From the film There Will Be Blood.
It's just out on DVD, wth various collector's deluxe editions, which got me thinking about the movie all over again. Many scenes in this one dimensional portrait of the monomanical capitalist as world-eating monster irked me. The ease with which Daniel Plainview (extravagantly over-played by Oscar-winner Daniel Day Lewis) intimidates, terrifies and bullies everyone he comes into contact with began to grate on me somewhere around the beginning of the third hour. One particular scene badly needed revision. It can stand in for the others.
Plainview is discussing selling his oilfields to Standard Oil. The representative of the company suggests that Plainview take the million dollars and retire. He could spend more time with his son. That was the wrong thing to say. “Don’t tell me how to raise my family,” he says. He follows that admonishment with this charming promise:
“I’ll find the room where you sleep and slit your throat."
In the movie the Standard Oilman backs down.
This is what happens in my version:
The Standard Oilman pulls out a massive Colt 45 “Peacemaker”, leaps across the table and clobbers Plainview with the barrel. Plainview staggers backward, blood gouting from a cut over his eye. The furious executive leaps on him, knocking him onto his back,driving a knee into his solar plexus and jamming the barrel of the gun into his throat.
He cocks it.
“You see this gun, my friend? I have it by my side in bed, every night. And I sleep lightly. I was a marksman with the roughriders. I’ve killed men before and if you ever come near me or my family I will blow your arrogant head off your shoulders with the greatest of pleasure. If you’ re too gutless to try, then I’ll settle for the bitter palliative of merely bankrupting you and destroying your business. Keep your oil wells, Plainview. You’re going to need them.”
Someone should have done that.
I wouldn’t have minded Eli Sunday kicking his ass, either.