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Harlan Degroat is the main antagonist of the 2013 action film Out of the Furnace. He is a Meth kingpin and a crime lord who controls the sale of drugs and underground bareknuckle fights in the Jersey Mountains. Degroat is as well a savage and vile gangster.
He is portrayed by American actor Woody Harrelson.
Degroat is first seen at a drive in movie theatre with a female companion, throwing up from apparent food poisoning. His date chuckles at his situation, which sends Degroat into a rage, he proceeds to nearly choke her to death by shoving a full hot dog down her throat and then slams her head into the dashboard of the car. Degroat then brutally beats a man that attempts to come to the unfortunate woman's aid, before leaving the scene.
He later has a run in with steel mill worker, Russell "Russ" Baze, while menacing local book keeper John Petty for the supposed money he owes him. Degroat angrily leaves Petty's bar empty handed but not before chastising Baze for his interruption of his meeting.
Soon after, Baze's brother Rodney comes to Petty, wanting to get in on an underground fight run by Degroat and his men. Petty attempts to warn Rodney of the dangers that come with dealing with Degroat, but Rodney insists wanting to make more money with just one last fight. Subsequently Degroat is contacted by Petty and agrees to set the fight up, but reveals that Rodney must take a fall, something that Petty and Rodney agree to. After giving Rodney the details of how the fight should work, and threatening him and Petty should they go against his instructions, the fight commences. At first Rodney, giving in to his anger at Degroat begins to beat the other fighter, but from the crowd Petty subtly warns Rodney of the consequences should they cross the unstable and violent gang boss, so Rodney reluctantly takes the fall and gets badly beaten.
Degroat happy with the results agrees to let Petty and Rodney leave as long as Petty pays up for the rest of the debt he owes. Petty then informs Degraot that Rodney taking the fall was meant to pay off his debt and that he had no money to pay. Degroat seemingly brushes it off as him not remembering and lets the pair go on their way. However as Petty drives Rodney back to town they are ambushed on the road by Degroat's men, Degroat himself approaches Petty and tells him that he never considered his debt paid, before shooting him in the head. He then has his men drag a badly beaten Rodney into the woods, where he executes him as well and dumps his body. Unknown to Degroat, Petty's accidentally pocket dialed the bar tender that works at his establishment and the whole murder was caught over the phone's message. Rodney's older brother Russ hears this message after it is played for him at the police station. It becomes clear to Russ that without any actual evidence the police cannot take action against Degroat and that he very may well go free for the murders of Petty and his brother.
Unknown to Degroat Baze launches a personal vendetta against him and personally infiltrates one of his drug houses. However before Russell can act he is driven off by the local police. Soon after this Rodney's body is found, because of this discovery a drug task force that was observing Degroat and his operations, makes a move to take him into custody, however he anticipates this and escapes his arrest. After learning of this Russell takes matters into his own hands, and calls Degroat from Petty's bar and, without identifying himself, tells him that he has the money Petty owes and instructs him to pick it up at the bar.
Degoat takes the bait and comes to the bar, he starts by interrogating the bartender, Dave, on the whereabouts of the money. Russell then bursts into the back room but Degroat sees him first and opens fire on him, he then brutally executes the unarmed and helpless Dave, before escaping out the back door. Degroat ten heads for an abandoned train station and attempts to hide from Baze as he has used up all of his ammunition. However just as he begins to flee Russell surprises him with a rifle butt to the head, a short skirmish then ensues with Russll overpowering Degroat and holding him at gunpoint. Russell then shoots him in the leg and then has him get up and walk a short distance before shooting him again in the back. Degroat severely wounded attempts to walk away once more but falls again in the middle of a field. As he lays there Russell approaches and finally identifies himself to Degroat as Rodney's brother, Degroat simply acknowledges this fact by commenting on Rodney's toughness and gets up to walk away once again. A this point the town Sherriff, Wesley, arrives on the scene and pleads with Russell to spare Degroat. As Degroat makes it further into the distance, Russell raises his rifle, takes aim and shoots Degroat once more in the back of the head, finally killing the cruel and violent crime lord and obtaining vengeance for his murdered brother. Russell is however demoralized after this, as in the final scene, he sits by himself, all alone.