Submission Samples from the Western Genre

Title: Clay

Logline: Based on the life of shootist Clay Allison - A Civil War veteran, struggling to maintain the good in himself, starts a new life in New Mexico, and finds his neighbors have more use for his evil side.

Synopsis: Robert Clay Allison was born with a clubfoot, which causes others to shun him as "unholy" and leads to a childhood trauma that leaves Clay mentally unstable, divided. After bloody engagements in the American Civil War, Union forces imprison him. He emerges from this isolation with a new sense of himself. He seems to be free of his raging "dark side" and so sets off to become a cattle rancher in the wide-open west. But his dark side comes with him. One violent encounter leads to another, as people begin to spin horror stories around him, giving his dark half more opportunities to come forward, to take over. He is shunned once again, but manages to start over. Clay marries and has a daughter. He fears his little girl will inherit his evils and knows he absolutely must be rid of his other half. He forces a final showdown with his inner demon--and with those who would see the demon win. He gains his freedom but loses his life. A tale of society's fascination with the "bad guy".

Title: No Trees

Logline: In 1870's Texas, ex-slave Linc Hill and his gang rob and murder for profit until he receives a message which sends him on a rampage seeking those responsible for the hanging of his innocent son.

Synopsis: Linc Hill and his gang are notorious thieves and murderers known throughout Texas. His life as a slave and the horrors he experienced have driven Linc to a life of crime. Despite the harshness of his choices, there is goodness in Linc's life and it is embodied in his beautiful wife and son. When his son is a young teenager, Linc is responsible for an accident that leaves his son mentally impaired. His wife is distraught and angrily sends Linc away. Years after Linc's departure, his son is wrongly accused of murder in the town of No Trees, Texas. After a sham trial the son is found guilty and sentenced to be hung. Linc's wife, desperate to save her son, works out a deal with the corrupt judge who wants her land and her body in exchange for the boy's life. Following a night of agonizing sex, she awakes to find she has been duped. Swearing a vow of vengeance she sends for Linc, who returns intent on sending the culprits to hell. WGA#1315658-fdh1961@yahoo.com

Title: Massacre at Pilgrims' Pass

Logline: In 1866, a Harvard-educated surgeon struggles to rescue his sister from the Cheyenne warriors who stole her. In this odyssey, he is befriended by the Sioux & an old white gunfighter & his black son.

Synopsis: In 1866, a Harvard-educated surgeon (Slyvester) is escorting his sister (Mimi)from Boston to Fort Meade to be married to a US Army officer. At Pilgrims' Pass their wagon train is attacked by Cheyenne Indians who kill all except for Mimi, who is taken captive, and Sylvester, who is left for dead. After Sylvester awakens, he crawls to a nearby river to wash his head wound. There he finds an eight-year old Sioux Indian boy who is bleeding to death. Sylvester saves his life. The chief of the Sioux (who is the father of the boy) and several warriors find the boy and Sylvester. They befriend Sylvester because he saved the life of the child and so Sylvester's odyssey to find his sister begins. He meets a 70 year-old white drifter and his 50 year-old black son who help him. They eventually rescue Sylvester's sister from the Cheyenne, but are killed in the process. Sylvester falls in love with a Sioux maiden & stays in the West. Mimi is rejected by her army officer and returns to the East.

Title: Some Kind of Justice

Logline: A man driven to the edge of the West

Synopsis: We find Luke, alone in the mountains of Western American (1868)... tracked down by bounty hunters and crooked lawmen... and haunted by the image of his fiance, Mary, who was shot down in front of him. He narrates, through violent flashbacks, his story of how a simple game of poker caused a string of events that led to his present dire situation. But it is not over yet... having survived cruel imprisonment, hard labour, and the hangman's noose, he still faces constant persecution. The cause of all his suffering is a single man called Jack King. In true epic style, Luke musters up a force big enough to exact revenge on his enemy. The only thing that remains uncertain is the whereabouts of Mary.

Title: Four Of A Kind

Logline: They were the James Gang of Canada -- young half-breed brothers Allan, Charlie & Archie McLean, plus their "half-Injun, half-French, hundred-percent mind-crazy friend-for-life," Alex Hare.

Synopsis: The four of them came of age 20 years after the Caribou Gold Rush, when the pickings afforded by the land ranged from slim to none. Guided by the prophesies and promises of the delusional soothsayer, Feemy Wildbird, the McLeans and Hare galloped away from Kamloops, British Columbia, in search of a better life on those ever-elusive "streets paved with gold" in New York City. To win the family's fortune, the brawniest McLean brother, Allan, is elected to vie for big prize money in a famous (but infamous) fight to the death against the eighth annual winner of that event, a towering giant from Manitoba. Our often-comedic, action-packed story is loosely based on the actual story of The McLeans and Alex Hare, four hell-raisers in B.C. during the late 1870's. This screenplay was inspired by an early folk song entitled "Four Rode By" by the Canadian duo Ian & Sylvia. Four Of a Kind is registered with the Writers' Guild Of America, #1100427.

Title: Shadow on the Land

Logline: A wealthy rancher building a railroad spur in Twelve Angels, New Mexico uses bribery and intimidation to buy out his neighbors, setting in motion events that could stop the train line in its tracks.

Synopsis: Rancher Brandon Sheehan wants Drexel Moncrief's land for his railroad spur. He sends Sheriff Bill Smith and his deputies, Cole "Hawk" Hawkins and Creed Bonham out to foreclose on the Moncrief's ranch. Drexel and his sons refuse to leave, goading the lawmen into a bloody shootout. Wounded by a glancing shot to the head, Creed begins to act irrationally. Facing pressure from Brandon to sell their failing ranches, lawyer Chris Harte, the Tate family and Chris' client, hard-luck Mexican rancher Caesar Galvez now stand in Brandon's way. Caesar is forced to sell the family ranch to Brandon. He swears vengeance against Chris and the town for his misfortune. Creed begins drinking heavily, taking his frustrations out on his alcoholic girlfriend, Harriet. As his erratic behavior escalates, Creed beats Chris, challenges Caesar to a shootout and forces a final confrontation with Hawk... while Caesar makes good on his vow to see Chris and the town suffer.

Title: Django Returns

Logline: "In the Year Of Our Lord, 1880, there was a ranch called the Double M...OWNED BY THE McClane clan...in Dutchess County ...in the State of Arizona...it is there this tale begins."

Synopsis: A boy...a girl...a man...a woman...cut down by bullets. SHOOTER unknown...CRIME unsolved. WEEKS LATER...On the table top of the northern mountain range a man EMERGES. He is young and tall, blond and blue-eyed. A small beard covers his face. He is a sardonic man wearing a trench coat and a wide brimmed hat low on his forehead. A Colt.45 sits in a holster on his left hip. And he walks dragging a coffin behind. This is the beginning of Django Returns. It is a classic Western drama of revenge...renewal...and redemption. 127 pages. It is written to rival ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST...as the greatest western movie of all time. WGA, EAST#R25071.

Title: The Borderline

Logline: A retired gunfighter who seeks revenge for the brutal murder of his family, teams up with a U.S. Marshal who wants justice-but vengeance and justice are different, or are they?

Synopsis: Retired gunfighter Alamo Brock has turned in his guns for the quiet life of a rancher. But when his family is brutally murdered, he seeks revenge on his attackers. Rescued by a mystical, white horse, Alamo teams up with a U.S. Marshal, who also wants justice. But vengeance and justice are different. Or are they? An epic western loaded with action and suspense, The Borderline will have you on the edge of your seat from the first frame, until the final, spine-tingling climax. Alamo wants vengeance, and the Marshal wants justice. But where do you draw the line? This dichotomy is so powerful that it actually turns the two heroes against each other in the end. What is vengeance? And what is justice? You decide. Murray Williams 3927 Kitchen Hill Lane Sugar Land, TX 77479 713.417.8422 mhwilliams1@yahoo.com www.theborderline-movie.com

Title: Horse Opera

Logline: A Western retelling of the legend of Beowulf.

Synopsis: Ben Wolf, a war-weary Civil War veteran, returns home to his Virginia family farm, restless and and full of wanderlust after his time on the battlefield. After the deaths of his parents he leaves the only home he's ever known to seek his destiny out west. He finds it - or it finds him - in the form of a deputy's badge in a lawless cowboy outpost somewhere in the Texas badlands. In time Ben becomes the sheriff of Daneland, a boom town along the ever-expanding railway line. We follow Ben on his adventures through the years - tracking down a sadistic gunslinger terrorizing the country, being hunted by the gunslinger's brother hell-bent on revenge - all the while as the railroad brings the era of the "Wild" West to an end. In time, a gang of train robbers holds up the train of a powerful railroad magnate. The tycoon dispatches a pair of hired guns to kill the robbers. The paths of all three - robbers, killers, and Ben Wolf - cross in a blaze of glory, turning Ben Wolf into a legend.

Title: Company of Bullets

Logline: Based on actual events, in the spring of 1879, an embattled Sheriff's Deputy battles to save his sanity and his Colorado town as a ruthless railroad war explodes.

Synopsis: Pat Desmond moved to South Pueblo, Colorado in hope of living a simple life with his wife and son, but in 1879, the life of a Deputy Sheriff is anything but simple. Tormented by the violence of his past, Desmond's unique talent for striking fear in the hearts of murderers and thieves propels his reputation throughout the West, but pushes him to the edge of self destruction. With a silver boom like this country has never seen, Leadville, Colorado is making millionaires overnight. General Palmer's Denver & Rio Grande railroad has staked claim to the only route possible to Leadville, through the treacherous Royal Gorge canyon, but The Santa Fe railroad will stop at nothing to prove they in fact are the rightful owners of the elusive passage to the booming mining town. As the battle wages in federal courtrooms, the men of each company take matters into their own hands on the Royal Gorge floor. As the violence escalates, legendary lawmen and notorious gunfighters join the fight.