In the 2007 movie There Will Be Blood, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, the main character -- Daniel Plainview -- puts a bullet into his "brother's" head when he discovers that the man isn't really his brother, but an impostor.

The killing was certainly unjustified. The man had stolen nothing and professed to be Plainview's friend. In fact, the man had saved Plainview's life when Plainview's kid set the house ablaze. Plainview should have just told him to get lost.

What was the point of killing the man?

3 Answers 3


Plainview was a very vindictive person. In his mind he felt extremely betrayed. He had put what little familial love he still had (after he banished his son) on his "brother". So when the brother turned out to be an impostor, Plainview felt his trust (something he doesn't give lightly) had been breached, and his violent nature took over. Notice how he brought back his son afterward, as he was the only family he had left.

  • I agree he was being vindictive. And that kind of seems to be the only motivation. Usually when people take such action, there is an obvious benefit to them. He didn't seem to take pleasure in the killing -- before or after -- and there was no financial benefit.
    – Evik James
    Commented Dec 19, 2011 at 21:41
  • 2
    I do believe he had what we might call today "anger management issues". Which is why he tends to fly off the rocker at the least amount of intimidation. Though he does seem to feel some remorse afterwards. Something DDL portrayed amazingly well. Commented Dec 19, 2011 at 21:56
  • I'll keep this in mind when I watch it again. Awesome movie!
    – Evik James
    Commented Dec 19, 2011 at 22:09
  • After watching again, I agree. Your observation was insightful.
    – Evik James
    Commented Dec 28, 2011 at 18:17
  • @EvikJames - Glad you enjoyed your second viewing. TWBB was a movie I didn't enjoy that much in the first viewing, but absolutely loved by the second. Commented Dec 28, 2011 at 20:59

I think Dan killed Henry because he realized that his son (adopted son) was trying to kill Henry that night when he set their room on fire because he knew that Henry was lying (he put oil around Henry's bed and then set it on fire). As a result Dan abandoned his son.


Daniel was not only deceived but then he sees that this person is completely different than him when he is asking him for money to continue on with the prostitute or whatever he is doing as he is laughing. Henry might not take enough from him to justify his killing before he is killed, but Henry certainly was looking to take a lot from Daniel via pipeline money.

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