Leonard Diamond: She's under arrest, Mr. Brown.
Mr. Brown: What's the charge?
Leonard Diamond: Homicide.
Mr. Brown: That's ridiculous, she wouldn't kill a fly.
Leonard Diamond: She tried to kill herself
Mr. Brown: Is that a crime?
Leonard Diamond: It happens to be against two laws: God's and Man's. I'm booking her under the second.
Mr. Brown: I'm gonna give you a break. I'm gonna fix it, so you don't hear the bullets.
[Removes a character's hearing aid]
Mr. Brown: Now, Benny, who runs the world? Do you have any idea?
Bennie Smith: Not me, Mr. Brown.
Mr. Brown: That's right, not you, but a funny thing, they're not so much different from you, but they've got something. They've got it, and they use it. I've got it;
[pointing to McClure]
Mr. Brown: he hasn't. What is it, Benny? What makes the difference...? Hate! Hate is the word, Benny! Hate the man that tries to beat you. Kill 'em, Benny! Kill 'em! Hate him till you see red, and you'll come out winning the big money, and the girls will come tumblin' after. You'll have to shut off the phone and lock the door to get a night's rest.
Rita: A woman doesn't care how a guy makes a living, just how he makes love.
Mr. Brown: Diamond, the only trouble with you is, you'd like to be me. You'd like to have my organization, my influence, my fix. You can't, it's impossible. You think it's money. It's not. It's personality. You haven't got it. You're a cop. Slow. Steady. Intelligent. With a bad temper and a gun under your arm. With a big yen for a girl you can't have. First is first and second is nobody.
Mr. Brown: So you lost. Next time you'll win. I'll show you how. Take a look at Joe McClure here. He used to be my boss, now I'm his. What's the difference between me and him? We breathe the same air, sleep in the same hotel. He used to own it!
[yelling into McClure's sound magnifier that is in his ear]
Mr. Brown: Now it belongs to me. We eat the same steaks, drink the same bourbon. Look, same manicure,
[lifting and pointing at McClure's hand]
Mr. Brown: same cufflinks. But there's only one difference. We don't get the same girls. Why? Because women know the difference. They got instinct. First is first, and second is nobody.
Mingo: [Upon being offered a sandwich by Fante] I couldn't swallow any more salami.
Mr. Brown: Joe, tell the man I'm gonna break him so fast, he won't have time to change his pants. Tell him the next time I see him, he'll be in the lobby of the hotel, crying like a baby and asking for a ten dollar loan. Tell him that. And tell him I don't break my word.
Leonard Diamond: You must have done something pretty fine to get as high as you are, Mr. Brown. I'm looking into that. I'm gonna open you up, and I'm gonna operate. I hate to think of what I'll find.
Joe McClure: Mr. Brown is a very reasonable man. You don't know him.
Leonard Diamond: Oh, is he? Well I'm not. I intend to make life very difficult for your Mr. Brown.
Joe McClure: You shouldn't talk like that, Lieutenant. You're overstepping your authority.
Mr. Brown: Joe, the man has reason to hate me. His salary is $96.50 a week. The busboys in my hotel make better money than that. Don't you see, Joe? He's a righteous man.
Leonard Diamond: I know his name. The name of a man who will pick up a phone and call Chicago and New Orleans and say "Hey Bill, Joe is coming down for the weekend. Advance him fifty thousand," and he hangs up the phone and the money's advanced, protection money. A new all night bar opens, with gambling outside city limits. A bunch of high school kids come in for a good time. They get loaded, they get irresponsible, they lose their shirts. Then they get a gun, cause they're worried, they want to make up their losses. And a filling station attendant is dead with a bullet in his liver. I have to see four kids on trial for first degree murder. Look at it. First degree murder, because a certain Mr. Brown picked up a phone.
Police Capt. Peterson: You're a cop, Leonard. There's 17,000 laws on the books to be enforced. You haven't got time to reform wayward girls. She's been with Brown three and a half years. That's a lot of days... and nights.
Mr. Brown: Where'd you get that outfit?
Susan Lowell: What's wrong with it?
Mr. Brown: I like you better in white. You've got a dozen white dresses. Why don't you wear them?
Susan Lowell: White doesn't please me anymore.
Mr. Brown: A woman dresses for a man. You dress for me. Go put on something white!
Mr. Brown: If they take you to police headquarters, shoot yourself in the head. It'll make everything a lot simpler.
Leonard Diamond: Mr. Dreyer, the secret you think keeps you safe will blow up in your face. You're dealing with a... a ruthless man!
Nils Dreyer: [Unperturbed] Mr. Diamond, I was a seaman for 30 years. I went to sea aged 14. I've seen storms, I've seen gunfire, and I've seen torpedoes. I've been wrecked - not once, four times. On a raft, 57 days, nothing but water. Nothing kills me. I'll die in Stockholm like my great grandfather, aged 93. I'm not scared of anything - including you - so, get out.
Leonard Diamond: [Starts to leave, then turns back to make one final appeal to Dreyer] If you change your mind, Mr. Dreyer, just phone the 93rd Precinct. I'll send a squad car for you.
Alicia Brown: I'd rather be insane and alive, than sane... and dead.
Leonard Diamond: I'll wait until I can put you on trial for murder.
Mr. Brown: Whose murder, Lieutenant?
Leonard Diamond: Mine, if necessary.
Mr. Brown: Don't push too hard.
Leonard Diamond: It's my sworn duty to push too hard.
Mr. Brown: Diamond, the only trouble with you is, you'd like to be me. You'd like to have my organization, my influence, my fix. You can't. It's impossible. You think it's money, it's not. It's personality. You haven't got it, Lieutenant, you're a cop. Slow, steady, intelligent, with a bad temper, and a gun under your arm. And with a big yen for a girl you can't have. First is first, and second is nobody.
Susan Lowell: People tell me all sorts of things. I don't listen.
Rita: When she hurts you again, baby, don't wait six months.
Leonard Diamond: It's my duty to push too hard.
Leonard Diamond: Nobody knows how another person feels
Mingo: I can't swallow any more salami.