THE EM­PIRE CLAS­SIC SCENE

True Grit, Cho­sen By Brad Bird

Empire (UK) - - HOME SCREEN -

brad bird: “I like the scene in True Grit, where Mat­tie ross is bar­gain­ing with the guy. He’s very sat­is­fied with him­self when the ne­go­ti­a­tions start and he’s been thor­oughly schooled by the time they’re over. I think the coen brothers’ ver­sion mops the floor with the John Wayne one. Hailee Ste­in­feld owns it.”

INT. STONEHILL’S of­fice — DAY

Mat­tie Ross (Hailee Ste­in­feld) is bar­gain­ing with Stonehill (Dakin Matthews) over three ponies and a horse owned by her re­cently mur­dered fa­ther.

STONEHILL: I do not en­ter­tain hy­po­thet­i­cals; the world as it is is vex­ing enough. Sec­ondly, your val­u­a­tion of the horse is high by about $200. How old are you?

Mat­tie: If any­thing, my price is low. My Judy is a fine rac­ing mare. I have seen her jump an eight-rail fence with a heavy rider. I am 14.

STONEHILL: Well, that’s all very in­ter­est­ing. The ponies are yours, take them. Your fa­ther’s horse was stolen by a mur­der­ous crim­i­nal. I had pro­vided rea­son­able pro­tec­tion for the crea­ture as per our im­plicit agree­ment. My watch­man had his teeth knocked out and can take only soup. Mat­tie: I will take it to law. STONEHILL: You have no case.

Mat­tie: Lawyer J. Noble Daggett of Dar­danelle, Arkansas, may think oth­er­wise. As might a jury, pe­ti­tioned by a widow and three small chil­dren.

STONEHILL: I will pay $200 to your fa­ther’s es­tate when I have in my hand a let­ter from your lawyer ab­solv­ing me of all li­a­bil­ity from the be­gin­ning of the world to date.

Mat­tie: I will take $200 for Judy, plus $100 for the ponies and $25 for the grey horse that Tom Chaney left. He was eas­ily worth 40. That is $325 to­tal.

STONEHILL: The ponies have no part in it. I will not buy them.

Mat­tie: Then the price for Judy is $325.

STONEHILL: I would not pay $325 for a winged Pe­ga­sus! As for the grey horse, it does not be­long to you.

Mat­tie: The grey horse was lent to Tom Chaney by my fa­ther. Chaney only had the use of him. STONEHILL: I will pay $225 and keep the grey horse. I don’t want the ponies.

Mat­tie: I can­not ac­cept that. There will be no set­tle­ment af­ter I leave this of­fice. It will go to law.

STONEHILL: Ah, well this is my last of­fer: $250. For that, I get the re­lease pre­vi­ously dis­cussed and I keep your fa­ther’s sad­dle. The grey horse is not yours to sell.

Mat­tie: The sad­dle is not for sale. I will keep it. Lawyer Daggett can prove own­er­ship of the grey horse. He will come af­ter you with a writ of re­plevin.

STONEHILL: A what? Mat­tie: A writ of re­plevin—

STONEHILL: Al­right. Now lis­ten very care­fully as I will not bar­gain fur­ther. I will take the ponies back and the grey horse — which is mine — and set­tle for $300. Now you must take that or leave it and I do not much care which it is.

Mat­tie: Well, Lawyer Daggett would not wish me to con­sider any­thing un­der $325. But I will set­tle for $320 if I am given the 20 in ad­vance. Now here is what I have to say about that sad­dle...

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