Fantastic opening images, very striking and vivid.
“Cyrus looks behind him anxiously as an angry voice in the
unseen crowd seems to be aimed at him.”
- I would be wary of writing things that don’t translate to screen. This would work of course if you had written out what the angry voice actually said. As it stands though, it’s too vague.
Looks like you could fit more text at the bottom of page 2, big gap there.
“Bill grabs Cyrus...”
- I assume Bill is Deputy Morris? If so, it should be clarified in his introduction.
Shut up with that song singing
- Ha, I enjoyed this line.
So far I’m really liking this. I don’t know the history of Mormonism outside of the key players and a few bullet points of information and consider myself an atheist so its testament to your writing how engaged I am with it. Although, I guess you’d nearly prefer an audience who don’t know the story so they won’t know how events transpires...script title aside
Sheriff! Get in here! The
undertaker’s looking for business!
- Good line
“With no eyes on him, Joseph quickly slips the pistol down his
- Wow, that was a hell of a diversionary tactic by Cyrus...but I fear what will become of him now for his actions.
“Chester and Morris jump and Cyrus and holds him down.”
- Should be “on” instead of the “and” between “jump” & “Cyrus” No “s” in “holds”. There are quite a few typos like this throughout the script so far, would be worth giving it another proofread I reckon.
American Mohammed my ass!
- Don’t mean to be pedantic and otherwise you’re dialogue, by and large, sounds like it’s from the era but would they’ve used this expression back then? Or the word “sh?t”?
“Warwick and Rotherhithe pull the triggers but the rifles
don’t fire to their chagrin, they are empty.”
- How did they allow this oversight...or is it the work of some higher force? Reading on, it’s evidently the former. I know you want to set it up so the dude with the sword can slice ass unimpeded but it’s hard to believe Warwick, no matter how incompetent he must be, would’ve forgotten this of all things. Is there a way you can have them without their guns entirely when they come face to face with Stranger?
He must be talking about Smith.
- This line feels surplus to requirements, unnecessary, as if you’re spoon feeding. It’s safe to assume we can all infer, the characters and us the reader, who Stranger is talking about.
“Before he can strike, the stranger unexpectedly jumps out,
turns and pierces Chester in the chest with the sword in
swift coordinated movements.”
- You know, the cliché of the black guy always eating dust first has been subverted so much in recent times that this now feels fresh and unexpected again. A bold choice
“The stranger falls on top of Morris. Morris groans in pain.”
- Oh, that was a quick demise, wasn’t anticipating it. Seems like a waste to have a sword wielding Cloaked avenger, with the entrance he made, only strike once.
“He is an ALBINO, (20s), with a baby face and a splendid mop of curly
- A startling visage for sure, interesting.
“A barrel from the door fires and hits the
A barrel enters from the opened door and fires. The shot hits
the light and the whole place is plunged into DARKNESS”
- Not sure what is going on here. Seems like a line is partially repeated or something.
“The man is knocked out and falls behind the door.”
- Knocked out by a book? Really?
“The pistol fires and hits John’s watch. The ticking stops.”
- Nitpicky yes, but I doubt we’d hear the ticking over all this commotion.
“Warren grabs one of Warwick’s canes by the door.”
- Who is Warren? First mention of him here.
Nice bookend with the sketches.
Overall, this has a lot going for it. You can clearly write, the characterisation is strong, the storytelling clear and concise (I won’t comment on how accurate it is to true events, rather judge it as pure fiction) and the dialogue is believable and quite rich in places, in a good way.
The biggest criticism I have, which I already mentioned in the notes above, is the amount of errors in the writing, particularly in the prose.
Some of it is down to awkward phrasing, but to be fair, technically it’s not too bad. It, like most scripts (including my own) can always do with some trimming. The main problem here is just basic proof reading. It is strewn with typos and missing words (oxymoronic I know but you get my meaning). Unfortunately a lot of people won’t be able to get past this, will fixate on it and maybe even give up on your script without giving it the consideration and I think it deserves. Thankfully, it’s also an issue easily fixed.
Nice work and with some rigour it could be great.