The Devil's Advocate (1997 film)

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Behold, I send you out as sheep amidst the wolves.

The Devil's Advocate is a 1997 film about a hotshot lawyer who gets more than he bargained for when he learns his new boss is Lucifer himself.

Directed by Taylor Hackford. Written by Jonathan Lemkin and Tony Gilroy, based on a novel by Andrew Neiderman.

John Milton[edit]

  • Don't get too cocky, my boy. No matter how good you are, don't ever let them see you coming. That's the gaffe, my friend. You gotta keep yourself small. Innocuous. Be the little guy. You know, the nerd, the leper, shit-kicking surfer. Look at me. Underestimated from day one. You'd never think I was a master of the universe, now would you?
  • A woman's shoulders are the front lines of her mystique, and her neck, if she's alive, has all the mystery of a border town. A no-man's land in that battle between the mind and the body.
  • Eddie Barzoon, Eddie Barzoon... Ha! I nursed him through two divorces, a cocaine rehab, and a pregnant receptionist. God's creature, right? God's special creature. I've warned him, Kevin. I've warned him every step of the way. Watching him bounce around like a fucking game. Like a wind-up toy. Like 250 pounds of self-serving greed on wheels. The next thousand years is right around the corner. Eddie Barzoon... Take a good look, because he's the poster child for the next millennium. These people, it's no mystery where they come from.

    You sharpen the human appetite to the point where it can split atoms with its desire. You build egos the size of cathedrals. Fiber-optically connect the world to every eager impulse. Grease even the dullest dreams with these dollar-green, gold-plated fantasies until every human becomes an aspiring emperor, becomes his own god. Where can you go from there? As we're scrambling from one deal to the next, who's got his eye on the planet? As the air thickens, the water sours, even the bees' honey takes on the metallic taste of radioactivity. And it just keeps coming, faster and faster. There's no chance to think, to prepare—it's "buy futures", "sell futures", when there is no future. We got a runaway train, boy. We got a billion Eddie Barzoons all jogging into the future. Every one of them is getting ready to fistfuck God's ex-planet, lick their fingers clean, as they reach out toward their pristine cybernetic keyboards to tot up their fucking billable hours. And then it hits home. You gotta pay your own way, Eddie. It's a little late in the game to buy out now. Your belly's too full, your dick is sore, your eyes are bloodshot, and you're screaming for someone to help. But guess what? There's no one there! You're all alone, Eddie. You're God's special little creature. Maybe it's true. Maybe God threw the dice once too often. Maybe he let us all down.
  • You've got to marshal your strength. Prioritize. Conserve your energy.

Dialogue[edit]

Alice: Let me tell you about New York.
Kevin: Let me guess.
Alice: "Fallen, fallen, is Babylon the great. It has become a dwelling place of demons." Revelation 18. Wouldn't hurt you to look it over.
Kevin: Couldn't forget it if I tried.
Alice: Oh, really? And what happened to Babylon?

Mary Ann: I told Kevin, the only thing worse than having no father was having mine.
Milton: I can relate.

Milton: It's your wife, man. She's sick, she needs you; she's got to come first. Ah, wait a minute, wait a minute. You mean the possibility of leaving this case has never even entered your mind?
Kevin: You know what scares me? I quit the case, she gets better...and I hate her for it. I don't want to resent her, John, I've got a winner here. I've got to nail this fucker down, do it fast, and put it behind me. Just get it done. Then—then—put all my energy into her.
Milton: [impressed] I stand corrected.

Milton: You were right about one thing, Kevin: I have been watching; couldn't help myself. Watching, waiting... holding my breath. But I'm no puppeteer, Kevin. I don't make things happen; doesn't work like that.
Kevin: What did you do to Mary Ann?
Milton: Free will, it's like butterfly wings – once touched, they never get off the ground. No, I only set the stage; you pull your own strings.
Kevin: What did you do to Mary Ann? [produces and aims a pistol at Milton]
Milton: A gun? In here?
Kevin: Goddamn it, what did you do to my wife?!
Milton: Well, on a scale of 1 to 10 - 10 being the most depraved act of sexual theater known to man, 1 being your average Friday night run-through at the Lomax's household - I'd say, not to be immodest, Mary Ann and I got it on at about... seven.
Kevin: Fuck you! [fires at Milton]
Milton: Oh! Oh! Whoa! Gut me! Gut me! [more shots fired] Yes! Wow! Oh, yes! Yeah! Step it up, son! Come on, that's good! You got to hold on to that fury. Yeah, that's the last thing to go, that's the final hiding place, it's the final fig leaf.
Kevin: Who are you?
Milton: Who am I? Who are you? Never lost a case... why? Why do you think? 'Cause you're so fucking good, yeah? But why?
Kevin: Because you're my father.
Milton: I'm a little more than that, Kevin. Awfully hot in that courtroom, wasn't it? What's the game plan, Kevin? It was a nice run, Kev; had to close out some day. Nobody wins them all.
Kevin: What are you?
Milton: Oh, I have so many names.
Kevin: Satan.
Milton: Call me Dad.

Kevin: Mary Ann, she knew it. She knew it... She knew it, so you destroyed her.
Milton: You blaming me for Mary Ann? Oh, I hope you're kidding. Mary Ann, you could have saved her anytime you wanted. All she wanted was love. Hey, you were too busy.
Kevin: That's a lie.
Milton: Mary Ann in New York? Face it, you started lookin' to better-deal her the minute you got here.
Kevin: That's not true. You don't know what we had. You don't know anything about us!
Milton: Hey, I'm on your side!
Kevin: You're a liar! [starts to leave]
Milton: Hey, Kevin? There's nothing out there for you. Don't be such a fucking chump. Stop deluding yourself! I told you to take care of your wife. What did I say? The world would understand. Didn't I say that? What did you do? [imitates Kevin's voice] "You know what scares me, John? I leave the case, she gets better, and then I hate her for it." Remember?
Kevin: I know what you did. You set me up!
Milton: Who told you to pull out all the stops on Mr. Gettys? Who made that choice?
Kevin: It's entrapment! You set me up!
Milton: And Moyez, the direction you took - popes, swamis, snake handlers, all feeding from the same trough. Whose ideas were those?
Kevin: You played me! It was a test! Your test!
Milton: And Cullen! Knowing he was guilty, seeing those pictures, what did you do? You put that lying bitch on the stand. [laughs]
Kevin: You brought me in, you put me there! You made her lie!
Milton: I don't do that, Kevin! That day, on the subway, what did I say to you? What were my words to you?! Maybe it was your time to lose. You didn't think so.
Kevin: Lose?! I don't lose! I win! I win! I'm a lawyer, that's my job, that's what I do!
Milton: I rest my case. Vanity... is definitely my favorite sin. Kevin, it's so basic, self-love; the all-natural opiate. You know, it's not that you didn't care for Mary Ann, Kevin. It's just that you were a little bit more involved with someone else: yourself.

Milton: You cannot keep punishing yourself, Kevin. It's awesome how far you've come! I didn't make it easy. Couldn't. Not for you... [Christabella appears] or your sister. Well, half-sister, to be exact.
Christabella: Surprise.
Milton: Some scene, huh, Kevin?
Christabella: Don't let him scare you, eh?
Milton: Kevin, I've had so many children, I've had so many disappointments... mistake after mistake. And then there's you, the two of you.
Kevin: What do you want from me?
Milton: I want you to be yourself. You know, I'll tell you, boy: guilt is like a bag of fucking bricks. All you gotta do, set it down.
Christabella: Hey, I know what you're going through. I've been there. Just come here. Come here, yeah, let it go, yeah...
Kevin: I can't do that.
Milton: Who are you carrying all those bricks for anyway? God? Is that it? God? Well, I tell you. Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He's a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does he do, I swear, for his own amusement, his own private cosmic gag reel? He sets the rules in opposition. It's the goof of all time. "Look, but don't touch." "Touch, but don't taste." "Taste, don't swallow." [laughs] And while you're jumping from one foot to the next, what is he doing? He's laughing his sick fucking ass off! He's a tight-ass, he's a sadist, he's an absentee landlord! Worship that? Never!
Kevin: "Better to reign in Hell, than to serve in Heaven," is that it?
Milton: Why not? I'm here on the ground with my nose in it since the whole thing began! I've nurtured every sensation man has been inspired to have. I cared about what he wanted and I never judged him. Why? Because I never rejected him—in spite of all his imperfections, I'm a fan of man! I'm a humanist. Maybe the last humanist. Who, in their right mind, Kevin, could possibly deny the 20th century was entirely mine? All of it, Kevin! All of it. Mine. I'm peaking, Kevin. It's my time now. It's our time.

Kevin: This is some pitch, all this. You must need me pretty bad. What do you want?
Milton: (Well) Eddie was right, I want you to take over the firm; you and your sister.
Kevin: Is that it?
Milton: No. She's ovulating... right now.
Kevin: What?
Milton: Your vanity is justified, Kevin. Your seed is the key to a new future. Your son is gonna sit at the head of all tables, my boy. He's gonna set this whole thing free.
Kevin: You want a child.
Milton: I want a family.
Kevin: The Antichrist.
Milton: [scoffs] Whatever.
Kevin: But I have to volunteer.
Milton: Free will, it is a bitch. Kevin, I need a family. I need help, I'm busy. Millennium's coming soon. Title fight! Round 20. Ooh, I'm ready to work. What do you say, Kev?
Kevin: What're you offering?
Milton: We negotiating?
Kevin: Always.
Milton: Yes!
Kevin: What're you offering?
Milton: Everything. Anything. What do you want? How 'bout bliss for starters? Instant bliss, bliss on tap... bliss any way you want it. How about that first line of cocaine? That walk into a strange girl's bedroom? Familiar?
Kevin: Oh, you're gonna have to do a little better than that.
Milton: I know. I'm just getting warmed up. You want more, don'tcha? You deserve more. How about the thing you love the most? Smile from a jury? Ooh, that cold courtroom just giving itself over, bending to your strength.
Kevin: I get that on my own.
Milton: Not like this. I take the bricks out of the briefcase. I give you pleasure, no strings! Freedom, baby, is never having to say you're sorry. This is revolution, Kevin. Viva la causa.

Kevin: Why the law? Cut the shit, Dad! Why lawyers? Why the law?
Milton: Because the law, my boy, puts us into everything. It's the ultimate backstage pass; it's the new priesthood, baby. Did you know there are more students in law school than there are lawyers walking the Earth? We're coming out, guns blazing! The two of you, all of us, acquittal after acquittal after acquittal... until the stench of it reaches so high and far into heaven, it chokes the whole fucking lot of them.
Kevin: In the Bible, you lose. We're destined to lose, Dad.
Milton: Well, consider the source, son. Besides, we're gonna write our own book; Chapter 1, right here. This altar, this moment...
Christabella: Will you stop talking? You talk too much, both of you. Kevin, look at me; just look at me.
Milton: Oh! She is really stunning.
Christabella: Who am I?
Kevin: I've wanted you from the moment we met.
Milton: Diaboli virtus in lumbas est, diaboli virtus in lumbas est... Virtue of the devil is in his loins.
Kevin: What about love?
Milton: Overrated. Biochemically, no different than eating large quantities of chocolate.
Christabella: Hey. In two minutes, you won't be thinking about Mary Ann ever again. Come here.
Milton: She's right, my son. It's time to step up and take what's yours.
Kevin: You're right, it's time. Free will, right? [shoots himself in the head]

Taglines[edit]

  • Evil has its winning ways.
  • The newest attorney at the world's most powerful law firm has never lost a case. But he's about to lose his soul.
  • Speak of the devil
  • Devil begins and wins.

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]