Excerpt for illustrative purposes (teaser only)
of WB's film script WILD WILD WEST
Rewritten by Jeffrey Price & Peter S. Seaman
May 5th 1998
© 1998 Warner Bros.
1 EXT. DUSTY ROAD - LOW ANGLE - NIGHT
HOOVES THUNDER by. Then bouncing, skidding wagon wheels. Up on the empty
buckboard is a pair of murderous ex-Rebs. As the Rebs pass a pint of
whisky, lash the six-horse team on, PAN WITH the wagon to see it's
2 EXT. WAREHOUSE - RAILROAD WATER TOWER - NIGHT
looms above the warehouse. SUPERIMPOSE: 1869 - WEST VIRGINIA Then,
incongruously, we hear a FEMALE GIGGLE over.
3 INT. WATER TOWER - CLOSE - COWBOY - NIGHT
He's no ordinary cow puncher. For starters, he's black. Naked from the
waist up (and presumably down), he's busy sponging the back of an exotic
mulatta SALOON GIRL in the water with him. This is the legendary (or
soon to be legendary) CAPTAIN JAMES T. WEST.
Mighty sweet of you to come along
with me while I'm workin'.
He sponges her somewhere below the water line.
If this is what you call work, Jim
West, you sure got a real nice...
(jumps a little as if goosed)
Well, I believe if a thing's worth
doin', it's worth doin' well.
Now West hears the CLATTER of the approaching WAGON. He puts his eye to
a knothole punched out of the boards. This is actually a surveillance
post and he really is working.
4 EXT. WAREHOUSE - WEST'S POV THROUGH KNOTHOLE
The old tobacco warehouse is situated below, next door. A dirty glass
skylight lets West see inside.
Several thugs stir as the wagon with the Rebs arrives outside.
5 INT. WATER TOWER - NIGHT
(smiles, to himself)
General McGrath's boys ... just when I
was about to give up on y'all.'
6 INT. FAT-CAN CANDY'S - NIGHT
This two-story, Victorian building across town is a "gentlemen's
sporting house" in name only. Drunken roughnecks and ex-Confederate
soldiers goose and maul the rouged-up tarts.
AT BAR - WOMAN
shrinks back from the moronic ribaldry. The Toulouse Lautrec lighting
only accentuates her garish hair and makeup, identifying her as a SOILED
DOVE. A whore -- not to put too fine a point on it. She's trying not to
make eye contact with two men seated at a table across the parlor.
SOILED DOVE'S POV - GEN. McGRATH AND HUDSON
HUDSON is a fearsome-looking Indian in a well-tailored suit. Long black
braids descend incongruously from under a homburg hat. As for his
McGRATH is a mountain of drunken pus. Six foot, sweating like a
Devonshire hog with his tattered, undersized Confederate dress jacket
buttoned all the way to the top. His ear has been hacked off and
replaced by what looks to be a miniature leather Victrola horn. McGrath
smiles at our Soiled Dove and makes a little kissing gesture.
ANGLE ON SOILED DOVE
Eyes widened in revulsion. What evil abides in this Godforsaken place?
Now the house madam, the aptly named FAT-CAN CANDY, comforts her new
Dora, first night out you may want
to stay away from that one. General
McGrath has his ... quirks.
They both regard the depraved-looking General, who's got his gramophone
ear tuned to a singer. (We will come to know the olive-skinned beauty as
RITA. But not tonight.)
Fat-Can waves her arms at the louts all around them.
The rest are just lonely boys ...
DORA (SOILED DOVE)
(looks around, wrinkles nose)
Lonely... smelly boys.
As Fat-Can moves on, Dora spritzes herself with a double- perfume
battle. Now a drunkenly EYE-CROSSED REB licks Dora's ear, then whispers
something in it. Something unspeakably vile, by Dora's expression.
I'm sorry. That won't be
possible. I have... tonsillitis.
7 EXT. WAREHOUSE - WEST'S POV - NIGHT
Rebs and guards are loading heavy wooden boxes onto the wagon parked out
in the alley. We see the wagon wheel is up against the rotted wooden leg
of the water tower.
Pack'er up good, boys. Next stop
8 INT. WATER TOWER - NIGHT
West registers the words, looks at his waterlogged fingers.
Maybe that's enough for me.
Gettin' kinda pruney.
(turns to girl, across tank)
... Mind handin' me my clothes?
The girl makes a disappointed little frown, reaches for his clothes, gun
and hat hanging above her when...
9 EXT. WAREHOUSE - NIGHT
The horses spook as a crate is dropped in the back of the wagon.
CLOSE - ANGLE
caught an the WATER TOWER LEG. CREAKING, bowing, SNAP! It finally gives
10 INT. WATER TOWER - NIGHT
... West, toppling over. He has a very surprised look on his face as he
suddenly finds himself spilling out of the listing tower, riding the
wave... nude... right through...
11 EXT. WAREHOUSE SKYLIGHT - NIGHT
West crashes down into the tarp covering the boxes. The only people more
shocked than he is are the guards and the Rebs he just dropped in on.
West picks himself up, smiles coolly at the drenched slack-jaws.
Damn, it be rainin' Negroes!
(remembering his current state)
Naked Negroes ...
He looks up at the freaked-out Saloon Girl, still in the tank. She hangs
on with one hand, the other hand clutches his clothes.
I could sure use those clothes now.
She responds by Frisbee-ing his hat down. West picks it up, with a
look... uses it to cover his genitals.
Well well, we got us a shy nig...
But he never gets that word out. Bang! West lashes a lightning martial
arts kick to the Reb's jaw.
Fought five long years with the Union
Army not to hear that word again.
And you boys remember?
As the other Reb comes at him, he spins, still holding the hat in front
of him... and whap! Down that one goes. West looks up at the
none-too-bright water tank woman.
How 'bout some pants!?
As she throws the rest of his clothes down in a heap...
12 INT. FAT-CAN'S - NIGHT (SAME TIME)
General McGrath checks a pocket watch, looks up impatiently at the
Indian, Hudson. His eyes drift upwards... to the balcony where...
ANGLE ON UPSTAIRS BALCONY - TWO MORE EX-REBS
have come up back stairs lugging a heavy steamer trunk.
I'm still waiting on my guns and ammo,
but I see my man have brought you
McGrath subtly gestures with his eyes to the balcony for Hudson to
confirm. Hudson nods.
I had expected to be delivering it
personally to Mr...
Hudson quickly cuts him off before he can say the name. The Indian
speaks in a very precise King's English.
My employer, here in a brothel?
(a small ironic smile)
That would be quite... redundant.
13 EXT. STREET - ON CARRIAGE - NIGHT
MOVE IN ON an elegant brougham driven by a very large, very striking
woman in livery.
As the carriage passes under the gas lamp, we can make out the
top-hatted silhouette of McGrath's "employer," DR. ARLISS LOVELESS.
Clustered around him inside the cab are three more beautiful women. As
he strokes the cheek of the ORIENTAL one with the back of his hand like
a cat ...
14 INT. FAT-CAN'S - McGRATH AND HUDSON - NIGHT
You'll meet him when the time - -
place -are appropriate. Now...
... shall we go upstairs to check
Frankly, Mr. Hudson, I wasn't planning
to walk those oaken stairs with you.
Direct me to the poot, sir. Something
young and creamy. A gazer that takes to
the crop and spur.
McGrath looks to the singer (Rita), who beats a hasty retreat from him
after her song. So, once again, McGrath lays his rheumy eyes on...
ANGLE ON SOILED DOVE
She's oblivious, more intrigued by the ex-Rebs on the balcony with the
trunk. As she starts for the stairs ... a man 'a hand grabs her. It's
the Eye-Crossed Reb again.
You drive a hard bargain, lady. All
right, fifty cents to take them big
juicy lips and...
Still not interested.
She tries to pull away. But the Reb won't let go.
But you gotta be interested.
You're a whore.
Suddenly the coquettishness in the eyes becomes rage. The falsetto
becomes a baritone growl.
That doesn't mean a girl can't
have high standards.
Just as the Reb registers the odd new voice... wham! Her corsage springs
out and whacks him right in the jaw. The Reb's eyes roll back... and he
slumps to the ground.
Whooa, hoss... the Soiled Dove is a man! He's ARTEMUS GORDON and his
true profession will be revealed to us shortly. But now, as he/she
stashes the unconscious Reb behind the bar, straightens bosom and wig...
15 INT. WAREHOUSE - NIGHT
West is trying to get dressed. As he pulls on one leg of his pants, a
guard lunges at him with a knife. West hops up on one leg, smacks the
guy with a mule kick.
Now he puts his arm through his shirt sleeve. When the hand emerges out
of the cuff, it's balled in a fist -- which coldcocks the other guard.
Could I have a little privacy here?
As if in response, the water tower, still hovering above, now crashes to
the floor -- obliterating his opponents.
He calmly looks up in time to catch the falling, naked, screaming Saloon
Girl in his arms.
You'll have to excuse me, darlin'...
but my evidence is getting away.
West gallantly puts her down, jumps up, grabs the overhead block and
tackle system and slides through the warehouse. As the HORSE TEAM, which
has spooked, THUNDERS past...
CLOSE - WEST
sails onto the runaway wagon. As he pulls himself into the back, he
gives the shivering Saloon Girl a tip of his hat -- now on his head.
Sorry about there not being any towels.
16 INT. FAT-CAN'S - NIGHT (SAME TIME)
General McGrath leers down a line-up of Fat-Can's girls.
Just as he gets to the beautiful singer, who looks sick at the thought,
suddenly Gordon intrudes. He/she blocks out the singer, poses
coquettishly -- sucking a lollypop.
What's your name, missy?
(demurely; back to his falsetto)
Dora. Would you like to go upstairs?
Oh, indeedy I would.
Gordon/Dora starts to go. But McGrath stops her.
But not just yet.
(leans in, whispers
in his/her ear)
Nothing stokes the fire in my
Gordon/Dora blinks uncertainly. This guy's idea of foreplay could be
just about anything.
He hauls him/her over to the piano player.
A ditty? But General...
(trying to be coquettish again)
... my talents really lay elsewhere.
You've got some pretty fair
lungs on ya, girl, now use 'am!
He punctuates with a slap to Gordon/Dora's rump. The room goes quiet,
all eyes on our songbird. The other singer (Rita) watches too.
17 INT. FAT-CAN'S - NIGHT
Gordon/Dora is sweating. Reluctantly, he/she whispers something to the
piano player. He clears his throat and begins singing.
'Buy a drink for the boys
In the backroom for me...'
18 EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - WILD WAGON RIDE - NIGHT
West spots the contents of an open box. Eyes widen.
CLOSE - BOX - DOZEN GLASS VIALS
stuck in sand. But clinking together ominously as the wagon races over
Cousin-humpin' crackers got a
wagon full of nitro... !
West tries to steady the glass vials with his hands ... but it's no use.
He quickly climbs over the boxes, onto the buckboard seat. But the reins
are dragging on the ground beneath the frothing horses.
West leaps onto the horses as the wagon careens down the street. He
pulls himself over the first one's neck... onto the next horse. And as
he tries for the lead horse, he falls between them!
19 INT. FAT-CAN'S - NIGHT
Gordon/Dora singing. He/she struggles through the song in a very tough
'And tell them I tried...
And tell them I cried...'
Just when it looks like the stone-faced rowdies might rip him/her apart,
McGrath starts tapping a mud-caked toe. Encouraged, Gordon/Dora belts
out the next verses OVER...
20 EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - WILD WAGON RIDE - NIGHT
West's custom boots drag in the dirt as he's about to be trampled under
the hooves of the freaked-out horses. And if he hasn't got enough
problems, the lynch pin attaching the team to the wagon has almost
worked its way out.
CLOSE - BACK OF WAGON - NITRO VIALS
CLANKING together like chimes ...
CLOSE - WEST
Straining with every ounce of strength in his body, he pulls himself up
by the harness onto...
CLOSE - WILD-EYED LEAD HORSE
West grabs for the halter.
Whoa now... !
But it doesn't whoa. The wagon goes around a corner up on two wheels!
It's about to tilt over when West grabs both the horses' ears, yanks
them back -- screaming into them.
I said, whoa!!!
This approach seems to work.
21 EXT. RISE ABOVE FAT-CAN'S - NIGHT
The team comes to an abrupt stop... and with it the wagon hanging over
the edge of a steep drop.
Jim carefully climbs off. He slaps the dust on his jacket, straightens
the crease in his trousers. When he looks up, a bitter smile.
Well, well, this is workin' out to
be a perfect day. My man
HIS POV - VICTORIAN BUILDING - ACROSS STREET
The tasteful sign under the red light reads: "FAT-CAN CANDY'S." And
framed in the window, General McGrath with his singing soiled dove.
... General Bloodbath McGrath.
22 INT. FAT-CAN'S - CLOSE - McGRATH
McGrath is clapping with the crowd of misfits who are now singing along
with Gordon/Dora. He/she's won over the room.
And tell them I tried just the same... !
He/she curtsies to rousing applause. McGrath beams like a man with the
fire in his loins roaring. He grabs his little songbird and up the
stairs they go.
Out the WINDOWS, we see West tracking them. Simultaneously going up
23 INT. UPSTAIRS - GORDON/DORA
leads the sweating, leering General down the hall. He/she quickly opens
and closes boudoir doors -ostensibly to find a free room for their
assignation. The real agenda is to find the mysterious trunk.
ANGLE ON DOORWAY #1
Quick peek. He/she registers a mild reaction of shock. Closes that door
and moves on to...
ANGLE ON DOORWAY #2
Quick peek. The two rebs sitting on the trunk. At their feet is a
wriggling burlap sack. The "merchandise" is alive.
Gordon/Dora giggles like a schoolgirl.
Well, that's a new one.
McGrath slams the door, drags Gordon/Dora roughly...
24 INT. BOUDOIR - CONTINUOUS ACTION
Our soiled dove has her back to the door, steeling herself for the task
at hand. McGrath beckons her over to the bed.
Don't let the ear scare you.
I lost it at Chickamauga.
Gordon/Dora squints at the jerry-rigged ear.
Oh really. One can hardly notice...
(fiddles with her belt buckle)
Would you mind... ? I... I... can't
seem to release the clasp of my belt.
Say no more. McGrath is on her like a flash, fidgeting with it. But it
pops open, revealing a spiraling screen courtesy of Dr. Mesmer. His eyes
lock onto it.
Wha... what's this?
It's a deep, deep pool. Maybe
your old swimmin' hole. Getting
Yes, I'm sleepy.
McGrath sits on the floor. Gordon smiles... this is gonna be easy.
Good. Now when I snap my fingers,
you're going to be my little doggy.
And when I say 'speak, you tell me
everything I want to know. Understood?
All right, little doggy. Sit up.
(as he does)
Now tell me who's in that sack next door? Speak!
Speak words, dumb doggy! Which
scientist is it? Dr. Escobar?
But McGrath doesn't answer. Gordon's Mesmer spiral slows to a stop.
McGrath is coming out of the trance. McGrath starts to growl, rip at
Watch the swirling spiral! Lie
down, bad dog!
As Gordon notices that his contraption's failed...
25 EXT. BALCONY - WEST - SAME TIME
peering in the window, shakes his head at the weirdness.
Dog's more like it.
Then West sees McGrath reach into his boot for a knife.
26 INT. BOUDOIR - GORDON/DORA
is busy trying to get the spiral going again, doesn't see McGrath's
knife. Just as the deranged general's about to plunge it into
... the WINDOW EXPLODES. Jim West comes tumbling into the room, kicks
the knife out of McGrath's hand, and knocks him unconscious. All in one
smooth move. West rolls to his feet, fixes a gallant smile on
Didn't mean to startle you, ma'am.
Looked like you could use some help.
It takes Gordon a moment to recover. He stares at this black Samaritan,
obviously having no clue who he is.
(clears throat to recover falsetto)
Looks can be deceivin'... dark stranger.
I am perfectly fine.
West quickly pats McGrath down, removes a revolver and his bag of gold
I can see that, darlin'. Woman of your
caliber probably gets top dollar, too.
So here you go.
(flips her McGrath's coin bag)
You can run along. McGrath's mine.
Gordon can't believe this guy. He doesn't move.
You run along -- he's mine.
C'mon, lady, you got the money,
have a little dignity.
While this tiff goes on, McGrath opens his eyes groggily. The sight of
West seems to bring the dog-soldier around. McGrath suddenly lunges at
West ... !!!
He drives his full weight into Jim's back, pushing him out into...
27 UPSTAIRS HALL
McGrath's rebel yell brings help from all directions. DOORS BANG open
all along the hallway. Not just McGrath's men, but Hudson and his crew.
A melee will ensue.
West pushes the monster off of him, rolls as a BULLET SPLINTERS the WOOD
where he just was. The SHOT STARTS...
ANGLE - STAMPEDE OF SEMI-CLAD WHORES
all screaming hysterically and heading for the exits. The beautiful
young singer, who'd been coming up the stairs alone, is now swept back
Gordon, still in character, as he pushes his way upstream to the room
where the scientist is held.
28 INT. ADJACENT ROOM - HUDSON
Hudson, his back turned, barking orders at his henchmen.
Get Escobar out of here!
The henchmen heft the wriggling sack, when:
Leave him right there.
Hudson whirls to see the gruff-talking Gordon/Dora holding the perfume
bottle on him like it's a Colt 45. Now Gordon shakes one of the heavy
bracelets off his wrist, CLICKS a LOCK, snapping it open. He's
accessorized with custom handcuffs.
Let's go, Hudson... hands!
Hudson gives a sick little smile, reaches for his gun when... WSSSSHT!
Gordon sprays him in the eyes with the second bulb of the atomizer. (The
first Mace!) Hudson howls in pain, drops the gun, rubs his eyes madly
with both hands.
Gordon starts to snap the cuffs on the perfectly presented wrists
29 UPSTAIRS HALL - WEST
brawling a dozen attackers. West spots McGrath trying to escape down the
stairs. He uncorks a lethal kick, sending a thug flying through the
doorway and into the back of Gordon.
Gordon staggers, drops the perfume/mace BOTTLE which SHATTERS. Hudson
recovers his vision enough to send a fist into Gordon's mascaraed face,
pile-driving him back into the hall. While Hudson and his men make their
escape down the back stairs with the scientist sack...
CLOSE - WEST AND GORDON
West is blocked from chasing McGrath, Gordon from going after Hudson.
Pissed, West tries to move him/her aside.
Look at it this way... lose a lop-eared
General one night, get a cattle drive the
next. Now get out of my way, lady!
(the baritone growl)
I'm no lady!
(angrily whips off wig)
And you got out of my way!
West has little time to react to all this weirdness before Gordon
reaches inside his wig for something. West reflexively draws his Colt.
Freeze!!! U.S. Army!!!
Now Gordon turns his wig around and points the badge, that's inside it,
You Freeze!!! U.S. Marshal!
30 EXT. RISE ABOVE FAT CAN'S - CARRIAGE - NIGHT (SAME TIME)
is waiting at the top of the hill beside the nitro wagon. Dr. Loveless
is beside it, face still shadowed.
INSIDE CARRIAGE - FAIR-SKINNED BEAUTY
has opera glasses trained an the second story of Fat-Can's. Her name is
LIPPENREIDER. And now we'll see why.
(in a monotone)
You freeze... You freeze... U.S.
Army... U.S. Marshal.
The lip-reading is interrupted by the arrival of...
ANGLE - TOP OF INCLINE - HUDSON AND HIS HENCHMEN who come racing up with
Federal agents inside, sir!
So Miss Lippenreider informs me.
Still, I believe good manners
dictate we should send out...
His cane telescopes out and Loveless pokes the lynch pin out of the
harness on the nitro wagon. Then he gives the wagon the slightest push.
... the welcome wagon.
Once started, the wagon rolls downhill, toward the back door of Fat-Can
Candy's, picking up speed...
Then, as his female coterie pulls the burlap sack into the carriage,
Loveless steps in behind. And they're off.
31 INT. FAT CAN'S - UPSTAIRS HALL - NIGHT
West and Gordon, oblivious to the impending disaster...
So now what... ?
The answer is provided as the NITRO WAGON hits downstairs.
KABOOOOOOM!!! THEME MUSIC UP... as we roll...
32 MAIN TITLES...