by Jaime Grijalba.
This isn’t based on reality, all the characters have familiar names, but the characteristics are my invention.
Sorry for the small size, zoom in if necessary.
1. INT. SLEEPING QUARTERS - NIGHT A narrow aisle between two rows of cots with men either lying down or sitting is the only place where JAIME GRIJALBA seems to be able to walk through in search of his cot. It’s a hot night, everyone is sweating and it’s all very dusty, as in most westerns. We hear some conversations from the people sitting down as Jaime advances. SAMUEL WILSON ...Sergio Leone saw this film and thought of Henry Fonda first as his Man With No Name and finally, once he had the clout to get him, as a more evil and more doomed representative of that “ancient race” in Once Upon a Time in the West. Watch Warlock and you understand what Leone was after. Fonda’s slow-burning yet commanding performance heads a deep ensemble ranging from the eccentric Quinn and the redemptive Widmark to DeForrest (Dr. McCoy) Kelley giving perhaps his greatest performance in a relatively small role... DENNIS POLIFRONI ...to be frank. I don’t think it’s a western at all. Yes, it has all the visual and textural trappings of a classic western. The film takes place in the valleys and deserts that have become signature backdrops to the work of Mann and Leone and John Ford. The production design is reminiscent of all the old clapboard towns that many a villain and hero rode into in pictures like MY DARLING CLEMENTINE and THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY. It’s populated with characters straight out of the classic western repertoire and, at any given moment, you might find yourself facing off with gunslingers, Mexican “Banditos”, whore-house hookers, tin-starred lawmen and old dog kicking drunks hitting you up for a coin to waste away on another shot of hard whiskey. Yet, with all of these trappings, BUTCH is not really a western... SACHIN GANDHI ...For a Few Dollars More is dwarfed by the third film in the trilogy, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly and also by Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West but the second film lays out the elements that Leone would use to brilliant effect in those two later films. Elements famous in those other films such as the music, the stylish visuals and the tense Mexican standoffs can also be found in For a Few Dollars More. The usage of Ennio Morricone’s music to operatic effect is evident in the second film especially in the duels and quick draws. The music elevates the duel sequences into a theatrical play where we see the expressions, right down to the sweat that drips down an opponent’s face... SHUBHAJIT LAHIRI ...the unsettling storyline, terrific monochromatic visuals, brilliant minimal score, disconsolate tone, and moody atmosphere, were accompanied by stellar turns by Ryan and Ives. The film’s disconsolate setting and fatalism wouldn’t be lost on anyone, amplified by both the towering characters’ burning desire to have a sense of personal redemption with sacrifice playing a key role in both. The otherwise sparse aesthetics were marvelously ruptured by a dizzyingly shot bar dance scene that provided a stunning springboard for the deeply fatalistic closure that followed... Jaime finally finds an empty cot at the end of one of the two rows. On the other end two guys seem to talk very calmly yet with big emotions about the same subject everyone else is talking about: westerns and reviews. They are SAM JULIANO and ALLAN FISH. Jaime is interested in what they say and he leans over to hear their conversation. SAM JULIANO The perfect ’The Treasure of Sierra Madre’ review? Sure there is. Not ten days from here by pure work and thought, a mountain’s waiting for the right guy to come along, discover the virtue of the film and then tickle it until it lets it have it. The question is- are you the right guy? ALLAN FISH (interrupting) Of course I bloody am. SAM JULIANO Real bonanzas are few and far between and they take a lot of work and writing. Answer me this one, will you? Why are some reviews worth hundreds of comments and retweets on Twitter? ALLAN FISH (after a small pause) Because they’re scarcely good. SAM JULIANO A thousand critics, say, go searching for the perfect review. After six hours one of them is lucky, one out of the thousand. His find not only represents his own labor but that of the nine hundred ninety-nine others to boot. Six thousand hours. The perfect review is worth what its worth because of the human labor that went to the work of the getting of it. ALLAN FISH Never thought of it just like that... I guess it’s true, after all, reviews ain’t good much for anything except filling books that no one reads. SAM JULIANO Reviews are a devilish thing though. When you go out to tell yourself "I’ll be satisfied with 2000 words, so help me Lord and cross my heart". Fine resolution, but after sweating, writing and rewriting you come down to 1500 and then 1000, until you finally say "Lord, let me just write 500 words and I’ll never ask anything more of you the rest of my life" Jaime coughs. Sam and Allan turn around to see Jaime, they salute with their heads. JAIME GRIJALBA So, I heard you talking about reviews of ’Treasure of the Sierra Madre’. And about the whole thing on words and all, you know, I have a dilemma. I need to write a review of the film for a Western Countdown... ALLAN FISH (interrupting) Western? Western? ’The Treasure of Sierra Madre’ is no western! It’s maybe one of the best John Huston movies he made in a long and really good career, but it’s no western, it’s a nice adventure. SAM JULIANO Now, I’d have to disagree with you there Allan, it has many elements that would put it in the western genre. ALLAN FISH But it doesn’t take place in the american west! It takes place in Mexico of all places. SAM JULIANO Hey, but you like ’The Good, the Bad and the Weird’, that takes place in Manchuria, yet you consider it a western. ALLAN FISH Yeah, but... SAM JULIANO (turning his head to Jaime) So, continue please uhm... JAIME GRIJALBA (introducing himself and making a small bow) Jaime Grijalba. So, I was saying that I had to write a review for a certain Western Countdown, but I really can’t make anything out of it, it’s actually one of my favorite movies of all time, it’s almost perfect and I can’t help but watch it everytime it’s on TV, but it’s also so big that I’m afraid I could make someone angry if I don’t write something worthy of it. SAM JULIANO I understand boy, but what I was going to say was that when you’re struggling to get what you can, then nothing can stop you, and suddenly you’ll reach 2000 words and you’d want to make it to 3000, and then 4000 and no one will stop you when you’ll reach 10,000. Like a roulette, just one more turn... always one more. You lose your sense of values and your character changes entirely. Your soul stops being the same as it was before. ALLAN FISH That won’t happen to me, when I reach what I reach, it’s enough, I’m not one to make long essays or retrospectives. JAIME GRIJALBA So, would you gentlemen be able to help me in any way, I’d really appreciate it, we could share the credit of the review once it’s finished. Allan and Sam look at each other and then they both look at Jaime, they nod slightly. CUT TO. 2. EXT. MOUNTAIN OF REVIEWS - DAY Allan, Sam and Jaime are climbing a big dusty mountain, covered with dusty and dry vegetation. Behind them there’s one burro carrying stacks of paper and pencils. CUT TO. 3. EXT. CAMP AT THE MOUNTAIN - AFTERNOON Sam is starting a fire. Jaime is putting up a tent. Allan is taking the things out of the pack that the burro was carrying. ALLAN FISH Jesus Christ, did we need this much paper? SAM JULIANO You never know when it’s done until it’s done Allan, that’s why we have to experiment with the form. JAIME GRIJALBA Are we going to write something today? SAM JULIANO Oh, we can talk about it after the bean dinner. Jaime finishes setting up the tent while Allan continues to take out the stuff. 4. MONTAGE - WRITING THE REVIEW · Allan, Sam and Jaime are sitting besides a big fire, talking and arguing. · Sam dictates, Allan corrects him, Jaime writes. · In the middle of the night, as Allan and Sam sleep, Jaime writes inspired in one small piece of paper. · They look at the view from the Mountain of Reviews, talking. · Many pieces of paper scribbled down or half burnt are scattered in the dusty floor. · They’re all reading a piece of paper, noding and looking at each other. 5. EXT. CAMP AT REVIEW MOUNTAIN - NIGHT Allan, Sam and Jaime are celebrating drinking coffee from rustic metallic mugs. SAM JULIANO Looks quite nice. JAIME GRIJALBA Yeah, it does. SAM JULIANO We worked really hard. ALLAN FISH Some more than others. Silence. Jaime looks intently at Allan. JAIME GRIJALBA What do you mean Allan? ALLAN FISH Well, the final product we have today nowadays is mostly the product of me and Sam, and I’m being generous with that last part Juliano, the review is almost perfect, but you Jaime, did nothing about it. JAIME GRIJALBA (outraged) What do you mean? I worked as hard as anyone else! ALLAN FISH Well, I’ll make sure that your name isn’t on that review. SAM JULIANO Now, now, calm down boys... ALLAN FISH Haven’t you seen Sam? I’m talking to you! He wants to steal the review from us! I’ve seen him write at night, when he thinks no one is watching, but oh, I’m watching and I know you’re a thief! Allan Fish stands up and Jaime backs away, barely being able to stand up. Sam stands up as quickly as he can to separate the two of them. SAM JULIANO Now, Allan, what did we talk about about how reviews were devilish things. ALLAN FISH But I don’t want to make it longer! I just don’t want him in the deal! Suddenly, the sound of horses startle them, they see a bunch of them coming down from the top of the mountain, and on top of them, mounting, are a bunch of guys with sombreros. Sam reaches for a rifle and points at them. One of them yells out. BANDIDO ¡Está bien, está bien, no dispare! Sam lowers the rifle as the horses go down. The leader of the group comes forward. LEADER Oiga señor. Listen, we are no bandits. We are Federales; you know, the mounted police. We are looking for the bandits to catch them. JAIME GRIJALBA That’s good to hear. We’re here writing a review for ’Treasure of the Sierra Madre’. LEADER (outraged) Review? We need no review. We don’t need review. I don’t have to read any stinking review! FADE OUT.