Script created with Final Draft by Final Draft, Inc.
EXT. DESERT - DAY
The multicolored landscape of mountains, canyons and deserts
informs us we are in the AMERICAN SOUTHWEST. A title card
gives us the year: 1899.
The CLIP-CLOP of horse hooves announce the arrival of our
hero, RENO NEVADA. He is so drunk he can barely stay in the
saddle of his giant, prehistoric-looking BLACK STALLION.
A hand falls from his side and drops an empty bottle of
whiskey into the sand. He is a drunk nomad, wandering
His wanderings take him near a solitary church and its
cemetery where a handful of mourners have gathered for a mass
burial. We hear the wails of grief from their suffering as
sheeted bodies are dragged from a buckboard filled with dead.
He rides on, slumped in his saddle. As he roams the
southwestern frontier, there is a MONTAGE of burial scenes
like the one above, interspersed with images of the dead
hanging from trees, twisting in the breeze. Vultures reign.
All around Reno are signs of death, pestilence and disease.
EXT. VILLAGE - DAY
Reno rides into a small Mexican village. Along with other
curious eyes, he garners the attention of a LOCAL STABLE BOY.
The boy approaches him cautiously.
Senor. Es usted El Pistolero de San
Reno looks at him for a minute. He is about to reply when he
suddenly leans over the opposite side of his mount and
Reno wipes his sleeve across his mouth and regards the boy
with bloodshot eyes. He nods.
The kid grabs the reins of Reno's horse and guides Reno
toward the stables. From the shuttered windows of the nearby
adobe structures, the eyes of the faint-hearted watch with
INT. MEXICAN CANTINA - DAY
The TOWN ELDER is riled up as he goes on animatedly in
Spanish to a gathered group of VILLAGERS.
The stable boy enters and it takes a moment before they
notice Reno standing impassively behind the boy. The room
suddenly turns silent.
Reno clears his throat and sets down his suitcase.
Nervous glances all around. There is a pause as the
collective consciousness of the group comes to a decision.
Finally, the town elder produces a small box and takes out
Money. Probably the entire town's life savings from the look
of it. Reno takes it and stuffs it into his shirt pocket. He
stands there for another awkward moment.
The town elder nods and issues a command in Spanish to the
boy to show the stranger to his room. As Reno trudges up the
stairs he calls down to the men below.
Have somebody bring up a bottle of
tequila, por favor.
The villagers exchange more nervous glances. Not exactly what
they were expecting.
INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY
Reno sits on the bed, beside his open suitcase. He pulls out
a large metal contraption. On the nightstand sits an open
bottle of tequila.
The contraption is some kind of belt with metal arms and a
spring. As Reno fits it around his waist, he hears a knock at
The stable boy enters with a plate of frijoles. The boy sets
the plate down and watches Reno with wide-eyed fascination.
Reno acknowledges the boy's existence with a nod of his head,
and after a moment's hesitation, doesn't ask him to leave.
He slides the contraption around his waist like a gunbelt. A
component sticks up just to where Reno's elbows come to rest.
With this mechanism in place, Reno forces the arms down,
locking them into place, one after the other...
The kid hasn't blinked since he entered the room. His
fascination with the stranger shows on his young face.
Now, Reno carefully slides his revolvers into his holster. He
stands, buttoning his shirt while giving the kid a 'check
He faces the standing floor mirror as if he is confronting
his image in a gunfight, his empty hands out to his sides. He
then uses his elbows to squeeze the release mechanisms on the
sides of the contraption...
In a FLASH the arms release and WHIPS the six-shooters out of
Reno's holster and into his waiting hands.
The kid's eyes are as wide as saucers. His face says it all:
There's not a soul alive who could draw faster than that!
Reno chuckles, tucks his shirt in and adjusts his collar.
Go on now. Vamos.
The boy backs out of the room never taking an eye off his new
idol. Reno chuckles to himself as he straps a shiny cannister
looking device across his back.
He takes a deep breath and rummages around in his suitcase
for one final item. Finding it, he pulls it out. It's a tin
star. He pins the badge to the inside of his lapel.
When the time is right, he'll flash it. In the meantime he
takes a swig of tequila, gargles and then downs it. He
stretches his neck and shoulders, adjusting the straps across
his chest. Finally he dons his hat. It's showtime.
EXT. CANTINA - NIGHT
Reno exits. As soon as he steps outside, he hears the din of
raucous activity in the saloon across the street.
INT. SALOON - NIGHT
Reno enters, stands by the swinging doors, and surveys the
place. Two types of people occupy this smoke-filled saloon:
frightened villagers; and the other type: mean-spirited, evil
bandits who thrive on rape, murder and mayhem.
The place goes silent as all eyes fall upon him. (It's rare
to see a gringo walk in here, especially one equipped in such
an odd fashion.)
Reno saunters past the doors and sidles up to the bar. He
watches as the innocent eye him with apprehension; and the
guilty with contempt. A pair of younger eyes - those of the
stable boy - watch him from a hiding place under the stairs.
With his back to the saloon, the place returns to normal.
A large burly MEXICAN eyes Reno in silence. Reno notices,
lifts his glass to him.
He downs his drink. The Mexican hasn't blinked.
The man stares at him like a statue. Reno turns to the BIG
MAN on his right, taps him on the arm. The mountain of a man
turns and looks Reno up and down, seething with contempt.
The man turns away. Reno again nods to himself. He's getting
nowhere fast. After a moment, he pulls out a gun and fires
into the air. The place falls silent.
Who here is Chucho?
At a table near the entrance, men separate and the occupants
of the table are revealed: a mean, one-eyed son-of-a-bitch
(CHUCHO) and in his massive grip a frightened SENORITA.
Reno makes a face and holsters his weapon.
Oh my God, are you ugly. They were
(looks around for
Is that not the ugliest face you've
He mocks a cold shiver. People around him just stare.
Chucho keeps his grip on the girl, easing his chair back. The
place starts to fan out a little. Chucho's HENCHMEN are
quietly moving into defensive positions around the stranger.
Reno seems either not to notice or not to care.
Que paso aqui? Que locura es esto?
A sinister smile forms on his deformed face.
Que le puso a esta?
(no response, he points a
thumb at Reno)
Este hombre es grave? Si?
Either no one knows how to answer or no one has the guts to.
I thinks this stranger has lost his
mind, no? Perhaps he has desert
fever? Or maybe one of you has put
him up to pull a joke on me. Es
His men relax a little, some nervous laughter fills the room.
(to the stranger)
I tell you what, Senor, you tell
whoever put you up to this that you
made Chucho laugh. That is not such
an easy thing to do! Lucky for you
I'm in a festive mood.
He raises his glass to all the patrons.
Down it goes, one gulp. Chucho's attention falls back to the
girl in his grip. Her frightened look hasn't diminished.
I'm gonna give you three minutes,
Chucho cranes his head as if he didn't hear correctly. Reno
calmly regards the gold time piece in his hands.
Three minutes, you and your stench
ridden, goat-herdin' men here. Get
on those flea-bitten horses you
have tied outside and ride out of
(he looks at his watch)
Three minutes. Oughta be plenty.
Chucho's smile disappears. Whatever tolerance the madman had
with this stranger has all but evaporated. He rises slowly to
No one threatens Chucho.
People press their backs to the walls, clearing themselves of
the shooting lanes. Chucho's men are quietly drawing their
weapons, pulling back hammers, etc.
There is a moment of intense silence as eyes narrow and jaws
set. The stable boy is on pins and needles from his hiding
perch beneath the stairs. No one moves a muscle...
And then it happens.
Chucho goes for his guns and Reno hits his elbows against his
ribs and two pistols fly into his waiting hands and in a
flash he guns down Chucho along with one of his men standing
by the door.
Just as Reno fires, he rolls over the bar, narrowly avoiding
the buckshot coming from the shotgun from the man on his
right. Two more of Chucho's men go down amid exploding wood
Reno takes out two more gun-wielding targets at the top of
the stairs, but his handguns are clicking now, EMPTY.
Through the back door, two more of Chucho's men BURST IN,
guns blazing. Reno leaps behind a capsized table and
methodically hits a release on the center of the leather
straps criss-crossing his chest.
The silver cannister on his back POPS open and a shotgun
SPRINGS over his shoulder and into his hands. Before the men
can react, Reno blasts them into the wall.
The place is filled with gunsmoke amid the groans of dying
men and the muffled cries of frightened villagers. Reno
slowly rises to his feet, surveying the damage.
Behind him, Chucho performs a death-crawl through the smoke
and blood and corpses. He reaches for a gun. He rolls over to
shoot Reno in the back.
The stable boy sees this and shouts.
Reno spins and lets a knife fly from a hidden sheath up his
sleeve. The knife pierces the chest of Chucho, ending his
Reno strolls over to Chucho's body, retrieves the knife and
wipes off the blood on his pants leg. He picks up a shot
glass, toasts the kid, and downs the contents in one gulp.
EXT. VILLAGE - NEXT DAY
Time for Reno to leave. Some of the villagers surround his
horse, expressing their gratitude. The stable boy makes his
way through the crowd carrying several bottles of whiskey,
which Reno takes and sticks in various bags in his saddle.
He locks eyes with the boy, smiles and flips him a gold coin.
The kid catches it with a grin. As the relieved villagers
look on, Reno rides out of town and back into oblivion.
EXT. DESERT - MORNING
Reno's campsite. Looks like he's really sleeping one off.
Empty bottle of whiskey nearby. Suddenly...
A PAIR OF GRUBBY HANDS reach in and grab him, jolting him
EXT. DESERT - DAY
A GANG OF RUFFIANS has Reno face down on the back of his
horse, hands tied. They're leading him across the desert
plains. Canyons and peaks fill the backdrop.
Unseen by the gang and some distance behind, is the
shimmering image of SOMEONE FOLLOWING ON HORSEBACK.
EXT. DRY RIVER BED - DAY
The gang rides hard. From the P.O.V. of the follower, we see
the gang tear through a narrow gap in the canyon.
EXT. ABANDONED GOLD MINE - DAY
The gang's destination. A mine shaft bored in the base of a
This gold mine is in the heart of a hidden canyon in the
desert. Reno looks up and sees armed men perched at various
lookout positions among the rocks.
The gang dismounts and yanks Reno from his horse. They escort
him roughly through the mine shaft's entrance.
Far away, the figure who's been following the group dismounts
and continues on foot, using the rocks for cover.
INT. MINE SHAFT - DAY
Two men drag Reno into the center of a make-shift arena;
wooden platforms form three levels all around him. On each
level, a half-dozen or so gunmen jeer at him from above.
In front of Reno is a fiery pit stoked with a dozen red-hot
pokers. To his right lies a giant pit, in the center of which
hangs a large steel chain. Behind him is a wooden spindle,
serving as a winch for the chain that rises up from it.
One of the gang members, FINNEGAN, wearing a steampunk hat
and glasses, approaches. His grimy hands sport black gloves
with the fingertips cut off. Finnegan's smirk reveals he is
the intellectual of the group. He looks at Reno and smiles.
Been lookin' for you a long time,
Reno Nevada. Now we get to have us
He grabs the chain and swivels the hook on the end above
Reno's head. He then uses it to attach Reno's tied hands to
the chain and suspend Reno off the ground like a side of
beef. He spins Reno around like a top, laughing hysterically.
You're lookin' a little green
there, Reno! You sure you're
Truth is, Reno isn't feeling okay. He looks like he could
barf at any moment.
As Reno's vision tries to clear and his world stops spinning,
he hears the ominous SOUND of a bullwhip being cracked. He
squints, blinks and sees HARLAN approach, a ONE-ARMED
miscreant, dragging the devil's tail of the whip behind him.
Harlan flashes a grin as he comes face-to-face with Reno.
Hello, Reno. Been a while, hasn't
(indicating the whip in
I see you're still carrying around
this old thing. How long's it been?
I love the crack of a good
bullwhip, don't you?
He CRACKS it loud. The sound reverberates throughout the
entire mine shaft. The men on the platform eye the action at
the center ring with intense anticipation.
Reno notices the stump at the end of Harlan's arm.
Must be kinda hard to scratch your
ass in the morning, seeing how you
always favored using both hands.
Good one. I see you haven't lost
your sense of humor, partner. Wanna
see how long you can hold on to it?
He cracks the whip again. He and Reno lock eyes.
Where's my map?
Map? What map would that be?
You know goddamn well what map. The
treasure map! Where the hell is it!
Last time I saw, you had your
greedy little fingers wrapped
Harlan regards Reno coolly. He begins to edge away.
Fine. Have it your way.
Harlan motions to one of his men, DIETRICH, a large German
with tattoos covering his arms and neck. Dietrich grabs Reno
and spins him to where his back is facing Harlan's whip.
Harlan unfurls the whip and then goes to town on Reno's back.
Reno's face grimaces in exquisite pain with each CRACK.
EXT. MINE SHAFT ENTRANCE - ABOVE - DAY
While the CRACK, CRACK, CRACK of the whip echoes through the
canyon, our mysterious friend has penetrated the perimeter of
the hideout and found an entry at the very top.
He is revealed to be an Indian, probably Navajo based on his
clothes, and his movements are very stealth-like. He is known
by the name LONG HAWK. He disappears inside the mine shaft.
INT. MINE SHAFT - DAY
Whipping a man is hard work, especially in the furnace of
this abandoned mine shaft and Harlan appears he's worn
himself out. Reno, however, looks ten times worse. His back
is bloody and shredded. Harlan plops down on an empty crate.
Alright, Reno. Nuff fun and games.
Tell me what you did with it and we
can all have a drink together.
Reno can barely speak; his reply is unintelligible.
What the hell do you care about it
(summoning the strength to
Then why go through all this pain
and suffering? For christsakes, I'm
beginning to think you enjoy this.
Reno manages a shrug which startles and confuses Harlan.
Alright then. You brought this on
He turns to Finnegan.
You search his camp?
We didn't find anything, but he had
this on him.
Finnegan kicks an open suitcase over to Harlan.
Ah, yes, Reno's little tinkerings.
You always did like to fiddle with
your hands. Let's take a look-see.
He picks up something that looks like a cannister with
leather straps, looks it over and then tosses it to Finnegan.
Finnegan examines it curiously and puts his arms through the
straps all the while keeping an eye on Reno.
Reno watches this without expression, but his eyes are sharp.
Finnegan models the device for the men up in the platform who
hoot and haw from above.
What's it do?
Reno spits blood at Finnegan's feet. This elicits more
raucous catcalls from the spectators above them.
Finnegan is undeterred. He looks at the latch in the center
of the straps. He steps back, hits it with the palm of his
hand. The cannister POPS open and the shotgun FLIES over
Finnegan's shoulder and into his surprised hands.
The crowd goes wild. Reno remains unmoved. Nothing in his
eyes but disdain for Finnegan and the rest of his crew.
FROM THE SHADOWS ABOVE...
Long Hawk watches, unseen, waiting for the right moment to
BACK TO FINNEGAN
as he welcomes the admiration from his peers and then returns
his attention to the shotgun and its attached spring
mechanism. He finds the release lever and forces the weapon
back into its cannister.
(fingering the straps)
And a perfect fit too. What else
you got in there?
Harlan stands up, his impatience getting the better of him.
Alright, enough of the circus
tricks. Reno, you gonna tell me
where that goddamn map is or not?
Reno looks down, shakes his head.
(motions to his men)
Bring that dumb ass mule in here.
Reno's head lifts almost imperceptively.
It takes several of Harlan's men but they manage to drag
SAMSON, Reno's monster of a horse, into the center of the
mine shaft. The horse is fighting every step of the way.
Tie him down! Tie that bastard
The men tie the other end of their ropes to the wooden
pillars at the base of the platform. Harlan goes to the fire
pit and sinks his hand into a thick leather glove. He picks
up a red-hot poker.
Last chance, Nevada. Either you
lead me to that map of mine or
you'll find yourself riding out of
here on a horse with no eyes!
Reno tightens his jaw.
I wouldn't do that if I were you.
Have it your way.
Two of Harlan's men struggle to hold the horse's head steady
as Harlan approaches with the poker. Reno watches in
anguished silence. Just as Harlan brings the poker eye-level
with the horse, Reno opens his mouth to speak, but then...
ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE as Reno's horse goes BERSERK!
He uses all his god-given horsepower to lurch upward,
knocking back Harlan and sending the two men reeling. He
yanks hard at the ropes, tearing the wooden pylons out of the
ground, causing the platform to teeter to one side.
Harlan's men come tumbling down the three levels as the
platform begins its one-sided collapse. Reno watches
helplessly as Harlan's men struggle to subdue Reno's horse.
Shoot the goddamn thing!
One of Harlan's men on the platform aims his rifle at the
horse as the platform teeters precariously. Before he can
fire, Long Hawk springs into action, swooping down a rope and
kicking the man over the railing.
The man falls head-over-heels into the fire pit and the
resulting action causes a poker to fly end-over-end right at
Reno. It pierces the wooden spool behind him as it singes
Reno's side. Reno cries out in pain.
The Indian continues to move down the platform swiftly,
cutting key support ropes as he does so. The platform comes
CRASHING DOWN in a thunderous explosion of dust and wood.
Harlan staggers to his feet, helping Finnegan up. Coughing,
he points to the horse.
Kill that beast!
Finnegan looks around for a weapon, then suddenly remembers
the cannister on his back. He hits the release lever, grabs
the materialized shotgun and aims it straight at the horse's
Reno struggles against his restraints, helpless.
Finnegan pulls the trigger but the shotgun MISFIRES and
EXPLODES in Finnegan's face, sending him careening into
Harlan who then lands directly in the fire pit. Both men roll
on the ground, their clothes aflame.
CLOSE ON RENO'S NERVOUS FACE
As the Navajo lands just before him with a raised knife.
To Reno's surprise and relief, the Indian cuts through Reno's
bindings and then frees the horse. In the next instant, he
helps Reno mount Samson and hops on behind him.
The two of them ride out on Reno's horse in a flurry of dust.
Harlan picks himself up and pats out the last smoldering
flames on his sleeve. He motions to his men who stand around
Well just don't stand there! Get
Harlan shakes his head as he dusts himself off. Suddenly
something on the ground grabs his attention. He walks over
and picks it up.
Harlan examines it and then discovers something tucked on the
A FADED PHOTOGRAPH OF A WOMAN IN A WEDDING DRESS
Harlan takes the photograph and holds it up, smiling with a
sudden revelation. His laughter ECHOES through the canyon.
EXT. DESERT - DAY
On Samson, Reno and the Indian ride hard. They approach the
place where the Indian's horse is tied and without missing a
beat, the Indian grabs the reins and tows the horse behind.
They ride off, Reno held in the saddle by the Indian.
EXT. DESERT - LATER
A cactus-filled desert at the base of table-top mountains. A
trail of dust reveals Long Hawk riding his stead fast and
hard and tethered behind them is Reno, barely conscious,
hunched over Samson's saddle.
EXT. WATERING HOLE - DAY
They stop long enough for Long Hawk to appraise Reno's
injuries. Long Hawk gives Reno a much needed drink from his
canteen. Reno raises his head.
Who are you?
Long Hawk re-corks his canteen, doesn't answer.
Well at least tell me where the
hell we're goin'.
(pointing to the mountain
ridge in the distance)
The other side of the ridge.
Reno follows the Indian's hand. The mountain ridge seems a
million miles from here. Reno rolls his eyes.
Long Hawk smiles to himself as he adjusts Reno's saddle. In
the next instant, he adroitly swings back into his saddle and
spurs his mount, resuming their journey.
EXT. DESERT - NIGHT
Reno manages to open his eyes. He looks up, sees the full
moon shining brightly in the cloudless night.
Long Hawk pulls hard on the reins.
EXT. THE PREACHER'S HOMESTEAD - NIGHT
Buried at the base of this mountain ridge is a small cabin
and nearby stands a white, clapboard church.
The sound of the approaching horses causes the door of the
cabin to open and out steps THE PREACHER. He's tall, austere,
He is followed by his beautiful, twenty-something daughter,
EVE. Together they help Long Hawk ease Reno down from his
horse and carry him inside. The Preacher looks around
cautiously before closing and bolting the front door.
INT. THE PREACHER'S HOMESTEAD - NIGHT
Inside, they place Reno on a cot in one of the bedrooms. The
Preacher inspects the deep wounds on Reno's back.
Looks like someone really took an
interest in you, friend. I've never
seen a man beaten as bad as you.
(leans in close)
You may hate to hear this, but I
think you're gonna pull through.
(to his daughter)
Eve, best fetch some clean linen
and get the hot water to boiling.
We're gonna need to wash him and
wrap him up tight.
Eve turns to go but lingers at the doorway. Reno opens his
eyes long enough to take in the sight of the young woman
standing in the doorway staring back at him. The image of her
grows fuzzy and then...
EXT. THE PREACHER'S HOMESTEAD - NEXT DAY
Reno looks up from his cot to see a smiling Eve approach with
a cup of hot coffee in her hands. Despite the bandages
wrapped around his torso, he tries to sit up and look
presentable. The pain is still with him and it shows.
(setting the coffee down)
You must'nt move. You need to lie
still, Mister --
I didn't catch yours.
She turns, smiles.
Eve. It was Long Hawk brought you
here last night.
Reno hears the fall of an axe outside. He lifts his head up
to peek out the window.
Samson grazes peacefully in the pasture behind the house, as
Long Hawk brushes him. Off in the field, the Preacher stands
before a tree stump, chopping firewood.
That your Pa?
What's his name?
Everyone in these parts just calls
him the Preacher. Always have.
(nods toward the horse)
That's a magnificent creature you
Reno eases himself down.
I'd love to hear tale of how you
two came to meet. When you're
feeling better, of course.
No offense, ma'am, but when I get
to feelin' better, I'm gettin' on
that magnificent creature and
ridin' the hell out of here, and I
don't intend on lookin' back.
Eve looks down, nods.
Don't get me wrong. It's just that
being kidnapped and all has a sort
of an adverse effect on a man's
disposition, if you know what I
mean. And, well I've kinda grown
attached to holdin' my own reins.
Eve nods again as she toys with one of the buttons on her
But I guess if I had to be
kidnapped, there's no one else I'd
rather have holdin' my reins than
such a pretty young thing as
She looks up at him and smiles. She starts to rise.
I better let Pa know you're awake.
I 'spect he'll be wanting to talk
to you as soon as you're able.
Reno watches her leave and licks his parched lips. He grunts
in pain as he reaches for the cup of coffee.
Script created with Final Draft by Final Draft, Inc.