Panther script
Panther (1995)
Synopsis: In this semi-fictionalized account of the origins of the Black Panthers, Vietnam vet Judge (Kadeem Hardison) returns to his hometown of Oakland to find it beset by violence and police discrimination against African-Americans. Judge's friend Cy tells him about a vigilante group that's organizing against the police and introduces him to its leaders, Bobby (Courtney B. Vance) and Huey (Marcus Chong). Judge joins the movement but is soon beset by police pressure to inform against Huey.

BLACKOUT:

The SCREEN stands BLACK, like a chalkboard... or a grave.

A SOUND builds, like a RADIO surfing channels. Snippets of

SONGS -- Joan Baez' "Blowin' in the Wind," James Brown's "I

Feel Good." The music of a different time.

FOOTAGE:

IMAGES hit the screen: ROSA PARKS, Peace Demonstrators

stuffing FLOWERS in the barrels of National Guard rifles.

Protesters in Birmingham, rallies on the White House Lawn.

Mixed in with the MUSIC comes NEWS BITES -- quick catchwords

of 60's turmoil -- "More troops to Vietnam," "Bus Boycott,"

"Sit ins," "Draft Dodgers," "Malcolm X speaking."

Then a SINGLE PHOTO settles on screen -- a ROW of BLACK

PANTHERS, fists raised, standing defiantly together.

The IMAGE FREEZES.

VOICE:

(over)

The Black Panthers...

As the PHOTO FADES, LIGHTS APPEAR. A SHAPE takes form. The

BAY BRIDGE arcs over silent water, spanning two worlds.

VOICE:

(over)

People still ask me how it all

started? How things went so far? And

like a lot of questions about the

Panthers, there are different answers.

Different beginnings...

Rising behind the voice, the noise of a CROWD can be heard.

VOICE:

(over)

What became the Black Panthers really

started with just two guys -- Bobby

Seale and Huey Newton -- saying two

words:
"Defend Yourselves..." Legend

has it they met at some coffee house

where Bobby was running down a

rhyme...

CUT TO:

EXT. COFFEE SHOP (BLACK/WHITE) - 1966 - DAY

TITLE:
MARCH 17, 1965

BOBBY SEALE -- a skinny, kinetic black man sporting an Afro --

teeters on a chair in front of a small CROWD. He reads from

a crumpled sheaf of papers.

At the side of the crowd, HUEY NEWTON -- well-built, magnetic --

watches, grooving on the rhythm of the words.

BOBBY:

Oh yeah. Yeah it's easy to see right

on your black and white TV. Black

man. Blue cop. Red blood. Niggers

watch other niggers die. That's right

Niggers watching niggers die. That's

the American way...

A COMMOTION starts at the rear of the crowd. TWO UNIFORMED

COPS roughly make their way to Bobby. They pull him off his

chair, cracking his head against the ground.

The cop over Bobby raises his NIGHTSTICK...

A BLACK HAND grabs the club, stopping its arc.

Shocked, the cop turns. It's HUEY. With honed precision, he

DECKS the cop with his free hand.

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Mario Van Peebles

Mario Van Peebles is an American film director and actor best known for directing New Jack City in 1991. He is the son of actor and filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles, whom he portrayed in the 2003 biopic Baadasssss! that he also co-wrote and directed. more…

All Mario Van Peebles scripts | Mario Van Peebles Books

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"Panther" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 21 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/panther_1108>.

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