The Friends of Eddie Coyle

1973 film directed by Peter Yates

The Friends of Eddie Coyle is a 1973 film about a low level Boston gangster who, after his last crime has him looking at a long prison sentence for repeat offenses, decides to snitch on his friends to avoid jail time.

Directed by Peter Yates. Written by Paul Monash, based on the novel by George V. Higgins.
It's a grubby, violent, dangerous world. But it's the only world they know. And they're the only friends Eddie has.

Eddie 'Fingers' Coyle

  • No, I don't care to give my name. Stop farting around and give me Foley.
  • Can you imagine being a kid like that. What is he, 24 or something. Greatest hockey player in the world. Number four - Bobby Orr. Geez, what a future he's got, uh?

Jackie Brown

  • This life's hard man, but it's harder if you're stupid!
  • And keep this mind. I've got more than five machine guns, and the rest are gonna be pointed at you.

Dave Foley

  • The only one fuckin' Eddie Coyle is Eddie Coyle.


Eddie 'Fingers' Coyle: I was thinkin' in terms of you maybe talkin' to the prosecutor up there, and havin' him drop a word to the judge how I been helpin' my Uncle like a bastard?
Dave Foley: Well, I would. But then again you haven't been.
Eddie 'Fingers' Coyle: What? I gave you a couple of calls.
Dave Foley: Yeah, you give me some real stuff, too. You tell me about a guy that's gonna get hit, 15 minutes later he gets hit. You tell me about some guys on a job, but you don't tell me till their coming out the door with the money. That's not helping Uncle, Eddie. You gotta put your whole soul into it.

Eddie 'Fingers' Coyle: I shoulda known better than to trust a cop. My own goddamn mother coulda told me that.
Dave Foley: Everybody oughta listen to his mother.

Eddie 'Fingers' Coyle: One of the first things I learned is never to ask a man why he's in a hurry. All you got to know is I told the man that he could depend on me because you told me I could depend on you. Now one of us is gonna have a big fat problem. Another thing I learned. If anybody's gonna have a problem, you're gonna be the one.
Jackie Brown: You finished?
Eddie 'Fingers' Coyle: No, I am not finished. Look, I'm gettin' old, you hear? I spent most of my life hanging around crummy joints with a buncha punks drinkin' the beer, eatin' the hash and the hot dogs and watchin' the other people go off to Florida while I'm sweatin' out how I'm gonna pay the plumber. I done time and I stood up but I can't take no more chances. Next time, it's gonna be me goin' to Florida.

Jackie Brown: You can't trace these guns, I guarantee that.
Eddie 'Fingers' Coyle: You better, or neither of us will be able to shake hands.

Eddie 'Fingers' Coyle: All right, nothing. I wished I had a nickel for every name I got that was all right.

[shows Jackie Brown his left hand]

Eddie 'Fingers' Coyle: Look at that. You know what that is?
Jackie Brown: Your hand.
Eddie 'Fingers' Coyle: I hope you look closer at those guns than you did at that hand. Look at your own goddamn hand.
Jackie Brown: Yeah?
Eddie 'Fingers' Coyle: Count your fuckin' knuckles.
Jackie Brown: All of 'em?
Eddie 'Fingers' Coyle: Count as many as you want. As many as you got, I got four more. You know how I got those? I bought some stuff from a man. I knew his name. The stuff was traced. The guy I bought it for, he's at MCI Walpole for fifteen to twenty-five. Still in there. But he had some friends. I got an extra set of knuckles. They put your hand in a drawer then somebody kicks the drawer shut. Hurt like a bastard.
Jackie Brown: Jesus.
Eddie 'Fingers' Coyle: What makes it hurt worse, what makes it hurt more is knowing what's going to happen to you, you know? There you are, they just come up to you and say, "Look. You made somebody mad. You made a big mistake and now there's somebody doing time for it. There's nothing personal in it, you understand, but it just has to be done. Now get your hand out there." You think about not doing it, you know. When I was a kid in Sunday school, this nun, she used to say, "Stick your hand out." I stick my hand out. Whap! She'd knock me across the knuckles with a steel-edge ruler. So one day I says, when she told me, "Stick your hand out," I says, "No." She whapped me right across the face with the ruler. Same thing. They put your hand in a drawer, somebody kicks the drawer shut. Ever hear bones breaking? Just like a man snapping a shingle. Hurts like a bastard.


  • It's a grubby, violent, dangerous world. But it's the only world they know. And they're the only friends Eddie has.


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