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California gal
SS senior field agent

USA
8376 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2009 :  09:14:18  Show Profile
“The Night of the Red-Eyed Madmen”

TEASER


[Two openings are included in this copy of the script; the first obviously was not used. The first page is undated, but apparently is a version from 10/11/65]

1. INT. LOBBY SAN FRANCISCO HOTEL – TWO – WEST & RANCHER – NIGHT

The lobby is nearly deserted. WEST stands talking to a RANCHER, a gray, dignified man of about 60 with an apologetic though grave manner.

RANCHER
I’m sorry to involve you in this, Mr. West, but since the death of her folks, I’m all she’s got.

WEST
Well, since Senator Brookshire wants to be on good terms with his constituents, and my Department wants to be on good turns with Senator Brookshire, I’ll see what I can do.

RANCHER
I appreciate that, sir.
(a pause)
She’s—a strange girl. Hear her out, and… promise you look into it. In time, I hope, she’ll forget about the whole thing.

WEST
(nods, shakes hands, then)
Room 406?

RANCHER
She’s expecting you.
(gravely)
My niece is a lovely young woman. But her mind…

Their eyes meet. West is not pleased by the prospect of his “favor” he is about to do. GO WITH HIM. He walks to the alcoved elevator. (The elevator is the pulley-type invented c. 1850, provided with power from a steam-engine at the bottom of the shaft. It has a wrought-iron cage with a hatch at the ceiling to permit maintenance or repair of the cables.) The uniformed OPERATOR is completely bald and wears sinisterally thick glasses. West enters the cage and almost at once is joined by a HUGE MAN who appears as if from nowhere. The Huge Man wears a derby and a thick mustache. West pays him scant attention.

WEST
Four.

2. INT. ELEVATOR CAGE – THREE – WEST, OPERATOR, & HUGE MAN

The cage is closed and the elevator starts up.

HUGE MAN
Five.

West cocks an eye and muses aloud:

WEST
Nice trick for a four-story hotel.

HUGE MAN
It’ll be a nice trick, all right.

And with his final word the Operator slams the lift-handle to vertical, stopping the elevator between floors. In the same split-second the Huge Man seizes West from behind in a bear-hug. The Operator whips out a blackjack.

HUGE MAN (CONT’D)
Dooms day will come!

West lashes out with his feet, but misses and is knocked out by the blackjack. Now both assailants work quickly. The hatch atop the cage is opened and west is pushed onto the top of the elevator. The hatch is shut, padlocked. The Operator now lowers the elevator to the ground floor. The door is opened and they get out. After shutting the cage door, the Operator takes a forged iron loop from a pocket of his uniform. Reaching through the bars of the cage, he takes a breath to steady his timing, and then in almost one motion, secures the loop over the lift-handle and jerks his arms out. Locked in position, the elevator begins rising slowly. The assailants flee.

3. INT. ELEVATOR SHAFT – FULL – WEST – ANGLE DOWN

sprawled unconscious atop the rising cage.

4. REVERSE ANGLE

West will be crushed when the elevator reaches the top. Slowly, inexorably, it rises.

FADE OUT:

[End of first opening scene]

[The following is marked as page 1A, with some pen or pencil marks through portions of the first page; it is inserted in this script copy after page 1, continues with page 2 and is dated “Rev. 10/21/65”]

3. CONTINUED

WEST
I don’t mean to be impolite, Senator, but how does a broken love affair threaten the country?

RAWLS
For one thing, Lola won’t believe that Talbot has rejected her…

WEST
(eyes him obliquely)
Anything else, Senator?


Rawls eyes him in silence for a second, then nods.

RAWLS
Lola is going to tell you a bizarre tale… weird, if you will…
(a beat; seriously)
I wish I could say, that without being unkind to her – you could give her som eperspective on the truth of Talbot throwing her over, except…

He pauses, looks strange.

WEST
Except what?

RAWLS
(eyes him grimly]
Except I believe that what she will tell you is the frightening truth!

WEST
(the strange meaning sinking in, finally)
She’s in room 406?

Rawls nods. West turns to leave.

4. ANOTHER ANGLE

TO CARRY West toward the elevator.

5. ANGLE AT THE LOBBY ELEVATOR DOOR

A heavy-set man, OTTO, about to enter the elevator, stands aside momentarily, in apparent courtesy, to let West enter the elevator and then follows him. The elevator doors close. The elevator rises.

6. ANGLE AT SECOND FLOOR ELEVATOR DOOR

We see the shadow rising behind the glass pane of the door, indicating the elevator is ascending and stopping at the floor. A SECOND MAN is waiting. The elevator door opens; the Second Man gets in; the door closes. Again, the shadow rises as the elevator goes up.

7. ANGLE AT THIRD FLOOR ELEVATOR DOOR

The shadow rises behind the glass pane of the door. The elevator stops again. A THIRD MAN is waiting. After a beat, the door opens. The Third Man gets in. The door closes. Again the shadow rises as the elevator goes up.

8. ANGLE AT FOURTH FLOOR ELEVATOR DOOR

The shadow rises behind the glass pane of the door. The elevator stops again. There is no one waiting. After the same INTERVAL, the elevator doors FLY OPEN VIOLENTLY. The Second Man slams backwards out of the elevator to the floor of the corridor. West is flung out after him, locked in violent, deadly combat with the other two men.

9. ANGLE IN THE CORRIDOR

As the fight swirls down the corridor, away from the elevator. The three assailants are armed with a variety of deadly, silent weapons: blackjacks, knives, brass knuckles. West is giving a good account of himself, but is too busy to pause long enough to use any of his concealed weaponry.

10. ANOTHER ANGLE

As one of the men KNOCKS West’s feet out from under him, SLAMS him to the ground. Another of the men falls on West, immobilizing him momentarily. Otto raises a huge Bowie knife.

OTTO
Doomsday will come!

11. UP ANGLE ON OTTO – WEST’S POV

As he raises the knife, ready to thrust at West.

FREEZE FRAME

FIRST BREAK

ACT ONE

FADE IN:

12. INT. ANGLE ON CORRIDOR – DAY

There has been no lapse of time. West is still pinned to the floor by two of the men while Otto looms up over him, the knife poised. West twists and squirms frantically, giving Otto no chance for a clear blow. Suddenly West lashes out with both feed, slamming his heels into Otto’s knees. Otto flies backwards against the wall of the corridor, momentarily stunned. The two holding West are fleetingly distracted, giving West an opportunity to fling them clear and to roll to his feet. Rising, he chops one man down with a side-of-of the-hand blow and whirls to face the other who is lunging at him with a knife. West dances in front of the men for a moment and then, as the man dives forward to impale him, West grabs his knife arm, spins and sends the man flying with a hip-throw. West is turning to face the three men who are picking themselves up and turning to attack him again, when from o.s. we hear the piercing SCREAMS OF A WOMAN. The men glance o.s. quickly and then at each other in some consternation. Otto gestures quickly toward the end of the corridor. Quickly, but in good order, the three men turn and hurry off. West takes a step or two after them, then glances o.s. himself.

13. ANGLE ON LOLA BRACER, POV

LOLA BRACER, in her early twenties, blonde and thoroughly attractive, is standing in the partially opened door of her room. wee see on the door the numerals “406.”

14. ANOTHER ANGLE

As West crosses to her.

WEST
Miss Bracer -- ?

Lola nods, a trifle uncertainly, still upset after witnessing the fight.

WEST
(continuing)
I’m James West.
(beat; smile)
First time in my life it was a pleasure to hear a woman’s scream.

Lola smiles, her uncertainty gone. She gestures for him to enter the room.

DISSOLVE TO:

15. INT. HOTEL ROOM – CLOSE ON LETTER – RIGHT

The letter is in West’s hands. CAMERA DOLLIES BACK as West thoughtfully finishes the letter.

16. ANOTHER ANGLE

TO INCLUDE Lola Bracer who takes the letter as West hands it back to her.

LOLA
I ask you, Mr. West – is that the letter of a man trying to break his engagement.

WEST
(of the letter – an excerpt)
The elite class will rule… a world for the strong only… no place for the weak… the government is decadent… we shall form our own empire…
(beat)
I must say some of your fiancée’s political sentiments are peculiar.

West crosses to a small table, picks up an envelope and looks at it.

WEST (CONT’D)
From Mars, Nevada.

LOLA
I can’t find it on the map.

WEST
If this postmark’s genuine, we can locate it.
(beat)
How did Jack Talbot get involved with this General Grimm?

LOLA
Then – you believe me –

WEST
Those three gentlemen in the hall a few minutes ago were a very convincing argument in your favor.
(beat; nods)
Yes – I believe you.

16. CONTINUED

LOLA
Jack met this man who calls himself General Grimm about four months ago. He wouldn’t talk much about it but when he did he was excited, almost feverish. Once, I recall, he said that this Grimm was recruiting men who had the same ideas, the same purpose from all over the country.
(beat)
And then – he just disappeared. And except for that letter, I haven’t heard from him since.

WEST
I’ll do what I can, Miss Bracer.

LOLA
Please… find him! He’s either gone mad or is in the hands of madmen. I’m terrified for his safety.

WEST
If half the things in that letter are true – I’m even more concerned for the safety of the United States.

DISSOLVE TO:

17. EXT. WEST’S TRAIN – DAY (STOCK)

As it slows along the tracks… stops.

17A. INT. WEST’S TRAIN – DAY

West, dressed in western clothes, turns from peering out of one of the windows as the TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWS o.s. He pulls down a gun-rack, peruses it, makes his selection, holsters the gun, strapped behind his saddle as ARTEMUS GORDON enters. Artemus keeps tossing a leather pouch.

17A. CONTINUED

ARTEMUS
(a wave towards window)
Mars, Nevada, James… I have your horse waiting without…

West goes to window, peers out.

17B. POV THROUGH WINDOW

A SIGN:

It reads: MARS, NEVADA. Nothing is in sight anywhere.

WEST
That is Mars?

18. SCENE

ARTEMUS
Friendly little place, isn’t it? Rattlesnakes, gila monsters… sand, cactus… sun… Just the place for a honeymoon.

WEST
There’s no such girl.

Now turning to Artemus

WEST
The map shows the place about eight miles due north. There’s a siding up the line about six miles. Pull off there. I’ll get word to you somehow.

ARTEMUS
And if you don’t…?

WEST
You ought to do something about this gloomy outlook of yours.

ARTEMUS
Just being selfish. After a certain point, sitting on a siding loses its charm, and I might want to go up to San Francisco or Chicago or….

West slings his saddle bags over his shoulders and turns to leave.

WEST
Try reading a good book.

ARTEMUS
Oh, Jim…

West turns, Artemus tosses him the leather pouch.

ARTEMUS (CONT’D)
Without wine, women or song, where you’re going… you might want a smoke. A little tobacco I blended specially for you.

West nods his thanks, tucks pouch away, exits… while Artemus gloomily reaches for a book.

19 THRU 24 OMITTED

DISSOLVE:

25. EXT. COMPOUND AREA – DAY

FEATURING the Tank of water. TWO TROOPERS are there, flanking GENERAL GRIMM. This latter is powerfully built, flamboyantly uniformed. The Troopers carry rifles and wear odd uniforms. One of them is a girl, Jenny, a magnificent creature. The General pauses beside the tank… and now we feature JACK TALBOT, bearded, sweat-soaked, near collapse. The bright light makes him shut his eyes. Jenny momentarily reveals shock and dismay at his condition. We see that Talbot is roped (caution here: not brutally roped) to a crane with a windlass affixed to a large hook.

GRIMM
The rule, Private – what’s the rule?

TALBOT
Secrecy. Absolute – secrecy.

GRIMM
You’re learning, Talbot.

Rev. 10/20/65

25. CONTINUED

Grimm gives a thumbs-up gesture and the Trooper bends to the windlass. Jenny stands watching, trying to conceal her compassion. In very short order, Talbot is hanging by his arms, suspected in front of Grimm. Grimm gestures to the Trooper, who swings the arm of the crane to suspend Talbot over the tank of water, presumably the compound’s main supply. Grimm regards the arrangement for a moment judiciously and then gives a thumbs-down gesture. The trooper releases the pawls of the windlass and Talbot splashes into the tank of water.

26 & 27 OMIT

28. ANGLE ON THE TANK

Talbot, in his weakened condition, cannot struggle and simply vanishes beneath the surface. All we see is the rope.

Rev. 10/15/65

29. ANOTHER ANGLE

As the General waits in great calm during what seems like an interminable interval.

30. ANGLE ON Jenny

She is braced at attention but cannot restrain herself from biting her lips in her anxiety over Talbot.

31. ANOTHER ANGLE

GRIMM
Bring him up

The Trooper turns the windlass and Talbot is partially raised from the water.

GRIMM
I ask you again, Private Talbot – the names of the other to whom you wrote.

TALBOT
No one! Only her!

GRIMM
Down!

The Trooper trips the pawl, and Talbot again disappears under the water. With great composure, Grimm contemplates the toes of his boots, stamps a real or fancied fleck of dust from them.

GRIMM
(beat)
Bring him up.

Again the Trooper raises Talbot’s head above the surface.

GRIMM
The names of the others, Talbot.

TALBOT
She was the only one.

GRIMM
This time, I shall leave you under for twenty minutes. Death to all enemies of the cause!
(beat)
The truth, Talbot!

TALBOT
I only wrote one letter, General.

31. CONTINUED

Grimm begins to chuckle softly.

GRIMM
I believe you. And that’s all I wanted to hear.

Jenny, the ordeal over, closes her eyes, breathes a sigh of relief.

GRIMM
I’m going to make an example of you.
(beat)
For violating the rule of secrecy – one week on the hot-box!

Jenny’s relief vanishes. She gasps in shock and horror. The Trooper raises Talbot clear of the tank, swings him over the hot-box, prepares to drop him back into it again.

DISSOLVE TO:

32. EXT. MAIN GATE – DAY

As West rides INTO THE SHOT, reins in. He glances with some curiosity at the gate.

33. CLOSER ANGLE – WEST’S POV

The sign over the gate reads: “Mars Military Academy.” SENTRY, rifle at port, addresses West in a thoroughly no-nonsense tone of voice. The Sentry is thin, reedy, wears glasses and is in an odd uniform.

SENTRY
Dismount.

34. ANOTHER ANGLE

As West complies.

SENTRY
State your business, mister.

WEST
Can I join up?

SENTRY
That depends on who you are.

West is equal to the cold hostility.

Rev. 10/20/65

34. CONTINUED

WEST
But being only a sentry, you don’t decide that, do you?

SENTRY
I didn’t like that, mister. We’re all equal here. Not like out there where you’re dirt to some men. It’s why I enlisted.

West shrugs, then feigns an apologetic, friendly manner.

WEST
Look—I’d like to belong. If they let me, you and I’ll be on the same side, so why get off on the wrong foot, friend?

The Sentry is suspicious, but finally decides.

SENTRY
Main building straight ahead – ask for Sergeant Musk.

WEST
(starting in)
Thanks.

SENTRY
The main building…
(when West turns)
… and no place else. One step to either side and I’ll shoot you in the back of your head.

West begins walking, leading his horse.

35. ANGLE ON BUILDING – WEST’S POV

As he walks, taking in the cannon, the stacked rifles, the highly military, well-armed atmosphere of the place.

36. ANGLE ON WEST

As he walks, now faintly alarmed at what he is getting into.

37. ANOTHER ANGLE

As West crosses to the main building. He ties off his horse at the hitch-rail, starts to enter the building.

DISSOLVE TO:

38. INT. OFFICE – DAY

CLOSE ON SERGEANT MUSK, seated behind her desk. Musk is 25, powerful and gorgeous. She toys nervously with a riding crop. Her strange uniform is 50 years ahead of its time.

MUSK
Knowing Jack Talbot isn’t a point in your favor, mister.

CAMERA PULLS BACK, REVEALING West standing in front of her desk. He expresses momentary puzzlement and she holds up a sheet of paper.

MUSK
Our agent telegraphed us about you.
(beat)
We made a mistake with Talbot.

WEST
Mistake -- ?

MUSK
He’s weak and unreliable.

WEST
I don’t want to start off our relationship by arguing with you, my dear, but –

MUSK
(cutting in)
You will address me as “Sergeant Musk”!

WEST
AS long as I’m still a civilian – I’d a lot rather think of you as a woman than a superior officer.

MUSK
While I am on duty, you will not look on me as a woman, Mr. West.

WEST
(beat; regretful)
I’ll fight the impulse.
(beat)
Jack Talbot is my friend. And I would hardly call him unreliable.

Sgt. Musk rises and gestures to West to accompany her to the window. She points out through the o.s.

39. EXT. ANGLE OF MILITARY CEMETERY – POV – DAY

There are about two dozen crosses in a secluded area.

MUSK
Take a good look.

WEST
Who are they?

40. ANGLE ON WEST AND MUSK

MUSK
Men – like you – who said they wanted to belong.
(beat)
They failed.

WEST
Easier to get in than out. I see.

MUSK
So what is your reason for wanting to get in?

WEST
Join up? I like causes, good causes, strong ones. No room left in the world for the weak ones.

MUSK
The weak ones don’t survive here, civilian. And there is equality for women.

WEST
What I said. Only the strong can rule.

MUSK
You’d better believe that, civilian… for the next thousand years…
(a beat)
We’ll requisition your horse… and I’ll take your gun. Pick up a uniform and equipment from the Quartermaster and report to B barracks.

WEST
Thanks for accepting me – Sergeant.

MUSK
(mirthlessly)
You’re not accepted, you’re just –
(a beat)
in.

41. INT. BARRACKS – CLOSE ON WEST’S UNIFORM – NIGHT

CAMERA PULLS BACK as he buttons it up. It’s gaudiness makes him ill-at-ease. He looks around.

42. ANOTHER ANGLE – POV

The OTHER TROOPERS are seated on their bunks and to a man they are reading a small pamphlet. Like the Sentry at the gate, they do not necessarily seem like military types. All at once a voice is in West’s ear.

TROOPER (o.s.)
So you’re the new fish.

West turns.

43. ANOTHER ANGLE

The Trooper facing West is the one who had helped question Talbot. West nods amiably and indicates the other Troopers.

WEST
Seems I’ve joined a scholarly bunch –

TROOPER
The Blue Manual, fish.

WEST
What’s that?

TROOPER
You’ll find out when they decide to give you one.

SENTRY’S VOICE (o.s.)
Ten-shun!

44. WIDER ANGLE
As West, the Trooper and everyone in the room, snap to attention on the entrance of Sgt. Musk and Jenny.

MUSK
As you were.

Everyone relaxes.

MUSK
(beat)
This is Private West. He’s a friend of Jack Talbot’s.

44. CONTINUED

There is a deliberate, baiting quality to her voice and her statement. The other Troopers look toward West with speculative anticipation.

WEST
That’s right.
(a beat)
I’ve had an eye out for Jack. Where is he?

A beat. There is a blank silence.

WEST
I forgot. Secrecy.

MUSK
Our greatest weapon.

TROOPER
Talbot forgot. He’s a weakling. No room here for his kind.

The Trooper has moved close to West, his manner deliberately provocative.

TROOPER
(beat)
A yellow-bellied unreliable scum.

West understands, turns to Sgt. Musk.

WEST
Like that, huh?

MUSK
This is a fighting outfit, Private.

TROOPER
(deliberate)
Talbot was a lousy, no-good traitor—

West karate-chops the Trooper to the floor but is himself knocked down by the Sentry.

45. WIDER ANGLE

As if this has been rehearsed, the other troopers close their manuals and watch. Musk does not move to intervene; Jenny watches West with interest.

Rev. 10/15/65

46. VARIOUS ANGLES ON THE FIGHT

West is just rising when the Trooper lunges toward him. Seizing wrists and elbow, West falls backward and the Trooper sails over his head. The Sentry is back to the attack, this time swinging a rifle he has picked up. West ducks the blow and drives a judo-jab to the stomach, removing the Sentry from the fight. The Trooper has recovered and comes at West with a knife. West picks up a canvas cot in time to take the lunge. The Trooper’s whole arm goes through the cot after the knife and while he is thus entangled, West knocks him cold. West turns to the rest of the room.

WEST
Anybody else?

Sergeant Musk steps forward.

MUSK
Not bad. Not bad at all.
(up)
Get his place straightened; Mess call’s in ten minutes.
(to West)
Taps is twenty-one hundred. Anybody outside barracks after that is shot.

She turns to leave. Jenny, turning to follow, pauses to look back briefly at West.

DISSOLVE TO:

47. EXT. COMPOUND – DAY

West steps out of one of the buildings, apparently having just eaten. He tucks a knife and fork into his belt and swings his mess-tin, which is dripping water, to dry it. Several other Troopers, also having finished their meal, pass him. Jenny, also carrying a mess-tin, pauses beside him.

48. CLOSER ANGLE

JENNY
(sotto)
Are you really a friend of Jack’s?

WEST
(normal)
Yes. I am.

JENNY
(sotto)
Keep your voice down!
(beat)
You’ve got to help him!

West nods.

JENNY
He’s in the hot-box –

She gestures with her head. West looks in that direction.

49. ANGLE ON HOT-BOX – POV

50. ANGLE ON WEST AND JENNY

JENNY
(sotto)
He’s already been there two days! He’ll die if you don’t get him out!

WEST
(sotto)
I’ll do what I can.

JENNY
(sotto)
Please -- !

Without glancing further at him, she walks away.

CUT TO:

51. INT. GRIMM’S QUARTER’S – NIGHT

Grimm is seated at his desk. An overcoated figure, back TO CAMERA, stands examining a map on one wall. Sergeant Musk enters, marches to the desk at attention. She executes the academy salute: arm straight out, her hand a fist, arm brought back to strike over the heart, straight again, then down. Grimm returns the salute in more perfunctory fashion.

GRIMM
State your business, Sergeant.

MUSK
Sir – I wish to report that I am most favorably impressed with the new man.

Rev. 10/21/65

GRIMM
Good-good.
(beat)
At the moment, we have a more pressing problem.
(beat)
Talbot’s letter was delivered to Miss Lola Bracer in Room 406 of the Mission Hotel in San Francisco. She has an uncle – Senator Rawls, Chairman of the Senate Military Affairs Committee. Through Rawls, the girl contacted a member of the Secret Service.

Musk is impressed by the gravity of the news.

MUSK
Do we know who that might be, General?

GRIMM
Unfortunately, we don’t as yet.

The figure at the map turns for the first time. It is Otto, one of the three men who attacked West in the hotel.

ANGLE ON OTTO

OTTO

As I told you, General – I aw him once.
(beat)
But his face…I’ll never forget his face.

FREEZE FRAME

END OF ACT ONE


James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: "Thanks Artie"! Is that all you can say to me? I've just come back from the grave, risen like Lazarus, and that's what you say? "Thanks, Artie"?
James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: It's a pleasure.
- TNOT Pistoleros

California gal
SS senior field agent

USA
8376 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2009 :  09:15:29  Show Profile


Rev. 10/20/65

ACT TWO

53-65. OMITTED

FADE IN:

66. EXT. ANGLE ON THE HOT-BOX – DAY

Fully exposed to the broiling sun.

67. ANGLE ON WEST

His head is turned. He is looking at the hot-box.

MUSK’S VOICE (o.s.)
Next!

West turns away from his contemplation of the hot-box, his brow furrowed in thought.

MUST’S VOICE (o.s.) (CONT’D)
I said next!

West realizes he means him.

68. ANGLE ON TRAINING AREA

West steps forward from the group of Troopers in which he had been standing. The Sentry who first stopped West stands a few feet away from the group, pretending to be on watch as West comes up behind him. West’s arm encircles his throat and with a judo-throw the Sentry flips him over and West lands heavily on his back.

SGT. MUSK
Good—good. Keep it moving—next!

The Sentry now moves off to join the others who have had their turn, and West assumes the watch position. The 1st Trooper steals up behind him and West uses the same judo-throw to dispatch him.

SGT. MUSK (CONT’D)
Pretty good for the first try. You catch on quick, Private.

68. CONTINUED

West nods and relinquishes the rifle to the ominously angry 1st Trooper. GO WITH West as he joins the Sentry.

WEST
Hope the way you bounced me makes up for last night.

SGT MUSK (o.s.)
Harder! Hit him harder!

SENTRY
Forget it. We’re fighting for the same cause.

West nods, pretending to understand, then steels somewhat as he looks o.s.

69. ANGLE ON OTTO – POV

He steps out of one of the buildings, pauses outside to watch the drilling activities. His manner is casual; his curiosity idle. But nonetheless, he is looking in West’s direction.

70. ANGLE ON WEST

As he REACTS to the knowledge that Otto can recognize him.

71. WIDER ANGLE

As West moves to put the Sentry between himself and Otto, West, to justify his movement, points o.s.

WEST
Some outfit there.

72. PLATOON OF MALE AND FEMALE TROOPERS AT BAYONET DRILL

In the near-distance, they are lunging at straw-stuffed dummies.

73. ANGLE ON WEST AND SENTRY

SENTRY
In the new society, women will be equal. And those are equal right now – shoot and fight with the best of us.
(beat)
They’ll never know what hit ‘em.

West glances out of the corner of his eyes toward Otto.

74. ANGLE ON OTTO – POV

He is moving TOWARD CAMERA, toward West.

75. ANGLE ON WEST AND SENTRY

As West turns his back toward Otto, desperately tries to keep the conversation going.

WEST
Hope it’s soon.

When the Sentry makes no response, West continues, deliberately trying to keep the Sentry baited… and also camouflage himself from Otto.

WEST (CONT’D)
Yeah – when they wake up in the morning, it’ll be over.

76. ANOTHER ANGLE

TO INCLUDE Otto, who has paused several feet from them. From his POV, all he sees are the backs of West and the Sentry.

SENTRY
(perspective)
Who said it’s going to be at night?

WEST
Why not night? Night gives you the benefit of surprise… attack… or retreat. That’s the way I figure.

77. REVERSE ANGLE

FEATURING West and the Sentry, with Otto in the b.g.

SENTRY
The General does all the figuring here.

Rev. 10/18/65

78. CLOSER ANGLE ON WEST AND SENTRY

EXCLUDING Otto, who presumably remains in the b.g, OFF CAMERA

SENTRY
(continuing)
And if you’re smart, all you’ll say is Yessir and Nosir when you see him at the canteen tonight.

The Sentry turns and gestures o.s. in the direction of the canteen. And also in the direction of Otto. When West, understandably, is reluctant to turn in that direction, the Sentry tugs at his sleeve and West turns.

79. ANOTHER ANGLE – WEST’S POV

Otto has turned away and is moving off. West then looks in the direction the Sentry is pointing.

80. ANGLE ON CANTEEN – POV

It is an old two-story building at some distance, set apart from everything else.

SENTRY
Canteen night’s three times a week.

81. ANGLE ON WEST AND SENTRY.

West is relieved.

SENTRY
When we take over, it’ll be every night.
(beat; grin)
Every day, too. The others’ll do the work. Nobody pushes us around… nobody.

MUSK’S VOICE (o.s.)
Detail! Diss-miss!

West nods to the Sentry, moves off.

82. ANOTHER ANGLE

As West spies Jenny moving obliquely toward him and starts over to intercept her. She is carrying a bayoneted rifle, having presumably been taking part in the bayonet drill.

Rev. 10/21/65

83. CLOSER ANGLE

As West stops Jenny. We have the impression of uniformed Troopers – male and female – moving past and around them.

WEST
(sotto)
If I’m to stand any kind of chance of rescuing Jack Talbot, you’ve got to help me.

Jenny involuntarily glances toward the o.s. hotbox.

84. ANGLE ON HOT-BOX – POV

85. ANGLE ON WEST AND JENNY

JENNY
(nods; sotto)
Anything – I don’t think he can live through another night.

WEST
(sotto)
There’s a man here who’s liable to spot me any minute.
(beat)
I have a friend just a short distance away. I have to get a message to him somehow –

MUSK’S VOICE
Break it up -- !

86. WIDER ANGLE

TO INCLUDE Sergeant Musk as she passes, gestures peremptorily to them.

MUSK
You’re both on duty.

As West and Jenny begin to move apart –

JENNY
(whisper)
There isn’t any way.

DISSOLVE TO:

86A. INT. WEST’S TRAIN – DAY

CAMERA on a CAVALRY OFFICER, alone in the car, prowling slowly, his eyes taking things in. Now, at a table, he slows… moves to the table. On it are a pair of pistols mounted on a small pedestal. Collector’s item? Interesting. The Officer reaches down to touch the pistols, but before he can – from behind him:

ARTEMUS’ VOICE
Uh-uh. Mustn’t touch…

Officer’s hands freeze.

86B. FULLER

Officer, his back to Artemus, who stands there, his pistol leveled at the officer.

ARTEMUS
… hands off… and now hands up…

Officer raises hands.

ARTEMUS (CONT’D)
Slowly… and straight up, if you will, please?

Officer’s hands raise straight up slowly.

ARTEMUS (CONT’D)
Very good. Now you will please turn around… slowly?

Officer does. And Artemus sees him full face now, and floods with recognition.

ARTEMUS
Sandy O’Brien! You musty old Cavalry Captain, you! Why didn’t you say something?

O’BRIEN
You never gave me a chance… and I know what a nervous fellow you are with a gun in your hand.

ARTEMUS
(putting gun down)
It’s pretty nervous times around here.

O’BRIEN
It’s why I rode out. The Post has orders to deliver a patrol to you any time you want.

86B. CONTINUED

ARTEMUS
(worried)
Not yet. I haven’t heard from Jim. We go riding in to Grimm’s place at the wrong time, it could really be bad. I don't know what kind of a spot Jim is in.

O’BRIEN
So what do you do?

A beat; Artemus stares back… picks up a book.

ARTEMUS
(ruefully; West’s words)
Try reading a good book.

Of course O’Brien doesn’t get it, and we –

DISSOLVE:

87 THRU 91 OMIT

92. INT. ANGLE ON ARENA – ESTABLISHING – DAY

General Grimm stands in the center of the arena, a large hexagonal area with high walls. Around it, peering over the edge as in an operating room amphitheatre are the assembled troopers of Grimm’s command. The place is a-buzz with CONVERSATION. Grimm’s voice cuts over it.

GRIMM
Attention!

Instantly the place falls silent.

GRIMM (CONT’D)
The day is almost at hand!

The Troopers respond with an enthusiastic ROAR:

ALL
Doomsday will come!

A one-way door in the wall of the arena opens and West enters. He glances about him with some curiosity.

Rev. 10/18/65

92. CONTINUED

GRIMM
Two more scouts will leave the post at midnight tonight! I call for volunteers!

Instantly, West steps forward.

WEST
I volunteer, sir.

GRIMM
Commendable, private – but premature.

West glances up into the gallery, toward Jenny.

93. ANGLE ON JENNY

As, seeing his glance, she understands and jumps to her feet.

JENNY
I volunteer, General.

94. ANOTHER ANGLE
As the Trooper gets to his feet.

TROOPER
And I, sir.

95. ANOTHER ANGLE

GRIMM
Very good. The two of you will report to me immediately after this exercise is concluded for your instructions.
(beat)
And now – Private West –

WEST
Yes, sir.

GRIMM
You are our newest recruit and have not had the benefit of the intensive training and instruction I have given the others. It would be military folly to allow an unqualified man to accompany us. But you will be given an opportunity now to prove whether your natural abilities fit you to join our ranks.
(beat)

MORE

Rev. 10/20/65

95. CONTINUED

GRIMM (CONT’D)
And the rest of you – however long this demonstration continues – examine your own skills – ask yourselves if you are prepared not only in the standard forms of military close combat but –
(beat)
--to expect the unexpected.

With which, Grimm crosses briskly to one of the one-way doors. He claps his hands once. The door opens and he steps through, leaving West alone in the arena.

96. ANGLE ON WEST

As he stands there warily prepared, not sure of what is coming. He hears a SOUND, whirls… but before he can fully turn, he is knocked to the floor by a blow from a weighted seine net.

97. OMITTED

98. ANOTHER ANGLE

As West instinctively rolls away as he hits the floor. Facing him is a burly trooper, armed with a net and a trident, like an old Roman Restarius from the gladiatorial arena. As West gets to his feet, the whip in his hand, the Retarius stalks him. West flicks out with his only weapon – the whip – and finds that it is useless; a swirl of the net diverts the lash.

99. ANGLE ON GENERAL GRIMM

Grimm has by now taken his place in the watching gallery. He watches the fight avidly. As we watch, the General leans forward tensely – eagerly.

100. ANGLE IN THE ARENA



West, in avoiding a feint from the trident, is fairly caught by a cast from the net. He drops the whip to free himself from the meshes. Triumphantly, the Retarius lunges at him with the trident. West manages to dodge it and the trident THUDS into the wall of the arena only inches from West’s head. The Restarius tugs to free it. West has one arm loose and, with a karate chop, breaks the trident off just back of the haft, leaving the Retarius with only a shaft of wood. As the man recoils in surprise, West flips free of the net and cuts him down with two quick blows.

Rev. 10/18/65

101. ANGLE ON GENERAL GRIMM

As he watches with relish.

102. ANGLE ON THE ARENA

Having seen how the game works, West is not surprised to find himself now facing a Trooper carrying a saber who emerges from one of the doors. He catches a flicker of movement out of the corner of his eye and turns to find another Trooper similarly armed, entering from the door. For the moment, West is weaponless. As they converge on him quickly, West runs to the head of the trident still sticking in the wall. He knocks it loose and turns, just in time to avoid a cut from one of the Troopers. West dodges around the man before he can recover and turns to face the second Trooper. West raises the trident in time to take a blow between the tines. At the right instant, he twists the trident – and the saber goes flying. With his left hand, West swiftly back-hands the man to the ground and turns to face the first Trooper. Momentarily off balance, West does the only thing open to him; he throws the trident.

103. CLOSE ANGLE ON THE FLOOR

As the trident sinks into the floor, neatly pinning the Trooper’s booted foot between the tines. West moves to close with him.

104. ANGLE ON GENERAL GRIMM

As he stands up, CLAPS his hands once, peremptorily.

GRIMM
Enough!

105. ANOTHER ANGLE

As West turns, looks up to the General.

GRIMM
Private West – you are accepted.

Again the massed gallery of Troopers ROARS OUT:

ALL
Doomsday will come!

DISSOLVE TO:

106. EXT. ANGLE ON CANTEEN – NIGHT

From within, we hear SOUNDS of raucous, high-spirited entertainment; laughter, music, the THUD of dancing feet, etc. A number of Troopers stream by on their way to enter. West loiters outside. He glances o.s.

Rev. 10/20/65

107. ANGLE ON THE HOT-BOX – POV

It sits, ominous, silent, in the moonlight, a contrast to the sounds of merriment.

108. ANGLE ON THE FRONT OF THE CANTEEN

FEATURING West as General Grimm, flanked by Jenny and the Trooper approach. The Trooper is now in the uniform of a U.S. Cavalryman; Jenny is wearing a dress. West conceals his surprise. Grimm pauses in front of West.

GRIMM
You did unexpectedly well, Private West

WEST
Thank you, sir.

GRIMM
My doctrine is simple. Strategy and tactics are nonsense. All that matters is the superiority of soldier over soldier in close personal combat – aided by surprise –

WEST
An interesting doctrine, sir.

For a moment, the two men face each other. The General laughs – an unnecessary, unnatural laugh.

GRIMM
Perhaps one day, after we have taken over, I’ll have the leisure for a passage of arms with you. You’ll find it instructive.

He turns away. The Trooper follows him as they enter the canteen.

109. ANGLE ON WEST AND JENNY

There is a beat as they watch after the two men.

JENNY
(softly)
I believe he’s quite mad.

West nods. He gestures toward her dress –

WEST
Why the dress? And the cavalry uniform--?

He gestures with his head after the now vanished Trooper.

JENNY
We’re a Cavalry Trooper and his wife. Transferred. We’re to penetrate the Fort at Gold Town, establish ourselves, and wait for the signal.

WEST
What kind of signal?

JENNY
I don't know.

WEST
So when you get the signal, what happens?

JENNY
We set off an explosion at the Fort. Blow up the munitions depot.

WEST
When does it happen?

JENNY
It’s the one thing nobody knows… except the General.

WEST
How many others have gone out already?

JENNY
Perhaps a hundred.

WEST
Do you know where they are?

Jenny shakes her head.

WEST (CONT’D)
There’s a railroad siding about six miles from here –

Jenny nods. She knows the place.

WEST (CONT’D)
Go there if you can.

JENNY
(interpolated)
I’ll try –

WEST
(continuing)
There’s a private car there and a friend of mine, Artemus Gordon. Tell him everything you know.

JENNY
What about the Trooper?

WEST
Artemus will take care of him.

110. WIDER ANGLE

TO INCLUDE the Trooper as he pokes his head out of the canteen door.

TROOPER
C’mon, Jenny! We’re leavin’ in an hour!

Jennuy glances meaningfully off toward the hot-box.

111. ANGLE ON THE HOT-BOX – POV

Rev. 10/18/65

112. ANGLE ON WEST AND JENNY

WEST
I’ll get him out. I promise.

Satisfied, Jenny moves off in the direction of the canteen. West, after a beat, starts down along the front of the canteen. The area is now apparently deserted.

113. CLOSER ANGLE

As West glances about, and apparently satisfied that the coast is clear, takes the first step toward the direction of the hot-box.

MUSK’S VOICE
Private –

West turns.

114. ANOTHER ANGLE

Sergeant Musk steps over to him.

MUSK
You should be in the canteen.

WEST
I didn’t know –

MUSK
You’re supposed to be enjoying yourself.

WEST
Is that an order, Sergeant?

West glances o.s.

115. ANGLE ON OTTO

Approaching TOWARD CAMERA, in the direction of the canteen. His course will carry him very close to Musk and West.

MUSK
Yes – yes it is.

116. ANGLE ON WEST AND MUSK

As West grabs the Sergeant and kisses her. She struggles somewhat and finally West allows her to break an inch or two from him.

117. ANGLE ON WEST AND MUSK – OTTO’S POV

From his vantage, they are simply a couple in close embrace. He regards them with some amusement.

Rev. 10/20/65

118. CLOSER ANGLE ON WEST AND MUSK

MUSK
That’s unmilitary –

WEST
You told me to enjoy myself –

Otto is very close to them. West kisses her again. She resists very little.

MUSK
This is not according to the Blue Manual –

WEST
What’s my punishment… fifty lashes?

She busses him thoroughly. Out of the corner of his eye, West sees that Otto has entered the canteen. Then a couple of Troopers move past, causing West and Musk to disengage. Musk pulls herself together militarily.

MUSK
About that punishment, Private – I’ll discuss it with you later.

WEST
It will be a pleasure… Sergeant.

Musk turns and marches away.

119. ANOTHER ANGLE

As West watches her enter the canteen.

120. ANGLE ON THE COMPOUND AREA – NIGHT

As West turns and slips across the now-deserted compound to the hot-box.

121. CLOSER ANGLE

As West kneels over the hot-box, whispers –

WEST
Talbot? Jack Talbot –

TALBOT’S VOICE
(muffled, weak)
Help me.

West lifts the cover from the hot-box to find Talbot in critical condition.

TALBOT (CONT’D)
Who are you -- ?

WEST
A friend of your fiancée.

TALBOT
Shouldn’t have written her – but I wanted to tell how great – it would be, when we took over –

West is working to help the man out of the hot-box.

WEST
What is Grimm planning? How does he plan to take over?

A fatal mistake – for Talbot looks sharply at him. He might be being tortured, but he is still loyal to The Cause. His words babble into hysteria.

TALBOT
You have no right asking that question! He leads! We follow! His word is final! You ought to know – you’re one of us. Or are you? Maybe he was right – my letter did fall into the wrong hands. The government!

WEST
If you want to get out of there keep your voice down!

TALBOT
He was right! She showed it to you! And you’re not one of us! You’re here to spy! Spy! Traitor! Help!

West jerks erect, trapped in the middle of the compound.

122. HIS POV – BUILDINGS

Lanterns blaze on, silhouettes of Troopers move.

123. CLOSE – WEST

There is no escape.

TALBOT
Spy! Traitor!

FREEZE FRAME:


James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: "Thanks Artie"! Is that all you can say to me? I've just come back from the grave, risen like Lazarus, and that's what you say? "Thanks, Artie"?
James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: It's a pleasure.
- TNOT Pistoleros
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California gal
SS senior field agent

USA
8376 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2009 :  09:16:24  Show Profile



ACT THREE

FACE IN:

124. EXT. COMPOUND AREA – NIGHT

A second has elapsed and there are no more cries from Talbot. The only sound is of approaching feet and in a moment, West is surrounded by Jenny, Grimm and a number of other troopers.

GRIMM
What is the meaning of this, Private?

WEST
I heard groaning, sir. He was crying “spy” and “traitor.” I thought I ought to help him – He must be out of his head, General. He’s delirious.

Jenny has bent to examine Talbot, now straightens.

JENNY
Was.
(beat)
He’s dead, sir.

125. ANGLE ON JENNY

As she lowers her head slightly in grief and sadness.

GRIMM’S VOICE
Get him out of the way, Sergeant.

126. ANOTHER ANGLE

GRIMM
Pick a burial detail in the morning. No ceremony. No honors.

JENNY
Yes, sir.

GRIMM
Henceforth, Private – leave things as you find them.

WEST
Yes, sir.

Grimm turns to the Trooper and Jenny.

GRIMM
This has spoiled the evening’s entertainment. You will leave immediately.

The trooper salutes. He and Jenny turn away. General Grimm pushes his way through the Troopers. On the outskirts of the group, he is intercepted by Otto.

OTTO
General –

The General moves off with Otto. They pause in the shadows of the canteen building.

127. CLOSER ANGLE

OTTO
That’s the man, General. He’s a Secret Service Agent.

GRIMM
(beat)
It would explain a good deal –

OTTO
There’s no question. I said I would never forget his face. That is him.

GRIMM
Let Private West have his head a bit. Meanwhile, whatever we learn about him – who else is working with him and what information they have – will help us a great deal.
(beat)
Presently he will die.

DISSOLVE TO:

Rev. 10/28/65

128. OMIT

129. EXT. WEST’S TRAIN POV (STOCK) – DAY

130. OMIT

131. INT. WEST’S TRAIN – DAY

Artemus is intent on molding some putty into some nondescript shape. Over – sound of approaching horses. Artemus goes to window, peers out intently. He turns in a moment to sound of knock on the door.

JENNY’S VOICE
Mr. Gordon -- !

Artemus crosses and opens the door, admitting Jenny and the Trooper. There is a restrained exchange of AD LIB greetings.

ARTEMUS
I’m afraid you have the advantage of me, Mr. –

JENNY
(quickly)
That’s George. I’m Jenny.
(beat)
We’re quite informal here in the West.

Their eyes meet for a split-second and he understands her emphasis on the word West.

JENNY
Our General’s head of intelligence, Mr. Gordon
(beat)
I have a message for you, Mr. Gordon.

ARTEMUS
Oh, really… from the General?

But with that, Trooper has his gun out and leveled at Artemus in deadly fashion.

TROOPER
But straight from the General.

JENNY
(feigning surprise)
Why George!

TROOPER
You shut it! General Grimm has no head of intelligence. He’s the only one!
(menacingly – to Jenny)
We should have figured about you – you and that dirt Talbot. You don’t fall in love – not with anybody like Talbot – not in General Grimm’s army.
(to Artemus)
Now you – spill out who you are.

ARTEMUS
(brightly)
Oh? It’s easy enough to explain…

Surreptitiously Artemus presses a concealed button on the floor (or table with a finger)

INSERT THIS ACTION

ANGLE ON MOUNTED PISTOLS

We see them slowly swivel to aim directly at Trooper.

FULLER

Trooper isn’t aware of the pistols, too intent on Artemus.

TROOPER
Start explaining.

ARTEMUS
Well… if you just turn your head a little bit to the right… and lower your eyes…
(a beat)
What do you see?

TROOPER
(eyes level with pistols)
Them.

ARTEMUS
Now “them” is loaded with real bullets.

TROOPER
So what?

ARTEMUS
So they are aimed right at you. So I suggest you put your gun down.

Rev. 10/22/65

131. CONTINUED

TROOPER
Big talk. They’re here… you’re standing over there. I pull this trigger once – you never get to those pistols.

ARTEMUS
Brilliant deduction, Trooper. But I don’t have to get from here – to there. Watch.

Artemus presses button again; the pistols aim even more directly at Trooper.

INTERCUT WITH THIS ACTION

SCENE

ARTEMUS
Now just as I aimed them… I can fire them… and if for any reason I take my foot off this button on the floor – such as your shooting me, for instance, those pistols will blast you right out that window.

Trooper contemplates this for a moment – suspiciously – but oh so warily.

ARTEMUS
Now… would you like to take all six… from each pistol… or like a brave man, just put down your gun…

And on the terribly pained expression of indecision on the part of the Trooper –

DISSOLVE

Rev. 10/18/65

131. CONTINUED

TROOPER
And we will!

Not that impressed, Artemus deftly gags him.

JENNY
Jim West is in danger. There’s a man on the post who can recognize him.
(beat)
You’ve got to get him out!

ARTEMUS
And – hopefully – myself, too.

DISSOLVE TO:

132. INT. CANTEEN – CLOSE – HUNTING-KNIFE – NIGHT

Using a wicked hunting knife to scratch the ebb and flow of a famous battle, General Grimm has collared West at a long wooden table. CAMERA BACK Everyone is dressed in U.S. Cavalry uniforms, and the CELEBRATING is as before with MUSIC and dancing.

GENERAL GRIMM
… and when their right flank was turned, all he had to do was drive into their center to split them in two.

WEST
He took quite a risk, General.

Cloris serves the General another beer.

GENERAL GRIMM
“Risk,” you said. Ridiculous!
(a pause)
When your individual soldier is superior to the enemies’ individual soldier, the outcome is a foregone conclusion.

WEST
I should like to submit, sir, that there is much to be said for the conventional tactics and strategy—


GENERAL GRIMM
Individual close combat—aided by subterfuge. That is the peg.

West opens his mouth to speak when there is a sudden o.s. COMMOTION, and the MUSIC AND CELEBRATING STOP. West and General Grimm stare o.s. toward the door.

Rev. 10/22/65 a repeat with slight revision of the previous page dated 10/18

132. INT. CANTEEN – CLOSE – HUNTING-KNIFE – NIGHT

Using a wicked hunting knife to scratch the ebb and flow of a famous battle, General Grimm has collared West at a long wooden table. CAMERA BACK Everyone is dressed in U.S. Cavalry uniforms, and the CELEBRATING is as before with MUSIC and dancing.

GENERAL GRIMM
… and when their right flank was turned, all he had to do was drive into their center to split them in two.

WEST
He took quite a risk, General.

Cloris serves the General another beer.

GENERAL GRIMM
“Risk,” you said. Ridiculous!
(a pause)
When your individual soldier is superior to the enemies’ individual soldier, the outcome is a foregone conclusion.

WEST
I should like to submit, sir, that there is much to be said for the conventional tactics and strategy—


GENERAL GRIMM
Individual close combat—aided by subterfuge. That is the peg.

West opens his mouth to speak when there is a sudden o.s. COMMOTION, and the MUSIC AND CELEBRATING STOP. West and General Grimm stare o.s. toward the door.

Rev. 10/18/65

133. THEIR POV – ARTEMUS & SENTRIES

Roughly they thrust Artemus into the room; one holds a revolver taken from this bizarre strange. Bizarre is right for Artemus is wearing an incredibly flashy uniform culled from apparel in the railroad car. He appears to be a high-ranking officer of another mad army; his eyes are paranoid and unafraid.

SENTRY
Rode right up to the main gate, General – demanded to see you.

GO WITH Artemus as he strides boldly forward to confront General Grimm, who eyes his suspiciously. And Artemus delivers his salute—which makes us think of a football referee signaling a combination of penalties. General Grimm is for once nonplussed. Artemus, of course, acts as though West does not exist.

ARTEMUS
Colonel Cross at your service.

The General rises slowly, ominously.

GENERAL GRIMM
And just who is “Colonel Cross”?

ARTEMUS
A soldier for the truth, but without a leader.

General Grimm looks at him stonily. Seeing that Artemus is improvising, West gives him a leading question.

WEST
You’re from an organization like this?

“Colonel Cross” sneers at this Private’s intrusion.

ARTEMUS
Correct, Private.
(to General Grimm)
We were “The Patriots” – General D. M. Wilson commanding – operating out of the Black Hills.

GENERAL GRIMM
What happened?

ARTEMUS
Indians. Only two of us escaped, and the other fella left me in Kansas.
(a pause)
I met a cavalryman and his wife this afternoon…
(slyly)
When they saw my uniform they asked the same questions you’ve asked—and finally told me to come here.

GENERAL GRIMM
So you want to join us.
(a pause)
I have never heard of Colonel Cross.

ARTEMUS
Isn’t secrecy our greatest advantage?

GRIMM
(testing)
What is the creed of the Patriots?

Artemus is ready; Jenny has coached him.

ARTEMUS
To keep our great nation pure. To see that power always belongs to the right kind of people.
(pause)
And unquestioning courage and obedience.

General Grimm weighs his decision—and then has an idea. With a mirthless grin he turns to West.

GENERAL GRIMM
We were talking about bold thinking and bravery, weren’t we, Private?
(when West nods)
On your feet.

West obeys. The general motions for Artemus’ revolver to be given to West. He then hands Artemus the hunting knife and motions him to stand with his back to a wall.

GRIMM
Very good, Colonel. Let’s find out how much of it you really believe.
(beat)
Give this man your revolver.

He gestures toward West. Artemus unhestitatingly gives West the revolver.

GRIMM (CONT’D)
(continuing)
Against that wall, you will find an axe. Colonel, at ten paces, you will hold that axe in front of your face, the blade outward and vertical. Private West – you will fire one shot. If it hits the blade properly, the bullet will be split and pass on either side of the colonel’s head.
(beat)
Wait for my command.

There is a moment’s activity as Artemus crosses to take the axe and, according to instructions, stands near the wall, the blade in front of his face, edge outward.

134. WEST’S POV – ARTEMUS

The edge of the axe is almost invisible.

GENERAL GRIMM (o.s.)
Fire!

The BULLET CLANGS against the blade and two small holes appear on both sides of Artemus's head.

135. GROUP – FEATURING WEST AND ARTEMUS

The trooper CHEER and West shrugs as if he does this ten times a day. Artemus coolly puts down the gouged axe.

GENERAL GRIMM
We drink to Colonel Grimm.

Immediately the UPROAR and MUSIC resume. General Grimm plunges into the melee roaring:

GENERAL GRIMM (CONT’D)
Victory! Victory in our grasp!

Aware that Sgt. Musk is watching him, West strides to Artemus and offers his hand—but as they shake he says under his breath:

WEST
Out back in two minutes.

Rev. 10/20/65

135. CONTINUED

ARTEMUS
(for show)
Nothing to it, Private. Glad you’re a fair shot.

CAMERA PANS as West passes Musk, who largely ignores him. Her eye is on Artemus as she shrugs herself into a better working relationship with her uniform. Then she plunges directlyh for him. CAMERA PANS with her as West drifts off through the crowd.

136. ANGLE ON ARTEMUS AND MUSK AND CLORIS

MUSK
Colonel—that was one of the bravest, coolest things I have ever seen –

ARTEMUS
That’s very kind of you, Sergeant.

CLORIS
I think such bravery should be rewarded, don’t you, Sergeant?

She kisses him warmly.

CLORIS (CONT’D)
I’ve never kissed a Colonel before.

ARTEMUS
I’ve never kissed a soldier.

CLORIS
You’re not going to let rank stand in your way –

ARTEMUS
I’m afraid I must.
(beat)
Ten-shun!

Automatically, Cloris braces. Artemus walks off into the crowd.

Rev. 10/22/65

ARTEMUS
Jim! Jim!

WEST
Over here!

Shortly Artemus joins him. Their words are whispered and urgent.

WEST (CONT’D)
“The Patriots.” How’d you think that up?

ARTEMUS
What’d you want me to say… “The Traitors”?

WEST
We know the General’s infiltrating Army posts – using forged orders for a “replacement and his wife.” We’ve got to find out which ones – and when they’re going to hit. He’s plotting to disarm and overthrow the entire United States Army in the southwest!

West starts off, Artemus following.

138. INT. GRIMM’S QUARTERS – CLOSE – DOOR - NIGHT

The lock is expertly picked, and in the moonlight West and Artemus enter stealthily and close the door. GO WITH THEM as they move toward the desk. They reach the desk. West finds it locked, and Artemus is ready in an instant to pick the lock. West opens the center drawer. He reaches into the center draw and brings out a few papers which they study by moonlight.

WEST
Forged orders, all right.

ARTEMUS
There’s one for the arsenal at Colterville, the remount depot at Harley –

Rev. 10/20/65

138. CONTINUED

West suddenly becomes deeply absorbed in one of the papers, is about to show it to Artemus, when:

LANTERNS SUDDENLY ILLUMINATE THE ROOM, and they whirl as:

GENERAL GRIMM (O.S.)
That’s enough, Mr. West.

139. THEIR POV – GENERAL GRIMM

He holds a lantern—and a revolver.

GENERAL GRIMM
I’ve known for some time who you are.
(beat)
And this, of course, is one of your colleagues.

West’s command to Artemus and their actions are nearly simultaneous.

WEST
Go!

West dives at Grimm, giving Artemus the chance to crash through the window and outside. General Grimm runs to the windows and EMPTIES HIS GUN in the air, shouting:

GENERAL GRIMM
Sound the alarm!

140. OMITTED

141. OMITTED

Rev. 10/18/65

142. INT. GRIMM’S QUARTERS – GROUP – TROOPERS – NIGHT

The men and women push into the room; West trapped from any escape.

GENERAL GRIMM
Here he is—a spy!

TROOPERS
(simultaneously)
A spy?

GENERAL GRIMM
Send a patrol out after Cross!

MUSK
(entering)
We did, sir… he got away.

Now Musk stares crushed, hurt, at West.

MUSK
(intensely)
You had me believing you… that you were really one of us. But you lied. And that hurts more than the truth.

GENERAL GRIMM
Private West – you will be executed at dawn by a firing squad –

FREEZE FRAME

END OF ACT THREE



James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: "Thanks Artie"! Is that all you can say to me? I've just come back from the grave, risen like Lazarus, and that's what you say? "Thanks, Artie"?
James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: It's a pleasure.
- TNOT Pistoleros
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California gal
SS senior field agent

USA
8376 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2009 :  09:17:12  Show Profile








Rev. 10/20/65

ACT FOUR

FADE IN:

143. EXT. ANGLE ON DRUM – DAY

as the drummer gives a ROLL.

144. WIDER ANGLE

REVEALING the DRUMMER standing in the compound area has he begins the slow, measured BEATS of the slow march. CAMERA PULLS BACK, revealing the entire command of the compound, male and female, drawn up in ranks as spectators. In the b.g., West has just been escorted out of a doorway of a building, presumably the place he was held overnight, by an armed guard, led by Sgt. Musk. Slowly, in time to the drum, the group moves TOWARD CAMERA. When West is in a MEDIUM CLOSE SHOT, the CAMERA PULLS BACK again, revealing a stout post sunk into the middle of the compound. He is taken to the post. The drum STOPS.

GRIMM
(to Musk)
Read the charges.

146. ANGLE ON MUSK AND WEST

As she produces a document, opens it, and begins to read.

MUSK
(reading)
Private James West, you have been accused of the crime of espionage. The finding of the court is – guilty. The sentence of the court is – death before the firing squad.

All quite military, she re-folds the paper.

GRIMM
Proceed.

Musk salutes the General; he returns it and steps back. As Musk prepares to bring the firing-party into position:

WEST
Sergeant – am I allowed a last request?

MUSK
Perhaps. If it’s reasonable and quick.

WEST
Well – that rules out several I had in mind.
(beat)
A smoke, perhaps?

rev. 10/18/65

MUSK
Frivolous.

WEST
From my little acquaintance with firing-squads, I understand a last smoke is almost traditional.

MUSK
Very well.

West makes no sudden movement. He takes a sack from his breast pocket and begins to roll a cigarette.

MUSK (CONT’D)
(approving)
At least, your hands are steady.

147. INSERT CU – TOBACCO SACK

It has a short fuse.

148. ANGLE ON THE GROUP

FEATURING West. The cigarette is ready; he puts it into his mouth. He pats his pockets, turns to Musk.

WEST
Match?

She produces one, gives it to him. With considerable insouciance, West turns, strikes it on the post. In the act of lighting the cigarette, he also touches the match to the fuse in the tobacco sack and instantly tosses it in the direction of the firing-squad.

149. ANOTHER ANGLE

As the sack EXPLODES, releasing a tremendous amount of blinding smoke. For an instant, there is PANDEMONIUM.

150. ANOTHER ANGLE

As the smoke clears. There is not a sign of West.

GRIMM
Seal the gates!
(to Musk)
Post a detail on the walls!
(beat)
The rest of you – search every building – every inch of the area! He can’t get away!

As the troopers move to comply with his orders:

CUT TO:

151. ANGLE ON ROOF

West is lying flat, pressed against the roof. In the b.g. we hear the SOUNDS of the search.

152. WIDE ANGLE ON THE COMPOUND

As the search progresses. By twos and threes, Troopers are running swiftly around the compound; darting into buildings, poking into wagons, boxes, whatever hiding places might be available.

153. ANOTHER ANGLE ON WEST

SHOWING West in the b.g., at the TOP OF THE SHOT, still on the roof and in the f.g., a pair of Troopers hustling along right underneath him to enter the building on which he is hiding.

154. CLOSER ANGLE ON WEST

As he listens to the SOUNDS of the search inside; the SLAMMING OF DOORS, MUFFLED VOICES, FOOTSTEPS, ETC.

155. ANGLE ON GENERAL GRIMM

Standing in the center of the compound, pistol in hand, directing the search.

GRIMM
The roofs! Examine the roofs!

156. ANGLE ON A PAIR OF TROOPERS

As they move off to comply with the latest order. CAMERA PANS as they move along the front of the building, eyes up, looking o.s. along the room.

157. PANNING SHOT OF ROOF

The very roof on which West is presumably hiding. CAMERA PANS the roof – and passes the very spot where West had been.

158. ANGLE ON THE PAIR OF TROOPERS

As they continue their scanning of the roof-tops.

159. ANGLE ON WEST

He has been lying flat, stretched at full length down the opposite side of the roof, holding onto the ridge with his fingers. Now, he carefully pulls himself to a crouching position – and keeping below the ridge-line, makes his way along the roof.

160. ANOTHER ANGLE

As West comes to the edge of the building.

161. UP ANGLE

As West leaps from one building to the other.

162. ANOTHER ANGLE

As West lands on the roof of the second building. He does it as gently as possible, but nonetheless makes a NOISE. West begins to make his way along this roof.

163. INT. BUILDING – DAY

FEATURING TWO TROOPERS. One of them, looking up at the ceiling, gestures to the other, who has been searching the rooms. Both Troopers listen.

164. ANGLE ON CEILING

Very faintly, we hear the SOUNDS of West working his way along the roof. With a grin, one of the Troopers unlimbers his gun. With it poised, he walks along a few feet, tracking West’s movements by the very faint SOUNDS from overhead. And then, quite deliberately, the Trooper FIRES.

165. ANGLE ON WEST

As the shot TEARS through the roof right in front of him. Instantly West simply rolls toward the edge of the roof. From inside the building, muffled, we hear the o.s. CRIES of the Trooper.

TROOPER
Here he is! Here he is!

166. ANGLE ON SIDE OF BUILDING

As West drops to the ground. He glances about a moment, then takes off running.

167. ANGLE ON GRIMM

GRIMM
Over there! After him!

168. WIDE ANGLE ON COMPOUND

As the Troopers leave off their individual searches and begin converging on the building and the general area where West had been seen.

169. ANGLE ON BUILDING

As West sprints for it. He slams open the door, dashes inside.

170. INT. BUILDING – DAY

West slams the door shut behind him. From outside, we hear the HUE and CRY of the converging chase. The interior of the building is dark. Carefully, West begins to move throughout. CAMERA PANS him. After a few moments, West stops abruptly, listening. There is no sound. For some reason, the chase has stopped or become silent. West continues his cautious movement into the building.

171. ANGLE ON WALL

As West approaches it. It is apparently featureless, curves off into the darkness of the building. West moves along the wall carefully. Presently, his fingers encounter a section that seems to move, to give. He tests it carefully. He presses an ear against it, hears nothing. Boldly, he pushes it open, goes through.

172. ANGLE ON THE ARENA

As West steps in, blinking in the light. Realizing where he is, he turns back but the door has closed and will not open. West hears the snick of rifle hammers being cocked, looks up.

173. ANGLE ON THE GALLERY

They are filled with Troopers, many of them pointing guns at him.

174. ANGLE ON WEST

As he whirls, finds himself facing General Grimm, ho – pistol in hand – has stepped through another door and stands some feet away now, a triumphant smile on his face.

GRIMM
After the slight postponement – the execution will continue.

174A. FULLER

as before Grimm an signal an order, West cuts in –

WEST
General Grimm - !

GRIMM
Be brief.

WEST
(but addressing this quite deliberately to gallery)
Have you told your unit that they have already lost their most valuable weapon – secrecy? That my colleague is riding to warn the Army right now?

MUSK
Silence -- !

GRIMM
Let him continue.
(beat)
There was no need to tell them, Mr. West. Your friend doesn’t know my plans. Which posts will he warn?

WEST
Gold Town. The Arsenal. The remount depot – among others.

There is an INVOLUNTARY RIFFLE of astonishment from the watching troopers.

GRIMM
He doesn’t know when we strike.

WEST
Dawn, day after tomorrow.

This is a shock to General Grimm – and to the Troopers. Grimm is now aware that he is definitely arguing with West to retain the confidence of his men.

GRIMM
Granted you have uncovered a great deal of information. But neither you nor the Army knows which of their men are mine.

WEST
They don’t have to know. The cavalry won’t wait for you. They’ll ride directly here.

Grimm has now largely turned away from West and is directing himself directly at his men.

GRIMM
Exactly! Leaving their posts in the hands of a few men! It will be easier than ever for us!

Reassured by the reaction of his troops, Grimm turns back toward West.

GRIMM (CONT’D)
It is too late to stop us. In a matter of three days, all power in this part of the country will have passed into the hands of the right people – right-thinking people.

WEST
Meaning you.

Grimm nods, conceding the point.

GRIMM
And we will begin the establishment of firm, orderly, disciplined government.

WEST
(again cutting over to stop Musk)
I believe you once submitted that when your individual soldier is superior to the enemies’ individual solider, the outcome is a foregone conclusion?
(a beat)
I challenge you, General.

GRIMM
Under the circumstances – out of the question.

WEST
Of course, I can understand your being –
(breaks off)
What’s a polite word? Cautious. Prudent. Careful.
(beat)
Afraid?

For a beat, the General does not move, then he gives a short burst of his unnatural and unnecessary laughter.

GRIMM
If you prefer a more painful form of execution, Private West –
(shrugs; up)
Stand easy!

West has moved to stand within a few inches of Grimm’s pointed revolver.

GRIMM (CONT’D)
We’ll begin as we are.
(beat)
Any time you’re ready, Private.

WEST
With your experience in hand-to-hand fighting, General, you know that appearances are deceiving. I have the initiative and therefore a considerable advantage.

GRIMM
(sardonic)
Of course.

There is again a beat. Then West moves. With lightning speed, he pivots sideways, presenting the thin edge of his body toward Grimm, at the same time and with the same movement brushing the gun away from him with his arm. Grimm FIRES, of course, but futilely and West knocks the gun out of his hand. And even as West moved, the General had swung his other hand, freeing the concealed stiletto, sliding upwards at West’s midriff. West has anticipated this and chops down on the General’s wrist with his other hand, knocking the knife away and out of the General’s grasp. Both men are now weaponless. They circle each other warily.

GRIMM
Musk! Weapon!

175. ANOTHER ANGLE

But the ever-obedient Sergeant Musk hesitates, can’t bring herself to toss down the lance she automatically reflexes to grab; another Trooper tosses it.

176. ANGLE IN THE ARENA

The lance sticks quivering in the floor a few inches from the General. Instantly he snatches it up and comes after West with it. The General is good. He thrusts skillfully and quickly with it. West is hard put to avoid being impales. And relentlessly, he is backed into one of the walls.

177. CLOSER ANGLE

As West is backed into the wall and, naturally, his scope of movement is curtailed. Grimm thrusts at him; West dodges and the point of the lance sinks into the wall. As with the trident, West instantly chops the lance off behind the head with the edge of his hand. Grimm has anticipated this and almost at the same moment:

GRIMM
Weapon!

178. ANOTHER ANGLE

Musk unmoving this time – as same Trooper drops another lance to Grimm.

179. ANGLE IN THE ARENA

West has picked up the shaft of the lance, holding it like a quarter-staff or in the manner of a Japanese sword. He and General Grimm go at it hammer and tongs—West parrying and thrusts with the shaft. Presently, the General begins thrusting at West’s legs. West avoids the thrusts and one of them carries the point of the General’s lance into the wooden floor. Instantly, West stamps on it, snapping the lance just behind the head. For the first time, he and the General are equally armed.

GRIMM
(not knowing it has been other Trooper)
Musk!

But another Trooper drops a saber, to land point-first in the arena. But now West is attacking and Grimm too busy to reach for the saber. The two men flail away at each other briskly. And then, the general quite deliberately takes a blow across the shoulders and, at the same time, lunges forward, inside West’s guard. Holding the lance in both hands, he presses against West’s throat and slowly begins shoving West back toward the wall.

GRIMM (CONT’D)
Now! Now!

180. ANOTHER ANGLE

From behind West, out of the wall of the arena, a long, sharp knife blade SNICKS out of a crack in the wall. If things continue as they presently are going, West is going to get stuck on it.

GRIMM
The unexpected, Mr. West. It lends spice to the struggle!

West has been struggling against the General quite deliberately. He now abruptly stops struggling, steps backward quickly, pulling the General to him. In the same movement, West swings aside.

181. ANOTHER ANGLE

As the General is impaled on his own blade.

182. WIDER ANGLE

As West steps away, out into the center of the arena, looks up at the Troopers. There is shock and surprise written on their faces.

FREEZE:

END OF ACT FOUR

TAG

FADE IN:

183. EXT. WEST’S TRAIN – DAY (STOCK)

Tooling along the tracks.

183A. INT. GUNROOM OR WARDROBE – WEST’S TRAIN – DAY

West putting the finishing touches to his jacket or tie. Over this action:

WEST
And Artemus, you’ll get word to Washington that the Cavalry moved on Grimm’s Academy… and are rounding up the rest of his people at all Army posts…

184. INT. WEST’S TRAIN – DAY

On West as he enters. He stops short, staring off in surprise.

WEST
Artemus – what are you doing?

184A. FULLER

to find Artemus in a corner, reading a book, turning the pages at intervals.

ARTEMUS
What you said, Jim… trying to read a good book.

WEST
(a little surprised)
The Blue Manual?

ARTEMUS
Oh, I read that, Jim. It didn’t help one bit… not one bit.

WEST
(still can’t understand)
But Artemus…

Artemus nods o.s. for West to look.

ARTEMUS
(ruefully)
Take a look.

184B. ANOTHER ANGLE

to see Jenny and Musk, standing as though on guard – each with a rifle – in the train car… West now, as though for the first time, seeing them. West smiles.

WEST
Well… at ease, Troopers.

They execute the order; West now smiles knowingly at Artemus… goes to the two girls—pointing mainly at Musk.

WEST (CONT’D)
(as he goes)
You see, Artemus, it is a question of who is in command.
Now—alongside Musk, West stops—drinking her in with his eyes.

WEST (CONT’D)
You are relieved of guard duty, Sergeant…

He goes to embrace her… when Jenny puts her rifle between them.

JENNY
Is she, Private West…?

West takes in the rifle, relents.

WEST
That an order?

But before any answers, Artemus now saunters into the gray (sic fray?) with a gallant and cavalier attitude.

ARTEMUS
Private West… you just simply lack the proper emotional approach to these things. What you should say is: Sergeant… Tennnshun!

Jenny comes to attention. Artemus looks at West as though he, Artemus, had just performed the miracle… and having performed it, goes to Jenny in an attempt to repeat West’s previous action—only to find himself nearly skewered by Musk’s bayonetted rifle. Artemus, of course, gives way… albeit reluctantly… and sheepishly… as he stares at West with:

ARTEMUS (CONT’D)
Tried reading any good books lately, Jim…?

And he hands West one, as both girls come to alert attention again with rifles a-hand… as West… with book a-hand stares at them both obliquely… sighs resignedly… shrugs… opens the book as we –

DISSOLVE TO:

185. EXT. WEST’S TRAIN – DAY

Speeding along the tracks.

FADE OUT:

THE END




James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: "Thanks Artie"! Is that all you can say to me? I've just come back from the grave, risen like Lazarus, and that's what you say? "Thanks, Artie"?
James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: It's a pleasure.
- TNOT Pistoleros
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