A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die

Synopsis: A dishonoured army officer saves the lives of some hardened criminals on condition that they help him regain his honour. Will they live up to his expectations?
92 min

I've killed

for the first time in my life.

On 22 March, 1862.

As from today, the martial law is declared

throughout all the Territory of New Mexico.

Looters, Confederate sympathizers,

persons violating the curfew...

or illegally possessing arms or any other

people believed inimical to the Union,

shall upon capture,

be summarily executed,

by order of the Officer Commanding,

Maj. Charles Ballard, United States Army.

Can you recommend

a good restaurant here, mister?

I got a couple of dollars.

A man with a nose for grub,

usually finds it.

- Did you read that?

- I can read.

You will be shown hanged if

behold much as nails an apple.

- And would they? - I doubt it.

Many loud noise scared of looters.

As well as a solid citizen.

I would sell my soul for a

a roast turkey with chestnut.

Shut up, will you? I'm feeling

faint just thinking by it.

And a hand of chicken, and on

the side, a golden corn...

...all soaked in butter

with a touch of cloves.

Cloves ain't to my taste.

All without a clove is

a playful buttered corn.

If they stick cloves in my corn,

I'll sender it back.

A whole ham...

I can't stand the look at it.

The proprietor always closes at noon,

goes home to dinner...

and comes back an hour later. I

watched that grocery for a week.

I reckon there's a lock on the door.

But what I really need is a partner to

keep an eye open outside while I'm inside.

- Right in front of you. We split even.

- A third and all you can eat. - I'm in.

If someone comes along...

Times are wasted.

And Will be summarily executed...

Hello there, friend. Could you spare a bite

for a poor veteran who hasn't eaten long?

He sacrificed his right leg fighting...

...to free the slaves like Abe Lincoln

said was the only thing humane to do.

- And so I gave my legs for my country.

- Which leg?

This here. They made it out of rotten wood,

it swells up like a sponge in wet weather.

- So, I'll...

- Have you gone loco. You'll smash it!

And show a little respect for

a war hero, you cracker.

I lose a leg fighting and you just sitting

around and eating. To hell with you!

It's got to be treason. The war's

supposed only 30 miles from here.

It's all the fault of that traitor,

who surrendered at Fort Holman.

He opened the gates and the

rebels just strolled right in.

The great dictator,

the biggest in the world.

That shells are bigger as wash tubs.

Those Reds keep firing those guns

to break up the Union's ranks.

To keep our men hold up

like frogs in a pond.

Fort Holman was the best stronghold we had until

that Pembroke just turned it over to the enemy.

Do you think that guns

will be on top of us?

No, they're out of range of us.

- Well, almost probably.

- I wish they get this war over with.

I lost a son at Fort Sumter, and for what,

just to see these Reds ride inside my house.

Yeah, I was at Fort Sumter too.

I shot off so many bullets my rifle

lightly melted in my hand.

I had to spit on it to cool if off.

Maybe your son was fighting right beside me!

- 13th Brigade?

- Sure it was, 13th Brigade.

A real tough brigade!

Say, you wouldn't have a little grub

you could spare to an old soldier

that lost a leg?

Fighting alongside your own son?

I hardly got the corn

like he does.

Sorry. I have never could do.

Help! Help! Please, help!

I've been broke!

Sheriff, come quick!

There are thieves in my store!

Clean them all out!

Do your duty!

Open up there!

Didn't your ma ever tell you that your

eyes were bigger than your stomach?

And now everything goes right back

were it was.

Well, what are you waiting for?

The whistle.

Hey, you was not at sleep.

It's better you don't shoot. Otherwise

all the soldiers in town are down on us.

If I was you, I'd get rid of

that gun in a big hurry.

If they find it on you, you are dead.

Did you read that post on main street?

Ballard don't play games.

You sure had me scared, man.

You took the front lines too, huh.

There are more lucrative here.

Better pick in these rounds here.

And it's safer, too.

Hey look, we could join up. All I need is

a friend behind to see nobody's watching...

What about that cross?

Just maybe you're making a

collection for your private chapel.

You got it off the altar, huh?

Sure tell me you got there first.

I know, it's yours.

I didn't say it wasn't.

I have got a bag full.

And good stuff too...

What about that?

Nice, huh?

Oh God, my God, how could I?

How could I even think

of stealing the church?

When I think what a saint my mother was.

She has been dead a long time.

She'd turn into her grave.

She wanted me to put on a cloth in

her church, but look what I turned in.

Well, I've had enough of this kind

of life! I will be an honest man.

and be in peace with the Lord.

I'll give up all my belongings!

The results of my sins!

And thank you, Lord, for

making me see the light.

Repent, my brother, repent with me.

You can't imagine

how relieved I feel now.

Give up all the fruits of your evil ways,

turn them over to the Lord...

and he will rescue you!

You'll see the Lord will forgive you

if you ask him. Give up your bad ways!

- Repent, brother.

- Move.

Please, let me pass.

Lord has guided me to you!


Wait for me!

Hey, stop a thief!

Help, I have been robbed!

- Hurry up, Sergeant!

- Then who the hell are you?

- What did they steal of you?

- I am the sacrist.

Rate this script:0.0 / 0 votes

Rafael Azcona

Rafael Azcona Fernández (24 October 1926 – 24 March 2008) was an awarded Spanish screenwriter and novelist who has worked with some of the best Spanish and international filmmakers. Azcona won five Goya Awards during his career, including a lifetime achievement award in 1998.He was born in the northern Spanish city Logroño on 24 October 1926. Azcona initially began his career writing for humor magazines. He became known as a screenwriter when he penned the screenplay for the film, El Pisito (The Little Apartment), which was based on his own novel. The 1959 film was directed by Italian film director, Marco Ferreri.Azcona teamed up with director Fernando Trueba in “Belle Époque,” which won an Academy Award for best foreign film in 1994. He collaborated with other Spanish directors including Luis Garcia Berlanga, Jose Luis Cuerda, Jose Luis Garcia Sanchez, Pedro Olea, and Carlos Saura. Azcona was also awarded the Spanish Fine Arts Gold Medal in 1994.Rafael Azcona died at his home in Madrid, Spain, on 24 March 2008, at the age of 81. more…

All Rafael Azcona scripts | Rafael Azcona Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 28 May 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/a_reason_to_live,_a_reason_to_die_22490>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die

    Browse Scripts.com

    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.