Melvin Purvis Quotes in Dillinger (1973)


Melvin Purvis Quotes:

  • Samuel Cowley: Can't touch Dillinger, no federal offense; he doesn't deserve to be there. I don't want anyone up there I can't legally shoot!

    Melvin Purvis: Shoot Dillinger and we'll figure out a way to make it legal.

  • Melvin Purvis: [about "Handsome Jack" Klutas] I knew I'd never take him alive... I didn't try too hard, neither.

  • Billie Frechette: [about Dillinger] You'll never get him.

    Melvin Purvis: Yes, I'll get him.

  • [Pretty Boy Floyd has been shot trying to escape the FBI]

    Melvin Purvis: Are you Pretty Boy Floyd?

    Pretty Boy Floyd: [gasping in pain] I'm. Charles. Arthur. Floyd

    Melvin Purvis: This is for Kansas City, boy.

    Pretty Boy Floyd: [in more pain] I wasn't in on that... I swear.

    Melvin Purvis: You shouldn't be lying when you're so close to your maker.

    Pretty Boy Floyd: [fading rapidly] You must be Purvis.

    Melvin Purvis: That's right.

    Pretty Boy Floyd: I'm. Glad. It. Was. You.


  • Melvin Purvis: On June 17,1933, five of my finest men were ambushed escorting convicted bank robber Frank Nash to the Federal penitentiary. My men died like dogs in the gutter, and I swore personal vengeance. Mister Hoover told me he wanted these rats that did it exterminated, and that was my only job. Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd. George "Machine Gun" Kelly". Lester "Baby Face" Nelson. Wilbur Underhill, "The Tri-state Terror". "Handsome Jack" Klutas. And, of course John Dillinger.

  • Melvin Purvis: [about his Monte Cristos] Do you know who gave me these cigars, Sam?

    Samuel Cowley: No.

    Melvin Purvis: Ray Caffrey gave them to me right before he got his head blown off in Kansas City. They were for my birthday. And I intend to smoke one of these over each of those men's dead bodies.

  • John Dillinger: [Dillinger phones Purvis after escaping from prison] I always felt that, uh, well, I always felt that we oughtta talk occasionally.

    Melvin Purvis: Good, good, I like to hear from you.

    John Dillinger: I understand that, uh, I understand that you been, uh, that you got me on driving a stolen car across state lines. Is that right? Federal offense, that's what the papers said.

    Melvin Purvis: That's right, kid. Not much for a man of your ability.

    John Dillinger: [growing angry] How'd you like the crash out!

    Melvin Purvis: Liked it fine, Johnny.

    John Dillinger: Yeah, it was great, wasn't it?!

    Melvin Purvis: I've always wanted it that way. It gives me a chance . . .

    John Dillinger: How many men you got on me now, Melvin?!

    Melvin Purvis: Two, Johnny. Two good ones.

    John Dillinger: You and J. Edgar Hoover, huh?

    Melvin Purvis: That's right, kid.

    John Dillinger: Well that's fine, that's fine, Melvin. I like a man with confidence.

    Melvin Purvis: Call whenever you like.

    John Dillinger: Sure been nice talkin' to you.

    Melvin Purvis: You can reverse the charges if you need, kid.

    John Dillinger: [hangs up the phone and yells into the receiver] Bye! Son of a bitch.

  • Melvin Purvis: What keeps you up nights, Mr. Dillinger?

    John Dillinger: Coffee.

  • Melvin Purvis: Pretty Boy Floyd, you are under arrest

    Pretty Boy Floyd: It's Charles, Charles Floyd. Who are you?

    Melvin Purvis: Melvin Purvis, Bureau of Investigation. Where's your friend, Harry Campbell?

    Pretty Boy Floyd: I believe you've killed me, so you can go rot in hell

  • [Agents Baum and Purvis are briefing the Chicago field agents]

    Agent Carter Baum: According to the bank teller Barbara Patzke, this is John Dillinger's coat. It's made by Shragge-Quality out of St. Louis. Price: $35 dollars. Windproof, 32 ounce wool. Top stitching.

    Melvin Purvis: [nods approvingly] Thank you, Agent Baum.

    [Baum steps aside]

    Melvin Purvis: Agents in our offices across the country are identifying every store in the United States that sold this overcoat. Then, we will cross-reference every Dillinger associate, in locales where that coat was sold. He was in a place, he got cold, he bought a coat. Unless he was traveling through, he was being harbored nearby. If he returns, we will be there. It is by such methods that our bureau will get John Dillinger.

    [turns to Doris Rogers]

    Melvin Purvis: Now Doris, would you please contact the Chicago area telephone exchange supervisors? There are six. Request appointments for Carter Baum and myself.

    [as she does that, Purvis turns back to his agents]

    Melvin Purvis: Gentlemen, shortly you will be provided... Thompson submachine guns, BARs, and uh, .351 Winchester semi-automatic rifles. We are pursuing hardened killers. It will be dangerous. Those of you who aren't prepared for that should go. And if you are going to go, please go now.

    [No one leaves]

  • John Dillinger: [in his jail cell] Well, here's the man who killed Pretty Boy Floyd. Damn good thing he was pretty, 'cause he sure wasn't Whiz Kid Floyd. Tell me something, Mr. Purvis. That fellow, the one who got killed at the Sherone Apartments - the newspaper said you found him alive. It's the eyes, ain't it? They look at you right before they go. And then they just drift away into nothing. That'll keep you up nights.

    Melvin Purvis: And what keeps you up nights, Mr. Dillinger?

    John Dillinger: Coffee. You act like a confident man, Mr. Purvis. You got a few qualities. Probably pretty good from a distance, especially when you got the fellow outnumbered. But up close, toe to toe, when somebody's about to die right here, right now - I'm used to that. What about you?

    Melvin Purvis: Goodbye, Mr. Dillinger...

    John Dillinger: I'll see you down the road.

    Melvin Purvis: [turning back] No, you will not. The only way that you will leave a jail cell is when we take you out to execute you.

    John Dillinger: Well, we'll see about that.

  • J. Edgar Hoover: John Dillinger held up a bank for $74,000 while you failed to arrest Nelson.

    Melvin Purvis: Sir, I take full responsibility. And I would like to make a request. That we transfer men with special qualifications to augment the staff here in Chicago. There are some former Texas and Oklahoma lawmen currently with the Bureau in Dallas.

    J. Edgar Hoover: I thought you understood what I'm building. A modern force of professional young men of the best sort.

    Melvin Purvis: I'm afraid our type cannot get the job done.

    J. Edgar Hoover: Excuse me, I cannot hear you.

    Melvin Purvis: Our type cannot get the job done.

    J. Edgar Hoover: [dropping the hint more insistently] I cannot hear you.

    Melvin Purvis: [more firmly] Our type cannot get the job done. Without qualified help, I would have to resign this appointment. Otherwise, I am leading my men to slaughter.

  • Newsman: Mr. Purvis, how did you run down Pretty Boy Floyd?

    Melvin Purvis: [hesitates] Through an apple orchard.

  • [Purvis and Baum are listening in on a wiretapped call]

    Agent Carter Baum: This is a phone conversation from a car dealership twenty-seven minutes ago. Harry Berman.

    [He pushes down the needle to play back an acetate disk]

    John Dillinger's voice: When you drop it, leave the keys on the floorboard.

    Harry Berman's voice: I got a DeSoto.

    John Dillinger's voice: Okay.

    [Purvis takes off his headphones]

    Melvin Purvis: How did we get to Berman?

    Agent Carter Baum: Off the Dillinger coat. The coat was bought in Cicero, Illinois, a few doors down from Berman's dealership. Now we know Berman. He's been supplying cars to the Syndicate since Capone. When Dillinger bought that coat, he must've been at Berman's switching cars.

    Melvin Purvis: Soon as they call to drop the DeSoto, we'll tail it. I want men on this, around the clock.

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