Purebred by Judith Grace Bassat | Script Revolution

Purebred

A double-Cinderella story set in the dog show world: a feisty, independent photojournalist whose life is invaded by a scruffy, unwanted, runaway dog, competes with a handsome, arrogant dog-trainer/breeder for the Best-in-Show title.

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114pp

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PUREBRED is a 4-quadrant feature set in the colorful dog show world. It’s a Cinderella story in which, not only the scruffy dog, but its hard-edged owner (both “purebreds”) are transformed from diamonds in the rough into champions. Along with the triumph of the underdog story (and an evil breeder who culls puppies for the “good of the breed"), there's also a modern, non-sentimental romance between the two (non-canine) leads.

The main line involves Andy Foster (20) and the way her life changes when a runaway dog follows her home from work. She’s a scrappy, driven NY photojournalist who has just landed her dream job at the Times, though she's given only soft assignments and is eager to shoot "riots and murders." Without parents, she's developed a hard shell, and devotes herself entirely to her career: “No extra baggage, no boyfriends, no pets.” She hides her good looks behind army surplus clothes.

Her plans are derailed when a dirty little dog follows her home from the park. Though she tries everything to get rid of it (including putting a "for sale" sign on it and taking it to a shelter), she ends up keeping him (Moses), growing more attached when she realizes that they are both orphans, alone in the world.

She meets Luke Waters (25), a controlling, competitive dog trainer/shower, when he points out Andy and Moses as bad examples. She meets him again when she's assigned by her boss Mr. Chapman (also a dog breeder) to photograph a local dog show in which Luke's Boxer is the winner. Andy begins dog obedience lessons with Luke, who accuses her, not Moses, of being the problem. Under the pretext of dog training, Luke and Andy hide the fact that they're drawn to each other. Luke tells her Moses is a purebred Maltese and that he can recognize purebreds "even under baggy clothes."

Eventually the scornful Andy gets it in her head that Moses can be a show dog and becomes obsessed with him winning the Best in Show title at the national dog show. She convinces the dubious Luke to help her out and they groom and train Moses together. At an amateur dog show, Andy learns that Moses ran away from a famous kennel, when the owner, Mabel Moorehead, head of the Humane Society and a top breeder, spots Moses (confirmed by his tattoos) and takes him away. The distraught Andy sneaks into Miss Moorehead’s flat to get Moses back and sees her drowning her unwanted puppies in the toilet. Andy ends up rescuing all of them. Moses had originally been marked for drowning but had escaped.

With 7 dogs, her obsession causes Andy to lose her job as well as her apartment. Moses hurt his leg during the escape and Luke tells her that his limp disqualifies him from the show. Andy persists, helping to heal Moses, faking his kennel papers, and entering him in the show. She reaches the final round and finds herself competing against the dogs of Luke, Mr. Chapman, Luke's ex-girlfriend, and 3 others for the big title. When she realizes that she’s pushing Moses too far, she decides to give up; but he lets her know that he wants to continue. The final judge turns out to be a shocked Miss Moorehead who tries to kick her out; but she's forced to let her continue when Andy confronts her with a video showing her drowning the puppies. Luke, favored to win the show, helps Moses win the title, who, when he's awarded the ribbon, pees on Miss Moorehead. Mr. Chapman gives Andy her job back and she and Luke finally get together.

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Submitted: July 26, 2021
Last Updated: January 20, 2022

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Judith Grace Bassat's picture

The Writer: Judith Grace Bassat

When I was called into the principal's office in third grade, I was sure that one of my parents had died, since I never had been anything but well-behaved. Instead, it was to tell me that my poem had just been chosen for a national poetry anthology. After that there was never a question of what I would do in this life. I went on to major in creative writing at Bennington and to write a book and play Goodbye My Fancy (not the 1950s one - book on Amazon - link to play on YouTube below - about the last months of Walt Whitman's life), which was "supposed" to have been produced on Broadway (both Charles Durning and Burgess Meredith wanted to do it), and later as a television pilot that was "... Go to bio

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