Mary and the Kansas Kid by James Brosnahan | Script Revolution

Mary and the Kansas Kid

Two teenagers orphaned in post-Civil War Kansas, a British heiress and the son of a Civil War soldier, fall in love while they pursue vengeance against renegades who murdered his parents and her best friend.



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Mary and the Kansas Kid by Don A. Brosseau

“Mary and the Kansas Kid” is a feature-length western romance inspired by the novel “Mary and the Kansas Kid” by my grandfather, Don A Brosseau. This screenplay won Best Western at the Westfield Screenplay Awards, was a semi-finalist at the Chicago Screenwriters Festival and Second Rounder at Austin Film Festival.

1867. Ft. Hays, Kansas. Colonel Cook details his men to journey to a government-owned farm, Peabody Farms, for the purposes of establishing an orphanage. Joining them are two unusual orphans — Johnny Dice, whose parents were killed in an attack by two renegades named Preacher and Snake — and Mary Carlisle, British, whose parents were killed when Indians attacked their train. They did it to protect the buffalo the whites were shooting for sport. Mary tried to stop the men as well. Indians spare her life and award her a ceremonial arrow for her act of bravery. Small comfort to her, however.

The group arrives at Briggs Landing and takes possession of neighboring Peabody Farms. The company restores the farm and outbuildings to good working order and the orphanage is now a going concern. Johnny and Mary have become fast friends — maybe more — and the two take a shine to Sissy, a guileless and innocent young girl with Down syndrome who becomes Mary’s best friend.
Mary and Johnny’s friendship grows into a romance. Johnny earns money as a scout for the Overland Express so he may propose to Mary. Mary teaches Sissy how to ride a horse and be independent like her. Sissy secures a job working at Briggs Landing Trading Post now that she can ride a horse. Things seem tranquil for a while until Preacher and Snake savage and kill Sissy during a robbery.

Johnny and Mary form a posse and call upon Indians braves who aid in tracking down Preacher and Snake. Hideout discovered, Johnny and the posse descend upon the renegades. A gun battle ensues. Johnny shoots Snake, but Preacher escapes. Johnny and Mary manage to ride him down and they simultaneously fire shots to end his life. Justice is served.
Johnny gives Mary a ring, and she gives him her hand in marriage.

While there are other western romances, this story highlights the inner strength of two orphans who find each other, love and security during tragedy. It will appeal to a broad audience looking for a romance and/or a western.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Westfield Screenplay Awards - Best Western
Austin Film Festival - Second Rounder
Chicago Screenwriters Festival - Semi-Finalist

Submitted: February 2, 2019
Last Updated: May 6, 2022

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This Script Is Loved By 4 Readers

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The Writer: James Brosnahan

I am a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, a published playwright and produced screenwriter. My plays have been produced across the US and Europe. My screenplays have earned awards at several film festivals. I teach writing for film and stage at the high school level as well as writing for change leaders in the business world. I grew up in Pittsburgh, graduated from the University of Dayton and live in Ohio with my wife and a son with Down syndrome who keeps alive a sense of wonder in the family. I am willing to modify my screenplays to fit budget, talent and location. I hope you enjoy my work. Happy filmmaking! Go to bio

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