American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"There Will Be Blood" (2007)


Daniel Plainview Tenders Offer To Lease Sunday Ranch


Daniel Plainview: Well, I believe in plain speaking. This is a beautiful ranch. I love hunting for quail. My boy's been sick, you know. He needs fresh air. Doctors all say he needs plentiful fresh air. So, what would you say would be a fair price for this lot, Abel?

Abel Sunday: To buy this place?

Daniel Plainview: That's right. [Abel Sunday is caught off guard] Take a minute.

Abel Sunday: I'm sorry, I don't know --

Eli Sunday: [interjecting] Six dollars an acre.

Daniel Plainview: Six dollars? Thank you, Eli.

Abel Sunday: And with the improvements to...the ranch over the years at five hundred dollars --

Daniel Plainview: I'd like to offer you thirty-seven hundred dollars for this ranch. That's three thousand and seven hundred dollars.

Eli Sunday: No.

Abel Sunday: The Lord has sent this man here, Eli.

Daniel Plainview: Yes, I believe He has. My offer to you is thirty-seven hundred dollars.

Eli Sunday: What is it that brought you here, sir?

Daniel Plainview: The Good Lord's guidance. [turning to Abel] Now of course within that we're going to develop a lease --

Eli Sunday: [interjecting] What about our oil?

Daniel Plainview: What's that?

Eli Sunday: What about our oil?

Daniel Plainview: Uh, what about it?

Eli Sunday: We have oil here -- that's worth something.

Daniel Plainview: Well you have someone who can drill for it? [turning to Abel] He thinks there is oil here. [turning to Abel] You think there's oil here?

Eli Sunday: I know there is.

Daniel Plainview: It's very expensive to drill, to get it up and out of the ground. You ever tried that before?

Eli Sunday: How much is it?

Daniel Plainview: Costly.

Eli Sunday: Well our oil sits right up on top of the ground.

Daniel Plainview: I believe that's called "seepage." Doesn't necessarily mean there's anything underneath.

Eli Sunday: What would you give us for it?

Daniel Plainview: I don't know.

Eli Sunday: Something you don't know.

Daniel Plainview: That's right. [long pause] What would you like, Eli?

Eli Sunday: Ten thousand dollars.

Daniel Plainview: For what?

Eli Sunday: For my church.

 Daniel Plainview: [after studying Eli for some time] That's good. That's a good one. Well, I -- if we decide to drill for oil, and if the well begins to produce, I'll give your church a five thousand dollar signing bonus --

Eli Sunday: [interjecting] Ten thousand.

Daniel Plainview: Do you want to find someone else that's going to come up here and drill, Eli? Make the investment and do all the hard work that goes into it? I can just as easily hunt for quail on another ranch as I can here, so....No, I'll happily be a supporter of your church for as long as I can -- for the bonus only. Now as it happens, I do have some connections in the drilling business who might help get us started. How do you feel about this, Abel?

Abel Sunday: Yes, what Eli says.

Daniel Plainview: Well, good. Let's draw up some contracts and let's, let's give it a try. [shakes Abel's hand]

Daniel Plainview: Appreciate your help with this, Eli. [Shaking Eli's hand. Eli grabs both of Plainview's hands and begins to pray. Plainview disengages quickly.]

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HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.