Martin Vail
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Quotes for
Martin Vail (Character)
from Primal Fear (1996)

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Primal Fear (1996)
Martin Vail: [while walking into the Bishop's home, owned by the Catholic Church] Yeah, I'm Martin Vail, from the public defender's office. I'm handling the Aaron Stampler case.
Cop: Hm, the Butcher Boy.
Martin Vail: Yes, thank you, I forgot his real name.

Martin Vail: [sitting with Jack Connerman in a bar] Why gamble with money when you can gamble with people's lives? That was a joke. All right, I'll tell you. I believe in the notion that people are innocent until proven guilty. I believe in that notion because I choose to believe in the basic goodness of people. I choose to believe that not all crimes are committed by bad people. And I try to understand that some very, very good people do some very bad things.

Martin Vail: [to Aaron, while in the solitary confinement room] I don't have to believe you. I don't care if you are innocent. I'm your mother, your father, your priest.

[first lines, while getting dressed as Naomi helps him]
Martin Vail: On my first day of law school, my professor says two things. First was; "From this day forward, when your mother tells you she loves you, get a second opinion."
Jack Connerman: [chuckles] And?
Martin Vail: "If you want justice, go to a whorehouse. If you wanna get fucked, go to court."

[Marty is trying to woo Janet again, kissing the back of her neck and humming as she smokes a cigarette at the bar in the party for the Archbishop]
Martin Vail: Come on... all you have to do is turn around.
Janet Venable: I thought you liked it better like this. That way you don't have to look at the person.
Martin Vail: You're mean.
[ingratiatingly]
Martin Vail: Look at me.
[She turns to face him. He is grinning seductively]
Martin Vail: Come on. Let's go find a bar you can still smoke in.
Janet Venable: Thanks for the invite, but I don't like one-night stands all that much.
Martin Vail: We saw each other for months.
Janet Venable: It was a one-night stand, Marty. It just lasted six months.

Martin Vail: [in a private room inside the district attorney's office] Mr. Pinero has never been convicted of anything. Cops jumped him, he was left bleeding in the snow. It's a miracle he survived. Having said that, I am not opposed to a settlement.
John Shaughnessy: A million-five and Pinero leaves the state.
Martin Vail: You can't limit a citizen's right to live wherever he wants to. Legally, that's unenforceable.
John Shaughnessy: Whether or not it's enforceable or just a gentleman's agreement, Mr. Pinero will know what we want.

Martin Vail: [while in Aaron's solitary confinement room] I speak. You do not speak. Your job is to just sit there and look innocent.

Tommy Goodman: [after Martin told Tommy what Aaron had told him, with Naomi present] That... is... a... bullshit story!
Martin Vail: No, that's *our* bullshit story.

[arguing before the judge]
Janet Venable: Next thing you know, he'll be objecting to introducing the murder weapon into evidence!
Martin Vail: [Janet gestures to judge, referring to Martin's intentions] Well, now that you bring it up...

Janet Venable: No further questions, your honor.
Roy: ['Roy' emerges with a southern accent,] Where the hell do you think you're going?
Janet Venable: Excuse me?
Roy: Hey you look at me when I'm talkin' to you, bitch!
Judge Miriam Shoat: Mr. Stampler!
Roy: Fuck you, lady! Come here!
[Roy jumps over the witness stand and grabs Janet and punches Marty]
Judge Miriam Shoat: Bailiff!
Roy: You wanna play rough, let's play rough. Come on, lets play rough!
[Bailiff and secruity slowly walk toward Roy]
Roy: Yeah, keep comin' closer asshole, don't think I won't break her fuckin' neck!
Martin Vail: [approaching Aaron slowly with the other bailiffs] come on I got
Roy: Fuck you, Marty! I'm walkin' outta slowly. Really slow.

Martin Vail: [sitting with Jack Connerman in a bar] First thing that I ask a new client is, "Have you been saving up for a rainy day? Guess what? It's raining!"

Joey Pinero: [while walking through Joey Pinero's old neighborhood] See this lot here? This lot used to be houses. In fact, there was a house over there on the corner where I kissed my first girl friend. Got her pregnant, too.
Martin Vail: Hell of a kiss, Joey.

[last lines,while in a holding cell in the back of the courthouse]
Roy: Mr. Vail?
Martin Vail: Yeah?
Roy: [stammering] Will you t-tell Miss Venable I'm sorry? Tell her I hope her neck is okay.
Martin Vail: Yeah... I will.
[begins walking away, then turns back]
Martin Vail: Wait... What did you just say? What? You told me just a few minutes ago that you didn't remember. You blacked out. So how do you know about her neck?
Roy: [slow clapping sardonically, in a southern accent,] Well... good for you, Marty. I was going to let it go. You was looking so happy just now. I was thinking, hm, God. But to tell you the truth, I'm glad you figured it, because I have been dying to tell you. I just didn't know who you'd wanna hear it from, you know? Aaron or Roy, or Roy or Aaron. Well, I'll let you in on a little secret. A sort of a client-attorney-privilege type of a secret, you know what I mean? It don't matter who you hear it from. It's the same story.
[stammering as Aaron]
Roy: [in a southern accent] ,I j-j-just... had to kill Linda, Mr. Vail.
[normal voice as Roy]
Roy: [in a southern accent] ,That, that cunt just got what she deserved. But... cutting up that son of a bitch Rushman? That was just a fucking work of art.
Martin Vail: You're good. You are really good.
Roy: in a southern accent,Yeah. I did get caught, though, didn't I?
Martin Vail: So there never... there never was a Roy?
Roy: [in a southern accent] ,Jesus Christ, Marty. If that's what you think, I am disappointed in you, I don't mind telling you. There never was an Aaron... counselor! Come on, Marty, I thought you had it figured, there at the end. The way you put me on the stand like that? That was fucking brilliant, Marty! And that whole thing like "act-like-a-man"? Jesus, I knew exactly what you wanted from me. It was like we were dancing, Marty!
Martin Vail: Guard!
Roy: [in a southern accent] ,Oh come on, don't be like that, Marty. We did it, man. We fucking did it! We're a great team, you and me. You think I could've done this without you? You're just feeling a little angry here, because you started to care about old Aaron, I can understand that, but... you know, love hurts, Marty. What can I say? Hey, I'm just kidding, bud! I didn't mean to hurt your feelings! What else was I supposed to do? Hey, you're gonna thank me down the road, because this is gonna toughen you right up, Martin Vail! You hear me? That's a promise!

Martin Vail: [sitting with Jack Connerman in a bar] You either run for office or you wind up a judge. Why become an umpire when you can play ball?

Martin Vail: [to Shaughnessy in court] It's confusing to me because I have document there that says Michael O'Donnell spoke to the supervisor of that unit over a period of two weeks explaining to him - in graphic detail - of the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of Archbishop Rushman. Isn't it also true, Mr. State's attorney that your "friend" Archbishop Rushman was not going to stand trial for any of it? He owed you big time, you must've been very pissed off when he pulled out of the South River construction deal, what happened? He finally said "I can't take it anymore" you said "no", you and your investors had sixty millions reasons to kill him.

Judge Miriam Shoat: [in her chambers] If you think you're going to my courtroom to wage personal vendettas and settle old scores you are sorely mistaken I'm striking Shaughnessy's testimony as irrelevant and I'm holding in contempt in the of ten thousand dollars
Martin Vail: So what you're telling me is I can't get a fair trial in your courtroom?
Judge Miriam Shoat: Be very careful in here, you're on dangerous ground here
Martin Vail: Fine do you want me to make that check out to you judge?

Martin Vail: [in Judge Miriam Shoat's chambers] You ok?
Janet Venable: Am I ok? Do I seem ok? I get attacked by this sick twist, I've lost the case and out of a job so no I'm not particularly ok but you won justice was done so who the hell cares right? Congratulations you knew didn't you? You knew if I went after him he'd wig out up there
Martin Vail: I knew he'd come out if he was threatened.
Janet Venable: Who better to do that than me? You used me.
Martin Vail: Yeah I did. I had no choice, what did I use that was so terrible? I knew you'd do your job and I knew you'd try to win the case what's wrong with that?
Janet Venable: I lost my fucking job.
Martin Vail: And that's good you should've left them years ago.
Janet Venable: Oh Jesus why do you think you always know what's best for me?