American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"There Will Be Blood" (2007)


Daniel Plainview Pitches and Rescinds Oil Drilling Offer to Squabbling Land Owners

Audio mp3 delivered by Daniel Day-Lewis


Daniel Plainview: Ladies and gentlemen, I've traveled over half our state to be here tonight. I couldn't get away sooner because my new well was coming in at Coyote Hills, and I had to see about it. That well is now flowing at 2000 barrels; it's paying me an income of 5000 dollars a week. I have two others drilling and I have 16 producing at Antelope. So ladies and gentlemen if I say I'm an oil man, you will agree.

Now you have a great chance here, but bear in mind: you can lose it all if you're not careful. Out of all men that beg for a chance to drill your lots, maybe one in twenty will be oil men. The rest will be speculators -- that's men trying to get between you and the oil men to get some of the money that ought by rights come to you. Even if you find one that has money, and means to drill, he'll maybe know nothing about drilling; and he'll have to hire the job out on contract. And then you're depending on a contractor, who will rush the job through so he can get another contract just as quick as he can. This is the way that this works.

OC Landowner: Well, what is your offer? We're, we're wasting time.

Daniel Plainview: I do my own drilling. And the men that work for me, work for me and they're men I know. I make it my business to be there and to see their work. I don't lose my tools in the hole and spend months fishing for them. I don't botch the cementing off and let water in the hole and ruin the whole lease.

I'm a family man. I run a family business.

  This is my son and my partner, H.W. Plainview. We offer you the bond of family that very few oilmen can understand. 

I'm fixed like no other company in this field, and that's because my Coyote Hills well has just come in. I have a string of tools all ready to put to work. I can load a rig onto trucks and have them here in a week. I have business connections, so I can get the lumber for the derricks. Such things go by friendship in a rush like this. And this is why I can guarantee to start drilling, and to put up the cash to back my word. I assure you, ladies and gentlemen, no matter what the others promise to do, when it comes to the showdown they won't be there.

[Squabbling continues and Plainview leaves for good]






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HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.