American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"There Will Be Blood" (2007)


Daniel Plainview Tenders Offer To Lease Sunday Ranch

Audio mp3 of Discussion delivered by Daniel Day Lewis, Paul Dano, and David Willis


Daniel Plainview: Well, I believe in plain speaking, so... 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.