After a botched robbery results in the brutal murder of a rural family, two drifters elude police, in the end coming to terms with their own mortality and the repercussions of their vile atrocity.

Alvin Dewey: Someday, somebody will explain to me the motive of a newspaper. First, you scream, "Find the bastards." Till we find them, you want to get us fired. When we find them, you accuse us of brutality. Before we go into court, you give them a trial by newspaper. When we finally get a conviction, you want to save them by proving they were crazy in the first place.
Reporter: I see, the hangman's ready. What's his name?
Alvin Dewey: We the People.
Dick: I don't know gold dust from diarrhea!
Perry: When you hit the end of the rope... your muscles lose control. I'm afraid I'll mess myself.
Prison Guard: It's nothing to be ashamed of. They all do it.
[last lines]
Perry: [his last words] I'd like to apologize, but... who to?
Dick: [to Perry, just after arrest] Hey, Buddy, put in a call for that big, ol' Yellow Bird!
Dick: Did you ever hang any paper?
Perry: I couldn't cash a check, even if it was good!
Dick: Did you see those guys? They coulda robbed us!
Perry: What of?
Perry: It's true! Really true! We're on our way and never coming back. Never! And no regrets.
Dick: For you. You're leaving nothing. What about my old man... and my mother? They'll still be there when my checks start bouncing.
Perry: It's nice the way you think about your folks.
Dick: Yeah! I'm a real thoughtful bastard.
Perry: That was stupid - stealin' a lousy pack of razor blades! To prove what?
Dick: It's the national pastime, baby, stealin' and cheatin'. If they ever count every cheatin' wife and tax chiseler, the whole country would be behind prison walls.
Perry: [quoting his father] Look at me boy! Take a good look! Cause I'm the last living thing you're ever gonna see!
Reporter: They say Nancy's boyfriend is the prime suspect.
Alvin Dewey: Is that what they say?
Reporter: Well, he was the last one to see them alive.
Alvin Dewey: Except for the killers.
Perry: [to himself, looking in a bathroom mirror] Stick 'em up!
Perry: Hey, buddy!
Perry: [realizing he's being watched] How long you been standin' there?
Dick: Long enough to catch your late late show.
Dick: [to Perry] I'm SICK of it, maps, buried treasure, ALL OF IT! So ship it, burn it, get RID of that ton and a half of garbage! There AIN'T no buried treasure, and even if there WAS, boy, hell, you can't even swim!
Prosecutor: Mercy for them. The killers. How fortunate that their amicable attorneys were not present at the Clutter house on that fateful evening. How very fortunate for them that they were not present that evening to plead mercy for the doomed family, because otherwise, they would have found their corpses too. If you allow them life imprisonment, they will be eligible for parole in 7 years. That is the law. Gentlemen, 4 of your neighbors were slaughtered like hogs in a pen by them. They did not strike suddenly in the heat of passion, but for money. They did not kill in vengeance, they planned it for money. And how cheaply those lives were bought. $40. $10 a life. They drove 400 miles to come here. They brought their weapons with them.
[picks up a shotgun]
Prosecutor: This shotgun.
[picks up a knife]
Prosecutor: This dagger.
[picks up a rope]
Prosecutor: This is the rope they hogtied their victims with.
[picks up a vial of blood]
Prosecutor: This is the blood they spilled. Herb Clutter's. They who had no pity, now ask for yours. They who had no mercy, now ask for yours. They who shed no tears, now ask for yours. If you have tears to shed, weep not for them, weep for their victims.
[picks up a copy of the Holy Bible]
Prosecutor: From the way the Holy Bible was quoted here today, You might think the word of God was written only to protect the killers, but they didn't read you this: Exodus 20:13: "Thou shalt not kill." Or this: Genesis 9:12: "Who so sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed."
Herbert Clutter: Why do you boys want to do this?
Dick: Shut up!
Perry: It doesn't make sense. I mean what happened. It had nothing to do with the Clutters. They never hurt me. They just happened to be there. I thought Mr. Clutter was a very nice gentleman... I thought so right up to the time I cut his throat.
[first lines]
Little girl on bus: 'Scuse me.
Perry: Do you have any aspirin? They took my aspirin away.
Alvin Dewey: Fellin' bad?
Perry: My legs do.
Dick: [to the prisoner in the next cell] Hey Andy, do them books say what happens when you hang?
Andy: [smoking cigar] Neck breaks...
[spits]
Andy: crap your pants.
Dick: Next move... Mexico. Once we beat it out of the country.
Perry: On what? $43 and a smile and bullshit.
[First use of the word 'bullshit' in a Hollywood film]
Dick: You guessed it, chief. It's the smile that does it. Like it says in the commercials, the family that sticks together lives forever.
Perry: I despise people who can't control themselves.

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