Daily Dialogue — July 8, 2013

July 8th, 2013 by

Tom holds Bernie at gunpoint, and walks him out deeper into the forest.

Bernie: Tommy, you can’t do this! You don’t bump guys! You’re not like those animals back there. It’s not right, Tom! They can’t make us do this. It’s the wrong situation, they can’t make us different people than we are. We’re not muscle, Tom. I… I… I… never killed anybody. I used a little information for a chisel, that’s all. It’s my nature, Tom! I… I… I… can’t help it, somebody gives me an angle, I play it. I don’t deserve to die for that. Do you think I do?

Tom doesn’t answer, he just keeps walking.

Bernie: I’m… I’m… I’m just a grifter, Tom. I’m… I’m… I’m… I’m… I’m an nobody! But I’ll tell you what, I never crossed a friend, Tom. I never killed anybody, I never crossed a friend, nor you, I’ll bet. We’re not like those animals! This is not us! Th… th… this is some hop dream! It’s a dream, Tommy! I’m praying to you! I can’t die! I can’t die… out here in the woods, like a dumb animal! In the woods, LIKE A DUMB ANIMAL! Like a dumb animal! I can’t… I can’t… I CAN’T DIE OUT HERE IN THE WOODS!… like a dumb animal. I can’t… die!

Bernie falls to his knees, praying.

Bernie: I’m praying to you! Look in your heart! I’m praying to you! Look in your heart! I’m praying to you! Look in your heart! I’m praying to you! Look in your heart…

Tom slowly aims his gun at Bernie.

Bernie: I’m praying to you! Look in your heart. I’m praying to you… look in your heart… look in your heart! You can’t kill me… look in your heart.

Miller’s Crossing (1990), written by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week is begging for one’s life, suggested by Despina. Today’s suggestion by bigjonslade, @Bookmanfilm, @jimichant and @tiffanyleigh.

Trivia: Writers Joel Coen and Ethan Coen suffered writer’s block while writing Miller’s Crossing. They took a three week break and wrote Barton Fink a film about a writer with writer’s block. The name of Tom Regan’s residence is “The Barton Arms”. In one of the newspapers an article reads ‘Seven Dead in Hotel Fire,’ another reference to Barton Fink.

Dialogue On Dialogue: The desperation echoing in the repeated line, “I’m praying to you! Look in your heart!” What else can one say when s/he is about to be executed?

3 thoughts on “Daily Dialogue — July 8, 2013

  1. bigjonslade says:

    Slight side track, but I wonder how much Bugsy Malone, the 1976 musical starring Scott Baio and Jodie Foster, played a part in writing Miller’s Crossing.

  2. BobByrne1 says:

    I was going to submit this scene. SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER (if you haven’t seen this movie, don’t read on: watch it first. Trust me).

    This scene is great because it sets up a consequence, than another scene for the payoff. Tom spares Bernie, who runs away. Bernie then comes back to Tom’s apartment and tells him that if Tom doesn’t kill somebody for him, he’s going to appear in public, which would screw Tom.

    Bernie leaves, Tom chases him and gets knocked down. Bernie look at Tom’s gun and says, ” . . What were you gonna do if you caught me, I’d just squirt a few and then you’d let me go again.”

    Tom sets a trap which gives Bernie what he wants. Then springs the trap on Bernie. Realizing what’s about to happen, Bernie really does “squirt a few” and again says, “Look into your heart,” begging. Tom says, “What heart?” and blasts him.

    There’s more to the inter-relationships throughout this (EXCELLENT) film. But the ‘look into your heart’ scene, which is strong by itself, is expertly used as a setup with a superb payoff. Love the Coens.

  3. TorchyBlane says:

    How about saying something like, “F**K You!” Or, “I’ll be bock!” Anything but begging. If you can’t fight for your friggin’ life without begging, you will die!

    At least in my scripts. But that’s why I’m TorchyBlane, see, and not a hugely talented Coen Brother!

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