CLASSIC SCENE: “Sicilian’s have black blood pumpin’ through their hearts”

Film: TRUE ROMANCE
Director: Tony Scott.
Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino.

Setting the scene:
CLIFFORD WORLEY (Dennis Hopper) returns home from work to his lower-middle-class trailer park. He opens the door to his trailer, steps inside the doorway and then, before he knows it, a gun is pressed to his temple. He’s then punched in the face and knocked to the ground. Cliff awakens in a chair in his living room. There are several mobsters standing around him that include FRANKIE (Frank Adonis), LUCA (Paul Ben-Victor), LENNY (Victor Argo) and VIRGIL (James Gandolfini). Across from Cliff sits VINCENZO COCCOTTI (Christopher Walken), the Frank Nitti to Detroid mob leader BLUE LOU BOYLE. They have tracked down Cliff to find out the whereabouts of his son CLARENCE (Christian Slater) who has stolen their narcotics and disappeared. 

COCCOTTI
(to Frankie)
Tell Luca to go outside and do you-know-what.

[In Italian Frankie tells Luca what Coccotti said. Luca nods and exits]

COCCOTTI
Do you know who I am, Mr. Worley?

CLIFF
I give up. Who are you?

COCCOTTI
I’m the Anti-Christ. You get me in a vendetta kind of mood, you tell the angels in heaven that you had never seen evil so singularly personified as you did in the face of the man who killed you.
My name is Vincenzo Coccotti. I work as a counsel for Mr. Blue Lou Boyle. The man your son stole from. I hear you were once a cop so I can assume you’ve heard of us before. Am I correct?

CLIFF
I’ve heard of Blue Lou Boyle.

COCCOTTI
I’m glad. Hopefully that will clear up the how-full-of-shit-am-I question you’ve been asking yourself. We’re gonna have a little Q & A, and at the risk of sounding redundant, please, make your answers genuine.

[Coccotti stands up and offers Cliff a cigarette]

You want a Chesterfield?

CLIFF
No.

COCCOTTI
(Taking his coat off)
I have a son of my own. About your boy’s age. I can imagine how painful this must be for you. But Clarence and that bitch-whore girlfriend of his brought this all on themselves. And I implore you not to go down that road with them. You can always take comfort in the fact, you never had a choice.

CLIFF
Look, I’d help ya if I could, but I haven’t seen Clarence…

[Coccotti leans towards Cliff waving a clenched fist] 

COCCOTTI
You see that?

[He punches Cliff in the nose]

That smarts, doesn’t it? Gettin’ slammed in the nose. Fucks you all up. You get that pain shootin’ through your brain. Your eyes fill up with water. That ain’t any kind of fun. But what I have to offer you, that’s as good as it’s gonna get…

[Coccotti sits back down]

… and it won’t ever get that good again.

We talked to your neighbors. They saw a Cadillac. Purple Cadillac. Clarence’s purple Cadillac, parked in front of your trailer yesterday… Mr. Worley, have you seen your son?

[Cliff now looks defeated]

CLIFF
I’ve seen him.

COCCOTTI
I can’t be sure of how much of what he told you, so, in the chance you’re in the dark about some of this, let me shed some light. That whore your boy hangs around with, her pimp is an associate of mine, and I don’t just mean pimpin’ in other affairs. He works for me in a courier capacity.

[He stands again]

Well, apparently, that dirty little whore found out when we were gonna do some business, ’cause your son, the cowboy and his flame, came in the room blazing and didn’t stop till they were pretty sure everybody was dead.

CLIFF
What are you talkin’ about?

COCCOTTI
I’m talkin’ about a massacre. They snatched my narcotics and hightailed it outta there. Wouldda gotten away with it, but your son, fuckhead that he is, left his driver’s license in a dead guy’s hand.

[Coccotti can’t contain his laughter]

CLIFF
You know, I don’t believe you.

COCCOTTI
That’s of minor importance. But what’s of major fuckin’ importance is that I believe you. Where did they go?

CLIFF
On their honeymoon.

COCCOTTI

(pauses)
I’m gettin’ angry askin’ the same question a second time. Where did they go?

CLIFF
They didn’t tell me…
Now, you just wait a minute and listen to me. I haven’t seen Clarence in three years. He shows up yesterday with a young girl, sayin’ that he got married. He asked for some, uh, quick, uh, cash to go on a honeymoon. He asked if he could borrow five hundred dollars. I felt like helping him, so I wrote him out a check. We went to breakfast in the morning and that’s the last I saw of him. So help me God. They never thought to tell me where they were goin’. And I never thought to ask.

[Coccotti looks at him for a long moment. Observing him. He then gives Virgil a look. Virgil, quickly grabs Cliff’s hand and turns it palm up. He then slices Cliff’s palm open with a knife and pours Chivas Regal on the wound. Cliff screams. One of Coccotti’s goons throws Cliff a handkerchief. At this point, Luca returns to the trailer, and reports back to Coccotti. They both speak in Italian]

[Cliff holds his bleeding palm in agony as Coccotti takes a seat again]

COCCOTTI
You know, Sicilians are great liars. The best in the world. I’m Sicilian. My father was the world heavyweight champion of Sicilian liars. From growin’ up with him I learned the pantomime. Now there are seventeen different things a guy can do when he lies to give himself away. A guy has seventeen pantomimes. A woman’s got twenty, a guy’s got seventeen.

But, if you know ’em like ya know your own face, they beat lie detectors all to hell. Now, what we got here is a little game of show and tell.

You don’t wanna show me nothin’. But you’re tellin’ me everything. I know you know where they are, so, tell me, before I do some damage you won’t walk away from.

[Cliff realises defeat and takes a moment]

CLIFF
Could I have one of those Chesterfields now?

COCCOTTI
Sure.

[Coccotti leans over and hands him a smoke]

CLIFF
Got a… match? Oh, wait no don’t bother I got one…

[Cliff reaches into his pocket and pulls out a lighter]

CLIFF
(lighting his cigarette)
You’re Sicilian, huh?

COCCOTTI
Sicilian.

CLIFF
(Sniggering)
You know, I read a lot. Especially about things about history. I find that shit fascinating. Here’s a fact, I don’t know whether you know or not… Sicilians were spawned by niggers.

[Coccotti pauses as he can’t believe what he’s hearing]

COCCOTTI
Come again?

CLIFF
Ha! It’s a fact. Yeah, see, uh, Sicilians have black blood pumpin’ through their hearts. If you don’t believe me, you can look it up. Hundreds and hundreds of years ago, uh, you see, uh, the Moors conquered Sicily. And the Moors are niggers. So you see, way back then, uh, Sicilians were like, uh, wops from northern Italy. They all had blonde hair and blue eyes. But, uh, well… then Moors moved in there, well they changed the whole country. They did so much fuckin’ with the Sicilian women, huh, that they changed the whole bloodline forever. That’s why… blonde hair and blue eyes became black hair and dark skin. You know, it’s absolutely amazing to me, to think that to this day, hundreds of years later that, uh, that Sicilians still carry that nigger gene. Now this…

[Coccotti looks around at his goons in disbelief and laughs uncontrollably]

No, I’m quotin’ history. It’s written. It’s a fact. It’s written.

COCCOTTI
(Still laughing)
I love this guy

CLIFF
(laughing along)
Your ancestors are niggers. Hey! And Your great, great, great, great-grandmother fucked a nigger. Whoa, Yeah! and she had a half-nigger kid. Now… if that’s a fact… tell me, am I lying?

(pointing at Coccotti now)

Cause you… you’re part eggplant!

[They both laugh]

COCCOTTI
You’re a cantaloupe!

[They both laugh again as Coccotti stands up and kisses Cliff on the cheek]

COCCOTTI
Beautiful!

[He then walks over to his goons. as Cliff takes a drag of his cigarette. Coccotti looks at him for a moment then walks towards him with an automatic. He puts the barrel to Cliff’s forehead and fires three bullets. Cliff’s lifeless body falls back to the floor]

COCCOTTI
I haven’t killed anybody since 1984.

[Pointing at Cliff’s body, he pulls the trigger another three times]

COCCOTTI
Go to this comedian’s son’s apartment. Come back with something that tells me where that asshole went.

[Virgil hands him a handkerchief and Coccotti wets in the fish tank]

So I can wipe this egg of my face.

[He wipes himself down]

I’ll fix this fucked up family for good.

[He spits on Cliff’s body as his goon Frankie finds a note on the refrigerator held on by a ceramic magnet that says: “Clarence in L.A.: Dick Ritchie (number and address)”.

FRANKIE
Hey boss, get ready to be happy!

(To view or read my other Classic Scenes head over here)

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4 Responses to “CLASSIC SCENE: “Sicilian’s have black blood pumpin’ through their hearts””

  1. Yeah, it’s a great interrogation scene, highlighted by some supreme characterization by Walken and Hopper. Full of intimidation, insult and shrewd motivation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Walken and Hopper are superb together aren’t they? Such a great scene and Tarantino’s dialogue is sublime. I did consider giving a readers discretion warning at the beginning as the dialogue is hugely offensive but that’s also what makes the scene so intense. Thanks Michael.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great GREAT scene!

    Liked by 1 person

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