There Will Be Blood (2007) Poster

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  • There Will Be Blood is loosely based on Oil!, a 1927 novel by American author Upton Sinclair [1878-1968], although producer, director, and screenwriter Paul Thomas Anderson admits that he changed the title because "there's not enough of the book... to feel like it's a proper adaptation."

  • Because he seems to sense that the people of the community are too savvy, i.e., they cannot be taken advantage of. With all the people talking (and yelling) in the meeting, Daniel picks up on how much sharper they are than his usual prospects.. So, rather than take their offer and knowing they'd want to know every aspect of his business process, he turns them down.

  • Paul Dano was originally cast as Paul Sunday only, while Kel O'Neill was originally cast as Eli Sunday. When O'Neill left, Dano was recast as both Paul and Eli because, at that point, it was too late to re-shoot scenes, so the film plays out that Paul is Eli's identical twin. Paul Dano stated to an NPR interviewer that he had less than a week to prepare for the role of Eli.

  • It's rather obvious that Daniel (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Eli have been feuding ever since Daniel snubbed Eli publicly at the dedication of the Little Boston well. Coupled with the money that Daniel never paid Eli, $5,000 of an agreed-upon $10,000 total and that Eli was really a fake in his faith-healing—Daniel roars at him about not being able to restore H.W.'s hearing—and that Eli's motivation in having Daniel be baptized was to humiliate him publicly, therefore it's no wonder that Daniel cracks in the last scene and kills Eli.

    Additionally, the fact that H.W. Plainview (Russell Harvard) was now going to be a rival to Daniel caused more fury and anger in him, which Daniel projected onto Eli. When Eli visited and told Daniel about Mr. Bandy's land, Daniel had already drained the areas with the wells he'd drilled surrounding that area. Daniel wanted nothing to do with Eli. He killed Eli out of hate. The last line "I'm finished!" meant he was finished with his guest along with his life. It could also mean that Daniel had eliminated his last possible source of competition, Eli.

    Another explanation lies in Daniel's view of family. He accepted H.W. as his son, as he had control over the child. As H.W. became autonomous, he withdrew from Daniel, destroying Daniel's attempt at family. Eli arrives, telling that he and Daniel are now brothers—H.W. had married Eli's younger sister. As Daniel never sought this creation of family with Eli, he decided to destroy it. A popular explanation of Daniel's killing of Eli and the meaning of the film's final line is that throughout the movie, Daniel devolves into a purely evil human being. From the beginning where he is so poor that he is willing to crawl on his back for miles to claim a silver find to the end where he has become rich and is now almost completely insane, Daniel has descended into becoming truly demonic. Ultimately, he is so evil that the murder of Eli means absolutely nothing to him, and his final line, "I'm finished," cements the fact that he has "finished" his descent into evil. Another interpretation to the final line could be that Daniel meant that he was finished "eating". This could either mean finished eating the meal that can be seen when the two were talking, just before the murder or that he was done "eating" Eli as Daniel can be heard saying "I told you I would eat you up." while he chases Eli around the bowling lane.

    It also can be said that Daniel took Eli as a competitor who was making money without any hard work by using Daniel's money. Daniel sates that he has a competition in him and he does not want anyone to succeed. By killing Eli, he took revenge of his humiliation and also removed a person who was succeeding.

  • He didn't want his son to know he was talking business with Tilford. His son had probably, in addition to learning sign language, learned how to read lips. Daniel wanted HW to think they were going out together as a family to a nice restaurant, just as father and son, and he thought HW would be upset that his father was doing business during "their" time together. HW was in a fragile emotional state just after being reunited with Daniel.

  • The track in question is the third movement (Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace Poco più presto) of the Konzert für Violine und Orchestra D-dur (Violin Concerto in D Major), Op. 77 (1878), by Johannes Brahms. However, to find the exact performance as featured in the film, it one would look for the version featuring the Berlin Philharmoniker, conducted by Herbert von Karajan and featuring Anne-Sophie Mutter as soloist. (Incidentally, the credits for the film, they are wrong on this point, and include António Meneses as a second soloist alongside Mutter. This is from the original release of the recording of this concerto, which also featured the Brahms "Doppelkonzert", Op. 102, which does feature Meneses as soloist [on cello, to Mutter's violin].) The best quality release of this particular version of the piece is available here and is selling, at present, for $13.99. It is a pristine mastering of the Concerto from the Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft label, which originally released the recording in 1982.

  • H.W. is the son of one of Plainview's men in the early part of the film. The infant boy's father is killed in accident (the film's first death), and he is "adopted" (taken) by Daniel. We are forced to speculate on Plainview's motivations for taking and keeping H.W., though he clearly does not want the fact he is not the boy's biological father to be made public (this would be why he avoids discussion of the boy's mother). Toward the end of the film, Daniel states that he adopted H.W. in order to have a cute "sweet face" when purchasing land—if he presents H.W. at meetings with communities (like the one early in the film) or at private meetings with individual land owners, it will make him seem more human and less like the conniving, greedy man he really is. In that opening monologue with the large group of people from the surrounding community, Daniel states very clearly that he's "a family man", which would be a great detail to convince others that he's somehow an honest dealer.

  • "Convergence" by Jonny Greenwood, guitarist for Radiohead. The score was one of Greenwood's compositions for the soundtrack to the film Bodysong. The version heard in the film is a slight variation of the original and is not included on the film's original score, which was also composed by Greenwood. The Bodysong soundtrack is available through Amazon and "Convergence" on that album is very close to the version in this film.

  • The composer of the film was Jonny Greenwood, primarily famous as the guitarist for the British rock band Radiohead. Paul Thomas Anderson sent Greenwood a copy of the film, and a few weeks later, Greenwood sent back hours and hours of music. Much of the music was scored directly for the film, although a few pieces were taken from Greenwood's prior composition "Popcorn Superhet Receiver", which Greenwood composed as BBC's composer in residence. As for non-Greenwood music, classical pieces by Arvo Part and Johannes Brahms are used in a few places, such as the final scene in the bowling alley and the spudding of the well, but the brunt of the score is Greenwood's original compositions. Unfortunately, the score was ruled ineligible for an Academy Award nomination, due to an AMPAS rule that does not allow 'scores diluted by the use of tracked themes or other pre-existing music.

  • Two things happen when the barrels of dynamite go off: 1. the explosion causes a shockwave that forces the oxygen out of the immediate area for a short period, depriving the flames of a fuel source—the fire at a well needs both the oil as a consistent fuel source but also needs oxygen to burn above the source. 2. It collapses some of the housing structure and probably some of the mud and soil around the opening, sealing the well shut and preventing another gusher. The method that Daniel's men use is quite dangerous but Daniel has several years of experience and he'd probably trained his workers in the safest way to do it. The method has changed very little over the 100 or so years it's been used by oil workers.

  • While reminiscing about their supposed shared past, Plainview recalls a fun incident involving the Peach Tree Dance. Harry gives a subdued disinterested response—not what Plainview would have expected. This sets the seeds of doubt in Plainview's mind about Harry's authenticity.

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