Abe Lincoln: Public Enemy No. 1 by Bill Walker | Script Revolution

Abe Lincoln: Public Enemy No. 1

Through a cruel twist of fate and a little voodoo, Abe Lincoln ends up on the run in the 1930s robbing banks with John Dillinger.



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Based On: 
the novel by Bill Walker & Brian Anthony

When John Wilkes Booth shoots Lincoln with a bullet cursed by the notorious Chicken Man, a local voodoo practitioner, he unwittingly sets in motion a chain of events extending far into the future. Instead of killing Lincoln, the bullet puts the president into a coma for sixty-eight years, his body remaining limber and ageless. When he awakens in 1933, Abraham Lincoln is a man out of time, a revered icon...and a political pariah. FDR and J. Edgar Hoover not only do not want him around, they want him to retire quietly to his home in Springfield. But their plan to be rid of him backfires, a Federal agent is accidentally killed, and Lincoln is on the run, a fugitive from justice.
Determined to reach Chicago and retrieve the small fortune left in trust for him by his long-dead son, Lincoln discovers that Hoover has confiscated all his money, leaving him destitute. With Bureau of Investigation agent Melvin Purvis in hot pursuit, Lincoln befriends, Charlie, a young runaway, who agrees to accompany the former president back to Washington. There Lincoln hopes that Hannah Wheelhouse, the Chicken Man’s granddaughter, can help him find the peace he longs for.

Then fate deals Lincoln another strange hand when he and the boy end up as hostages to infamous bank robber John Dillinger. Instead of leaving them by the side of the road after the robbery, Dillinger takes a liking to Lincoln and invites him to join the gang, promising him he’ll get all his money back. With no other choice, Lincoln agrees with a condition: he won’t kill anyone.

With Charlie as the gang’s new wheelman, Lincoln embarks on a series of bank robberies with Dillinger and his gang, gaining notoriety as a robber who’ll only take money from the banks and not a poor man’s savings. Hoover, ever the publicity hound, is furious that Lincoln is becoming a folk-hero. He directs Melvin Purvis to intensify his search for the former president.

 But what was originally a means to an end has now become complicated. Even though he has not yet recouped all the money Hoover stole, Lincoln is thinking about leaving the gang, but Dillinger has become a true friend and Lincoln feels honor-bound to see it through. And then there is Charlie to consider. To Lincoln, the boy has become like a son. True, the boy’s prior nomadic existence was a dead-end, but so is a bullet.  And what about Judith Gray, the beautiful young woman he meets who resembles his long-dead first love, Ann Rutledge? This “unnatural life” has become a burden he longs to lay down, and now with Judith and Charlie he has every reason to live. 
On an anonymous tip, Lincoln is arrested and extradited to Indiana to stand trial, but with his lawyer’s help, he makes a grand escape from the Crown Point Jail and is on the run again. Hoover is ebullient. Now that Lincoln is out of local hands and has driven a car across state lines, Lincoln is theirs for the taking. 

In Washington, Hannah Wheelhouse is having night-mares. The Chicken Man’s granddaughter has been connected to Lincoln on a psychic level ever since her grandfather’s spell was woven and now she senses his pain. With her grandson’s help, she drives to Chicago and meets with Melvin Purvis. She wants to help end Lincoln’s suffering, and in a moment of enlightenment realizes this can only happen if Purvis shoots Lincoln with Booth’s Derringer. With the gun locked away in a government vault, Purvis talks his way inside the secure facility and removes the Deringer, replacing it with a replica. Now, all he needs is an opportunity.

Both Lincoln and Dillinger can sense their days are numbered, but neither wishes to run from his fate. On the night of July 22, 1934, Lincoln and Dillinger attend a showing of Manhattan Melodrama at the Biograph Theatre, accompanied by Judith and Anna Sage, the “Lady in Red.”

When the movie ends, Lincoln and Dillinger emerge from the theatre and Purvis moves in behind them. Both men sense Fate’s presence and when Dillinger starts to make a break he is gunned down by one of Purvis’s agents. Purvis is certain that Lincoln will also run but, instead, the Great Emancipator kneels down and clasps Dillinger’s shoulder, saying goodbye to his friend. Purvis fires and Lincoln slumps to the pavement. 

Judith holds Lincoln’s head in her lap, her tears and cries drowned out by the crowd pressing in on them. Purvis orders the body removed, already feeling the horror that will haunt him for the rest of his life. He hasn’t stopped a criminal—he’s killed Abraham Lincoln....
The body is placed in a room with a guard who, after a few hours, realizes the corpse has regained its color and is warm to the touch. Then, with a gasp, Lincoln begins breathing again, slow and regular. Knowing there is no other choice, the government returns the President’s sleeping form to his Springfield home, where he is under the care of his doctors even now...

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Submitted: October 16, 2017
Last Updated: January 10, 2021

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The Writer: Bill Walker

A graduate of Emerson College's prestigious film school, Bill produced and directed his first feature film, Pawn , while still a student. After graduation, he co-founded Newbury Filmworks, Inc., an award-winning production company renowned for making high-quality corporate films and commercials. In 1990, Bill relocated to Los Angeles, and began a freelance story analysis career for various studios and independent production companies, while devoting his spare time to the writing of novels, short stories, and screenplays. He is also a highly-respected graphic designer, specializing in book and dust jacket design. He has worked on books by such luminaries as: Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson,... Go to bio

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