Doubtful Canyon by Rachel Fischer | Script Revolution

Doubtful Canyon

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Page Count: 
108pp

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Logline: 
The lives of a young man struggling to assimilate into an Apache tribe, the tribe, and seven gunslingers collide in a legendary place called Doubtful Canyon.
Synopsis/Details: 

The story opens in Arizona 1859 as 12 y/o Mickey Free and his father are attacked on their ranch by an apache raiding party. Mickey’s father is killed, but his father’s ferocious fight inspires the Apache, Taza, to adopt Mickey and he returns with him to the tribe. Mickey struggles to assimilate and befriends the son of the tribe’s Chief, Cochise.
Meanwhile, Freeman Thomas and his friend struggle to get their ranch together in the harsh desert outside Mesilla, New Mexico. The ragtag group is led by Freeman Thomas, who is struggling to move past the death of his wife and includes temperamental gunslinger and Freeman’s best friend Matthew Champion, stagehand turned rancher John Wilson, suave gambler Robert S. Avaline who’s in love with Wilson’s wife, and cowboy for hire John Portell. They struggle to make a living and stay out of trouble as Confederate Soldiers occupy a nearby Fort, but when Portell is arrested after shooting a Southern Politician they agree to take a dangerous stage to Frisco to get out of town.
Back with the tribe, Mickey’s friend and Cochise’ son it killed in a skirmish with white men and the tribe gears up for war. Mickey is allowed to join the war band and they head into the Peloncillo Mountains to set up to ambush along the stagecoach trail.
Freeman and his men move along the trail they run into a local outlaw, who follows and ambushes them with his gang. They defeat the gang and make it to the last stagecoach stop before they enter the Peloncillo Mountains, unaware that Mickey and the Apaches have dug in to wage war on any white man that comes across their path.
The two groups finally meet when Freeman and his group reach Doubtful Canyon and are ambushed by Mickey and the Apaches. Freeman and his team manage to beat back the first wave of Apaches and take shelter in a rock outcropping. They hold off the Apaches for three days, but one by one, they die. First Joseph, then Portell, Emmett dies in Wilson’s arms and Wilson is killed after making a run for it during the night. Matthew mercy kills the wounded Robert and he and Freeman decide to make one last ditch effort to escape, only to run into a dead end. Knowing what will happen to them if they are captured, they kill one another before the Apache can reach them.
Cochise and Mickey arrive to find everyone dead and all the weapons carried by Freeman and his party broken, leaving them with a hollow victory as Cochise realizes he has lost half his war band for nothing and Mickey’s innocence has been destroyed. Cochise praises the bravery of Freeman and his men as the Apache’s leave the battlefield.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Quarter Finalist - Scriptapalooza Screenplay Contest 2019

Submitted: April 14, 2019
Last Updated: May 2, 2020

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The Writer: Rachel Fischer

Rachel spent her childhood getting into trouble on a working cattle ranch and joined the Army Reserve after high school. She has served on multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, first as a civil affairs specialist, then a medic and finally as a combat pilot, flying Chinook helicopters. She, and her pilot Tucker, were just accepted into the WGA’S Veteran’s in Writing Fellowship in 2020. Rachel writes emotionally charged character-based action, adventure, sci-fi and mystery/thriller. Her pilot NOVA has been a semi-finalist and finalist in multiple contests (Filmmatic, LAISA, Diverse Voices, etc), and her goal is to develop and staff in television, as well as film. Go to bio

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