Aug 092014

As the movie opens, the Hero watches his mother die. Overcome, he runs away from his extended family.

The Hero, an adult now, rides through scrub brush and cactus in a dry, orange country and comes upon a group of broken and burnt wagons. As he collects a locked box from out of the wreckage, outlaw types arrive. “That box you got there ain’t your’n.” “Shur looks like it is,” says the hero. “McGuinty won’t like strangers takin what’s his.” There’s some shooting but the Hero holds his own and the group rides off.

In town, the Hero meets the love interest, a wild card, the wild card’s sidekick, and a very serious man. They’re at odds but we find out who they are.

  • The Love Interest: “McGuintty ain’t my pa. They say he is, but he ain’t.”
  • The Wild Card: “I never had no parents. Who needs ’em. I ain’t asked to be born.”
  • The Sidekick: “Mi nombre es Paco.”
  • The Very Serious Man: “McGuinty killed my wife and my kids and now I got nothing.”

Business happens and the Hero and the others discover the box is dangerous/valuable. Let’s say it’s a box of ammo. For a Gatling gun. They lose it to McGuinty’s men and, because the Hero chooses to save the Love Interest rather than running away, they all end up trapped together. In a mine, say. Or a mountain camp without horses. They realize they have to trust each other to escape or to get back to town. They also band together to stop McGuinty from using the box of ammo.

More business happens leading to McGuinty’s defeat on the streets of the town in a shootout where each of the five characters plays a key role. Let’s imagine:

  • The Love Interest confronts her sister who works in one of McGuinty’s brothels. She has let one of his men out on the balcony to shoot at the Hero from above. The Love Interest gets past her sister and stuns the man. Probably with a whiskey bottle brought down on his head. She takes his place and his rifle and covers her friends because she’s a good shot.
  • The Wild Card holds the Gang at gunpoint in a saloon and tries to rally the locals cowering at their tables. He jokes to the gang that “I don’t like people tryin to shoot my amigos.”
  • When one of the gang fires at the Wild Card, the Sidekick takes the bullet, saving his life. As the Wild Card holds him, the Sidekick mutters, “Nuestro nombre es Paco.”
  • The Very Serious Man confronts McGuinty, who is out on the street. He is nearly cut down by the Gatling gun but manages to save a mother and child frozen by fear. He does not know they are the Sheriff’s family. Later when the gang gets out of the saloon, he helps keep them occupied to give the Hero time.
  • The Hero is not yet on the scene. He’s held in a barn by the man who raised him, taught him how to shoot and who now wants the box of ammo for himself. The Hero outwits/overpowers the man and rushes out to confront McGuinty. McGuinty gloats, patting the barrels of the Gatling gun. It’s noon. From the saloon, the Wild Card fires a shot that hits the Gatling gun damaging its gears. McGuinty hollers, “Damn yer stinkin hide!” The Wild Card laughs and turns back to chasing down the gang.

Action ensues. The real shootout begins, but together the Hero and his friends subdue McGuinty and his gang, turning them over to the sheriff. They also give him the Gatling gun and the ammo for safe-keeping. The sheriff thanks them for saving his wife and daughter. As the movie closes, the five mount up on horses, the Sidekick with his arm in a sling, and they ride out of town side-by-side.

Or if you prefer, McGuinty can be an Apache not an outlaw, in which case the box holds rifles, the town is a wagon train, and the final shootout is in a canyon.

the end


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