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I'm talking about the movie Out of the Furnace where Harlan kills Rodney and John Petty.

In the movie, Rodney owes a lot of money to Harlan. So, Rodney agrees to fight with some guy to clear his debt and he fights and goes down (even though he resists for some time to take the fall) as agreed with Harlan.

After the fight, they shake hands and leave the place. On the way, Harlan comes and puts a bullet in John's head and drags Rodney with other guys and shoots him in the head.

I did not understand why Harlan does that. If it's for the money, clearly Harlan won't get any money from Rodney and John by killing them. And Harlan is a money minded person but not a psychopath.

Can anyone explain why Harlan killed Rodney and John?

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I haven't seen the movie yet, but judging from the trailer (which left Rodney's fate open, I think) the question title sounds like a spoiler. So if Rodney's death isn't clear right at the beginning of the movie, I'd suggest changing the question title (which is the only place where spoilers are not allowed). But I'll leave that decision to people who have actually seen the movie. –  Napoleon Wilson Mar 17 at 11:46
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He killed Rodney because Rodney was a witness to petty's murder. Degroats real issue was with John. John still owed him Degroat more money. The fixed fight didn't settle the whole debt. Before they leave, john asks him if everything is good between them. Degroat says, well yeah as long as you brought me the rest of my money. Petty says nothing. So degroat asks, don't tell me you came all the way down here without the rest of my money. Petty insists that the fight was supposed to settle the whole debt and that was it. At that point, degroat realizes he's not going to get the rest of the money so he decides he's just gonna kill petty now. When he kills petty and he and his crew drag Rodney in the woods. He has a look that says "sucks I have to do this kid." Then tells Rodney that he should've kept better company. Then he feels a bit bad about it so he tells Rodney not to look at him. As if seeing Rodney's eyes as he kills him will haunt him because even though it was a messed up situation he did like Rodney. Thought he was a tough kid. But he witnessed a murder.

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I was wondering this myself when I watched it last night. I sat wondering, "What the crap, why?" It bothered me so much I Google'd it and found this. I honestly can't come to a real conclusion other than Harlan DeGroat (Woody Harrelson)needs to be depicted as miscreant with limited tools to navigate life. Violence is his means drugs his entertainment. If it's not clear, DeGroat is a crime boss not just a low life leader of a rural area. Killing Rodney and Harlen might simply be an example of his power over the area, he can openly kill anyone he wants and the law can do little to stop or reprimand him. Maybe the death of the two would further his image as a crime boss.

On another note I would find it understandable that he might kill someone indebted to him to send a message to others he might deal with vs collecting money he most likely will never get. So Petty's death might serve (Dafoe) that purpose and killing Rodney, I might assert DeGroat might not need a reason or that Rodney exemplified the same contempt for life and violence DeGroat had, so he offs him. When DeGroat first interacts with Rodney there's serious tension, DeGroat even goes as far as slapping Rodney, behavior reminds me of Alpha dog pack nature. Maybe DeGoat sees Rodney's lack of fear as a danger seeing there's always some weird dude following him around almost the whole movie, everyone is subject to him hence the initial drive in theater fight.

Another explanation... It could be one dimensional thinking of how to progress the story. For a revenge story it is slow and even timid.

My question,

Why drag Rodney in the woods and bury him. Seems it doesn't serve a purpose other than to further the story, build anxiety for Bale's character.

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As opposed to answering the question, you're just speculating and asking another question. Please check out the Tour to see how to better ask and answer questions. –  Meat Trademark Mar 17 at 23:58
    
@MeatTrademark is correct - you should really ask the question separately, that's how this site works, just click Ask Question which is towards the top right of the page. –  iandotkelly Mar 18 at 3:46
    
@iandotkelly Good luck. He replied to my comment with "don't care. interesting movie though" (direct cut-n-paste quote) so I don't think he's someone we'll reach, nor someone we want to stick around. Either he deleted it, or more likely, a Mod did. (I flagged it as an "unconstructive comment" because he seemed kind of like a jerk.) –  Meat Trademark Mar 18 at 4:20
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@MeatTrademark - yeah, I saw the flag and deleted the comment. The rest of the answer at least addresses points in the question, even if it's just a bit speculative.... could just move the question to a new post, and maybe earn some more rep points. –  iandotkelly Mar 18 at 4:30
    
@iandotkelly I think I over-reacted by bold-facing all the speculation words. :( It was me lashing out after his "don't care" comment. And in a really petty way it felt good. It can easily be rolled back as I didn't change any of the text itself. –  Meat Trademark Mar 18 at 4:49
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It's because Degrout was tired of Petty. In the beginning of the film he tells Petty that he should just put some lead in it. After Rodney blows the dive the deal was off, so he kills Petty and Rodney just happened to be there. That's why he tells him he should have kept better company.

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I had the same question but then I thought: "Does it really matter why Woody killed Rodney?" It is a senseless killing and that's the point. In the first scene of the movie Woody is established as someone easily resolving to extreme violence if something rubs hm the wrong way - and this whole thing with Dafoe and Rodney clearly bothered him. Russell on the other hand is struggling with killing, because of the accident where he was responsible for killing someone innocent. He hesitates and passes on shooting the deer, but later he shoots Woody with great resolution. I thought the last scene was beautiful showing him pondering it all. I really liked the movie ...

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Harlan killed Petty because he owed him 25k and wouldn't pay up. Rodney was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Leave no witnesses. Before killing him Harlan even says

You shoulda kept better company.

It's that simple and made perfect sense to me.

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