In this fabulous 2016 film, “Hell or High Water”, Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges), a Texas Ranger near retirement, and Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham), his half-Comanche partner, enter the “world famous” T-Bone Cafe in Coleman, Texas, to get a bite to eat.
Marcus Hamilton: [to Alberto Parker] Now, let’ see what they got to eat here. [The elderly T-Bone waitress arrives.] Howdy, ma’am. How are you doing today?
T-Bone waitress: Hot. And I don’t mean the good kind. – So, what don’t you want?
Marcus Hamilton: Pardon?
T-Bone waitress: What don’t you want?
Marcus Hamilton: Oh, well, uh, I think I’ll just, uh …
T-Bone waitress: You know, I’ve been working here for 44 years. Ain’t nobody ever ordered nothing but T-Bone steak and a baked potato. Except this one asshole from New York tried to order trout back in 1987. We don’t sell no goddamned trout. T-Bone steaks. So either you don’t want the corn on the cob, or you don’t want the green beans. So, what don’t you want?
Marcus Hamilton: [pauses, stunned, then …] I don’t want green beans.
Alberto Parker: I don’t want green beans either.
T-Bone waitress: [jots down] Steaks cooked medium rare.
Alberto Parker: Can I get my steak cooked just a …
T-Bone waitress: That weren’t no question!
Alberto Parker: All right.
T-Bone waitress: Iced tea for you boys.
Alberto Parker: Iced tea would be great.
T-Bone waitress: [shoots Marcus Hamilton a stern look]
Marcus Hamilton: Ice tea, yep. Thank you, ma’am.
[The T-Bone waitress walks off.]
Marcus Hamilton: Well, I’ll tell you one thing. Nobody’s gonna rob this son of a bitch.
Hell or High Water is my favorite 2016 film, by a long shot. People call it a modern (noir) western, which it certainly is, but most of all it is a fresh play on old familiar themes, boasting a cast that is perfect down to the very last character. Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine (not in this scene) are absolutely at the top of their game, and so are their polar opposite partners.
In the above scene, Margaret Bowman (88 years old) just kills it as “The T-Bone Waitress”, and she’s only got a few seconds on screen.
As one user on Letterboxd said in his review, “A reminder that thrillers don’t have to be dumb, and smart movies don’t have to be boring.”
Do check it out!