Tequila Sunrise (film)

Tequila Sunrise is a 1988 film about a former L.A. drug dealer who tries to go straight but his past and his underworld connections bring him into the focus of the DEA, the Mexican feds and the Mexican drug cartels. Meanwhile, he and his old friend, now a police detective, vie for the attention of the same woman.

Directed and written by Robert Towne.
A dangerous cocktail.  taglines

Nick Frescia

  • [to Maguire] Let's see now: you've lost half a million dollars, confiscated a ton of useless coke, and been responsible for the murder of a federal informant, and that... that's just tonight.

Jo Ann Vallenari

  • What is it? You need some chap stick or lip gloss or something? Because your lips keep getting stuck on your teeth. Or is that your idea of a smile?


  • You son of a bitch! How could you do this? Friendship is the only choice in life you can make that's yours! You can't choose your family, God damn it - I've had to face that! And no man should be judged for whatever direction his dick goes - that's like blaming a compass for pointing north, for Christ's sake! Friendship is all we have! We chose each other. How could you fuck it up? How could you make us look so bad?
  • I think it's time for both of us to quit. I've seen it coming for some time now, cocaine is no goddamn good for anyone. The future, the future is grass... grass, buddy. I got sixty ton of Thai stick coming in... it's on the way. [slumps over dead]

Gregg Lindroff

  • I don't know what it is about going to high school with someone that makes you feel you're automatically friends for life. Who says, who says friendship lasts forever? We'd all like it to, maybe. But maybe... it just wears out like everything else. Like tires. There's just so much mileage in them and then you're riding around on nothing but air.
  • You meet at Orville and Wilbur's every Christmas. He throws his Chevrolet keys on the bar. You throw your Porsche keys on the bar. You pick up your drink with a gold Rolex on your wrist. He wears a Timex. Even if he wasn't a cop he'd hate your guts.


Carlos: I haven't seen any matador stand his ground like that since Abruza.
McKussic: He's a pussy.
Carlos: He's the finest matador in Mexico.
McKussic: He's a pussy, man.
Carlos: Why is that buddy?
McKussic: I don't know why. Look at him. Look at the matador, man. What does he fucking do? He dresses up in his... spangles and puts on his sequined jacket... and wraps that sash around his waist. Then he puts on his little pink stockings... and his hair up in a little pigtail. I mean, that's a pussy!
Carlos: Ah! Whoa!
McKussic: I mean... that's what a bullfight is... it's saying he's a pussy. And we're the bull. I mean, they got that thing and they wave it like a red flag. What do we do? We charge that sucker! And so, they always got the edge, 'cause they always know what we're gonna do. We are fuckin' predictable, man, and they're just gonna stick it in... and break it off and that's it and there's not a fucking thing you can say.
Carlos: [claps] Bravo, buddy! So, what're we gonna do about it?
McKussic: What are we gonna do about it? Well, you die. You fucking die. That's what you do about it.

McKussic: Nobody wants me to quit. You know, don't quit, don't get caught, stay on top long enough for us to knock you off - I mean, that's the motto around here. Nobody wants me to quit. The cops want to bust me. The Colombians want my connections. My wife, she wants my money. Her lawyer agrees and mine likes getting paid to argue with him. Nobody wants me to quit. I haven't even mentioned my customers here. You know they don't want me to quit.
Jo Ann: That is completely paranoid.
McKussic: Hey, I'm just talking here. I'm not trying to convince you of a goddamn thing. And I may be paranoid, but then again nobody wants me to quit.

Jo Ann: I'm sorry. I was just joking. I didn't mean to hurt you.
McKussic: Aw, come on. It didn't hurt that bad. Just looking at you hurts more.

Jo Ann: Mr. McKussic, it seems, has been engaged in his business for purely romantic reasons, whilst you have been engaged in romance for purely business reasons.
Nick: I'm not sure I understand.
Jo Ann: A little vague for you?
Nick: A little.
Jo Ann: Well, then, let me spell it out for you: you want to fuck your friend, then fuck him, not me!

Nick: I didn't know you, I didn't know your relationship with Mac, I only knew he was hiding something. I turned out to be his feelings. But you're so smooth, I figured you were hiding something too.
Jo Ann: How could you tell? You lie to me about Mac, you lie to Mac about me, you lie to the judge about everybody. Sooner or later, you have to lose sight of the facts, don't you?
Nick: No. No, you don't lose sight of the facts, not unless you're nuts. You just... you lose sight of your feelings. Mac knows how he feels: he's crazy about you and he doesn't want to get caught. For a crook it's crystal clear. On the other hand for a cop it's confusing. Mac's my friend and I like him. Maguire's my associate and I hate him. I probably have to bust my friend if I'm going to do my job, and I hate that. But I hate drug dealers, and somebody's got to get rid of Carlos. How do I do that? With my powers of deduction, I walk into your restaurant, take one look at you and realize, "No matter how good the food is, Mac's not here to eat. He's in love." Then I have to wonder if you're not as good at concealing your feelings as you are at taking care of your customers. I know you're not in the drug business, but maybe you've got guilty knowledge that can help me do my job. So I checked you out. You've had, as near as I can tell, three affairs in the last seven years: one with a lifeguard who was more a high school buddy than anything else, the other a painter from Venice who did some frescoes for your restaurant, and the third a married man where you broke off the relationship almost immediately. See, you're, you're not exactly wild and crazy in this area, so I figured if you're willing to get involved with me, you're probably not involved with Mac. But given his interest in you, you're as likely to find out what's going on in his life as anybody. And what I didn't figure is that you're not like me. You're honest, kind and principled, and I trust you. Suddenly, I'm... ashamed. You're the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, and I'm nuts about you. Now I've only got one question, and it's not about Mac, I don't wanna know what you know about Mac. Man, I just wanna see you tonight. Will you see me?
Jo Ann: So, what else you know about me, Nick?

Carlos: With you, Mac, I trust with my life, but you keep me waiting all goddamn night without showing the slightest sign of worrying about me.
McKussic: Hey, I'm sorry, man.
Carlos: Forget it, you had your hands full. I could see that. What's more, you fuck like a world champion. Four fucking hours! Those cops out there are terrified their wives are going to hear about this. I got starved just watching! [tastes Jo Ann's food] She can cook too, this girl. Believe me, if she'd be willing to take out the garbage, marry her. Trust me, buddy.

Carlos: Don't worry, buddy. I won't kill her unless you approve.
McKussic: And if I don't approve?
Carlos: Then we'll talk until you do...

Nick: Generally I recommend my men stay away from vodka, and stick with scotch and bourbon.
Jo Ann: Why is that?
Nick: So the brass will know they're drunk and not stupid.

McKussic: [they struggle for a gun, which fires towards both of them] Shit.
Carlos: Oh, Jesus Christ, look at that. You shot me.
McKussic: So what? You shot me!
Carlos: Look at that! Look at my stomach!
McKussic: You went too far, God damn it! Because you're my friend, that means you get to kill anybody you want? I mean, what the...
Carlos: [interrupts] Will you stop talking? It's making me sick.
McKussic: Jesus, that looks bad.
Carlos: That's what I been telling you, for Christ's sake!

Nick: How's our friend?
Woody, Harbor Patrol Officer: Fine.
Nick: Fine?
Woody, Harbor Patrol Officer: Aside from a concussion, powder burns, and being generally pissed off, yeah.

Maguire: If you call her... You go anywhere near Mac's, I'll have you shot!
Nick: You mean "arrested" don't you, Hal?

Nick: I want to get this straight... you're willing to shoot me over drug money?
McKussic: Well, it is an awful lot of money...


  • A dangerous cocktail.
  • A business on the line. A friendship on the edge. A woman caught in the middle.
  • A dangerous mix.Scott


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