"Your future is in Los Angeles, son. I can get you on the police force. You can fuck movie stars and create mischief."
- Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. to Dudley Liam Smith, 1921
Dudley Smith EditDudley Liam Smith is a character who appears in James Ellroy's First L.A. Quartet, Second L.A. Quartet, as well as a stand-alone novel, Clandestine. Dudley is one of the four main protagonists of Perfidia, and he plays a major role in the story arc of the First Quartet.
Introduced as a robust, Irish-born Catholic policeman with a brogue accent, Dudley is one of Ellroy's most recognizable characters - aside from being a rather proficient detective, he is portrayed as a strong, manipulative thug who's willing to hurt, strongarm, deceive or kill anyone who interferes with his plans and vision. Because of these qualities, as well as his actions over the Quartet's storyline, Dudley is generally thought of as a villian, although a case could be made for him being an antihero.
Dudley is portrayed by James Cromwell in the 1997 film adaptation of L.A. Confidential and by Tom Nowicki in the unsold 2003 television pilot of the same name.
Early life Edit
The Second L.A. Quartet (1941-?) Edit
Perfidia (1941) Edit
Part One: The Japs (December 6 - December 11, 1941) Edit
Part Two: The Chinks (December 11 - December 19, 1941) Edit
Part Three: The Fifth Column (December 19 - December 24, 1941) Edit
Part Four: The Huntress (December 27 - December 29, 1941) Edit
The L.A. Quartet (1947-1958) Edit
The Big Nowhere (1949-1950) Edit
Part I: Red Crosscurrents Edit
Part II: Upshaw, Considine, Meeks Edit
Part III: Wolverine Edit
Part IV: The Red Edit
L.A. Confidential (1950-1958) Edit
Prologue (February 21, 1950) Edit
L.A. Confidential picks up on the night of February 21, 1950. Having heisted Mickey Cohen's meeting a week before, Buzz Meeks is now on the run from Cohen's goons and the LAPD. In possession of 150,000 dollars and eighteen pounds of heroin after the assault, Buzz has blown fifty-six grand on "staying alive" - cars, hideouts with high risk-rates, since the inn-keepers are aware of the fact that Cohen was after him. Meeks eventually works his way to a deal with Doc Englekling, a former business associate of Cohen's - he'd take the heroin off Meeks, package it, sell it later, and get Meeks his percentage; meanwhile, Englekling's sons would help Buzz escape to Guatemala City, in exchange for fifteen thousand dollars. Meeks is told to be at the El Serrano Motel at dusk, on the night of February 21, when two "wetback runners", associates of the Englekling brothers, would drive him to a beanfield and help him escape.
Armed with a 10-gauge shotgun, Meeks begins searching for the associates at the run-down motel. Shortly before dusk, the "runners" arrive - recognizing Mal Lunceford, a Hollywood station cop as one of them, Meeks realizes that he's being set up. A firefight breaks out between him and a number of assailants, leaving several of them dead. Meeks is eventually grazed by shots to his back and his feet; he later tricks the gunmen by pretending to be dead, then shooting several of them dead, seemingly victorious in the firefight. Bleeding and exhausted, Meeks is greeted by Dudley Smith, dressed in a fireman's greatcoat and wielding a gun. When Meeks tells him "Dud, you came prepared", Smith nonchalantly replies "Like the Boy Scouts, lad. And have you a valediction?" Meeks raises his weapon; however, Dudley reacts first - shooting Meeks dead, taking the heroin, and taking the cash.
Part I: Bloody Christmas Edit
Part II: Nite Owl Massacre Edit
Part III: Internal Affairs