything

the Police Department used to be.

He was part of a tradition

that had been built by our people.

A tradition that justified

the use of those words, "The Finest."

That's why I brought you in here.

I want to hold on to those values

and the people who reflect them.

I hope you'll be one.

I'll certainly be trying.

Your first case

as an Assistant District Attorney...

...began with my phone call at 3:05 a.m.

A classic case

of justifiable homicide.

A piece of vermin, one Tony Vasquez,

attempted to ambush Lieutenant Brennan.

Mike Brennan is the personification

of the finest.

The toughest, most dedicated police officer

it's been my pleasure to know.

He gets rough sometimes.

If he takes shortcuts,

they never hurt us in court.

I know, because this office

has tried all his cases...

...never lost one.

Never been reversed on appeal.

You'll meet him shortly.

Your job is to collect the facts, present them

to a grand jury and close this out.

You will advise Brennan of his rights

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Sidney Lumet

Sidney Arthur Lumet ( loo-MET; June 25, 1924 – April 9, 2011) was an American director, producer, and screenwriter with over 50 films to his credit. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director for 12 Angry Men (1957), Serpico (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Network (1976), and The Verdict (1982). He did not win an individual Academy Award, but he did receive an Academy Honorary Award and 14 of his films were nominated for various Oscars, such as Network, which was nominated for ten, winning four. The Encyclopedia of Hollywood states that Lumet was one of the most prolific filmmakers of the modern era, having directed more than one movie a year on average since his directorial debut in 1957. He was noted by Turner Classic Movies for his "strong direction of actors," "vigorous storytelling" and the "social realism" in his best work. Film critic Roger Ebert described him as having been "one of the finest craftsmen and warmest humanitarians among all film directors." Lumet was also known as an "actor's director," having worked with the best of them during his career, probably more than "any other director." Sean Connery, who acted in five of his films, considered him one of his favorite directors, and a director who had that "vision thing."A member of the maiden cohort of New York's Actors Studio, Lumet began his directorial career in Off-Broadway productions, then became a highly efficient TV director. His first movie, 12 Angry Men (1957), was a courtroom drama centered on tense jury deliberations. Lumet subsequently divided his energies among other political and social drama films, as well as adaptations of literary plays and novels, big stylish stories, New York-based black comedies, and realistic crime dramas, including Serpico and Prince of the City. As a result of directing 12 Angry Men, he was also responsible for leading the first wave of directors who made a successful transition from TV to movies.In 2005, Lumet received an Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement for his "brilliant services to screenwriters, performers, and the art of the motion picture." Two years later, he concluded his career with the acclaimed drama Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007). A few months after Lumet's death in April 2011, a retrospective celebration of his work was held at New York's Lincoln Center with the appearance of numerous speakers and film stars. In 2015, Nancy Buirski directed By Sidney Lumet, a documentary about his career, and in January 2017 PBS devoted its American Masters series to Lumet's life as a director. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Q & A" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 22 Apr. 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/q_%2526_a_16415>.

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