Fort Apache, The Bronx

Fort Apache, The Bronx is a 1981 film about the main police precinct in the South Bronx in New York City, nicknamed Fort Apache by its employees who feel like troopers surrounded by hostiles in a wild west isolated outpost.

Directed by Daniel Petrie. Written by Heywood Gould.
No Cowboys, No Indians, No Cavalry To The Rescue, Only A Cop.  taglines


Connolly: [walking into the precinct for the first time] Captain Duggan's office?
[Pantuzzi points toward the right without looking up]
Connolly: Don't you monitor the people who ask to see the commander, Sergeant? What if I was a lunatic with a gun?
Pantuzzi: Then you wouldn't be a police officer Captain Connolly. Or would you?
Connolly: What's your name, Sergeant?
Pantuzzi: Kicking ass and taking names eh Captain? Well, I'm Sergeant Anthony Pantuzzi. I have 22 years on the job and I'm ready to retire tomorrow if I get a hard time from my new commander. I'll take the half-pension before I take any crap from anybody. [pointing again] Captain Duggan's office is over on the right close to the street as he can get.
Connolly: [surprised, yet amused] Thank youuuuu Sergeant.

Connolly: Your Precinct has the worst absentee record in the city, the most disability claims, the highest percentage of men on sick call, the least convictions per arrest, and you want me to believe there are no men on the take!
Dugan: So they toss a numbers runner for a couple of dollars, turn a pimp upside down for a little loose change, there's nobody getting rich up here.
Connolly: There's nobody doing anything up here that I can see, these men aren't motivated.
Dugan: Motivated? This is Siberia, Connolly. 65% of the men up here have been transferred. We've got the connivers, the slobs, the shirkers, guys who beat up the wrong Guinea. Gave a diplomat a parking ticket, screwed a big mouth hooker or shook down the wrong peddler.
Connolly: There are plenty of good police officers under your command. You're the one that's falling down on the job.
Dugan: Yeah that's right. Blame Dugan! Sure let the politicians and everyone else off the hook, blame Dugan, that's the easy way. You got a 40-block area with 70,000 people packed in like sardines smelling each others' farts living like cockroaches, and that's Dugan's fault. You got the lowest income per capita, the highest rate of unemployment in the city and that's my fault! Why aren't I out there getting all these people jobs? Largest proportion of non-English speaking population in the city! Dugan's fault, why aren't he out there teaching them to speak English? 4% Spanish speaking cops on the force! Hey Dugan, get your ass out in the barrio and recruit! Families that have been on welfare for three or four generations. Youth Gangs. Winos. Junkies. Pimps! Hookers. Maniacs. Cop-killers...
Connolly: You finished?
Dugan: Yeah, I'm finished. I'm goin' to Florida, Connelly. I'm goin' fishin'. So you can bring up all your computers and your slide rules and all your psychological techniques. I mean this neighborhood'll bury ya. There's enough dirt in this precinct to bury every smart-ass cop in the city!

Connolly: What's all this Indian junk?
Heffernan: Well, you know the precinct is nicknamed 'Fort Apache'...
Applebaum: The men put that up, Captain. Guy goes on vacation, he brings back some kind of souvenir, you know?
Connolly: It makes the place look like a fraternity house... take it down, lieutenant.
Applebaum: It's not a good idea, Captain.
Connolly: And let's see about getting this place painted.
Heffernan: Well, that's kind of a problem, painters won't come up here.
Connolly: We'll have to get all those civilians out from in front of the precinct.
Applebaum: We can't do that.
Connolly: [stops, turns and looks Applebaum in the eye] Excuse me?
Applebaum: This is the only place the old folks can go without getting mugged. See, it's not a police station, it's a fort in hostile territory, you understand?
Heffernan: [agreeing] 'Fort Apache'.

Murphy: You want to go out tonight, have a drink?
Isabella: Two hundred cops ask me out every day. Why should I say yes to you?
Murphy: Cause you say yes to all the others.
Isabella: Well, I guess that makes you the only cop in the Bronx I say no to.

Murphy: What is this, the gunfight at the O.K. Corral?
Finley: As long as there's cop killers around, pal, I'm gonna be ready.
Murphy: It don't make no difference how many guns you got. You only got two hands.

Corelli: Look on the bright side, though. We get our names in the papers, right? We're gonna be real serious on TV. Hey, you know, with your good looks, maybe you get to ball an anchor lady.
Murphy: Yeah?
Corelli: Yeah.
Murphy: Not with my luck. If it was raining anchor ladies, I'd get hit with Walter Cronkite.

Corelli: That's a nice coat. How'd you like me to cut it open, let all the rats out.
Pimp: This coat cost more than you make in a year, motherfucker.
Murphy: He knows your name.
Corelli: Told you I was famous.

Connolly: Any information from the street so far?
Dacey: Are you kidding? Any place else a guy sees a cop get killed, he runs to the phone, here the doors close. Right now there could be five people who know who did this, in a few hours maybe ten maybe more but not us. Up here Captain, cops are like husbands, they're always the last to know.

Morgan: Hey Murph, what do you think of that son of a bitch, huh? Connolly. Captain Connolly. That clown they dress up as a cop. That fuckin' banana. I mean, who does he think he's playin' with, some chickenshit rookie? I've been on the job too long, you know what I mean? Yeah, they might get me for coopin'. Or for scorin' a little nookie on the side. Or, maybe even shakin' down a bodega. I never said I was the smartest guy in the world, but when he comes up with this phony witness shit...
Murphy: They got witnesses, Einstein.
Morgan: Yeah, deaf and dumb ones, right?
Murphy: Real live ones! The kind that put you away.
[Murphy gives him a hard and direct smirk, and walks out of the bar]
Morgan: Hey Murph! Murphy! Murphy, come here! [goes out after Murphy] Murphy! What are you talking about?
Murphy: They got the little chick that was hiding up there behind the junk pile!
Morgan: What chick?
Murphy: Yeah, they got me and Coreli, too... A-Number One police work... Poor kid wasn't botherin' nobody, and you throw him off the roof!
Morgan: You shut the fuck up!
Murphy: You fuckin' creep, I wish I was man enough to turn you in!

Murphy: [about Isabella] Poor family, you're the oldest. You've got a lot of brothers and sisters. You got a brother in the joint. Your mother's sick. You got a scholarship to nursing school and you did real good, but you can't get a job anywhere but here. How'm I doin'?
Isabella: I don't know yet.
Murphy: Smoke a little reefer, fool around a little bit, you wanna get married but the selection in the neighborhood ain't that good.
Isabella: Finished?
Murphy: Yeah. Now you.
Isabella: OK, you come from three generations of cops. Your grandfather and your father and your brothers are all cops. All your friends are cops. It's a good thing there are some lady cops or you wouldn't have any sex life. You get drunk every night. You think all men are thieves and all women are sluts, and you don't trust anybody but your partner.
Murphy: [nodding in agreement] It's my round.
Isabella: [stops him] No, the drinks are on me.

Murphy: That's just talk, Andy, and you know it. We both know what's right. We ain't got the guts to do it.
Corelli: Guts? What are you talkin', guts? You mean brains, don't ya? Shit, I'll go through fire with you Murph, and you know I will. But I gotta live with these guys. You turn a cop in, and you're finished. Might as well quit the force and move out of the city. Even if you get a transfer, your rep follows you around. It just ain't worth it. Especially when you won't be doing anybody any good. I ain't a stool pigeon, Murph. I'm sorry.

Connolly: [Murphy has decided to turn in two of his fellow officers, and also resign from the force. He tosses his badge on Connolly's desk] What's that?
Murphy: What does it look like? Being a stoolie is my last official act.
Connolly: You're a good cop, Murphy. But I don't think you'd be much good at anything else.
Murphy: I'm gonna run for president. What do you care?


  • No Cowboys, No Indians, No Cavalry To The Rescue, Only A Cop.
  • 15 minutes from Manhattan there's a place where even the cops fear to tread.



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