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Sin City


Sin City Soundtrack

Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller's eye-popping adaptation of Miller's noir comic Sin City boasts an equally gritty, stylized score to match its visual flair.

As with all of Rodriguez's films, he was actively involved in Sin City's music, writing a fair chunk of the score himself and turning to two of his frequent collaborators, Graeme Revell (who worked with Rodriguez on the From Dusk 'Til Dawn soundtrack) and John Debney (who contributed to the Spy Kids 1 and 2 scores), to work on the rest, with and without him.

Rodriguez scored most of Sin City's Hartigan (Bruce Willis) storyline, aka "That Yellow Bastard" to fans of the comic, and his "Sin City" theme sets the tone for the rest of the score: it's down and dirty, like the "Peter Gunn" theme gone to hell, with a beautifully ugly sax sound that adds a glamorously nasty edge to the piece (and everywhere else it pops up).

Revell scored the Marv storyline, which comes from the first Sin City comic, and Debney's score revolves around the Dwight/Miho story originally known as "The Big Fat Kill."

All three parts of the score blend jazz, spy, and especially film noir soundtrack elements with subtle rock and electronic touches; though they work well as a whole, there's something to be said for each of the composers' individual approaches as well.

Revell's tracks are the most percussive and electronic; there's an almost industrial bent to the drums on "Marv" and "Bury the Hatchet." "Her Name Is Goldie" and "Goldie's Dead," meanwhile, concentrate on the haunting flute and vocal motifs that collide with Revell's edgier sounds on "The Hard Goodbye."

Despite Sin City's stylishness, it's still fairly restrained; Rodriguez, Revell, and Debney know when to pull back from going too over the top. This is especially true of Debney's pieces, which are the closest to traditional noir film music in the score.

Along with reflecting the bleak, harsh aspects of the story, tracks like "Dwight" and "Warrior Woman" also capture Sin City's very real undercurrents of sorrow: the string parts move from eerie to bittersweet, and the horns go from dangerously taut to brooding, particularly on "The Big Fat Kill," which is sad, angry, and violent all at once.

Rodriguez's pieces are some of the showiest and most evocative, ranging from "Prison Cell," which sounds like sinking into darkness, to the theatrical evil of "That Yellow Bastard."

"Sin City End Titles" is a bigger and badder reprise of the film's theme with a more rock-based arrangement and more than a little bit of a wink in its delivery. The soundtrack also includes two non-score tracks.

Fluke's "Absurd" has a more "modern," big beat/rock sound than the rest of the album, but it feels oddly dated and out of place compared to the more timeless-sounding music that surrounds it.

However, "Sensemaya," a 1976 piece from Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas, is right in keeping with the score's elegant menace; it's easy to hear why Rodriguez says in the album's liner notes that this piece was a big influence on him.

A wonderful update of film noir music traditions, the soundtrack remains faithful to that basic sound, but not too faithful to inject some fresh ideas into it. Along with The Incredibles, Sin City is one of the most stylish and entertaining -- not to mention effective -- scores in recent memory. ~ Heather Phares


After his negative personal experience working in Hollywood on RoboCop 2 and 3, Miller was reluctant to release the film rights to his comic books, fearing a similar result. Rodriguez, a long-time fan of the graphic novels, was eager to adapt Sin City for the screen.

His plan was to make a fully faithful adaptation, follow the source material closely, and make a "translation, not an adaptation". In hopes of convincing Miller to give the project his blessing, Rodriguez shot a "proof of concept" adaptation of the Sin City story "The Customer is Always Right."

Rodriguez flew Miller into Austin to be present at this test shooting, and Miller was very happy with the results. This footage was later used as the opening scene for the completed project, and (according to Rodriguez in the DVD extras) to recruit Bruce Willis and others to the project.

This is one of the first films along with Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Casshern, and Immortel (Ad Vitam) to be shot primarily on a digital backlot.

The film employed the Sony HDC-950 high-definition digital camera, having the actors work in front of a green screen, that allowed for the artificial backgrounds (as well as some major foreground elements, such as cars) to be added later during the post-production stage.

While the use of a green screen is standard for special effects filming, the use of high-definition digital cameras is quite noteworthy in this film's production. The combination of these two techniques made Sin City at the time (along with Sky Captain, which was produced the same way) one of the few fully digital, live-action films (since then, digital has grown in popularity).

This technique also means that the whole film was initially shot in full color, and was converted to black-and-white. Colorization is used on certain subjects in a scene:

Devon Aoki's red-and-blue clothing; Alexis Bledel's blue eyes and red blood; Michael Clarke Duncan's golden eye; Rutger Hauer's green eyes; Jaime King's red dress and blonde hair; Clive Owen's red Converse shoes and Cadillac.

Mickey Rourke's red blood and orange prescription pill container; Marley Shelton's green eyes, red dress, and red lips; Nick Stahl's yellow face and body; and Elijah Wood's white glasses.

Much of the blood in the film also has a striking glow to it. The film was color-corrected digitally and, as in film noir tradition, treated for heightened contrast so as to more clearly separate blacks and whites.

This was done not only to give a more film-noir look, but also to make it appear more like the original comic. This technique was used again on another Frank Miller adaptation, 300, which was shot on film.


Principal photography began on March 29, 2004. Several of the scenes were shot before every actor had signed on; as a result, several stand-ins were used before the actual actors were digitally added into the film during post-production.

Rodriguez, an aficionado of cinematic technology, has used similar techniques in the past. In Roger Ebert's review of the film, he recalled Rodriguez's speech during production of Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams: "This is the future!

You don't wait six hours for a scene to be lighted. You want a light over here, you grab a light and put it over here. You want a nuclear submarine, you make one out of thin air and put your characters into it."

The film was noted throughout production for Rodriguez's plan to stay faithful to the source material, unlike most other comic book adaptations. Rodriguez stated that he considered the film to be "less of an adaptation than a translation".

As a result, there is no screenwriting in the credits; simply "Based on the graphic novels by Frank Miller". There were several minor changes, such as dialogue trimming, new colorized objects, removal of some nudity, slightly edited violence, and minor deleted scenes.

These scenes were later added in the release of the Sin City Collectors DVD, which also split the books into the four separate stories.

Three directors received credit for Sin City: Miller, Rodriguez, and Quentin Tarantino, the last for directing one scene in the film. Miller and Rodriguez worked as a team directing the rest of the film.

Despite having no previous directorial background, Miller was substantially involved in the film's direction, providing direction to the actors on their motivations and what they needed to bring to each scene.

Because of this (and the fact that Miller's original books were used as storyboards), Rodriguez felt that they should both be credited as directors on the film.

When the Directors Guild of America refused to allow two directors that were not an established team to be credited (especially since Miller had never directed before), Rodriguez first planned to give Miller full credit.

Miller would not accept this, as he certainly could not have done it without Rodriguez. Rodriguez, also refusing to take full credit, decided to resign from the Guild so that the joint credit could remain.


The film opened on April 1, 2005, being acclaimed by reviews. Film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 78% of critics gave the film a positive review based on 242 reviews with a "Certified Fresh" rating, with an average score of 7.4/10.

The site's consensus states: "Visually groundbreaking and terrifically violent, Sin City brings the dark world of Frank Miller's graphic novel to vivid life."

On Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 based on reviews from critics, the film has a score of 74 (citing "generally favorable reviews") based on 40 reviews.

Roger Ebert awarded the film four out of four stars, describing it as "a visualization of the pulp noir imagination, uncompromising and extreme. Yes, and brilliant." Online critical reaction was particularly strong: James Berardinelli placed the film on his list of the "Top Ten" films of 2005.

Several critics including Ebert compared the film favorably to other comic book adaptations, particularly Batman and Hulk. Chauncey Mabe of the Sun-Sentinel wrote: "Really, there will be no reason for anyone to make a comic-book film ever again. Miller and Rodriguez have pushed the form as far as it can possibly go."

There were several reviews predominantly focused on the film's more graphic content, criticizing it for a lack of "humanity".

William Arnold of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer described it as a celebration of "helpless people being tortured ... I kept thinking of those clean-cut young American guards at Abu Ghraib. That is exactly the mentality Rodriguez is celebrating here. Sin City is their movie."

Other critics focused on especially negative elements: "scenes depicting castration, murder, torture, decapitation, rape, and misogyny."

The New York Times critic Manohla Dargis claimed that the directors' "commitment to absolute unreality and the absence of the human factor" made it "hard to get pulled into the story on any level other than the visceral".

Credit is given for Rodriguez's "scrupulous care and obvious love for its genre influences" but Dargis notes "it's a shame the movie is kind of a bore" where the private experience of reading a graphic novel does not translate, stating that "the problem is, this is his private experience, not ours".

In a more lighthearted piece focusing on the progression of films and the origins of Sin City, fellow Times critic A. O. Scott, identifying Who Framed Roger Rabbit as its chief cinematic predecessor, argued that "Something is missing something human.

Don't let the movies fool you: Roger Rabbit was guilty," with regard to the increasing use of digitisation within films to replace the human elements.

He applauds the fact Rodriguez "has rendered a gorgeous world of silvery shadows that updates the expressionist cinematography of postwar noir" but bemoans that several elements of "old film noirs has been digitally broomed away", resulting instead in a film that "offers sensation without feeling, death without grief, sin without guilt, and, ultimately, novelty without surprise".

Sin City grossed $29.1 million on its opening weekend, defeating fellow opener Beauty Shop by more than twice its opening take. The film saw a sharp decline in its second weekend, dropping over fifty percent.

Ultimately, the film ended its North American run with a gross of $74.1 million against its $40 million negative cost. Overseas, the film grossed $84.6 million, for a worldwide total from theater receipts of $158.7 million.

Resources: Wikipedia.org, imdb.com

Sin City - 2005 | Plot & Screenshots

(This story presentation includes some dialogue)

The Customer is Always Right

In Basin City, The Man (Josh Hartnett) approaches the stunningly beautiful Customer (Marley Shelton) on the balcony of a penthouse apartment.

The Man: [narration] She shivers in the wind like the last leaf on a dying tree. I let her hear my footsteps. She only goes stiff for a moment.

The Customer: Are you as bored of that crowd as I am?

The Man: I didn't come here for the party... I came here for you.

The Man: [narration] The wind rises, electric. She's soft and warm and almost weightless. Her perfume is a sweet promise that brings tears to my eyes. I tell her that everything will be all right. That I'll save her from whatever she's scared of and take her far, far away. I tell her I love her.

Silenced gunshot.

The Man: [narration] The silencer makes a whisper of the gunshot. I hold her close until she's gone. I'll never know what she was running from. I'll cash her check in the morning.

That Yellow Bastard

Hartigan: Just one hour to go. My last day on the job. Early retirement. Not my idea. Doctor's orders. Heart condition. Angina, he calls it. I'm polishing my badge and getting used to the idea of saying goodbye to it. It and the 30 odd years of protecting and serving and tears and... blood and terror... triumph it represents. I'm thinking about Eileen's slow smile, bout the thick, fat steak she picked up at the butchers today. I'm thinking about the one loose end I haven't tied up. A young girl who's out there somewhere, helpless in the hands of a drooling lunatic.

Hartigan (Bruce Willis) races to the docks to prevent Junior (Nick Stahl) from raping and murdering a little girl. His partner, Bob (Michael Madsen) tries to stop him . . .

Bob: I'm gonna get on the horn and wait for back-up. We're gonna wait for back-up!

Hartigan: Sure, Bob. You'll call for back-up. And we'll sit on our hands while that Roark brat gets his sick thrills from victim number four. Victim number four! Nancy Callahan. Age 11. She'll be raped and slashed to ribbons. And that back-up we're waiting on will just happen to show up late enough to let Roark get back home to his U.S. Senator daddy and everything will be fine until Junior gets the itch again.

Bob: Take a deep breath, Hartigan. Settle down and think straight. You're pushing 60. You've got a bum ticker. You're not saving anybody.

Hartigan: You've got a great attitude, Bob. You're a great cop. A real credit to the force, you are.

Bob: Eileen's home waiting for you. Think about Eileen.

Hartigan: Heck, Bob. Maybe you're right.

Bob: I'm glad to hear you're finally talking sense!

Hartigan punches Bob in the face.

Hartigan: [narrating] Hell of a way to end a partnership. Hell of a way to start my retirement.

Lenny: Hold on, Benny. I just want to make sure these two get along all right.

Roark Jr.: And what kind of a beast couldn't get along with a precious little girl like this? You're probably scared now, but you have nothing to be scared of. All we're going to do is talk, just a nice talk, you and me. Don't you cry now.

After disarming Junior's henchmen, Hartigan corners Junior on a pier. Junior tries to use Nancy as a shield but Hartigan is too good of a shot. He blows off Junior's ear before shooting him in the groin. But before Hartigan can finish him off, Bob shoots Hartigan in the back.

Junior's father is a powerful senator and Bob knows who calls the shots.

Hartigan goads Bob into shooting him several more times to keep him from killing Nancy before more police officers arrive.

John Hartigan: [narration] An old man dies. A young woman lives. A fair trade. I love you, Nancy.

The Hard Goodbye

Marv (Mickey Rourke) is a frighteningly ugly, brutish man.

Although he does not flinch from violence, even enjoys it in many circumstances, he has a strong moral code by which he lives.

Marv: [narration] The night's as hot as hell. It's a lousy room in a lousy part of a lousy town. I'm staring at a goddess. She's telling me she wants me. I'm not going to waste one more minute wondering how I've gotten this lucky. She smells like angels ought to smell, the perfect woman... the Goddess. Goldie. She says her name is Goldie.

He is surprised when the stunningly beautiful Goldie (Jaime King) comes to him and professes her love.

They make love and fall asleep in each others arms. When Marv awakes, she is dead.

Marv: [narrating] Goldie's dead. I've been framed for murder. The cops are in on it.

Cop: [knocks on door] Open up! Police!

Marv: I'll be right out.

Marv flicks his lighter shut. . . The door is blown off its hinges, taking several cops with it.

He fights his way through the hail of bullets with which the police officers greet him and makes his way to the apartment of Lucille (Carla Gugino), his stunningly beautiful lesbian parole officer.

Marv: [narrating] Lucille's my parole officer. She's a dyke, but God knows why. With that body of hers she could have any man she wants.

Marv: I had to fight some cops.

Lucille: Oh, that's lovely. You didn't happen to kill any of them, did you?

Marv: Nah, I don't think so, but they know they've been in a fight, that's for damn sure.

She gives him the medication he needs to maintain his sanity as he explains to her that he is on a mission to find who is responsible for Goldie's death and brutally kill them.

Marv: This is blood for blood and by the gallons. These are the old days man, the bad days, the all-or-nothing days. They're back! There's no choices left. And I'm ready for war.

Lucille: Prison was hell for you Marv, it's gonna be life this time.

Marv: Hell's waking up every goddamn day and not even knowing why you're here. But I'm out now. It took someone who was kind to me getting killed to do it. But I'm out. And I know exactly what I'm gonna do.

Marv makes the rounds of Basin City's criminal element to find out who ordered Goldie's death and his framing. The road leads to a priest (Frank Miller), to whom Marv confesses his sins.

Marv then points a gun at the priest, who tells him that the person behind the crime was Cardinal Roark (Rutger Hauer), the most powerful man in Basin City and the brother of Senator Roark.

Priest: ...ask yourself if that corpse of a slut is worth dying for.

Marv: Worth dying for.

Marv shoots the priest.

Marv: Worth killing for.

He shoots him again.

Marv: Worth going to hell for.

He shoots him again.

Marv: Amen.

However, even Marv pauses before going after Cardinal Roark. Instead he goes to the Roark family farm house where he is assaulted by the superhumanly agile Kevin (Elijah Wood).

Marv regains consciousness in a basement cell.

The walls are adorned with the heads of young women.

In the corner cowers Lucille. She informs him that Kevin is a cannibal and has in fact cut off her hand and eaten it before her eyes.

Lucille: [screaming] He made me WATCH! Christ, I could use a cigarette.

Marv: [narrating] That's the thing with dames; sometimes all they gotta do is let it out and a few buckets later there's no way you'd know.

She also tells him that powerful people are willing to protect Kevin and that she was under suspicion as soon as she began to investigate Goldie's death on Marv's behalf.

Goldie and some of the other prostitutes of Basin City had been servicing the upper echelons of the clergy and Goldie learned of Kevin's evil tendencies. She then went to Marv for help. Marv busts out of his and Lucille's prison. But a SWAT team arrives at the farm. Lucille is killed by them, setting Marv off on another of his rampages.

Cop: Sir! There's no sign of the target.

Marv: Here's a sign.

Marv comes up behind a cop and swings a hatchet into the cop's crotch.

Marv tortures the last cop left alive, who confirms that Cardinal Roark was behind Goldie's murder.

Marv is captured by a woman who looks exactly like Goldie. She takes him back to Basin City where she interrogates him brutally.

Marv: Wait a second. Why'd she call you Wendy?

Wendy: Because that's my name, you ape. Goldie was my sister. My twin sister.

Marv: I guess she was the nice one.

Along with her are other girls of Old Town, including Gail. Wendy believes that Marv is responsible for Goldie's death.

Marv: You crazy god-damn broad! Just take a look at this mug. Would any of you dames let me get close enough to you to kill you? None of you would, but Goldie... But she only did because she thought I could protect her. And I bet those cops didn't do a damn thing about those other girls, did they? But as soon as they had me for a fall guy they showed up, guns blazing. But they didn't get me and I've been killing my way to the truth ever since. So go ahead, doll, shoot me now, or get the hell out of my way.

She agrees to help him get revenge. Marv has just easily shrugged off the ropes.

Wendy: You sat there and took it when you could've taken my gun away from me any time you wanted to.

Marv: Sure, but I thought I might be able to talk some sense into you. And I probably would've had to paste you one getting the gun. And I don't hurt girls.

They go to a hardware supply store and buy what Marv will need to kill Kevin.

Wendy: Kill em' for me Marv. Kill 'em good.

Marv: I won't let you down, Goldie

Marv takes another beating from Kevin but tricks him into getting too close to Marv who handcuffs himself to Kevin, negating his leaping ability.

Marv: I got you now, ya little bastard. Let's see you hop around now.

Marv dismembers Kevin and allows Kevin's pet wolf to eat him. Kevin, as ever, remains silent.

Marv: [narrating] He never screams. Even after the dog has its fill and his guts are hanging out, he never screams.

Marv then takes Kevin's head to Cardinal Roark.

Cardinal Roark: Kevin? Is that you?

Marv: [holding up Kevin's severed head] What's left of him, anyway. The dog ate the rest.

Roark freely admits that Kevin was his protege and that they both were cannibals, justifying their actions because they only killed and ate prostitutes.

Cardinal Roark: What the hell do you know...

Marv: I know it's pretty damn weird to eat people.

Cardinal Roark: Will that bring you satisfaction, my son? Killing a helpless, old, fart?

Marv: Killing? No. No satisfaction. Everything up until the killing, will be a gas.

Cardinal Roark: [holding Kevin's head] We're going home, Kevin.

Marv: You can scream now if you want.

Marv brutally kills Cardinal Roark. The police arrive and shoot Marv down. Despite being shot multiple times, Marv makes a slow recovery at the hospital.

Marv: [narrating] I'm on my feet for about ten minutes before the cops kick them out from under me. They don't ask me any questions. They just keep knocking the crap out of me and waving a confession in my face. And I keep spitting blood all over it and laughing at how many fresh copies they come up with. Then along comes this worm assistant district attorney who turns the recorder off and says if I don't sign their confession, they'll kill my mom. I break his arm in three places and I sign it.

Marv is kept alive long enough to go on trial not only for the murder of Cardinal Roark but all of Kevin's crimes, as well.

He is sentenced to death. Wendy visits him on Death Row.

Wendy: You can call me Goldie.

They spend the night together. The next day, Marv is sent to the electric chair.

Priest #2: Yay though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death...

Marv: Would you get a move on already? I haven't got all night.

After the first shock from the electric chair, blood is pouring from Marv's mouth.

Marv: Is that the best you can do, you pansies?

It takes a second massive jolt of electricity to do the trick.

The Big Fat Kill

Jackie Boy (Benicio del Toro) tries to persuade Shellie (Brittany Murphy) to let him and his thuggish friends into her apartment. She delays because Dwight (Clive Owen), her new lover, is there.

Shellie: Forget it, man, You can bang on that door *all* night if you want. There's no way in hell I'm letting you in. Wish you would've dropped by earlier, Jackie Boy. Then you could've met my boyfriend, could've seen what a real man looks like. You brought your whole pack with you? None of these losers got lives, they gotta hang with you?

Dwight: It's your apartment. But be careful, Shellie, this clown's got big, mean drunk-on and he's got four friends out there in the hall, breathing hard and just as drunk as he is.

Rafferty: Hey, I could swear I heard somebody in there with you, just now. You got somebody with you, baby? You be honest with me. You owe me that much.

Shellie: Somebody? Jackie Boy, it's a regular African love-fest in here. I got me all five starters and half the bench of the Basin City Blues keeping me company. You feel like taking them on?

Rafferty: You're teasing me, baby. I'm no racist.

While Dwight dresses in the bathroom, Shellie lets Jackie Boy in to avoid violence.

Shellie: If you're gonna slug me, just go ahead and get it over with, you sick bastard.

Rafferty: There you go, lying about me again in front of my friends. I have never hit a woman in my life.

He smacks her anyway then goes into the bathroom to urinate.

Bozo No. 1: [about Jackie Boy] He is generous. But that temper of his... you shouldn't have picked on him like you did. My temper, you don't have to worry about.

Shellie: [grabs a knife and points it at him] Shut up and keep your hands to yourself, or I'll cut your little pecker off.

While standing at the toilet, Rafferty is unaware Dwight is hiding in the shower.

After he has finished, Dwight sneaks up behind Jackie and holds a straight razor to his throat.

Dwight: I'm Shellie's new boyfriend and I'm out of my mind. If you so much as talk to her or even think her name, I'll cut you in ways that'll make you useless to a woman.

Rafferty: You're making a big mistake, man. A *big* mistake.

Dwight: You made a big mistake yourself... you didn't flush.

Dwight dunks Rafferty's head in the toilet. Rattled and embarrassed, Jackie Boy leaves.

Dwight knows they are headed for Old Town in Basin City, where they can get prostitutes and abuse them. Despite Shellie's pleas not to, he decides to follow them and end their crime spree.

Rafferty and his gang enter Old Town, trying to pick up a prostitute, Becky. Nearby, Dwight and the stunningly beautiful Gail (Rosario Dawson) are watching them.

Dwight: This clown's out of control. I followed him here to make sure he didn't hurt any of the girls.

Gail: Us helpless little girls.

Dwight doesn't need to bother, because the self-motivated prostitutes, led by Gail, are more than up to the task of defending themselves and their territory.

Gail: Those boys in that Chrysler are one mistake away from seeing what Miho can do, and she's been aching for some practice.

Dwight: [narrating] She guides my glance upwards to the pixie perched on the roof's edge. Deadly little Miho.

Rafferty: Come on in the car, baby.

Becky: I'm sorry. I do the day shift and it's been a long day. Besides, I don't do group jobs.

Rafferty: Come on in and we can just have a nice talk.

Becky: I don't do talk jobs either.

Rafferty: You want to see it? You wanna see what I got?

Becky: I've seen all shapes, all sizes.

Rafferty: [pulls his gun on her] You seen this one? Get in the car.

Becky: Oh, sugar, you just gone and done the dumbest thing in your whole life.

The silent but beautiful Miho (Devin Aoki) kills Jackie's gang while Rafferty himself is near death. With his hand cut, and one of Miho's shuriken in his butt, is crawling to pick up his hand.

Rafferty: This isn't funny... don't anybody laugh.

Dwight asks Miho to put Jackie-Boy out of his misery.

Dwight: [narrating] She doesn't quite chop his head off. She makes a Pez dispenser out of him.

Then proceed to loot the corpses. Dwight goes through Jackie Boy's pockets and discovers why Shellie begged Dwight not to follow him.

Dwight: [narrating] It wasn't "Stop." Shellie wasn't saying "Stop." If I had waited and listened to her, I would've known. I could've warned the girls to go easy. To settle for scaring them off. Shellie didn't say "Stop," she said "Cop." He's a *cop*. Detective Lieutenant Jack Rafferty. "Iron Jack" the papers call him. A goddamn *hero cop*.

If it becomes known that Jackie Boy was killed by the prostitutes, it would end the fragile agreement between the police and prostitutes that keeps the mob out of Old Town. And Jackie Boy was seen entering Old Town by other police officers.

Gail: [to the Oldtown Girls] We'll fight the cops, the mob, and anybody else who tries to move in on us. We'll go to war.

Dwight: Don't be stupid, Gail. Get me a car.

Gail: Who do you think you are? You got what you wanted out of us.

Gail puts the gun to his face.

Gail: You got what you wanted out of me.

Dwight: If I don't make it back, you can have your war.!

Gail protests but because they have an impossible love for one another, they relent.

Dwight: [while kissing Gail, narrating] She almost yanks my head clean off, shoving my mouth into hers so hard it hurts. An explosion that blasts away the dull, gray years between the now and that one fiery night when she was mine.

Dwight: The Fire, baby. It'll burn us both. It'll kill us both. There's no place in this world for our kind of fire. My warrior woman. My Valkyrie. You'll always be mine. Always... and never.

Dwight: [to Miho] Get me a hardtop with a decent engine and make sure it's got a big trunk.

Dwight: [to Gail] I'll always love ya, baby.

Gail: Always and never.

Miho uses her skill with swords to dismember the bodies which are then put in a beat up old car for Dwight to drive.

Dwight is driving to The Pits.

Rafferty: . . . s'got you ssmoking there, bud.

Dwight: You shut the hell up, Jackie-Boy. You're dead. I'm just imagining this, so shut the hell up.

Rafferty: ...Tells you somethin 'bout your state a' mind don't it?... s'got you hearin things, got yer nerves shot. S'got you smoking... You know it's true, nobody ever really quits... Smoker's a smoker when the chips're down and your chips're down, pretty much . . .

Dwight: I'm fine, you shut the hell up.

Rafferty: Will ya look at thaat! Oooooh, those hookers let ya downn hehehehe... What're you gonna do when ya run outta gas? Call Triple A? You sucker for the babes, you... You ain't even gonna make it to The Pits.

Dwight: You shut the hell up... I'll make it.

Rafferty: Not unless you keep your eyess on the road, sugar-pie... [shouts] Watch it!

Dwight swerves to miss an oncoming car. Jackie-Boy falls onto Dwight's arm, leaning on him.

Rafferty: Ahh this is great, s'just like being in a buddy movie. Heheheheh...

Rafferty: Shut Up!

Dwight flings Jackie-Boy off of him.

Rafferty: Hehehe.

A cop on a motorcycle follows them.

Rafferty: Oh, you're screwed. It's over.

He lights a cigarette.

Rafferty: You're flushed.

Dwight: This time I can't bring myself to tell him to shut up. Sure he's an asshole... Sure he's dead... Sure I'm just imagining that he's talking. None of that stops the bastard from being absolutely right. I don't have a chance in hell of outrunning this cop. Not in this heap. The only question left is whether I'm gonna kill him or not. Tough call. For all I know, he's an honest cop, regular guy. Working stiff with a mortgage, a wife and a pile of kids. My hand moves all on its own, sliding on of my guns to my lap and thumbing back the hammer. I don't know what to do...

Rafferty: You better stop, you're making him mad.

Dwight: Whatever you say . . .

Dwight slams on the brakes, smashing Jackie-Boy's head into the dashboard. Dwight has pulled over for the policeman, with Jackie-Boy slumped over dead in the passenger seat.

Motorcycle Cop: Your buddy there... Partied a little too hard tonight?

Dwight: [staring coldly at the cop] I'm the designated driver.

Motorcycle Cop: Well, you're driving with a busted tail light. . . . . I'll let you off with a warning.

Dwight: [after the cop leaves] What next?

He barely makes it to the tar pits . . . a grenade lands at his feet.

Dwight: And everything seemed to be going so well.

He is ambushed by Irish mercenaries who want to take Jackie Boy's body to the police. After a battle, the mercenaries are able to take Jackie Boy's head. They leave Dwight to drown in the tar pits.

But he is rescued by Miho and Dallas, who had followed him.

Dwight: [narrating] Miho. You're an angel. You're a saint. You're Mother Teresa. You're Elvis. You're God. And if you'd shown up about ten minutes earlier, we'd still have Jackie-Boy's head.

They catch up with the mercenaries after a short car chase and kill them and retrieve Jackie Boy's head.

Dwight realizes that the prostitutes have a traitor in their midst, someone who has thrown her lot in with the mob. It turns out to be Becky (Alexis Bledel), who phoned Manute (Michael Clarke Duncan) to let him know about Dwight's trip to the tar pits. Manute kidnaps Gail and holds her for ransom.

Dwight offers to exchange Jackie Boy's head for Gail.

Stuka: [after getting shot with an arrow] Hey... Will ya look at that? It's right through me. Guys, look. It's cut a hole right through me.

Schutz: There's something wrapped around it. Some kind of note.

Manute: Give it to me.

Stuka: Guys, this is starting to really hurt. Just look at it. It's poked a hole right through me. Guys?

Manute: [reading the note] McCarthy, you fool.

Stuka: Guys, don't you think maybe somebody oughta call a doctor for me or something? This isn't the kind of thing you just ignore, guys.

Manute: Out back. Everyone. Bring the women.

Stuka: Guys?

An arrow goes through his head.

Stuka: [Mildly annoyed] Ugh.

They meet in an alley behind Manute's headquarters.

Dwight: [narrating] Dozens of them. Armed to the teeth. I'm outnumbered. Outgunned. But the alley is crooked, dark, and very narrow. They can't surround me. Sometimes you can beat the odds with a careful choice of where to fight.

Dwight holds Jackie Boy's head over the group of mobsters with Becky and Gail in tow.

Dwight: You can have Old Town! I don't care... just gimme the woman!

Jackie Boy's head 'talks' with tape over its mouth.

Dwight: Shut up.

Gail: Dwight... don't do this.

Becky: Hey, wait a minute, something's not right...

Schutz: SHUT UP! Or I'll plug ya.

Manute: Of course, Mr. McCarthy. A fair trade. She's all yours.

The head and Gail are exchanged. The group raise their guns.

Manute: Now, if you'll explain to me why we shouldn't blow both of you to pieces?

Gail: Dwight... what have you done?

Dwight: Exactly what I had to... every step of the way.

Becky: No! It isn't right! There was no tape over his mouth! How come there's tape over his mouth?

Dwight produces Brian's remote and the head detonates from a hidden grenade, knocking back a few of the gangsters.

Dwight: [narrating] Where to fight counts for a lot...

Manute: Cute trick, McCarthy... but it will do you no good...

Dwight: [continuing] But there's nothing like having your friends show up...

We see a battalion of armed Old Town girls surround the alley.

Dwight: With lotsa guns...

Manute: NO! McCarthy, you SHIT!

The other prostitutes open fire on Manute and his men from the rooftops above, killing many of them.

Dwight: [narrating] The Valkyrie at my side is shouting and laughing with the pure, hateful, bloodthirsty joy of the slaughter... and so am I.

Slightly wounded, Becky slips away.

That Yellow Bastard (continued)

We return to Hartigan's story, where we find he's survived Bob's hail of gunfire. Senator Roark (Powers Boothe) will personally pay for Hartigan's surgery so he can go on trial for assaulting Junior.

Roark believed Junior could have been president one day and now won't even be able to give him a grandson. Hartigan will be tried for Junior's crimes as well.

Young Nancy visits Hartigan in the hospital.

Nancy: They won't let me testify. I told the cops that you saved my life and they just acted like I was crazy. They talked my parents into keeping me away. They said that you done things that you didn't do. I told them that you saved me from that Roark creep, but they won't even check me out to see if I'm still a virgin. I'm still a virgin, still alive... thanks to you. They got it all backwards.

Hartigan: Sometimes the truth doesn't matter like it ought. But you'll always remember things right. That's gonna mean a lot to me. But stay away, Nancy. They'll kill you if you don't stay away. Don't visit me. Don't write me. Don't even say my name.

Nancy: Maybe you won't let me visit, but I'll still write to you, Hartigan. I'll sign my letters "Cordelia." That's the name of a really cool detective in books I read. I'll write to you every week... for forever.

Hartigan: Sure, kid. Now run on home. It's not safe for you here.

Nancy walks away.

John Hartigan: Bye, Nancy.

Nancy turns around at the door.

Nancy: I love you.

Hartigan spends eight years in solitary confinement along with regular beat-downs, unbroken and refusing to confess to any crimes.

His only solace is the letters he receives from Nancy, who is careful to conceal her identity and location.

Then, one day, the letters stop.

Also, a "yellow bastard" pays him a brutal visit along with a severed finger appearing to be from a young female. Worried that Nancy has been discovered and wanting to protect her again, Hartigan confesses to everything in exchange for his release.

Bob is waiting outside the city prison after Hartigan's release.

Bob: It's a lotta miles into town, Hartigan. You care for a ride?

Hartigan: Long as you stay in front of me.

Bob: Prison's made you paranoid. Talk about water under the bridge. Christ.

He takes a drag on his cigarette.

Bob: Eight years.

Hartigan: [softly] Yeah. Eight years.

Bob: Well, if it's any consolation to ya, you made me hate myself.

He drives Hartigan to Nancy's apartment. It has been broken into but there is no sign of Nancy.

Discovering a matchbook from a sleazy bar in her apartment, Hartigan decides to check there to see if anybody knows Nancy.

Hartigan: I'm looking for Nancy Callahan.

Shellie: Eyes to the stage, pilgrim. She's just warming up.

Nancy (Jessica Alba), now nineteen and stunningly beautiful, is an erotic dancer. We catch a glimpse of Marv.

John Hartigan: Skinny little Nancy Callahan. She grew up. She filled out.

Hartigan also recognizes a mis-shapen, canary-yellow man, the Yellow Bastard of the title, in the bar who gave off an unpleasant odor and had once beaten him in his cell. Hartigan realizes he has been set up to lead the forces of evil to Nancy.

John Hartigan: You're just a horny ex-con watching an exotic dancer.

He tries to leave the bar before Nancy recognizes him but it is too late. She leaps off the stage and kisses him passionately.

They leave together in her car. The Yellow Bastard follows them and begins shooting at their car. Hartigan returns fire, wounding the Bastard and causing him to crash his car.

Nancy and Hartigan go back to examine the accident but the Bastard's body is missing.

They go to a motel where Nancy confesses her romantic love for Hartigan. Hartigan admits he feels the same way but is reluctant to act on his feelings.

Hartigan: There's wrong, and there's wrong, and there's *this*.

The Bastard surprises them.

Yellow Bastard: Recognize my voice, Hartigan? Recognize my voice, you piece-of-shit cop? I look different, but I bet you can recognize my voice!

He reveals that he is Junior; his new skin tone and misshappen appearance is due to experimental procedures financed by Senator Roark.

Yellow Bastard: My dad. I'd love him if I didn't *hate* him! He spent a fortune hiring every expert on the planet to grow back that equipment you blew off between my legs! He succeeded, although, as you can see, there were some... side effects.

He hangs Hartigan by a noose and takes Nancy back to the Farm to brutalize and kill her. Hartigan survives the hanging, frees himself and follows them to the Farm.

Yellow Bastard: A little old for my taste, but I can forgive that just this once!

The Bastard tries to whip Nancy into screaming.

Yellow Bastard: Do you think I'm tired? You think I'm getting tired? You're the one who's gonna crack! You'll crack! You'll cry and beg! You'll Scream! Oh, yeah, you'll scream, you big, fat, ugly cow! You'll scream! You thinking the whip was the worse I could do? That was foreplay.

Nancy: Hartigan was right about you. You can't get it up unless I scream. You're pathetic! You're pathetic.

Yellow Bastard: It's not wise at all to make fun of me like that. It brings out the worst in me.

He raises his knife.

Hartigan kills the police officers standing guard.

He confronts the Bastard in the barn.

He stabs the Bastard in the chest and rips off his genitals.

Hartigan then beats his head into a pulp, finally killing him.

Hartigan: So long, Junior. Been a pleasure.

Nancy watches with joy and love. Hartigan sends her home, telling her that he has to wait for the police so he can give them the true story and reveal Roark's corruption once and for all.

However, Hartigan knows that, as long as he is alive, Roark will come after him and Nancy to get revenge for Junior's death. To sever Roark's only lead to Nancy, Hartigan commits suicide.

The Customer is Always Right (continued)

At the Basin City hospital, Becky talks on her cell phone to her mother. She gets in the elevator and sees The Man. Knowing who he is, she says goodbye to her mother for the last time.

The Man: [narrating] Turn the right corner in Sin City, and you can find anything...

The Man: Becky, care for a smoke?

Becky: [on cell phone] I love you too, mom.

The Man: [narrating, screen goes black] ... Anything.

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