Judge Dredd (film)

1995 film directed by Danny Cannon

Judge Dredd is a 1995 American action film directed by Danny Cannon, and starring Sylvester Stallone, Diane Lane, Rob Schneider, Armand Assante, and Max von Sydow. The film depicts a fascist post-apocalypse, post-nuclear-war dystopian future society of North America in which the branches of government have been merged into a single corps of “street judges” and is based on the longest-running strip of the same name in the British comic 2000 AD. Certain elements of the film were altered from the comic series, but it still did not find wide mainstream appeal and as a result was a critical and commercial disappointment.

One man is Judge, Jury, AND Executioner. (taglines)

Judge Joseph Dredd

  • I am... the law! Drop your weapons! These blocks... are under... arrest! This is your final... warning!
  • Emotions. There oughta be a law against them.
  • I never broke the law! I AM THE LAW!
  • You betrayed the law!
  • The law can't apologize!
  • Court's adjourned.

Rico Dredd

  • Guilt, and innocence, is a matter of timing.
  • [When the Aspen Penal Colony warden asks him what the meaning of life is] It ends.
  • [Picking up a Lawgiver, which a merchant has warned him can't be used by anyone but a judge] Gee, how do you like that? I must be a judge.
  • You want fear? I'm fear. You want chaos? I'm the chaos. You want a beginning? Here - I am the new beginning!
  • [After slaughtering the entire Council of Judges] Now who says politics is boring?

Chief Justice Fargo

  • Joseph Dredd, you are aware that the law allows only one punishment for your crime. Death. However, it has long been our custom to carry out the last order of a retiring senior judge. And so, I step down. As I leave, to take my long walk into the cursed earth, I ask that this court honor my last order: be lenient with Judge Dredd, in gratitude for his years of service.
  • Four decades ago DNA samples were taken from the four members of the council. One was chosen, mine. They altered it to enhanced the best qualities and screened off the worse weaknesses and frailties. We created you.


Judge Dredd: They are firing 20 millimeter caseless fletchette rounds at 300 meters. Their effective lethal range is 200 meters. You're safe. So what are you doing down there, Judge Hershey?
Judge Hershey: Waiting for backup.
Judge Dredd: It's here. Let's move it out. Keep it simple. Single file, standard relay. I'll point. (to rookie Judge) You're last!

Judge Dredd: MegaCity municipal code 213, willful destruction of property, that's 2 years. Code 310, possession of illegal assault weapons, 5 years. Code 457, resisting arrest, 20 years!
(wounded thug gets up leveling his weapon at Dredd from behind but is shot dead by Hershey from the doorway)
Judge Dredd: Thank you, Hershey. And Code 3613, the first degree murder of a Street Judge...
Block Warlord: [pulling a gun from behind his belt] Let me guess, Life? Yaaaah!
Judge Dredd: [turns around and shoots] Death. Court's adjourned.

Judge Dredd: MegaCity Code 7592, willful sabotage of a public droid, that's 6 months, citizen. Let's see your unicard.
Herman Ferguson: Aww, give me a break, Judge... [Looks at Dredd's badge] Dredd. Dredd?!
Judge Dredd: Mmmhmm.
Judge Hershey: [Reading from a display on a handheld device after swiping Ferguson's unicard] Ferguson, Herman, hacker, illegal tampering with city droids, computers, cash machines, taxi robots...
Judge Dredd: And you haven't even been out of jail for 24 hours. He's habitual, Hershey. An automatic five year sentence. How do you plead?
Herman Ferguson: Not guilty?
Judge Dredd: I knew you'd say that.
Ferguson: Five years?! No! No! I had no choice! They were killing each other in there.
Judge Dredd: You could have gone out the window.
Ferguson: Forty floors? It would have been suicide!
Judge Dredd: Maybe...but it's legal. Judges!
Judge: Yes, sir!
Judge Dredd: Five years, Aspen Penitentiary. Case closed, take him away.
[Two Judges begin to leave with Ferguson]
Ferguson: Don't close the case! You're misjudging- you're misjudging me! Open the case! Y-you're not gonna be able to sleep tonight!
Judge Hershey: He might've been telling the truth, you know? Haven't you heard ever of extenuating circumstances?
Judge Dredd: I've heard it all, Hershey.
Judge Hershey: [Mockingly] I knew you'd say that.

[Showing equipment to a group of cadets]
Judge Dredd: Kevlar 9 helmet and body armor. Yours when you graduate. Lawgiver 2, 25-round sidearm with mission variable, voice-programmed ammunition...Signal Flare!
Gun: Flare.
Judge Dredd: [shoots a blinding flare at the target wall] Yours, if you graduate. Mark 4 Lawmaster, improved model, with dual onboard laser cannons and vertical takeoff and landing capabilities. Range, 500 kilometers. Men?
Technicians: Yes sir! (presses a button and the hoverbike turns on and begins to hover.)
Hoverbike: Active. (sparks fly from hoverbike and screen suddenly blinks red) Malfunction! Malfunction! Malfunction! [hoverbike goes dead and thuds back onto the floor]
Judge Dredd: Hm. Yours, if you can ever get it to work. All of these things you see here are toys. At the end of the day, when you're alone in the dark, the only thing that counts is this (holds up the lawbook)...the law (slams the lawbook onto the table). And you will be alone, when you swear to uphold these ideals. For most of us, it is only death in the streets. For the few of us that survive to old age, the proud loneliness of the Long Walk. A walk that every Judge must take outside these city walls into the unknown wastes, and there spend your last remaining days taking law to the lawless. This is what it means to be a Judge. This is the commitment I expect. Class dismissed.

Mr. Souza: Okay, this is getting boring. What's the tab? Come on, how much is this going to cost me? You name your price.
Judge Dredd: Hmmm. Hershey, call Central for an H Wagon. (crosses the street facing the red sports car)
Mr. Souza: What? I don't believe it. You're gonna tow me?!
Judge Dredd: Towing is for the first offense. This is your fourth violation, bar breath. You're a menace. How do you plead?
Mr. Souza: Not guilty?
Judge Dredd: [menacingly] I knew you'd say that. [Draws his gun]
Mr. Souza: Hey, wait a second! What are you doing?
Judge Dredd: [to his gun] Grenade!
Lawgiver Gun: Grenade. vrrrrrm
Mr. Souza: Nooooo! [Dredd destroys the car and Souza staggers over towards its remains, horrified]
Judge Dredd: Happy motoring.
Judge Hershey: Subtle.

Street Judge Group Leader: This is Capture Team. There's no sign of Dredd—he appears to have survived the crash.
Chief Judge Jürgen Griffin: (speaking over radio) You are in error, Capture Team. No one survived the shuttle wreck. Understand? Just find Dredd!
Street Judge Group Leader: The pilot, sir—he's alive.
Chief Judge Jürgen Griffin: No one survived the shuttle wreck! Do I make myself clear?
Street Judge Group Leader: (draws his weapon at the pilot) Yes, sir!
(sound of gunfire as the Group Leader murders the surviving pilot as instructed)

Mean Machine: You've got three strikes, Lawman!
(Dredd swings his weapon at Mean Machine from the side)
Mean Machine: (blocks Dredd's swing with his mechanical arm) Strike one!
(Dredd swings his weapon at Mean Machine again from the side)
Mean Machine: (blocks Dredd's swing with his mechanical arm again) Strike two!
(Dredd swings his weapon down at Mean Machine's head)
Mean Machine: (unfazed) Strike...three. (knocks Dredd away) You're out, Lawman! (swinging wildly at Dredd) You killed Link! You killed Junior! You killed all my brothers! You even killed my Paw. Yaaah!
(swings his mechanical arm at Dredd. The knife at the end of the arm misses Dredd's head when he ducks and imbeds into the wooden post behind him.)
Joseph Dredd: (reaching underneath his mechanical arm and snaps free one end of his electrical line still crackling with electricity and brushes it over his mechanical arm) Mega-City Municipal Code 4722, illegal use of city electricity. How do you plead?
Mean Machine: Raaaaaawwwr!
Joseph Dredd: I knew you'd say that!
(pulls the power cord back to Mean Machine's metal spine and electrocutes him with it)

Chief Justice Fargo: The blind lady.
Joseph Dredd: Who is she?
Chief Justice Fargo: Justice, before your time. We should have never taken it from her hands.
Joseph Dredd: You brought order to chaos, sir.
Chief Justice Fargo: That we did. Solved many problems, and created many more! Being a Judge, Joseph, perhaps too much power in one person's hands. We once tried to compensate: Create the perfect Judge. We called it Janus. Four decades ago, D.N.A. samples were taken from the original Council. One was chosen: Mine. We altered it to enhance the best qualities...and screen out the worst: Weaknesses, frailties. We created you.
Joseph Dredd: You didn't create me, sir. I have a family.
Chief Justice Fargo: No.
Joseph Dredd: At the Academy, you told me they were killed when l was very young.
Chief Justice Fargo: A lie.
Joseph Dredd: I have a picture of them.
Chief Justice Fargo: A fake. We lied... to both of you.
Joseph Dredd: (confused) Both?
Chief Justice Fargo: There was another infant created in that experiment, but something went wrong. Genetically mutated to the perfect criminal.
Joseph Dredd: I have a brother?
Chief Justice Fargo: You were best friends at the Academy. Star pupils. And then he turned. And for his crimes, you judged him.
Joseph Dredd: (realizing) Rico...Rico... You let me judge my own brother? You never told me, sir.
Chief Justice Fargo: I couldn't.
(Dredd turns and look to the distance)
Chief Justice Fargo: You were like a son to me.
Joseph Dredd: (contemplating) A son...my whole life is a lie...
Chief Justice Fargo: Rico had to be executed to protect you, to protect the city.
Joseph Dredd: (seething) Rico...Rico... (turns to Fargo) He's alive!
Chief Justice Fargo: No. I signed the order myself. I saw the report.
Joseph Dredd: I didn't kill Hammond. It was him. It was his D.N.A. that convicted me.
Chief Justice Fargo: (realizing) Griffin. Hmph. It was Griffin.
Joseph Dredd: (nodding) Griffin, yes.
Chief Justice Fargo: We've both been deceived, Joseph. I'm so sorry. Rico's killed me and destroyed you! (gasping his last breaths) Fi.. find him, Joseph.
Joseph Dredd: Don't die.
(Fargo passes away.)

Ferguson: Dredd, there's no way in! Hello? Are you even listening to me? We can't just knock on the wall and say, "Hello, Cursed Earth Pizza."
Joseph Dredd: There is a way in. Six years ago, two refugees figured it out. The vents to the city's incinerators, there's a burst twice a minute. That means someone can run through that tube would have 30 seconds before it flames again.
Ferguson: And these two refugees, they made through, right?
Joseph Dredd: Actually, they were roasted. But the theory is sound. Shall we?
Ferguson: Maybe we should consider other theories? Dredd!

(Dredd and Ferguson takes cover outside of the incinerator vents until the fire has dispersed)
Joseph Dredd: All right, you ready, kid?
Ferguson: No!
Joseph Dredd: Now what's wrong?
Ferguson: What's wrong? Are you kidding? Does wearing that helmet all those year compress your brain?! You're going to get me killed!
Joseph Dredd: There's a maniac loose in the city!
Ferguson: What a coincidence! There's one out here, too!
Joseph Dredd: Oh.
Ferguson: Great time I'm having. The shuttle crash, the Cursed Earth, cannibals, and now a fireball up my ass! This is all your fault!
Joseph Dredd: My fault?
Ferguson: Yes.
Joseph Dredd: Care to explain that, citizen?
Ferguson: If you hadn't judged me, I wouldn't be out here in the first place. Hey, Dredd, what if you just kill me now?
(Dredd and Ferguson takes cover again as another fire disperses)
Ferguson: That's it! I'm through schlepping. I'm gonna stay here until I'm caught or until you apologize!
Joseph Dredd: The Law can't apologize.
Ferguson: That's just it. You're not the Law anymore. Now apologize. I think I deserve that.
Joseph Dredd: (shaking his head) I've never apologized before...

Ferguson: I'm alive! I'm alive! (looks over and sees Dredd next to him) Oh, so are you.

Judge Griffin: Rico! Dredd got away from the hunters.
Rico Dredd: Well, he's about to be seriously outnumbered. Right, Central?
Central: Affirmative, Judge Rico. The new DNA sample has been multiplexed and the gametes are already dividing.
Judge Griffin: New sample?!
Rico Dredd: You left the DNA in there for over 30 years. Sooner or later, somebody's gonna clean out the fridge.
Judge Griffin: That sample was created from the finest specimens on the Council of Judges! What did you replace it with? (realizing) No...my God...
Rico Dredd: You should congratulate me right now, 'cause I'm about to be a daddy. You're being very, very rude.
Judge Griffin: You don't know what you're doing!
Rico Dredd: The next batch of Janus Judges are not going to be the puppets that you want! They're gonna be my brothers and sisters! And mine to control!
Judge Griffin: I can't let you do this. You're both insane! I have to stop- (turns and raise his pistol at Rico)
(A.B.C. Robot disarms Griffin and hangs him up by the arms)
Central: I'm sorry, Chief Justice, the A.B.C. robot is not tied into my main processor.
Rico Dredd: That's right, Griff. You gotta get with this high-tech stuff. Robot, rip his arms and legs off.
Judge Griffin: NOOOO!
Rico Dredd: And you save his head for last. I don't want him to miss a thing! Anything!

Rico Dredd: You know, I never understood that. Why did you judge me? Why did you judge me?
Joseph Dredd: You killed innocent people!
Rico Dredd: The means to an end!
Joseph Dredd: You started a massacre!
Rico Dredd: I caused a revolution!
Joseph Dredd: [Yelling] You betrayed the law!
Rico Dredd: [Mockingly] LAAAAW! I BETRAYED THIS! Your council's experiment, which failed in you! I was your brother, your blood, your friend. Who betrayed who? When are you going to stop being a goddamn slave and grow up? That's your birthright! That's your family! I'm your family! I'm the only family you ever had! Now choose!
Joseph Dredd: The best thing you could do is kill me.
Rico Dredd: ...Why?
Joseph Dredd: Because it's your only chance...'brother'.

Rico Dredd: [last words] Now, Joseph Dredd, I hereby judge you. To the charge of betraying your own flesh...guilty. To the charge of being human, when we could have been GODS...guilty. The sentence is death.
Joseph Dredd: Don't miss.
Lawgiver: Lethal rounds exhausted.

Hammond: [last words] DREDD!

Barbara Hershey: Feels good to be human, don't you think?
Joseph Dredd: [smiling] I knew you'd say that.


  • In the future, one man is the law
  • One man is Judge, Jury, AND Executioner.

See also



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