A sprawling epic of family, faith, power and oil, THERE WILL BE BLOOD is set on the incendiary frontier of Californias turn-of-the-century petroleum boom. The story chronicles the life and times of one Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), who transforms himself from a down-and-out silver miner raising a son on his own into a self-made oil tycoon. When Plainview gets a mysterious tip-off that theres a little town out West where an ocean of oil is oozing out of the ground, he heads with his son, H.W. (Dillon Freasier), to take their chances in dust-worn Little Boston. In this hardscrabble town, where the main excitement centers around the holy roller church of charismatic preacher Eli Sunday (Paul Dano), Plainview and H.W. make their lucky strike. But even as the well raises all of their fortunes, nothing will remain the same as conflicts escalate and every human value love, hope, community, belief, ambition and even the bond between father and son is imperiled by corruption, deception and the flow of oil.
This two-disc Special Collector's Edition presents Paul Thomas Anderson's dazzling film on one disc (no commentary tracks), and about an hour's worth of extras on the other. One six-minute deleted sequence will be fascinating for TWBB fanatics, as it makes explicit a few things that are otherwise implicit in the film (perhaps that's why Anderson cut it); it involves the oil crew "fishing" for a lost drill, and Daniel Plainview (Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis) talking about Eli. Another brief deleted scene revolves around a haircut. A collection of vintage photographs and other kinds of research makes up 15 minutes worth of montage, and a section titled "Dailies Gone Wild" is an outtake from the late scene of Plainview and his adopted son in a restaurant with the oil men. Filling out the disc is a 26-minute silent picture, The Story of Petroleum, produced by the Department of the Interior in the 1920s. It's an unintentionally evocative film about the business of oil, made even more evocative by the use of Jonny Greenwood's spellbinding music. It has some amazing images (a sugar cube soaking up coffee, and man running alongside a pipeline), and you can imagine Anderson drawing inspiration from it. --Robert Horton