Silence of the Land by D Scott Mangione | Script Revolution

Silence of the Land

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Page Count: 
113pp

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Logline: 
In 1834 Texas, a wealthy Mexican landholder is threatened by Anglos. He must defend his family and property from the Texas Rangers and Texas government to avoid abandoning his land.
Synopsis/Details: 

LUIS HERNANDEZ, 32, a wealthy Mexican landowner in 1836 Texas observes his vaqueros as they drive the longhorn cattle through Luis’s vast rancho, La Parra.

Luis presents another land grant to his father, GABRIEL HERNANDEZ, 62, at his rancho, Santa Gertrudis.

JOHN SMITH, 23, and WILLIAM MOORE, 25, travel down the Rio Grande on their steamship.

Luis meets ELIZABETH RAMIREZ, 19, at the fiesta to honor his father for becoming the largest landowner in Texas.

Smith sends his three ranch hands to Santa Gertrudis to try and purchase some of Gabriel’s land. Gabriel refuses Smith’s offer.

Luis marries Elizabeth.

Gabriel is found dead at his rancho. Luis with his two brothers, ANTONIO HERNANDEZ, 28, and RAFAEL HERNANDEZ, 26, attend their father’s funeral.

Elizabeth discovers she’s pregnant.

Luis helps Antonio, now the alcalde of Santa Gertrudis, drive his herd across the rancho. They discover Smith has put up a fence on their property.

Luis finds tracks leading to Smith’s small plot of land that matches the tracks found at Santa Gertrudis the day his father died.

Smith hires COLONEL SCOTT, 51, and his rangers to force Luis and his family to abandon La Parra and Santa Gertrudis.

To legally bring justice to Smith, Luis goes to San Patricio to collect his original land grants. He arrives just in time to see the courthouse in flames.

Colonel Scott goes to La Parra with two ranch hands. They convince Elizabeth to let them in the hacienda then beat her up very badly.

Luis meets with the Santa Gertrudis and La Parra vaqueros, servants and Natives. He explains that they are not safe and all of them will move to his uncle’s rancho in Mexico. Luis and Antonio plus a few volunteers will stay at La Parra to protect all of the livestock. Santa Gertrudis will be abandoned.

Smith’s Texas rangers attack La Parra. Luis is the only survivor and brings Antonio’s dead body to the rancho in Mexico. While Luis is on his way, Elizabeth gives birth to his son.

Luis and Rafael are at their uncle’s rancho when two men from the Texas Land Commission visit the hacienda. They believe they will be able to return La Parra and Santa Gertrudis to the Hernandez family. Rafael insists on going with them on the steamship to Texas to prove their case.

Smith’s ranch hand sneaks aboard the steamship and places dynamite to blow up the ship. He confronts Rafael and Rafael kills him after learning he killed his father. The ship explodes.

Luis is convinced Rafael is dead until Rafael shows up at the rancho.

Luis takes the land issue to SENATOR JUAN SEGUIN, 33, and REPRESENTATIVE ANTONIO NAVARRO, 44. Seguin writes a bill and Navarro presents it to the Texas House of Representatives. The defense of the bill goes well but Luis is told he may never get his land back. As Luis leaves the courthouse he sees a vision of his father, Gabriel, and Luis promises him he will never give up.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

SILENCE OF THE LANDS – By D. Scott Mangione
Coverage provided by Simplyscripts
Genre: Western Drama.
This is a solid and compelling story with good tension, good stakes, and strong sympathetic characters the audience can root for, especially Domingo and his wife. I’ve read too many romances that can’t avoid being corny but this is a strong and spiritual relationship. I felt for Bernada when Domingo left home, when she was beaten up, and when she had her baby. The villains have believable convictions for doing their evil deeds.
You are a good storyteller, and it feels like it was a labor of love for you, personally.
I like the intimate scenes. For example: when the father and sons are looking at the night sky. The relationship between Lorenzo and his son reminds me of the relationship between Jacob and his sons in the book of Genesis. Especially on page 13 where he effectively gives Domingo his blessing. I love the land granting scene on Page 7; very ceremonial. I love the scene where Richard throws dirt at Domingo’s feet. I like the confrontation with Rafael where Lorenzo’s killer is revealed. Good scene where Rafael is ‘resurrected’ along with Domingo’s soul. By that point in the story, I was completely invested in the characters.
I love the descriptions like “the massive party room supported by pillars of Cyprus and oak crossbeams.” I love the graphic imagery of Hank tortured and tied to a cross on page 45. That is quite a brutal and effective scene.
The dialogue is engaging and believable.
I usually feel bookends are unnecessary but, in this case, they create a fitting end to the tale and nicely complement the story. This is going to be a very expensive period film.

Submitted: May 13, 2018
Last Updated: March 25, 2020
Times Downloaded: 10
Last Downloaded: March 25, 2020

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The Writer: D Scott Mangione

I have come to realize that there is a little bit of me in every screenplay I write. My first life-changing experience was the opportunity to learn the Navajo language and spend two years living among the Native Americans in the Navajo Nation. I spent the next fifteen years of my life playing keyboards with pop and country cover bands which gave me the opportunity to experience most of this great country of ours. I wrote many songs during this time and was the lead songwriter for three studio-recorded albums. I was able to earn a bachelors degree in education and biology from UTSA and a masters degree in curricular and instructional development from UNLV. I got married and was blessed with... Go to bio

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