Saturday, July 26, 2008

This watch

Hello, little man. Boy, I sure heard a bunch about you. See, I was a good friend of your dad's. We were in that Hanoi pit of hell together over five years.'ll never have to experience this yourself, but when two men are in a situation like me and your Dad were, for as long as we were, you take on certain responsibilities of the other. If it had been me who had not made it, Major Coolidge would be talkin' right now to my son Jim. But the way it turned out is I'm talkin' to you, Butch. I got somethin' for you.This watch I got here was first purchased by your great-grandfather during the first World War. It was bought in a little general store in Knoxville, Tennessee. Made by the first company to ever make wrist watches. Up till then people just carried pocket watches. It was bought by private Doughboy Orion Coolidge on the day he set sail for Paris. It was your great-grandfather's war watch and he wore it everyday he was in that war. When he had done his duty, he went home to your great-grandmother, took the watch off, put it an old coffee can, and in that can it stayed 'til your granddad Dane Coolidge was called upon by his country to go overseas and fight the Germans once again. This time they called it World War II. Your great-grandfather gave this watch to your granddad for good luck. Unfortunately, Dane's luck wasn't as good as his old man's. Dane was a Marine and he was killed -- along with the other Marines at the battle of Wake Island. Your granddad was facing death, he knew it. None of those boys had any illusions about ever leavin' that island alive. So three days before the Japanese took the island, your granddad asked a gunner on an Air Force transport name of Winocki, a man he had never met before in his life, to deliver to his infant son, who he'd never seen in the flesh, his gold watch. Three days later, your granddad was dead. But Winocki kept his word. After the war was over, he paid a visit to your grandmother, delivering to your infant father, his Dad's gold watch. This watch. This watch was on your Daddy's wrist when he was shot down over Hanoi. He was captured, put in a Vietnamese prison camp. He knew if the gooks ever saw the watch it'd be confiscated, taken away. The way your Dad looked at it, that watch was your birthright. He'd be damned if any slopes were gonna put their greasy yella hands on his boy's birthright. So he hid it in the one place he knew he could hide something. His ass. Five long years, he wore this watch up his ass. Then he died of dysentery, he gave me the watch. I hid this uncomfortable hunk of metal up my ass two years. Then, after seven years, I was sent home to my family. And now, little man, I give the watch to you.

Pulp Fiction - screenplay by Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary


Steve C. said...

Walken's delivery is priceless. The (second) best moment in a movie full of great moments.

Jeff Duncanson said...

Weeelllll, I have to differ with ya there , buddy...I think it's the BEST moment. Always have, always will. The 1st time I saw PF, I thought "What a great monologue!....It's amazing that they actually included it." With the current Hollywood penchant for not including anything that might distract or confuse people, there would be a tendancy to leave something like this out. In truth, Bruce Willis' Butch could have delivered this story to us as easily, but it would have made for a bit less of a film.

Steve C. said...

I almost posted 'best,' actually. Then I remembered how the line, "But I'm trying, Ringo. I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd," pretty much always makes me tear up a bit.