American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"There Will Be Blood" (2007)


Daniel Plainview Pitches Oil Drilling to Little Boston

Audio AR-XE mp3 delivered by Daniel Day-Lewis


Daniel Plainview: Ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for visiting with us this evening. Now I've traveled across half our state to be here and to see about this land. Now I daresay some of you might have heard some of the more extravagant rumors about what my plans are, so I just thought you'd like to hear it from me. This is the face -- it's no great mystery.

I'm an oil man, ladies and gentlemen. I have numerous concerns spread across this state. I have many wells flowing at many thousand barrels per days. I like to think of myself as an oil man. And as an oil man I hope that you'll forgive just good old-fashioned plain speaking. Now this work that we do is very much a family enterprise. I -- I work side by side with my wonderful son H.W. I think one or two of you might have met him already. I encourage my men to bring their families as well. Of course it makes for an ever so much more rewarding life for them. Family means children; children means education. So wherever we set up camp, education is a necessity, and we're just so happy to take care of that. So let's build a wonderful school in Little Boston. These children are the future that we strive for and so they should have the very best of things.

Now something else, and please don't be insulted if I speak about this: bread. Let's talk about bread. Now to my mind, it's an abomination to consider that any man, woman, or child in this magnificent country of ours should have to look upon a loaf of bread as a luxury. We're going to dig water wells here. Water wells means irrigation; irrigation means cultivation. We're going to raise crops here where before it just simply was impossible. You're going to have more grain than you know what to do with. Bread will be coming right out of your ears, ma'am.

  New roads, agriculture, employment, education,  these are just a few of the things we can offer you, and I assure you ladies and gentlemen, that if we do find oil here, and I think there's a very good chance that we will, this community of yours will not only survive, it will flourish.

I'd be happy to answer any questions that you might have. Yes [looking at Eli, who stands up].

Eli Sunday: Will the new road lead to the church?

Daniel Plainview:  Well, that will be the first place that it leads. Thank you, Eli. Anyone else? [No one else speaks up.] Well, if anything comes up, I'm pretty easy to find and you just come and visit with me. Thank you so much for your time. Good night.

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