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Run For The 49th
by M.J.Politis & Larry Foss
Copyrighted Sept 2010


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Logline/Concept:  A young loser cowboy and his slacker Indian buddy cheat their way into getting high school diplomas and math scholarship money in a ‘go nowhere’ Saskatchewan, Canada, town in 1970, and zoom off to Montana to make a name for themselves on the rodeo circuit where they miscalculate the money they will need, wind up broke again, then find themselves smuggling weed for a kind hearted Mexican drug mogul, the harder stuff for his American boss, discovering the 60s/70s cultural/political revolutions, then discovering the real men inside themselves when they find out that their father has a cancer that is only treated by a very illegal drug from Mexico that they have to get home, along with themselves, requiring them to race back home against the wishes of their powerful bosses, the elements, and the clock.

Genre:  Stoner adventure/coming of age contemporary Western. 

Characters:

KIM WILLIAMS:  Blond, blue-eyed, chisel-faced, clean cut (though with chronically-bad haircuts from his father’s barber) 18 year old slacker who only looks and feels right on the back of a horse.   Wants to experience the world outside his flat, going nowhere home town of Providence, Saskatchewan, and if he can, do right by the world.   Aspires to write a great novel one day, but speaks grammatically-incorrect English, and is so bad at math that he can’t calculate change when making a purchase.    Chooses to ask for what he wants rather than just taking it.   Prototype:  Michael Cera.
EDDY THOMPSON
:   Good looking, skirt-chasing First Nations 18 year old, a natural horseman and bull-rider, adopted brother to Kim.   As slow at math as his kimosavi bud Kim, but far better at fixing mechanical things and breaking into places where he’s not supposed to be.   Orphaned due to his father’s death due to cancer, angry that it was because he trusted his health to White doctors rather then the Traditional Medicine man.  Is proud of his Native heritage, and angry about what the palefaces have done to his people.   Can be very violent if his buttons are pushed.   Resents Kim’s father, his new foster Dad, but feels empathy for his foster paleface Mom.  Prototype:  A young Lou Diamond Phillips.
BILLY WILLIAMS
:   Kim’s 60 year old father, cranky Saskatchewan redneck who is always either working hard on his farm equipment, feeling very disappointed in Kim and Eddy, who neither use their brains nor brawn for something respectable.   Fantasies about how he can play hard with younger ladies in town, even though he respects and loves his wife a lot.   Stubborn individualist who will accept help from nobody, even when it is too late.      Prototype:  The crusty old fart on ‘Corner Gas’.
MELINDA RANSELHOFF
:  The most attractive girl in town, prize catch for whatever guy gets her.   Is sought after by Kim for her heart/mind, by Eddy for her body.  Takes herself more seriously than anyone else does, and is trying to find her real place in the world.   Is harboring a really deep love for Kim, but will only let that seed grow if he becomes a real man.  Prototype: Amanda Moore.
GEORGE MENDEZ
:   Good looking, well-educated, wealthy Mexican philanthropist/drug smuggler, 45 years old.   Solid family man who will do ANYthing for his family’s well being, and survival.  Prototype: Rubin Blades
Col. JACK JONES
:   Hard-nosed 40-something American CIA Colonel, working the drug smuggling circuit for country and his own pocket.   Prototype:  Eric Roberts.
VERONICA WILLIAMS
:  Emotionally-balanced 60-something caretaker for, and lover of, Billy Williams, and her always-disappointing sons.  Prototype:  Linda Darlow (Mayor, ‘The Commish’, ‘DaVinci’s Inquest/City Hall’).
MR. EDWARDS
:  Geeky but brilliant 50-something math teacher in Providence, knows he is boring to himself and a source of ridicule for the kids, but still wants to teach them new math and new technologies.   Prototype:  William H. Macy.
JOLINE JACKSON:   Attractive, 20-something social studies teacher, who has one eye out on the students’ future, and another eye out for a particular student, Melinda, with whom she secretly develops a romantic relationship, complicated by Joline’s aspirations for a Higher Spiritual Calling. 
JOHN LAFARGE:  Handsome, intelligent and elitist French exchange student whose parents are wealthy aristocrats in Europe.   A ‘ten’ in every category, a perfect match for Milinda as a Ken to her Barbie…. unless Kim and Eddy have something to do about it.  .   

Story:

Just another day riding fences on green horses for 18-year-old day-dreamer Kim Williams, until his horse spooks at newspaper clippings about the world outside of Providence, Saskatchewan.   The ever-blowing wind blows around now-old newspaper clippings from the highway about a man landing on the moon.  Escalation of an American war in Vietnam.  And gathering of 100,000 peace-and-love longhaired ‘freaks’ at Woodstock, NY.    A moment of wondering for Kim about what is really going on outside ‘nothing ever changes here’ small town Saskatchewan, until his workaholics Dad, Billy, reminds him to do his chores, get a haircut and do his homework so he can achieve the impossible---graduate high school.    At that only gateway out of Saskatchewan, we meet Eddy, Kim’s adopted Native-blood brother, arriving, like Kim, on horseback for class, in cowboy gear, to once again to impress dream babe Melinda Ranselhoff, who arrives on the school bus, who now is solidly with  John LaFarge.    The boys are reminded about their failures as students by Joline Jackson, who reminds them that it’s a make or break semester for them, and who insists that they take off their hats before entering the building, revealing really bad haircuts on them inflicted by their ‘Keep Canada Beautiful: Attract the babes like all William’s men always have, don’t look like them’ father’s barber, the chop-jobs partially the result of the lads not being able to calculate the customary 15 percent tip.    On the verge of failing yet again, most particularly Mr. Edwards math class,  and being left back, and being a disgrace to everyone, especially Melinda, Eddy gets an idea.  He’s made an impression of the keys to Mr. Edwards’ office and desk draw.  The lads who can’t add or subtract without counting on their fingers (and who still get it wrong), break in and upgrade the scores on their qualifying exams, and severely downgrade those of ‘perfect in every way’ John.   At the graduation ceremony, where John is an usher to be marooned in Providence by his European French parents, Kim and Eddy not only graduate, but are given scholarship money.   It impresses everyone, except Melinda, who is developing a romance with someone else---‘Miss Joline’.  

Figuring on escalating their fame and fortune so they can come home heroes, the guys invest their hard-stolen scholarship money into a truck, load up their horses, and head down to Montana to strike it rich at the rodeo circuit.  But they severely miscalculate how much gas they will need to get back, and don’t have enough money to cover the entry fee.  Seeing that they are broke, desperate, clean cut, real cowboys and Canadian, they are helped out by Mexican businessman George Mendez, who loans them money for their entry fee, claiming that is it his way to get back at the self-important Americans who think they own every rodeo, and his own country of Mexico as well.  The guys do their best to honor their new patron, and their Canadian pride, but come in third place, with nothing more than a belt buckle and a kiss from an unattractive aging rodeo bunny as their prize.   George Mendez forgives the guys’ failure to win top prize, and offers to fund their entry into another rodeo, requesting that they transport a locked barrel of Mexican dolls and trinkets to the gig in Big Fish, Montana.   Orders are to not open the barrel, but Eddy gets curious, ‘accidently’ opening lock.  Inside, are dolls, trinkets and packages of cigarettes with Mexican labels on them.

Once at Big Fish, Eddy is drawn to a hippie Waitress, a mutual attraction.  However, her father and boyfriend are Injun-hating/ridiculing rednecks, who make their sentiments known very publically when Eddy requests a drink of Moose Drool (the local beer) at the bar with his paleface White Canadian buddy.   Despite Kim’s Canadian-flavored attempts to cool tempers down, Eddy picks a fight with the rednecks, the brawl to take place behind the barn at the rodeo grounds.   While waiting, Kim assesses his non-future, what it would have been like to win first prize, to return home to Melinda rich and famous.   Eddy opens one of Mendez’ cigarette packs and smokes it, preparing for battle, sharing the ‘war pipe’ with Kim.  Just like the Marboro cigarettes that would make him look like a real cowboy at home, the smokes are too much for Kim.  They parch his throat, and surprisingly, make the ‘always plays it straight up’ lad paranoid.   The effect on Eddy is the opposite, converting his Indian Fire into playful, carefree pacifism.  When confronted with the Redneck guns and knives, Eddy offers them incantations, flowers and hugs, diffusing the potentially-deadly attack, impressing the Waitress, and drawing in a crowd of hippies-in-the-making.  Eddy shares his ‘peace pipe’ Mexican smokes with them, and becomes very popular.  They come in third again in the rodeo, failing to win the prize money for themselves and their backer, Mr. Mendez, who Kim calls.   Mendez claims he is in San Francisco, but is actually at the rodeo, observing how the guys operate, along with his boss, Jack Jones, through whom we find out that the packaged Mexican tobacco is weed and that it is time to move harder stuff as well, an idea which Mendez is against.    But, Mendez decides to trust his new Canadian cowboy and Indian employees, seeing a future in it for them.   He forgives them their trespasses with regard to breaking into the barrels, and invites them to enter a rodeo in Mexico, which is owned by a rich, powerful and Mexican-hating American family.  The Canadian guys work with Mendez  to drug the cattle and horses so that the spoiled brat sons of the American rodeo owner fall on their pompous asses in front of the ‘inferior wetback’ audience.   The gig is owned by Americans, the Canadian cowboys making a great showing, but coming in at second place.   First place, rightfully, went to Mexican cowboys.  A disappointment to Kim and Eddy, but other matters are developing.  Kim is kept in the dark about their being used as mules to transport harder drugs other than weed that he doesn’t know about, but Eddy knows about it and doesn’t care.  Eddy has figured out and is okay with it.   Making matters more difficult for ‘straight shooter’ Kim, Eddy has graduated from weed and is dropping acid, doing very illegal Sundance’s with local Native tribes, and turning into even more of a political activist.   Not so good for their cover as clean cut cowboys for crossing the border with illegal dope into America for the next rodeo.  Until Mendez gets the idea to make Kim, the young ‘cowboy’ of the pair, into a respectable ‘rodeo uncle’ by giving him an upscale wardrobe, and a haircut that scrapes off all of the hair on the crown of his head, making him look like a male-pattern bald 35 year old.  A source of agony for Kim, who has always yearned to grow his hair long, and a source of ridicule for Eddy who is allowed and encouraged to be the young ‘wild Indian-hippie’.   Mendez adopts the guys as his surrogate nephews, introducing him to his beloved (and thus far, protected) family, and doing his best to keep the guys away from Mendez’ behind the scenes boss, Jack Jones, who presses Mendez to move more dope, even faster, to clients Mendez doesn’t know or trust.

Under ‘Uncle George’s’ mentorship, Kim takes care of the business, while Eddy indulges in the pleasures.  Both accumulate new wealth, expanding perspectives and much-enjoyed respectability on their ‘rodeo holiday’ away from ‘nothing new ever happens here’ Saskatchewan, but events at home are changing rapidly.   Melinda has been dumped by her new lover Joline, who has chosen to become a Catholic Nun, and is leaving Providence, Sask. forever.    Melinda is left alone, yearning for someone solid, perhaps Kim, perhaps someone else.   Once-elitist snob John LaFarge has hit rock bottom, falling down the ladder from snooty aristocrat to pathetically self-destructive bum.  Workaholic, womanizer workhorse Billy Williams has contracted cancer, and refuses help from the doctors, his wife and insists that no one tell Kim and Eddy that he’s going downhill.  However, in letters his wife Veronica sends down South, Kim puts it all together.   Kim wants to go home to take care of his father.   Eddy has no love for the old, redneck bigot, but consents to think about going back, for the sake of Veronica, who has to put up with Billy. 

Meanwhile back at the hacienda, Mendez gets even tighter with the Kim and Eddy, inviting them to a birthday dinner with his family, and the extended family of peasants around him whom he takes care of.     The guys meet Mendez’ children, who take instantly to ‘Uncle Kim and Uncle Eddy’, and Mendez’ wife, Anna, who knows where the money for her children’s education and the peasants’ improved village come from, and is not happy about it.    After a meal where the Canadians take on more Mexican food than their Saskatchewan-conditioned intestines can handle, Kim goes to a local pharmacy to get some diarrhea medications.  After the brilliant, self-made pharmacist-doctor asks if he wants a cure for baldness too, Kim finds a medication on the shelves, RT-3, that claims to be a wonder-cure for the kind of cancer his father has.   He empties out his wallet to buy it, but the pharmacist-doc refuses to sell it because it is HIGHLY illegal in the US, and Canada.   The outlaw physician suggests that Kim bring his father to Mexico for short and long term treatment, but Kim insists on buying it and smuggling it across the line if he has to.   ‘When you get caught, I will get caught’, the developer of the wonder drug claims.   Kim insists that ‘I was never caught for doing anything.  And never will’, to which the life-tested healer provides a prophetic warning. ‘You will. Everybody is’.  

Back at Mendez’ hacienda, Eddy teaches George’s kids to ride while Kim relates the ‘fairy tale’ about the ‘wonder cancer medicine.’   Upon hearing its name and confirming its source, Eddy gets serious, recalling memories of his uncles being offered the drug by a Medicine Man who was practicing medicine and outlawed Native religion without a license.   In a heartfelt revealing of things never told to his ‘blood brother’ Kim, a teary-eyed Eddy relates that his uncles got better, and the medicine man was thrown into jail, then the nuthouse.   Eddy’s father was also offered the drug, but a White Doctor convinced him that Native Medicines, like Native Religion, was toxic.   Eddy’s father died because he didn’t get the treatment.   For the sake of Veronica, Eddy decides to go along with Kim and makes tracks back to Canada with the illegal drug, using their drug smuggling abilities and connections to do so.  They break into the pharmacy, steal the RT-3, and leave what they think is enough money to cover its cost, overpaying, as usual, being the math ‘geniuses’ that they are.  They know that George Mendez has another shipment to go across into the US, but that won’t be for ten days, and the guys have been given time off.  They think that they can drive back to Saskatchewan, then return to Mexico, in time to be back on the clock for George.   They make a clandestine dash for the US border with their usual cover of being an American Uncle and Nephew on their way to another rodeo, and get across without complications.  But complications emerge in Mexico. 

Jones strong-arms Mendez into doing the shipment early, involving more drugs than Mendez wanted to ship.   As leverage, Jones infers that is is able to kidnap or kill Mendez’ children and wife, but wife Anna beats him to the punch, taking the kids for a surprise holiday to an undisclosed location.   Still, Jones presses on, demanding that the two Canadian ‘rodeo mules’ be called back to work early.  Certain that the guys will obey, Mendez calls the vacation resort he sent them to and is told they never checked in.  Feeling angry, betrayed, and scared, Mendez claims that ‘if they are anywhere in Mexico, I will find them’.  Jones suggests that they may not be in Mexico.  

Once across the line, thinking they are safe, Kim and Eddy discover wanted posters on them, for drug smuggling, fraud, kidnapping and murder, with a big price on their head.  They narrowly avoid capture by a Sheriff whose under-aged daughter ‘bad boy Injun activist’  Eddy almost gets into bed, and head North as fast as they can.  Roadblocks abound, then their truck breaks down.  It’s just a matter of time till they are captured, killed, or worse and they share a canteen of water on the side of the road, hugging each other when…a truck stops.   Inside, an attractive whiz mechanic German chick on the way to a rodeo with her, as is discovered, dyke girlfriend.   Being new to America, they don’t recognize the guys, but inform them about a new kind of rodeo they are going to.  With big cash prize for first place.                  

With truck repaired and spirits renewed, the guys follow the German tourists through a detour to the gig, which is a GAY rodeo.   Absorbed in their work, themselves, and (for Eddy anyway) residual acid/weed, the two Canuks who never met any gay men, or women (with exception of Joline) put their noses to the grindstone, and do a stellar performance.  Their best, ever, culminating in saving each others’ asses in the arena from wild bulls and horses of the like they have never seen.   Finally, they win first prize.  Cash to go home with, and a reputation of Champion Rodeo riders, the award presented by a hot looking rodeo bunny who Eddy discovers, in front of everyone, is a guy, and who suspects that the pair may be straight, cheating their way into rodeo prize money reserved for those who are bold enough to embrace an alternative lifestyle .  The two straight Canadians find themselves the center of attention, having to fake being gay, and decide, for the sake of Billy, and Veronica, and their own survival, to kiss each other, on the lips.   The event is photographed, the picture reaching the local news papers fast, bringing Mendez and his Mexican ‘army’ and Jones and his American one, to the rodeo just as the guys are ready to make their getaway. 

Helping them, just in the nick of time, the rodeo bunny, organizing the group to paint their rugged, Canadian rig pink, and dressing them up as hot looking chicks with big sized boobs.  Inside one of the boobs, Kim hides the highly illegal anti-cancer drug.   He soon feels, literally, the hand of the law on them and him.  Jones appears out of nowhere, stops both of the ‘babes’ from passing through a checkpoint with his massive hands on both of their chests.   Eddy explains his way around him by explaining in German to him that he doesn’t understand English, getting a thumbs up from the German chick he met on the road from getting the accent and diction right, as well as the attitude.   Introvert Kim dives deep inside himself to find an Italian female character who speaks speckles of that tongue amidst lots of babble and sexy/aggressive hand language.  It puts Jones in his place, and his papers into a pile of horse manure.  Mendez, seeing it all, smiles with delight.   The guys head north, as fast as they can. 

Roadblocks are still ahead, and the guys use their feminine charm to get through them, Eddy helping himself to some money out of some of the Cops’ wallets, and stealing some bows and arrows on cigar store Indians along the side of the road.  Their truck breaks down barely a hundred miles from the Canadian border.  Abandoning the truck and their disguises, they cowboy up, prepared to make a run for the 49th parallel, racing against the clock, against the elements, and against bullets shot at them by potentially-bounty-hunting American ranchers who think they are trying to stampede their cattle.   

Finally, they spot the Canadian flag on the other side of some nasty looking hilly badlands.  They sense, but don’t know, that things are worse at home.  Billy’s gotten worse, and is finally in the hospital, his body halfway destroyed by cancer treatments he got already.  He will most likely be destroyed by surgery, which the very White, rich and by-the-numbers Doctor Johnson insists on doing, and doing fast, as a last resort. Veronica finally gives up hope for her boys to get home with the lifesaving highly illegal drug.  She signs the consent forms for the surgery on Billy’s behalf, Melinda storming out, determined to stop it anyway she can.                  

Collecting themselves and patching up their worn down horses after a hard ride, Kim and Eddy mount up again and head for the 49th, to be chased by helicopters manned by Jones and Mendez, no shortage of weapons or man inside them.   Also on board, Mendez’ wife and children, held hostage by Jones just in case Mendez decides to slip up and let the Canadian mules who know so much get into Canada and decide to go back to their old life.   From the Canadian side, a lone, unarmed, Canadian Border Patrol Guard, hears the noise, and tries to call it in on his radio, but the ‘made in USA’ radio fails on him.  He picks up a shovel and a small pack of explosives and scurried ahead.

Meanwhile, back in Saskatchewan, Melinda has organized the nurse in the OR to do extended prayer for Billy, as the last right, delaying the surgery, and Doc Johnson’s golf game.   Pulling rank, and finally figuring out who is behind it, Johnson stops the prayer group and has the team prepare for the surgery, which even he knows will probably kill Billy, but at least it will be fast. 

Back at the border, Kim and Eddy make some engage in high performance riding and spot on shots with their bows and arrows, making some progress in bringing the choppers down and making a getaway, but not quite enough.  Finally, they are cornered from both sides, when a large explosion opens up a hole in the cliff behind them.   A cave is evident amongst the rubble.  Greeting them, the sole Canadian Border guard, with a ‘Welcome to Canada.  Do you have anything to declare?’   Recognizing the guard as John LaForge, Kim and Eddy try to stutter an apology for all the practical jokes they played on him in the past that demoted him from University bound aristocrat exchange student to lone woodsman/border guard.  Putting the matters aside, John invites them into the cave, which is an underground tunnel built by whisky smuggles in the 1880s and 1930s.   

The guys make it to the Canadian side of the line, contraband intact, and see, from a distance, justice happening on the American side of the line.  Jones and his army moves in to disarm Mendez’ man, and threatens to shoot Mendez’ wife and children in retribution for having let Kim and Eddy get into Canada.  Arrogant American Jones demands that a picture be taken of Mexican Mendez’ surrender.  Mendez concedes to literally licking Jones’ ass and sucking his genitalia, but suggests that it be done in a better light.  He invites Jones to approach, wooing the pathetically industrialized Colonel into a solid-looking ground that is actually quicksand.   Jones sinks to his death, his men not coming to his aid, then getting the drop put on them by the Mexicans.    Mendez waves a fond farewell to his Canadian friends, gets in the chopper with his family, and leaves, the invincible American Army tied up, in their underwear.  

Eddy fixes the busted radio, enabling John to call in to the Doc in Saskatchewan, just before he is about to cut open Billy.  The surgery having been postponed, Eddy leads Kim and Melinda in a late night break in to the old coot’s hospital room.   Billy wakes up after being given a mouthful of the anticancer drug and through delirious eyes recognizes Kim, his first words to the shorn-converted smuggler ‘Yer Injun brother finally scalp ya’.  He asks who Melinda is, Kim declaring her his wife to be, surprising her with a ring he puts on her finger, obtained from a box of Crackerjacks.   Eddy finds himself calling Billy ‘Dad’ for the first time, and meaning it. 

In the final scene, Kim and Melinda are being wed, for real, at the same spot where the lads got the high school diplomas and scholarship money they cheated to get, Eddy in full Native Regalia (the only Indian there) being best man.   Billy’s health is restored, and he’s back to eyeing the anatomy of young, attractive women, even when his wife is looking.  This time, it’s the ‘arm candy’ Doc Johnson brought to wedding, the baffled Doc still in the dark about why Billy made a miraculous recovery.  Conducting the ceremony, math teacher Mr. Edwards, weaving in mathematical terminology into the traditional words used for such an occasion.   Giving final consent to the marriage first is John, once Melinda’s suitor, sitting in the audience alone.   Giving final consent, a Nun, Sister Joline, Melinda’s Maid of Honor, who asked the Creator if there are any objections, hearing none, and thus relating His approval as well.  
Script available upon request.