In Gran Torino speelt Clint Eastwood met overtuiging een ‘grumpy old man’. De film begint met de begrafenis van zijn vrouw, en het wordt al snel duidelijk dat Clint (Walt Kowalski) niets moet hebben van zijn familie. Alleen blijft hij achter in een vervallen stadswijk waar voornamelijk Aziaten wonen. Allemaal spleetogen die honden eten, volgens Walt. Gaandeweg de film ontfermt hij zich toch over een buurjongen die herhaaldelijk gepest wordt door een van de bendes die de wijk terroriseren. In een poging om van de timide jongen (Tao, oftewel Toad volgens Walt) een echte man te maken, neemt Walt hem mee naar de plaatselijke kapperszaak.
Om te leren hoe echte mannen met elkaar praten. En ontspint zich de volgende hilarische scene:
Walt and Tao walk up to the barbershop.
WALT You have to learn how guys talk. Now watch how me and Martin communicate. We just throw it back and forth. You ready?
WALT Okay, let’s go in.
Walt holds the door for Tao and they enter. The Barber has his feet up reading a Playboy.
BARBER Oh great, a Pollack and a chink.
WALT Afternoon, Martin, you dumb Italian prick.
BARBER Walt, you cheap asshole, I should have known you’d come in, I was having such a pleasant day.
WALT Why, did you jew some blind man out of a few bucks, give him the wrong change?
Walt and the Barber shake hands warmly. Tao is wide-eyed.
BARBER Who’s the Nip?
WALT This is Tao. He’s a pussy kid who lives next door and I’m trying to man him up a little.
Walt points at Tao.
WALT Did you see? That’s how men talk to each other.
TAO They do?
BARBER What, do you have shit in your ears?
WALT Okay. You go out, come back in and give it a try.
TAO Come on, Walt.
WALT I said go out there, come back in and talk to the barber like a man. Do it.
Tao shrugs, goes outside, lets the door shut then comes back in. The Barber stands there with a sneer on his face.
TAO Wus up, you old Italian prick?
The Barber levels a sawed-off shotgun at Tao.
BARBER Get outta my shop before I blow your head off, you long-haired faggy little gook!
Tao is terrified, frozen stiff. Walt and the Barber throw their heads back and laugh. The Barber lowers the shotgun.
WALT Jesus Christ, Toad, you don’t walk in and insult a guy. What are you, an idiot?
TAO But… but that’s what you said. That’s what you said men say.
WALT Not if you never met the guy. If you say that shit to the wrong stranger, they’ll blow your goddamned gook head off!
Walt and the Barber laugh again.
TAO What should I have said?
WALT Anything but that.
BARBER Kid, you shoulda just started with ‘Hi’ or ‘Hello.’
WALT Right. You should have said, ‘Excuse me, I’m looking for a haircut if you have time.’
BARBER Yeah. Be polite, but don’t kiss ass.
WALT Or, even better is act like you just got off a construction job. Or bitch about your girlfriend or getting your car fixed.
BARBER Right. Son of a bitch, I just got my brakes fixed and those sons a bitches really nailed me. Screwed me right in the ass.
WALT Exactly. Don’t swear at the guy you’re talking to, swear about another guy who ain’t there. My son of a bitch prick fucking boss made me work overtime and he knew I had bowling tonight.
BARBER Or, my old lady bitches to me for two fucking hours about how they don’t take expired coupons at the grocery store and the minute I turn on the goddamned game, she starts crying how we never talk.
WALT See? You come back in, Toad. Be polite and then you bring up something you can both talk about. It ain’t rocket science.
TAO Yeah, but I don’t have a job or a car or a girlfriend.
Walt and the Barber laugh.
BARBER Sweet Jesus, I shoulda blown his head off when I had the chance.
WALT Just go back outside and try it again. And don’t mention you’re a pussy with no car, girl, job, future or whatever. Come in and act like a man, Toad.
Tao goes out, turns around and comes back in.
TAO Excuse me, sir, I need a haircut, if you ain’t too busy… you Italian son-of-a-bitch prick barber.
Walt and the Barber laugh.
TAO Boy does my ass hurt from all the guys at my construction job.
Walt and the Barber laugh harder.
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