The Counselor & The Jeweler

While the movie The Counselor is getting clobbered, Cormac McCarthy’s full unadulterated screenplay has been published.  Thomas Flynn looks at some of the scripts lengthier scenes which didn’t make it into the movie, or that were truncated on-screen.

When the titular character goes to a jeweler in Amsterdam to buy an engagement ring, we have some of that vintage McCarthy dialogue, where the unlikeliest of characters wax philosophical. In the movie, this jeweler is played by Bruno Ganz:

There is no culture save Semitic culture. There. The last known culture before that was the Greek and there will be no culture after that…The heart of any culture is to be found in the nature of the hero. Who is that man who is revered? In the classical world it is the warrior. But in the western world it is the man of God. From Moses to Christ. The prophet. The penitent. Such a figure is unknown to the Greeks. Unheard of. Unimaginable. Because you can only have a man of God, not a man of Gods. And this God is the God of the Jewish people. There is no other God. We see him–what is the word? Purloined. Purloined in the West. How do you steal a God? The Jew beholds his tormentor dressed in the vestments of his own ancient culture. Everything bears a strange familiarity. But the fit is always poor and the hands are always dripping blood. That coat. Didn’t that belong to Uncle Chaim? What about the shoes? Enough. I see your look. No more philosophy. And perhaps Schiller is right. When gods were more human men were more divine. The stones themselves have their own view of things. Perhaps they are not so silent as you think. They were piped up out of the earth in a time before any witness was, but here they are. Now who shall their witness? We. We two.

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