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Movie Fact #34 - September 20th, 2020


1995's The Usual Suspects was influenced primiarly through screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie's rather diverse background. While the character of Keyser Söze was based on John List, a New Jersey accountant who murdered his family in 1971 and then disappeared for almost two decades (Assuming a new identity before he was ultimately apprehended, McQuarrie based the name of Keyser Söze on one of his previous supervisors, Kayser Sume, at a Los Angeles law firm that he worked for. In fact, all the characters' names are taken from staff members of the law firm at the time of his employment. However, in the case of his boss's name, he chose to change the last name because he thought that his former boss would object to how it was used. The last name Söze was actually a word McQuarrie found in his roommate's English-to-Turkish dictionary, which translates as "talk too much". In addition, McQuarrie had also worked for a detective agency which influenced the depiction of criminals and law enforcement officials in the script. Keep in mind that not only did McQuarrie win the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay but the script itself has been called one of the greatest of all time. Stay tuned!

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