Submission Samples from the Western Genre

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: 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: The Path of Absolution

Logline: When Jarron Clark gets conned by his gang robbing a wagon train, he's stranded on the Oregon Trail. His one chance for redemption lies in Oregon & he must regain the trust of the train to get there.

Synopsis: Jarron Clark is a rugged loner that joins a peaceful wagon train bound for Oregon.Chuck Fairley is the first man to take Jarron in & accept him as one of their own.Jarron plans to rob the wagons,but it backfires when his gang of outlaws double-crosses him.Left with nothing, Jarron ventures out on his own only to rescue Chuck's wife,Laura, from a runaway wagon.His heroism is not enough to convince the wagon train he can be trusted & he's banished to the isolated trail.Without food & water & being a wanted man, Jarron struggles to survive. When the wagon train crosses paths with a beleaguered Jarron later on, Laura nurses him back to health.With wild animals,Indians, & thieves around each bend,Jarron's ability to handle danger slowly wins back some of the trust he'd lost.Jarron proves to be a vital as a hired gun & the wagon train realizes they need Jarron just as much as he needs them.The train's only chance to make it to Oregon lies in their fragile trust of Jarron,a former outlaw.

Title: Women For Zion

Logline: St. Joe Mo. 1859. 141 young female Mormon converts from Europe pulling handcarts begin the 1000 mile trek to SLC. Mormon Zion. They are preyed upon by Indians, Mormon haters, men wanting find wives

Synopsis: 1859 St. Joe Mo. End of railroad. Caroline and 141 young women converts from Europe arrive. They are cursed, threatened by the townsfolk. Ruth, a girl of the town joins the Mormons. Pulling handcarts holding their scant possession. the women begin the 1000 mile trek across the wildernes of the prairie and Rocky Mts. to SLC, Mormon Zion. Ruth's father hires DeBreen and his band of Mormon haters to pursue and kill the Mormons and bring Ruth back. Indians try to buy Caroline, and attack when they are refused. Four men from Montana ride to find wives among the women. Nathan, looking for the killer DeBreen, joins the Montanans. Brigham Young orders the fierce Grueling with a band of Mormons to find the women and bring every one of them to SLC. With fierce storms fallling upon them, the women struggle west dragging handcarts. Montanans arrive and woo the women. Nathan falls for Caroline. DeBreen arrives. Grueling appears. The final battle. What Montanan will find a wife among the women?

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: 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: 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: 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: Outlaw from Alabama

Logline: My screenplay is a Western telling of various exploits of legendary outlaw named Rube Burrow. For some reason this character has not been taken seriously by movie makers.

Synopsis: Rube Burrow made his name as an outlaw of the Wild West. He was born in Alabama and at the age of 18 moved westward to Texas to become a rancher. In the story that follows Rube and his family had been living on their Texas ranch for some years when the Railroads take over his land bought for a cheap price. Rube, his brother and ranch hand turn to robbing trains partly for revenge and also financial reward. A 5 man gang is formed with three succesful robberies before one of his gang is killed and another two captured. However, Rube manages to aquire another ranch in Texas where it seems at one stage he might settle with his family but the excitement and rewards from train robbery tempts him to continue his exploits. More recruits are found for another hold up and a final robbery involves a solo attempt by Rube and he makes good his escape. The law enforcement officers step up their efforts to capture him and he rides to Alabama but dies in a gunfight with a sheriff.

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.