Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – My Favorite Movie Scenes

Friday, March 26, 2010 at 5:34 pm

In this week’s edition of My Favorite Movie Scenes, I’ll be looking at Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, an underrated film from 2005. Starring Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer, the movie is filled with clever, rapid-fire dialogue courtesy of screenwriter Shane Black (who also directs), and the whole hard-boiled affair smoothly melds the crime genre with elements of a dark comedy. I’ll transcribe the scene line by line, and then I’ll also provide the finished product at the very bottom, courtesy of YouTube (so you can see how the whole process comes together).

If you’d like to buy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang based on the following scene, just head on over to Amazon. We get a small commission for sending you there, but it doesn’t affect your final cost one bit.

Now let’s take a look at one of my favorite movie scenes…


Let’s meet the characters who participate in this scene from Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.


(HARRY LOCKHART and PERRY VAN SHRIKE have just obtained a valuable piece of information in their investigation by visiting the Dexter Clinic. As they head back to the parking lot, the two men prepare to launch into another rapid-fire exchange of wit. But before that can happen, DEXTER CLINIC GUARD comes out of nowhere and approaches them.)

Guard: Good evening, gentlemen.

Perry: Hi, we are so incredibly lost.

Guard: Mister Van Shrike. Hello. You look chilly. Go back inside.

Perry: Actually, I’m from back east. I’m kinda diggin’ the cold.

(Guard hits Harry in the head with a previously unseen pistol.)

Harry: AH! FUCK! He’s the one who said it!

Guard: Or I can kill you here.

(Harry and Perry head back to the entrance of the clinic, followed closely by the guard.)

Perry: Harry, I was thinking some more about this reality versus fiction…

Harry: Oh, is that a fact?

Perry: Yeah, like in the movies when a guy comes up and sticks a gun in some schmucks back and says, uh, “Let’s take a walk.” All of a sudden, he’s got a hostage.

Harry: Oh, yeah, yeah. I’ve seen that before.

Perry: Well, in reality, the pros like about five feet of separation.

Harry: Oh, five feet, huh?

(As Perry delivers the next line, he spins around and takes the gun away from Guard. Harry also produces a gun and points it at the guard.)

Perry: Yeah, that’s so the schmuck doesn’t take the gun back and make him eat it!

(Harry steps forward and hits the guard in the face with his pistol.)

Harry: Doesn’t that suck? I just hit you for no reason. I don’t even know why.

(The armed duo keep their guns trained on the disgusted guard, and all three begin to walk. Cut to…the guard down on his knees, with Harry and Perry interrogating him.)

Perry: Tell us where Harmony is.

Guard: Fuck you, fairy.

Perry: You don’t get it, do you? This isn’t good cop, bad cop. This is fag and New Yorker. You’re in a lot of trouble.

(Guard remains unconvinced.)

Perry: For Christ’s sake, who are you protecting? It’s all over. Fini. Dexter’s going down.

Harry (whispers): Down.

Perry: I know about Veronica’s lawsuit. I know Dexter was facing ruin. I even know he switched daughters, which, for God’s sake, did work for a while until last week.

Harry: Yeah, what happened…then he had to kill her, huh?

Perry: Harry, will you put a sock in it?

Harry: I’m just askin’ a question.

Perry: Yeah, and when you ask questions, it seems like we don’t know anything, like we’re fishing.

Harry: Okay, you’re right.

Perry: And for the record, it was the boyfriend, who flew in from Paris. He would’ve spotted the fake and said, “That’s not Veronica.” Okay?

(Turns to Guard.)

Perry: Am I right?

Guard: Fuck you!

Perry: Exactly. So Dexter had Veronica killed, threw a dress on her, dumped the body and walked away clean…except for one little thing.

Harry: Underpants.

Perry: One tiny little pair of undies.

Harry: Yeah.

(Guard laughs dismissively. Perry pulls out his gun.)

Perry: Think that’s funny, huh? I’m gonna break your nose now.

(Perry strikes Guard in the face with the pistol and then points the gun at him.)

Perry: I want you to picture a bullet inside your head. Can you do that for me?

Guard: Fuck you. Anyway, that’s ambiguous.

Perry: Ambiguous? No, I don’t think so.

Harry: No, I think he means that when you say “picture it inside your head,” okay, is that a bullet will BE inside your head or picture it IN your head?

Perry: Harry, will you shut up?

Harry: He’s got a point.

Guard: Look! I don’t know anything about a girl…seriously. I was bluffin, alright?

Harry: I think you are bluffing, right NOW.

(Harry pulls out his pistol and empties the shells into his hand. A few shells fall to the pavement.)

Perry: Harry, what are you doing?

Harry: Well, what I’m doing, for the guy who likes to bluff, is I’m playing a little game called “Am I bluffing?”

(While saying the last line, Harry has inserted one bullet into the chamber but left it open.)

Harry: Huh? Where is she?! Where the fuck is Harmony?!

Perry: Harry.

Harry: Wanna play hardball? I can do that. Where…

(Harry spins the gun’s chamber.)

Harry: …is…

(Harry closes the chamber, points the gun at Guard, and pulls the trigger. The gun goes off.)

Harry: …the GIRL?!

(The guard falls dead to the pavement.)

Perry: WHAT did you just do?!

Harry: I just, I put in one bullet, didn’t I?

Perry: You put a live round in that gun?

Harry: Well, yeah. There was like an eight percent chance, wasn’t there?

Perry: Eight? What was that? EIGHT?!

Harry: Yeah!


Harry: Maybe it’s more. I don’t…

(Perry snatches the gun away from Harry. Perry’s phone begins to ring.)

END OF SCENE (well, there’s a little bit more, but that’s the really good part.)

Now that you’ve seen what it might look like on paper, watch the completed scene and see how a couple of talented actors can really put the scene over the top.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 26th, 2010 at 5:34 pm and is filed under Thoughts on Film. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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