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Lottie Deno

Log Line
Female gambler stays one turn of the card ahead of her past.

Script Info
Script Type: Feature
Genre: Western
Est. Budget: Less than $3.5M

Screenplay Synopsis
Open on a Mississippi River steamboat, where strikingly handsome, LOTTIE DENO (28), fiery red hair dressed elegantly in fine European silk, squares off against a gambler in a high stakes poker game. Lottie bets it all, but lady luck isn’t with her tonight, as fiancĂ©, JOHNNY GOLDEN (34), watches Lottie lose everything on one turn of the card. Later that night, Golden sneaks into the gambler’s state room and grabs the man’s billfold. Gambler wakes and gives chase, there’s a struggle, Golden stabs and kills the man, then flees, finding Lottie. There’s armed men now surrounding them, Golden flashes the cash at Lottie and tells her, “Find your own luck now!” …as he jumps over the ship rail.

Move to a dust covered San Antonio street, where a four-up stagecoach rolls into town. Several passengers exit, then Lottie steps down. Sudden loud gunfire, Deputy FRANK THURMOND (40), chases two outlaws into town on horseback, almost runs over Lottie terrifying her. Later, she steps up to the busiest Faro table in town, where she’s surprised to see Frank doubling as the dealer. Lottie beats Frank for a large sum of cash and tells him she wants a job dealing Faro. Frank sees the potential and hires Lottie. Their relationship is business at first, but Frank eventually falls for Lottie and their feelings become mutual. Lottie befriends an older black woman MARY, a former slave, who teaches local orphan children how to read. Lottie helps financially support the orphans with some of her winnings, and we learn that Lottie has a much younger sister and that she was raised on large horse racing farm. Her father was killed in the Civil War and the family lost the plantation. Her mother died shortly after and Lottie’s sister was taken away to an orphanage. Lottie, on her own now, went out West with Golden, learning to gamble. She wants to buy back the family farm and get her sister, but can never save enough to accomplish her goals. Frank is forced to kill a man in a gambling dispute and flees to busy Fort Griffith, where Lottie joins him after finding a home for several orphans in San Angelo with the help of US Marshall Wyatt Earp. She faces off against Doc Holliday at the Faro tables, beating him and gets in a gunfight with a jealous Big Nose Kate. Johnny Golden arrives unannounced, he wants Lottie back, she was his good luck charm. Frank runs Johnny out of town and decides to leave Texas. He heads to the mining boom in Silver City, New Mexico, where Lottie follows him. They set up their own gambling hall and hotel, befriending a young boy of about age fourteen, Henry McCarty, alias Billy The Kid. Billy kills a man trying to steal from Frank and Lottie, then flees to Lincoln County to escape prosecution where he becomes wanted. Soon after the couple has enough money to buy a ranch outside of Deming, New Mexico, the newest shipping town on the southern railroad to California. Frank tells Lottie he wants to settle down and be a rancher. Lottie doesn’t want to give up the gambling hall.

Frank goes to the Territorial Capital in Santa Fe to charter a new bank, as now Golden arrives again in Silver City looking for Lottie. He tries to take her by force this time, but Lottie escapes with the help of the local Sheriff, who Golden kills with two outlaw brothers traveling with him. Frank arrives back in town to confront Golden and the brothers, but is beaten and shot. Frank manages to overcome the three men, killing Golden and one of the brothers. Frank finally asks Lottie to marry him, and she accepts. They sell the gambling hall and hotel in Silver City to settle in Deming. Frank is surprised and attacked by the revengeful second brother from Silver City, barely killing the brother, as now Wyatt Earp returns and brings a special surprise -- Lottie’s lost younger sister!