I've heard Stephen Baldwin talk about The Usual Suspects fellowships who meet and try to pin the Keyser Söze identity on characters other than Verbal. I know that Verbal is the true Keyser Söze, but does anyone know any of these alleged proofs and particulars for other characters being Keyser Söze?

  • 16
    Quoting Kevin Spacey: Bryan Singer, who directed that film, had managed to convince every one of the major actors in that movie that they were in fact Keyser Söze. I remember when we screened it for the company of actors, Gabriel Byrne was stunned that he wasn’t Keyser Söze. Went out into the parking lot and had an argument with Bryan Singer. For a half an hour.
    – Oliver_C
    Feb 6, 2013 at 23:43
  • Any ideas how he did that with the other actors?
    – Matt
    Feb 7, 2013 at 3:00
  • Just took them aside and told them and then asked them to keep it quiet?
    – Stefan
    Feb 7, 2013 at 11:59
  • 2
    A man with a limp is unlikely to be a conman ('beautiful people' are generally better at it), and a conman is unlikely to move to a gang that uses violence (con-men typically pride themselves on their complete lack of violence). So the true Keyser Söze seemed obvious to me. OTOH the entire plot seemed pointless since he exchanged one scared illegal immigrant who could identify him, for two local cops who could identify him. Where is the benefit? Mar 9, 2013 at 9:04
  • @AndrewThompson I think the benefit was that the cops weren't witnesses to him actually doing anything. Mar 26, 2013 at 15:47

3 Answers 3


There aren't any.

In fact the film goes out of its way to make it clear that Verbal is Soze by including:

  1. The scene during the takedown robbery where Dylan hesitates to kill the driver and Verbal does it in cold blood.
  2. The scene on the docks when someone asks what language the crew members are speaking and Verbal answers "Hungarian."
  3. The fact that of all of gang members, only Verbal doesn't "know" who Keyser Soze is and apparently has never heard of him.

A careful review of the film will demonstrate that Verbal is Soze from the beginning and the film throws various MacGuffins in the way to prevent a less discerning viewer from realizing that early on.

  • Not sure why the down-vote. Perhaps categorically stating "There aren't any" when, given the amount of time people waste arguing about it, I guess that is a matter of opinion. OTOH you get a +1 from me. :) Dec 31, 2013 at 4:15
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    I'd argue that all your arguments originate from Verbal's story, and thus we don't know anything about their truth at all. Maybe he made up every single word.
    – MaxD
    May 27, 2019 at 18:35

I have a theory that the real Keyser Soze is none of the five Suspects, but actually Kobayashi (or at least, the person Verbal talks about as Kobayashi and who is played by Pete Postlethwaite).

The main evidence for this is: it's Postlethwaite who picks up Spacey at the very end of the movie.

Now, we only saw this person before in the story woven by Verbal to Kujan, so it's suspicious right from the start, because we don't really know how much of it is true and how much is fabrication. We know that the name Kobayashi is made up, so was there really ever any lawyer who threatened the Suspects to take on the Hungarian boat job? Maybe it was Soze himself?

Verbal (Spacey's character) is just his very trusted accomplice, or "front", to the point where if someone around the world thinks he knows how Soze looks like, they think of Kevin Spacey, not Postlethwaite. The fact that Keaton admits knowing Verbal for several years aids this theory, because would Soze keep appearances as a low level criminal in New York for years?

For me this seems legit because:

  • at the end we see that Kovacs (the burned Hungarian in the hospital) gave a pretty accurate description of Spacey as Soze. Would the real Soze allow such a gaping hole in his plan? Wasn't the whole attack on the boat for the sole purpose of killing the one person who knows how he looks?
  • on the boat we see the that person screaming in horror and identifying Soze before being killed by him (signature two shots in the head). But we don't really see who killed him. And...
  • ...we don't really see who kills all the other Suspects on the boat. We only see their reactions, and still it's all told via unreliable narrator. It might be a non-crippled Verbal, which would prompt some of the reactions (McManus' "Strangest things"), but sudden appearance of a seemingly meek lawyer as a brutal killer would possibly warrant similar reactions.

We don't know if it was Verbal or Kobayashi killing everyone on that boat. Might be both of them, might be just Verbal. Even if it was Verbal who was identified as Soze both by the guy on the boat and the Hungarian in the hospital, this all might be a Prestige-style elaborate ruse to throw off anyone claiming to know how Soze looks by hunting those who only know the false Soze face (i.e. Verbal), just to keep appearances that this is the secret.

This way even with a screw-up like a memory portrait at the end, the world would still have the false face of Keyser Soze.


Sorry to disappoint you, but all the analysis of Who is Keyser Soze? is wrong - The point is, that Keyser Soze really DOESN'T EXIST !!!

He the supervillain made up by Kevin Spacey's character (and the BIG clue is in his character's name 'Verbal'), who tells this story to get himself immunity and get himself released, not that he is really Keyser Soze. (Interestingly Keyser Soze - who naturally is not in the film credits! appears to be left handed but while no one else is).

The simple story is he con's the detective with the lure of an enormously fish, to let him off as small fry. What makes it a brilliant story is the way it draws in the audience the same way the detective is reeled into the story. (and even the films publicity 'Who is Keyser Soze?' contributed to this). The story is told so well that you continue believing Soze is real, even after 'the big reveal' at the end of the film!

Actually all the evidence for the super-villain is essentially part of Verbal's story. A film is about human weaknesses and gullibility: Greed for the big fish and Underestimating intelligence because of physical handicap, etc. The 'evidence' for Keyser Soze's identity: the supposed Witness killed was just part of the story, 'Kobayashi' driving the car at the end was just a character in the story, and the faxed photo-fit - a piece of absolutely trivial but tangible 'evidence' to suggest to the audience a real existence.

Keyser Soze is really a great fairytale, and one who I imagine will live as long as say Jack and the beanstalk!

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