Movies | The Usual Suspects – the script and intriguing tales about the production, director, writer, cast

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THE USUAL SUSPECTS is one of my all time favorite films and screenplays. This script won the Oscar in 1995 and Kevin Spacey snagged best supporting actor.

The Usual Suspects movie, screenplay

The Usual Suspects is a 1995 American neo-noir  film written by Christopher McQuarrie and directed by Bryan Singer. It stars Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio del Toro, Chazz Palminteri, Kevin Pollak, Kevin Spacey and Pete Postlethwaite photograph by fine photographer in Los Angeles

The Usual Suspects movie trailer

The film follows the interrogation of Roger “Verbal” Kint, a small-time con man who is one of only two survivors of a massacre and fire on a ship docked at the Port of Los Angeles. He tells an interrogator a convoluted story about events that led him and four other criminals to the boat, and of a mysterious mob boss known as Keyser Söze who commissioned their work. Using flashback and narration, Kint’s story becomes increasingly complex. 

The Usual Suspects movie still with Kevin Spacey, Benicio del toro, Gabriel Byrne in line up

The film, shot on a $6 million budget, began as a title taken from a column in Spy magazine called “The Usual Suspects,” after one of Claude Rains’ most memorable lines in the classic film Casablanca. Singer thought it would make a good title for a film, the poster for which he and McQuarrie had developed as the first visual idea.

The Usual Suspects script

The Usual Suspects script pdf

The Usual Suspects was shown out of competition at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival,[1] and then initially released in a few theaters. It received favorable reviews, and was eventually given a wider release. McQuarrie won an Academy Award for the screenplay and Spacey won the Best Supporting Actor award for his performance.

The Usual Suspects lineup scene

Plot

On a ship in San Pedro Bay, a faceless figure identified as “Keyser” speaks briefly with an injured man called Keaton (Byrne), then Keyser appears to shoot Keaton, before setting the ship ablaze. The next day, FBI Agent Jack Baer (Esposito) and United States Customs Service special agent Dave Kujan (Palminteri) arrive in San Pedro separately to investigate what happened on the boat. There appear to be only two survivors: Roger “Verbal” Kint (Spacey), a con artist with cerebral palsy, and a hospitalized Hungarian criminal named Arkosh Kovash.

The Usual Suspects movie poster with Kevin Spacey, Benicio Del Toro, Gabriel Byrne,