Saturday, 20 September 2014

INSIGHT, APHORISM & MAXIM: Incentive & Enticement, the First Rule of Bribery

In MGM’s 1973 production The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing, Sarah Miles plays an abused wife who, while fleeing her husband, is abducted by a gang of outlaws.  At the mercy of four desperate men, and after being almost raped by two of them, she tries to bribe one of the abductors to help her escape. 

While sitting together by an open fire, she proposes her scheme to Jack Warden’s character, Dawes, and offers him two emerald earrings and one emerald pendant for his assistance.  The outlaw accepts the valuable items she hands to him and, without agreeing to help her, stands up and walks away.

At this point, Burt Reynold’s character, Jay Grobart, enters the frame and it is apparent that he has witnessed the entire scene; smirking, with his thumbs hitched lazily inside his pant pockets, he offers his devastated captive the following insight on the principles of incentive and enticement:  “Never try and bribe a man with something he can take anyway.”

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