John Hartigan
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Quotes for
John Hartigan (Character)
from Sin City (2005)

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Sin City (2005)
Nancy, Age 11: They won't let me testify. I told the cops that you saved my life and they just acted like I was crazy. They talked my parents into keeping me away. They said that you done things that you didn't do. I told them that you saved me from that Roark creep, but they won't even check me out to see if I'm still a virgin. I'm still a virgin, still alive... thanks to you. They got it all backwards.
John Hartigan: Sometimes the truth doesn't matter like it ought. But you'll always remember things right. That's gonna mean a lot to me. But stay away, Nancy. They'll kill you if you don't stay away. Don't visit me. Don't write me. Don't even say my name.
Nancy, Age 11: Maybe you won't let me visit, but I'll still write to you, Hartigan. I'll sign my letters "Cordelia." That's the name of a really cool detective in books I read. I'll write to you every week... for forever.
John Hartigan: Sure, kid. Now run on home. It's not safe for you here.
[Nancy walks away]
John Hartigan: Bye, Nancy.
[Nancy turns around at the door]
Nancy, Age 11: I love you.

John Hartigan: An old man dies. A young woman lives. A fair trade. I love you, Nancy.

John Hartigan: You're just a horny ex-con watching an exotic dancer.

John Hartigan: And after I pull off that miracle, maybe I'll go punch out God.

[voiceover]
John Hartigan: I take away his weapon.
[shoots Junior's hand]
John Hartigan: [pauses] Both of them.
[shoots Junior's groin]

John Hartigan: When it comes to reassuring a traumatized 19-year-old, I'm about as expert as a palsy victim doing brain surgery with a pipe wrench.

John Hartigan: There's wrong, and there's wrong, and there's *this*.

John Hartigan: Aim careful, and look the devil in the eye.

John Hartigan: Skinny little Nancy Callahan. She grew up. She filled out.

John Hartigan: Nancy's car. Six miles from the farm. "Nobody but me can keep this heap running" she told me. Good girl. The car stalled out on that yellow bastard and you didn't tell him how to start it up again. You kept your mouth shut. I'll bet Junior was furious.

John Hartigan: [to Nancy] Whatever he does to you: don't scream.

[Hartigan is on his way to go save a girl from a rapist]
Bob: I'm gonna get on the horn and wait for back-up. We're gonna wait for back-up!
John Hartigan: Sure, Bob. You'll call for back-up. And we'll sit on our hands while that Roark brat gets his sick thrills from victim number four. Victim number four! Nancy Callahan. Age 11. She'll be raped and slashed to ribbons. And that back-up we're waiting on will just happen to show up late enough to let Roark get back home to his U.S. Senator daddy and everything will be fine until Junior gets the itch again.
Bob: Take a deep breath, Hartigan. Settle down and think straight. You're pushing 60. You've got a bum ticker. You're not saving anybody.
John Hartigan: You've got a great attitude, Bob. You're a great cop. A real credit to the force, you are.
Bob: Eileen's home waiting for you. Think about Eileen.
John Hartigan: Heck, Bob. Maybe you're right.
Bob: I'm glad to hear you're finally talking sense!
[Hartigan punches Bob in the face]
John Hartigan: [narrating] Hell of a way to end a partnership. Hell of a way to start my retirement.

John Hartigan: [pounding Yellow Bastard into floor]
John Hartigan: [shouts] Eight long years, you son of a bitch!

Bob: [Bob is waiting outside the city prison after Hartigan's release] It's a lotta miles into town, Hartigan. You care for a ride?
John Hartigan: Long as you stay in front of me.
Bob: Prison's made you paranoid. Talk about water under the bridge. Christ.
[he takes a drag on his cigarette]
Bob: Eight years.
John Hartigan: [softly] Yeah. Eight years.
Bob: Well, if it's any consolation to ya...
[he takes another drag]
Bob: ... you made me hate myself.

John Hartigan: I'm looking for Nancy Callahan.
Shellie: Eyes to the stage, pilgrim. She's just warming up.

John Hartigan: Roark! Give it up. Let the girl go.
Roark Jr.: [holding a young Nancy] You can't do a goddamn thing to me Hartigan. You know who I am. You know who my father is! You can't touch me, you piece of shit cop! Look at you, you can't even lift that cannon you carry!
John Hartigan: [pause] Sure I can.
[shoots Junior]

John Hartigan: [after turning down Nancy] Cold shower. It helps.

John Hartigan: [beating the Yellow Bastard's head in] After a while all I'm doing is punching wet chips of bone into the floorboards. So I stop.

Cop: You tagged him good.
Cop: Don't take no chances. Perforate the fool!
John Hartigan: [turns around and shoots them] Good advice.

Yellow Bastard: [raises knife] Here it comes, it's gonna hurt.
John Hartigan: You're right about that.
[stabs him]
John Hartigan: Sucker.

John Hartigan: ...Get some sleep.
Nancy Callahan: Sleep with me.
John Hartigan: No, Nancy!

John Hartigan: Just one hour to go. My last day on the job. Early retirement. Not my idea. Doctor's orders. Heart condition. Angina, he calls it. I'm polishing my badge and getting used to the idea of saying goodbye to it. It and the 30 odd years of protecting and serving and tears and... blood and terror... triumph it represents. I'm thinking about Ilene's slow smile, bout the thick, fat steak she picked up at the butchers today. I'm thinking about the one loose end I haven't tied up. A young girl who's out there somewhere, helpless in the hands of a drooling lunatic.

John Hartigan: [after pounding Roark Jr.'s head to mush] So long, Junior. Been a pleasure.


Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)
John Hartigan: Death is just like life in Sin City. It always wins.

John Hartigan: Don't avenge me, Nancy. It'll be the death of you.

John Hartigan: Let's tear him to pieces.

John Hartigan: No one ever really guessed what hell is. It's watching the people you love, in pain.