Study Guide

The Usual Suspects Scene 1

Scene 1

Scene 1

  • As the opening credits go by, we see lights shimmering on water, and the soundtrack conveys an atmosphere of suspense and mystery...
  • The scene switches and a title tells us the scene is San Pedro, California, "Last night."
  • Why does last night look so 90's?
  • We see a wounded guy lighting a cigarette on a boat, as he sits next to a dead body. He smokes the cigarette and uses it to light a trail of gasoline. But a mysterious figure on the upper deck of the boat pees on the fire and puts it out.
  • The shadowy figure comes down the other guy's level and exchanges a few brief words—the guy wants to know what time it is.
  • It looks like the figure's going to kill him. And he does, executing him with a pistol.
  • Before he leaves, the shadowy dude lights the trail of gasoline with his own cigarette and blows up the boat as he escapes to shore. We never see his face.
  • But apparently someone was hiding, observing what happened…
  • We cut to a man in a court hearing in California, telling two authorities about what happened.
  • He says it began six weeks ago in New York, when a truck loaded with gun parts was stolen in Queens…
  • The movie flashes back to New York, where a man is getting arrested in relation to the truck robbery.
  • The cops go around arresting different known criminals, bringing them in for questioning. One is taken in bed, one at a garage, one on a street corner, and one in a fancy restaurant.
  • Customs Special Agent David Kujan arrests the criminal from the fancy restaurant—a guy named Keaton. He takes him in for questioning.

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