NOTES

This is a biopic drama with the following elements:

  • Inspired by a true story

  • Relevant to today's conflicts

  • High adventure

  • Character driven

  • Love story

  • Visceral

  • Revenge

  • Rural

  • A buddy film

  • Strong male/female leads

         LOGISTICS

  • Locations: tax-favorable states, Alberta

  • PG-13 rating

  • Budget est. less than $10,000,000

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                                ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

Copyrighted May 4, 2014 by MICHAEL LANCE RITTER (USA)

 

No portion of this work can be performed, published, reproduced, sold or distributed by any means, or quoted or published in any medium, including any web site, without the prior written consent of Michael Lance Ritter. WGA Registry 1718322, U.S. Copyright #1-1410521141

 

Please contact me to read the screenplay.

                                        SYNOPSIS

Baptiste Charbonneau is nearly killed in a saloon in 1865. A journalist interviews him then we go to 1805 and the Lewis & Clark Expedition.

 

After it’s over Wm. Clark adopts him, but his vicious wife rejects the boy because he’s half Indian. This prejudice runs through the script. This early family life torments him, as he simply wants a peaceful family life.

 

At age 16 he and Michelle fall in love, but they’re forced to breakup because he’s Indian. The breakup haunts him through the story. 

 

Clark arranges for him to go to Germany where he experiences palace life but also racism, violence and a tragic end to a potential family life. He returns to America sophisticated but broken and finds solace in the wilderness.

 

A novice, he gets lost but is saved by new buddy Jim Beckwourth. They’re together through danger and adventures. He befriends other characters.

 

Rublette, his main antagonist, makes his appearance. Their violent clashes haunt the story. Rublette says, "Squaw man, don’t sleep because it’ll be me slittin' your throat." 

 

He matures in the rugged West. Deadly events occur but he prevails. 

 

He’s given up on Michelle. He goes to San Diego during the 1846 Mexican War. Unknown to him she and her son are there. They reunite as she finally says, "Oh come here you, I have no more questions." Their pent up passions explode. At last he has his family. 

 

They enter the gold rush and settle down. His angst from prejudice is erased but a shocking event occurs. 

 

She nearly dies in his arms from illness, but survives. In a saloon her son is severely beaten by Rublette as Baptiste's day of reckoning finally arrives. A brutal fight ensues and he finally kills his nemesis. 

 

The positive ending has a slight twist to it as the journalist and Baptiste’s interview ends.  

                                                                                   

POST SCRIPT

 

Jean Baptiste Charbonneau died in May, 1866 after trying to cross a river in Oregon. He's buried today at Inskip Station near Danner, Oregon. His gravesite is a national historic monument.

 

Jim Beckwourth died in October, 1866. Beckwourth Pass in the High Sierras and Beckwourth, California are named after him.

 

Duke Paul Wilhelm died in November, 1860. He once traveled very close to Baptiste's gold camp but never saw him again. He never became king.

 

General William Clark, in a rare display of frontier caring, looked after the Charbonneau family all his life. He died in St. Louis in September, 1838. 

Audiences will love this compelling American saga!