Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: A couple of weeks ago, some friends of mine came by and screened a movie for me called Henry Poole is Here. It stars Luke Wilson and some other people. I sat there and watched it, and it started out, and I thought, ‘This is going to be boring as hell. Why can’t they bring me some shoot-’em-up action flick?’ I couldn’t take my attention away from it. I kept watching it and watching it and watching it, and finally it was over, and I had not looked at my watch once, and I said, ‘I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like this, particularly coming out of Hollywood.’ It opens today, and I don’t want to give too much of this away, but Luke Wilson stars as a guy who has been given a fatal diagnosis of some unnamed disease, and so he’s all depressed and he’s lost faith in everything. He’s not married.

He’s just lost faith in virtually everything in life. So he buys this little run-down house in a middle-American neighborhood in an unnamed city (it looks like it’s Los Angeles to me, but I can’t tell; it doesn’t matter) and the neighbors start showing up, bringing him cookies and so forth. He’s not interested. He’s nice to them, but he couldn’t care less. All he wants to do is say thanks and kick ’em out and get ’em on their way. He just wants to sit there and sulk. One afternoon he notices that the neighbor that brought him cookies is out back staring at one of the walls on the back of his house. So he walks out there and asks, ‘What you are looking at?’ She’s in awe. She’s shaking. The camera pans, and it’s just a blank wall.

She says, ‘The face of the Lord is on your wall,’ and this drives him nuts.

He says, ‘Oh, no. Now I got a kook for a next-door neighbor.’ He says, ‘It’s nothing but a water stain. There’s nothing there but a water stain. Please leave me alone.’

She goes and gets the priest from her church to come out and look at this. The guy discovers the priest and the next-door neighbor looking at the wall.

He goes out, ‘What’s going on? This is my property. There’s nothing there. It’s a water stain on a wall, Father, get outta here. I don’t want to have anything to do with this.’

The priest is not so sure ’cause he’s a got a member of his flock there. The neighbor starts bringing neighbors, and other people, and there’s a line of people outside this guy’s house to look at this supposed picture. By the way, it bleeds. There’s a little drop of blood that bleeds. Well, they don’t know it’s blood. They have to test to see if it’s blood, but there’s a little drop of red substance that comes out of the side of the wall. He just goes nuts, and continues to go nuts. He tries to be patient with these people but eventually he loses his mind, he takes an ax — and, by the way, there’s some people who touch the wall. They end up touching the wall, touching what they think is the face of the Lord., and some of them have miraculous things happen to them, and he’s not buying that ’cause he’s lost all faith, ’cause he’s just been diagnosed with a fatal disease that’s unnamed.

So finally he loses it. He grabs an ax or something and just chops the wall down, which threatens to cave in the whole back of his house. And these people are standing around there watching, and they’re crying. They can’t believe that he would do this. They don’t know he’s got a fatal disease; he doesn’t tell anybody this. To them he’s just some, you know, odd depressed guy that lives among them. He’s not a threat to anybody, but got this thing on the side of his house. So he finally just takes this ax and chops the thing down. The whole back end of his house almost falls in. It does fall in on him, the roof does, and he ends up touching the wall, pieces of the wall after he has destroyed it. And he goes in for his medical checkup, some few days later, and is told that he has no trace of the fatal disease.

(interruption) Well, Dawn said, ‘You’re telling us the whole movie.’ I am, but I’m not. I know where my syllables are going. I’m host, and you’re the stenographer. So he goes and he gets his medical treatment and checkup. ‘You don’t have the disease. You’re clean. You’re clear,’ and then he gets friendly with one of the neighbors. He has sort of like a girlfriend-type relationship with another one of the neighborhoods as the movie progresses, and there’s a very key line at the end of the movie which I’m not going to tell you. But what it does, is it allows the viewer to come to any conclusion about this that the viewer wants, either that it was the face of the Lord or that it was something else. But Henry Poole has his faith restored, regardless, whatever the truth of the wall was.

The truth of the wall is never stated. You’re allowed as the viewer to attach whatever you want to it. The director was one of the guys who came and screened this for me. Mark Pellington is his name. By the way, his dad played in the National Football League for the Philadelphia Eagles, and I said, ‘How do you get this done in Hollywood? How do you get a guy like Luke Wilson to do this? That’s movie about religion, perhaps, God, miraculous. How does this happen?’ And he said, ‘Well, Luke Wilson, we actually asked a lot of people to do it.’ Luke Wilson is the whole movie, and it’s not a comedy. Everybody in this movie is comedians but it’s not a comedy, and he’s in every scene of the movie and he said, Pellington, told me, that some of the actors they asked didn’t want to carry the whole load ’cause there’s romance, there’s sadness, all these emotions.

But Pellington had lost his wife to a disease, and his faith in things was down in the dumps as well. He has a surviving child, so this movie was sort of cathartic and therapeutic for them. I was stunned by it simply because it’s not the kind of thing that you expect. I was expecting the whole thing for this whole situation of the wall and the Lord and the people that believed in all that to be made the biggest fools Hollywood could think to make of it, and that’s not what happened. I have left a lot out of this. (interruption) Yes, I have, Dawn. I have left a lot out of this. It opens today, I think. It’s not everywhere. They’re trying to get it in a lot of theaters. There are like 600 theaters. It’s Luke Wilson. It’s called Henry Poole is Here — and just trust me, Dawn, there’s a lot I haven’t put in there. It’s not a preacher movie. It’s not that. You’ll see, if you take the time to go see it.


RUSH: Rush Limbaugh, continuing to suffer abuse over my recitation of the movie Henry Poole is Here. ‘But, Rush! But, Rush! You told us how it ends. You told us everything.’ I did not! Besides that: Everybody who went to see the movie Titanic knew damn well the boat was going to sink and people were going to die before they went into the theater.

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