RunDTC Presents: Bonanza!
I have 2 choices for director: Clint Eastwood or James Mangold.
The film would start with 2 men as they enter a town (not Virginia City).
Jacob asks Simon if "they" are in the town. Simon tells him they are still a day's travel away. The two dismount and enter the saloon. While walking into the saloon, Jacob bumps into a drunken cowboy. The cowboy takes a drunken swing at Jacob, who evades the blow and shoves the cowboy to the ground. The cowboy goes for his gun, but before he can even aim it, Jacob is on him like a hawk with his knife. He knocks the gun from the cowboys hand and stabs him in the side. Jacob rises and walks into the saloon along with Simon. Inside, they are greeted with less than friendly faces. After a brief staredown, several of the patrons (all cowboys obviously) go for their guns. Simon and Jacob draw their weapons and start a massive shoot-out, killing all the cowboys in less than a minute. When the dust settles, Simon orders 2 beers. He and Jacob each take a seat at the bar, while the terrified bartender gives them their drinks. Simon takes a swig of his beer and looks off into space and says "That was fun." Cut to opening credits.
We are introduced to Virginia City. We see Sheriff Roy Coffee and Deputy Clem Foster.
We see a ground level shot of the saloon. A man comes flying out the door, as if he was thrown, and rolls across the dirt. The camera rotates around him as he gets up, to show his face.
A very large man then walks out of the saloon, yelling at Little Joe about something. He draws his gun, but Little Joe, the master gunman, is able to get a shot off, hitting the man in the upper shoulder. Sheriff Coffee has made it over by now and escorts the wounded man to the jail. Little Joe then makes his way to a small house at the end of the street. He enters and yells out for Elisha, his girlfriend. She is seen entering from a back room.
Elisha is Sheriff Coffee's daughter. Little Joe and Elisha embrace and she notices the dirt covering Little Joe. She takes him to the kitchen to clean him off.
We now see the Ponderosa. In a wide ariel shot, we see Adam and Hoss on horseback, pursuing a third horse that apparently has broken free.
Adam and Hoss catch the horse and head back to the ranch.
The two enter the Cartwright home and are greeted by Adam’s wife Sarah.
Hoss ventures further into the house, where he sees Hop Sing.
The two exchange hellos as Hoss finally arrives at his father’s office. He enters and sits down. Ben turns in his chair and asks Hoss how the runaway horse is.
The two then begin to talk business.
Back in Virginia City, Simon and Jacob are seen riding into town. They see Sheriff Coffee and ask if he knows where the Ponderosa is. As he starts to tell them, he notices Little Joe and calls him over. Simon says he used to know Ben and had come to visit him. He also says Jacob is his son. Little Joe invites them back to the Ponderosa for dinner. Simon says they would be honored.
By the time the trio reaches the Ponderosa, it is dusk. The three tie down their horses and enter. Little Joe calls out that they have company. Adam and Sarah, who are sitting in the living room, get up and meet their guests. Ben and Hoss enter and Ben comes to a stop. An angry look comes over his face. He says to Simon that the last time he (Ben) saw him (Simon), he would kill him if he ever saw him again. Ben goes for his gun, as do Simon and Jacob. Adam grabs Sarah and they take cover behind the couch. Simon grazes Ben’s arm before Hoss pulls him back into the hallway. Before he can do anything, Little Joe is shot in the leg by Jacob. Simon says that they’ll return the next day once his posse arrives. The two leave.
Ben is fine and Little Joe is taken care of. Adam asks Ben who Simon is. Ben starts to tell them and we see it as a flashback he narrates.
Years ago, Ben and Simon had been rivals for Jessica Eckhart.
Ben eventually won her over and the two married. Only a few days after their wedding, Ben leaves to fight for the North in the Civil War. After he left, Simon showed up at the Cartwright home. At first Simon only annoys Jessica, asking her why she chose Ben over Simon. Angered by her response, he attacks Jessica and rapes her. He then says that he will show that he is more than capable of being the best man for her. A few weeks later, Jessica learns she is pregnant. She doesn’t tell Simon though. When he finally learns of Jessica’s pregnancy, he is angered that she did not tell him. We see Ben during the war, then in a Northern camp, wondering why Jessica hasn’t written him. Around the time that Jessica gives birth to Jacob, Ben is wounded in battle. Despite the circumstances, Jessica tells Simon she will help raise the young baby, out of her respect for human life. Ben is sent home from the war, with no significant injury. When he arrives home, he sees Jessica holding the baby and Simon verbally abusing her. Ben attacks Simon and the two fight. Simon takes advantage of Ben’s injury and incapacitates him for a short while. He picks up the baby and tells Jessica it’s been fun. She lunges at him and he smacks her across the face, sending her to the ground. As Simon makes his way to the door, Ben yells out to him. He tells him if he ever sees him again, he’ll kill him.
Back to present time. The Cartwright boys, and Sarah, look very sullen. Adam’s sorrow then turns to rage. He says they should kill the man that raped and attacked their mother. Ben says that while he does want vengeance, he won’t do anything that endangers his family’s safety.
Cut to Virginia City. Three men are seen riding into town on horseback.
William leaps off his horse and runs over to the brothel, quickly making his selection. The other two head over to the saloon. The two enter and approach the bar. There they are introduced to Deputy Foster. They ask him if he has seen Simon Lancaster. He says no but they might want to ask Sheriff Coffee. The two thank him and head for the door. But before they can make it out, Ernest ends up in a fistfight with a drunken patron. John continues out and heads over to the Sheriff’s office. He finds Sheriff Coffee and introduces himself. The two talk and John asks if he has seen Simon. He says he has and tells him that he and Jacob are staying in the motel. John thanks him and exits. As he is crossing the street, he sees Williams running from the brothel half-dressed and being chased by a very angry prostitute. William and the woman start arguing, it ending when Williams shoots her dead. Sheriff Coffee comes out and draws his gun, ordering William to drop his gun. Instead, William and John shoot at Coffee, hitting him in the side and leg. Deputy Foster comes out of the saloon yelling and fires at the two with his shotgun.
Ernest approaches him from behind and shoots him in the back of the head, killing him. The three Gallagher brothers then end up in a shoot-out with several bar patrons. We then see Jacob in their motel room, looking out the window. He looks toward Simon and says “Yep...they’re here”.
Elisha hears the commotion and goes outside to investigate. She sees her father and rushes to him. She sees that he isn’t dead but does need medical attention. Before she can get him to the doctor, William and Ernest see her. William starts sweet talking her, slowly approaching her. She picks up her father’s gun and tells him to back away. Ernest has moved around to her side and shoots the gun from her hands. Elisha then starts to run backs towards her house, but William and Ernest catch her. The two carry her back to an alley as she is still screaming. John looks at them and walks towards the motel to find Simon. We then see the alley as Elisha is still screaming. Fade to black.
Back at the Cartwright home, the family is discussing what to do. Ben says that if they wait for Simon to return, then any killing they do would be considered self-defense. Adam worries about the safety of Sarah and Hop. Hop says that they do not need to worry about him. He can protect himself. Ben says that they will take no action, and wait for Simon to make the next move. Little Joe then remembers Elisha. He runs out of the house and rides his horse furiously to town. Adam follows him.
Little Joe arrives in town. He sees the body of Deputy Foster, and then spots Sheriff Coffee. He drags Coffee to the doctor’s office, leaving him on the bed inside (the doc apparently made a house call). He ventures back outside and hears Elisha calling out for him. He finds her in the alley and asks her what happened. She then starts to cry. He picks her up and carries her back to his horse. She holds onto Little Joe as the two ride back to the Ponderosa. They encounter Adam, who follows them back.
Elisha is put in Adam and Sarah’s room, with Sarah taking care of her. The Cartwright men decide to take shifts watching out for Simon and his men.
After a dramatic scene of Simon talking with the Gallagher boys, we have a long scene of Ben and Little Joe talking. Then we cut to daylight.
Noon. Simon, Jacob, and the Gallaghers are seen from afar, riding towards the Ponderosa. Hoss spots them and alerts the others. The four Cartwright men grab their guns and head outside. Hop tries to go too but Ben tells him to watch over Sarah and Elisha. Simon and his posse ride up to the front yard and dismount. Ben asks Simon why he came back after all these years. He says that he came to see Jessica, even if it meant having to kill Ben. Ben informs Simon that Jessica is dead. Simon looks saddened at first, then angered. He yells that Ben killed her and draws his gun. A massive shoot-out occurs. Adam and Hoss are each hit in the arm but keep shooting. Williams sneaks around to the side of the house and enters through the back door. He looks for Elisha but instead finds Hop Sing, who does some really cool Jackie Chan thing to him, breaking his arm. William retaliates by shooting Hop in the leg. Sarah comes out with a shotgun, shooting Williams at the same time as he shoots her. Both are killed. Hop grabs Sarah’s gun and hobbles to Elisha. He gives her the shotgun, then collapses (but he’s not dead).
Adam hears the commotion inside and looks to see Sarah dead. In a fit of rage, he charges the Gallaghers, shooting Ernest twice in the head. Jacob shoots Adam in the leg, Adam passing out from the blood loss. Hoss blows away John with his shotgun, leaving only the two Lancasters. Little Joe and Jacob both run out of bullets and charge each other, engaging in a brutal fistfight. Hoss runs to help Little Joe but Jacob kicks him in the gut, knocking the wind out of him. Ben realizes he is down to one last bullet. He points it in Simon’s direction but doesn’t fire. Simon notices that the gunfire has stopped. He walks out from behind his cover and walks toward Ben, talking about his time with Jessica. Ben, clearly angry, doesn’t move. Simon walks up to the front porch and stops. Before he can utter his next word, Ben shoots him in the head (this would be rather bloody). Jacob then gets the upper hand on Little Joe and throws him to the ground. He quickly grabs Hoss’s sidearm and aims it at Ben. (This next part would be in slow-motion). Jacob closes his eye, and prepares to shoot Ben. Ben takes a breath and closes his eyes. Little Joe recovers and lunges towards Jacob. As Jacob pulls the trigger, Little Joe grabs onto his arm, pushing it downward. The camera follows the bullet as it misses Ben by inches. Little Joe rolls and takes the gun from Jacob while doing so. He turns and points it at Jacob. (End slow-motion). He fires once, shooting Jacob between the eyes. Ben walks down from the porch and helps Hoss up and into the house, while Little Joe does the same for Adam. Adam awakens and holds Sarah. Little Joe runs to Elisha and embraces her (Hop has awakened at this point). Fade to black.
We see the funeral for Sarah. In attendance are the Cartwrights, Elisha, Sheriff Coffee, Hop Sing, and a few other people. The camera starts to pan out skyward giving us an overhead view of the ranch. Fade to black.
We then see a shot from ground level, of what looks like a field. Four horses then run past the camera. The credits are like the opening to the show. We see the four Cartwrights on their horses, smiling for the camera. We then see all the other major characters, like how guests were introduced on the show. Begin normal credits.
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