Thirty-Seven Dollars | Script Revolution

Thirty-Seven Dollars

Thirty-Seven Dollars
A street robber finds his past catching up to him when his intended target refuses to cooperate.

Poorly lit back-alleys are the kind of place best avoided in broad daylight—let alone after dark.  But such is the place we meet respectable fifty-something Jessica—down among the overflowing garbage cans and human detritus on the wrong side of town.

Soon enough, her presence attracts Donnie, a hardened street-rat with a habit to feed and a gun his only means of support.

But Jessica isn’t like the other marks.  She has some questions of her would-be robber; the kind of questions that make a thug like Donnie wonder what would bring a woman like Jessica to a place like this:

The questions make Donnie uncomfortable.

He looks around the alley, suspicious.                         

Is it a burden? Does it haunt you,
the lives you’ve taken?

Fuck them! Why try and fight a man
with a gun for thirty-seven dollars?
That’s crazy! Far as I’m concerned,
that’s a self-inflicted wound.
May as well be suicide.

Jessica smiles sadly:

Thirty-seven dollars. ...
You value your life so little?

Hey, I value my life plenty. Not my
fault if some wise-ass carries on
like they carrying the Crown Jewels
on them. How am I to know they ain’t
being rational?
(raises gun to her head)
Particularly when they have a nine
millimetre pointed at their head.

Jessica looks down at the handbag, stroking it:

Some people are emotional.
They cling to things. Things other
people see as worthless.

She looks up, tears in her eyes, but unflinching.

Donnie has had enough:

Christ! Just drop it and walk away.

I’m sorry, I can’t do that. I wish
I could. But there’s quite a bit more
than thirty-seven dollars in here.

And with that they reach an impasse: one ruthless hood and his would-be victim who refuses to be cowed—no matter what the cost.

Only one question remains: who will leave this alley alive?

Robert Bruinewoud’s Thirty-Seven Dollars is a short script with a brutal twist that stays with you long after as you sift through the clues for answers.  With just three characters, a single location, and some minor visual effects this would make a great project for amateur and experienced filmmakers looking to hone their craft with a micro-budget short built around a single dramatic scene.

The Script

Thirty-Seven Dollars

A grieving, middle-aged woman walking alone at night through a dark alleyway is confronted by a mugger with a gun.

About The Reviewer

Steve Miles's picture
Real name: 

Started writing scripts around eight years ago after realising his social life was vastly overrated. Enjoys writing in a variety of genres but leans toward raw, grittier characters and the worlds they inhabit - from the deadly serious to the darkly comic. Drinks coffee, owns an unhealthy amount of plaid and uses a calculator for the most basic of sums.Read more

About The Writer

Robert Bruinewoud's picture
Real name: 

Melbourne, Australia 1982. I submit my first "screenplay" (and I use the term very loosely) to the BBC. It was a hugely expensive Doctor Who saga. Needless to say, it wasn't picked up. You can read all about it here.

Now, I’ve been advised that the above is not the way to sell myself as serious writer. I’m not sure why. The fact that any screenwriters’ first screenplay doesn’t sell is...Read more