East of Yuma

Log Line
Yuma Marshall tracks down the killers of his uncle.

Script Info
Script Type: Feature
Genre: Western
Est. Budget: Less than $1M

Screenplay Synopsis
Open on a lone horseman crossing the wide expanse of Southwest desert, meet Marshall Jesse Cranston, no nonsense lawman, he pursues two fugitive killers. Jesse finds his men, there’s a gunfight, he shoots one man and returns the second for trial and hanging. Back in Yuma we meet pretty fiancĂ© Patty Jennings, the Mayor’s daughter, the two plan to marry soon. We also learn that Jesse has grown weary of the killing required to protect the law.

Four desperate outlaws arrive in town to rob the local bank, Jesse is with Patty on the street and confronts the outlaws in the open with the help of best friend Deputy Butrum. Jesse kills three of the men and is almost killed himself. Patty sees it all, she’s horrified and tells Jesse she can’t live like this, waiting to see if he comes home in a pine box. Jesse tells Patty he agrees and will take off his badge. His uncle Jackson Blake has a large cattle ranch near Gila Bend, about 200 miles away, Blake offers Jesse a job as ranch foreman, Jesse tells Patty he will go there first then send for her. Patty is relived and they set a wedding date.

Jesse arrives in Gila Bend and learns his uncle has been murdered just days before his arrival. The suspected killer is gunfighter Dirk Holland, a hired gun for local business man James Bartell. Jesse seeks help from Town Sheriff Bill O’Dell whom tells Jesse there are no witnesses. Jesse learns that a silver mine has been discovered on the ranch, his uncle Blake was planning on expanding into the mining business. Bartell was trying to buy the ranch from Jesse’s uncle, whom refused to sell out. Attorney John Rollings holds the title to the ranch. Bartell makes a secret deal with Rollings to secure the ranch title, effectively stealing it from Jesse.

Holland hears about the failed bank robbery in Yuma. Jesse is no longer in town as Marshall to protect the money. The bank seems like an easy target. Holland tells Bartell to give him two men to help rob the bank. Bartell agrees, then decides to double cross Holland, he tells his men to kill Holland after they rob the bank. Holland is faster on the trigger and shoots Bartell’s men first, he also kills Deputy Butrum who tries to stop the robbery. Jesse at the ranch hears of the bank robbery and killing of best friend Butrum. Bartell aware Holland knows of the double cross and fearing for his life, flees Gila Bend by train with the ownership title to the ranch and silver mine. He’s caught by Holland at a train stop between Gila Bend and Yuma, Holland kills Bartell and takes the title to the ranch and mine. Several local deputies chase Holland into the desert. Jesse is compelled to put on his Marshall badge again and give chase, tracking Holland back to Yuma and almost catching him, as Holland now grabs Patty and takes her hostage. Jesse now must avenge the deaths of his uncle and best friend Butrum, get the ranch and silver mine back -- and rescue Patty!

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