Hard Eight (film)

1996 film by Paul Thomas Anderson

Hard Eight is a 1996 film about a senior male gambler in Nevada.

Directed and written by Paul Thomas Anderson.
When good luck is a long shot, you have to hedge your bets. (taglines)

Sydney Brown

  • Never ignore a man's courtesy.

John Finnegan

  • I will fuck you up if you fuck with me, OK? I know three kinds of Karate: Jujitsu, Aikido, and regular Karate.


Sydney: I have a friend in Los Angeles. Someone... maybe someone who can help. I can make a call for you, tell him you're a friend, so on and so forth, and we can work this thing out here. I think if you need help paying for your mother's funeral, we can work it out. I want you to see that my reasons for doing this are not selfish, only this: I'd hope that you would do the same for me.
John: I would. Thank you.
Sydney: [shakes John's hand] It's always good to meet a new friend. I'll see you later.

Sydney: [at the cocktail lounge] Tell me something. Are you required to flirt, to behave as you do toward that table of men over there? Maybe... it's some part of your job?
Clementine: Uh, they don't say to do it.
Sydney: But if you don't?
Clementine: Well, then I get questioned, like: "Why were so rude to them?", and, I mean, I can't talk back. I can't tell them to fuck off and leave me alone.
Sydney: As a rule?
Clementine: I'd also lose the tip.
Sydney: Sounds like an occupational hazard.

Jimmy: Jesus, we are fucking surrounded by pussy here.
Sydney: Hey, hey. Jimmy.
Jimmy: What?
Sydney: [nodding toward Clementine] Not for my ears, but hers. She can hear that sort of thing across the lounge. Puts her in a very uncomfortable position.
Jimmy: I doubt if hearing she's got a great pussy puts her in an uncomfortable position.
Sydney: I just don't want it coming from my table.
Jimmy: You may not know this but half the women that work here are take-home whores anyway. They get off on that shit. I got a friend, works over at the Sand Dunes where I work. This man's in charge of corralling waitresses for that sort of thing. He's in charge. He is the pussy patrol.
Sydney: Jimmy--
Jimmy: What?
Sydney: Just, you know--Hey, I live up here. I know what flies and what don't.
Jimmy: To tell a babe she's got a nice ass is no crime, believe me.

Sydney: Here's a robe and some stuff for you.
Clementine: Captain?
Sydney: Yeah?
Clementine: Do you wanna fuck me?
Sydney: Do you think that?
Clementine: Well, you brought me here.
Sydney: Do you think that?
Clementine: I don't know.
Sydney: You should know before you ask a question like that.
Clementine: Well, you're being nice to me--
Sydney: So you'd think I'd want that?
Clementine: If you wanted to fuck me--
Sydney: Stop saying that.
Clementine: It just seemed like--
Sydney: Well, don't let it seem that way. This is a comfortable bed for you. I want you to sleep on it...to give you something to--a place to have a nice shower and a bed.
Clementine: Don't get angry.
Sydney: No, I'm not...because I understand...how you could ask a question like that.
Clementine: Now you really look at me as a piece of shit.
Sydney: No.
Clementine: All right.

Sydney: [John has called Sydney to his hotel room asking for help. Sydney knocks, John answers from behind the closed door] John?
John: Sid?
Sydney: Yeah. Open up.
John: Everything cool?
Sydney: What? Yeah, everything's cool. Are you alright?
John: I'm fine.
Sydney: You gonna open the door?
John: I said on the phone, you know... it's kinda screwed up.
Sydney: Yeah, so? Open the door, let's see what's going on.
John: You promise you'll help me?
Sydney: [growing exasperated] John, it's cold out here, open the door.
John: Is everything cool?
Sydney: John, open the goddamn door, will ya?
[John finally unlocks and opens the door; Sydney enters]
Sydney: Now what's going on, John?
John: Just - shut the door.
[the door is closed]
Sydney: Why are the lights out?
John: Okay, Sid?
Sydney: Okay I'm not gonna...
John: Let's just leave them off for a second...
Sydney: I'm not gonna stand here with the lights out.
[Sydney flips the light on]
John: Okay now, you promised you'd help me.
Sydney: What is this, John?
John: I'm sorry, Sid.
Sydney: John, what is this? Who is this man?
John: He's uh... he's a hostage.

Sydney: Where did this thing go wrong?
Clementine: Because he thought that he was smart and I was stupid...and I'm not stupid.
Sydney: Well, this is a pretty stupid situation, isn't it?
Clementine: We'll see how fucking stupid I am when we get my money, won't we?
Sydney: You know the first thing they should have taught you at hooker school? You get the money up front.
Clementine: Fuck you.
John: Syd, don't talk to her like that.
Sydney: I'm having a conversation.
John: Don't talk to her like that.
Sydney: Shut the fuck up.
John: I'm warning you, Syd! Don't fucking talk to her like that! She's my wife! We got married this afternoon.

Jimmy: What I mean - what I believe... is that you killed his father... like the stories I heard go. Now, if somebody killed my father... I would feel the need to do something. The stories I heard - you know, stories get around - is that you used to be a hard-ass. You were a hard-ass and you took his dad out, Sydney. So you think - what? You can just walk through this life... without being punished for it? Shit, man. I know all those guys you know. Floyd Gondolli, Jimmy Gator, Mumbles O'Malley. They like to sit around in Clifton's and talk, talk, talk. They love to tell stories. You can sit there and look at me sideways all you want. You probably think I'm some kind of asshole or something... but I'm not a killer... like you. You walk around like you're Mr. Cool, Mr. Wisdom... but you're not. You're just some old hood. The other night in the bar, you asking me a question... like do I do parking lot security? Well, the answer is no! I'm trusted security inside the casino. I'm trusted with security, and I don't fuck it up.
Sydney: Good that you have such a sturdy sense of responsibility.
Jimmy: Don't! Don't! Don't fuckin' do that! You understand? I can see right through that shit! You look at me as some idiot, huh? I know you do. I know you. You old guys, you old hoods... you think you're so fuckin' above it... so high and mighty. What am I to you? Some loser? Not with a gun in my hand. Not with the facts I know. Bottom line, Sydney. No matter how hard you try... you're not his father.
Sydney: I have the money here. I have the $10,000 here. Not in the bank. I have it here.
Jimmy: I knew that. I knew you did.
Sydney: I have the money to give you right now, in this moment. I will give you all that I have. Maybe before you were gonna kill me. Maybe. I don't know. I know John, and I love him like he was my own child. But I can tell you this: I don't want to die. I killed his father. I can tell you what it was. This is not an excuse. I'm not begging for clemency. All that matters, I do not wish to sacrifice my life for John's well-being. But I will sacrifice this money for mine because you have asked me. Because after this, I will have done all I can for John and for myself. I'm going to ask you with all the heart and sincerity that I have, please do not put a bullet in me. And, please, don't tell John what I've done. I trust that once I give you this money, you and I will take separate paths and that this negotiation will settle everything. That is my hope. I don't wanna die.

John: [on the phone] Thanks for everything, Syd.
Sydney: There's something I need to tell you. It's something you need to know. It's important. I need to tell you. I love you, John. I love you like you were my own son.
John: Thank you, Syd. I love you too.


  • When good luck is a long shot, you have to hedge your bets.
  • If you stay in the game long enough, you'll see everything, win everything, and lose everything.


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