A YOUNG MUTE BOY IS BULLIED, AND HUMILIATED IN THE RAGEING WESTERN TOWN OF SHRIKE UNTIL HIS FATHER WHO SURVIVED DANGER, AND DEATH WHILE A STREET KID IN NEW YORK CITY DRILLS INTO THE MUTE HIS SAME VIOLENT, AND LETHAL SKILLS. ALL INFLICT THEIR VENGEANCE.
On the Oregon trail in 1859 at dusk by a bright fire pit there are four men. A rattlesnake is heard. Brad Jamestown is one man the other three are drunken bullies drinking whisky, spitting, and belching. A wagon passes by it needs grease for a squeaking wheel. The drunks decide to start trouble with some soft singing pioneers close by. One rowdy boozer says, "Lets teach them singing how ta turn a toe." Another slovenly drunk states, "I ain't beat no one senseless fer a month. The biggest drunk says, " Lets go play with them stupid's." The husky Brad Jamestown in a loud voice says, "Find another place to play." The biggest bully yells, "Mind ya damn self." Brad quickly stands up. "Play with someone who can beat you." The crazed bully pulls his razor sharp Bowie from its sheath, The light from the fire pit highlights the bully's cruel eyes and the shinny steel blade. Brad has a slight smile. The brute charges, " Ya bastard." Brad thrusts his hands in front of the brutes face to block the view of his foot. As hard as he can Brad kicks the bully in his crotch. The screaming bully falls against the big fire pit. He knocks rocks into the pit sending large flames, and a spray of red hot sparks high into the air. The bully is groaning on his stomach in agony. Brad quickly picks up the knife on the ground, grabs the bully's hair, and drives his knee into the pit of the bully's back. Brad mad as a hornet slices a long bloody cut across the brute's ass.
In the western film Brad's mute son's fighting, drawing his weapon, and marksmanship are better than most other characters in past western adventures. His abilities are logical. The mute can't speak so his senses of sight, and touch are sharper. His father also has the son realize the importance of awareness then more of his senses become assets. When killers confront Sam, since he can’t speak all of his attention is on their body movements, and evil attitudes. Audiences will be taken in watching Brad teach Sam unusual bone breaking fighting, and how to skillfully use weapons. The silence of the mute gives the viewers constant moments to go deep into the mutes thinking. A very tight wire of truth and logic runs throughout the tale that audiences' thoughts are drawn to. Even the unusual fighting methods are not made up. All impressive, and violent moves are the same that the author used when he was involved in fights many years ago. The same movements are seen. All is not fantasy, this adventure is alive. The wire of logic increases the viewers belief in the adventure.
Prefatory information in the film taken from the novel revels when Brad was a young lad his parents were murdered. He then had to live on the streets of the corrupt city of New York. The painful street beatings he received created a fanatical desire to learn how to street fight. Two tough but decent men that owned a saloon took the young boy in during a cold, and bitter winters night. Jason was a terrifying fighting black man. He taught young Brad his vicious ways to fight. Yet, Jason told Brad, "If you’re going to fight every jackass you meet be prepared to fight every day for the rest of your life." To increase reality little unknown very short historical facts are revealed throughout the adventure to strengthen the tight wire of truth. When Brad grew older he became a young reporter for the New York Times. His mentor told him, "Don't trust information. One writer convinced the New York Sun into printing an article. It stated immigrants were being brought to New York City from England by balloon. The writer's name who created the true hoax was Edgar Allan Poe."
This western film is a tale of constant intensity with quick twists using distraction before action to keep viewers from thinking ahead. Violent surprises, and anticipation are always present. When Brad came west on the dangerous Oregon Trail he met Ann his wife to be. Soon her father dies of cholera. When Ann and Brad walked away from his grave she said,"You love someone, and when they pass away you realize you didn't say you loved them enough." Ann was in the same wagon with her sick father. Now she has cholera. She moves to Brad's wagon. While horribly sick she says, "I'm dying, father is gone, and you clean my body like a baby. Let me pass." Brad gently takes her hand. "Do you see love?" Ann nods yes. "If you leave me that love will live alone." Ann rubs Brad's hand, and a slight smile appears. During this scene the audience will hear an example of how natural sounds that will also replace the mutes silence without a bit of musical score. During this tender scene viewers hear a light prairie breeze that causes the wagon's canvas to slightly flutter, and the wagon's slates rub gently, and tap against the wagon's frame. The combined sounds create a soft melody. This shows how the mute's silence combined with natural sounds truly makes silence golden. Another way to add more truth to the tight wire of pure reality throughout the adventure. The mute's personality falls between his parents. Brad gives instant justice. He is a justifiable killer. Ann is a believer. During one of Sam's lonely moods she says, "I know what you're thinking son, why did the LORD deny you? Maybe HE put you on top of a mountain knowing your foes won't know how to climb. Wait and see."
Big school yard bullies pick fights with the mute, and some low life townsfolk humiliate him. All give Sam a natural inner streak of anger. When Brad becomes aware of Sam's bullying he believes he let his son down, and teaches the violence he learned when young to his mute son. He says, "I'm going to teach you how to handle bully boys, and how to kill a man if he has it coming. If you know a man is set on killing you, cheat. Draw and kill the bastard. It isn't a card game." An instant look of wanting to learn appears in Sam's eyes like magic. As Sam's ability to shoot and fight become stronger his personality changes each day. He soon has his fathers same slight confident smiling eyes, and lips. It implies, "Seriously, you want to try ." Brad constantly works on Sam's physical and mental habits. "Habit succeeds when thinking fails." Brad once said to Sam, "Don't ever think you can't be the best. That's like being a bird in a cage you won't go anywhere." Sam's loneliness ends when he meets the smart, and bold Marianna Martinez. These young ones need each other. Today's youth will relate to their troubles. Their love has tenderness but it should not include fear. Fortunately Ann's prayers were answered. She knew if Sam lost his belief in the LORD his father's teaching would over come the balance of decency in his life. Brad did not intend to live in a hell hole town like Shrike, California. Brutish and vicious men live, and travel through the wild town of Shrike. The townsfolk will draw the audience closer to them when fear of death, and danger is always seen in the eyes of the townsfolk. Brad had to laugh when Sherrif Trev told him after the end of a cattle drive a young bunch of drunks with their dirty britches had the blacksmith make two small metal shoes so they could try and shoe a mean goat. They got plenty of cuts, bruises, and torn up clothes. What a sight seeing drunks getting taken over by a pissed off goat. Brad and Sam were in town waiting for Trev. Brad heard that a brute had beaten a whore to death. Brad went to the saloon. He went upstairs and saw the dead bloody mess. Sam saw the depth of his fathers hate. The brute was at a table with a whisky bottle. Brad shot the bottle. The brute glared. Brad said, "You the killer of the lady?" " She was just a whoe." "She was a lady. Protect yourself." Brad put his gun in its holster. The brute laughed and drew his gun. He laughed no more.
To see Sam because of his youth and silent concentration he becomes better than his father which becomes fascinating to see how. Dangerous situation developed. Sam saves his fathers life, and close to his best he kills five men in self defence. The last one killed is Mr. Bell's favorite son. All kinds of bastards released from a near by prison work at the wealthy Bell ranch. It's a heartless realm. Bell's three sons have nasty attitudes as if they were ridden hard and put up wet. Bell's wife was killed by a wild unbroken horse. She was kicked in the head. Bell had the horse tied to its stall, and killed the horse with an axe. He also arranges the rape of Marianna. The rotten actions of Bell the son of a bitch causes his mind to become twisted. His over whelming need for revenge to kill Sam for the death of his son, and the failures of professional gunmen who think they are unbeatable is the last straw. Near the end of the violent tale Bell's crazed mind is like a broken shit house door hanging by one loose hinge. When Bell and his remaining sons kill Sam's parents for revenge the tale leaps to an even higher level of intensity. When the unarmed Brad is shot in the back, and killed his hand instantly by habit went to where his gun would have been. Sam weeps when holding his dying mother trying to say I love you. She says "I know.... do what your father ......" Viewers will feel the mute's pain as he holds his dead mother in his arms. The only sanity he has comes from the words that he put on their cross. "No souls are buried here." The man kneeling is not the same man that rises. He rides to Bell's ranch for a slaughter. Not enough killing takes place like Sam thought when he left Bell's ranch. Bell survives, and hires professional guns. He knows only the best can bring Sam to him. He can be shot up, but alive. Bell is loco, and wants to use his axe again. Viewers will be captivated by the many moments of vengeance. The blend of Sam's silence, and natural sounds, makes up for Sam's silence. The blend keeps the story tight. The audience has one more element to think about. Is a sound an indication that something will happen or meaningless? Justified sounds can entertain. A blend keeps the viewers from thinking ahead. What will come first, distraction or action? This classic film shows how silence really is golden when mingled with natural sounds. To stay with reality the film could even be done without a musical score. This believable fresh adventure will capture viewers attention of all ages. Tears, bullies, fights, death, love, and little unknown historical facts keeps reality, and belief in the viewers thoughts.
The unforgettable ending has never been seen in previous films. It will stay in the minds of audiences for months. Word of mouth will be an asset. Actors will give their big toe to play the unyielding mute or the tenacious father. The reaction to sounds, and the town of Shrike's toughness keeps the adventure filled with tension. At times, hate and bullies of the past will remind some viewers of today. This adventure is alive!
Borden Davis, 805-777-7700 (silentbrand.com)
Original copyright 2008. Only purchase the book's fifth edition that will be available at the end of 2019. The next edition will be far worth the wait.
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