A Single Shot

Synopsis: The tragic death of a beautiful young girl starts a tense and atmospheric game of cat and mouse between hunter John Moon and the hardened backwater criminals out for his blood.
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Director(s): David M. Rosenthal
Production: Single Shot Productions
  1 win & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
116 min




No, no.



"Dear tools...

"By now,

"I guess you know I'm gone.

"I couldn't take it no more.

"Not so much

my foster dad's drinking

and losing his temper..."

Gotta get a lawyer, Johnno.

It ain't gonna go away

by you ignoring it.


Boy, you been

mule-kicked in the head?

Who the f*** you think it is?

I thought...

Thought you was out... west,

on a bridge job.

Ah, the f***in' bridge

is built, Johnno.

I'm sitting right here.


Who you been talking to?


Made you think I need a lawyer?



Yup. She waited on me

at Puffy's earlier.

Said she'd moved

into town with Nolan

and hit you

with divorce papers,

and you won't go get a lawyer.

Aw, sh*t.

That's old news, Simon.

Well, not to me, it ain't.

I been drillin' steel

out in Montana

these three months, remember?

Says she's gonna go

back to school,

be a teacher?



Know what the end of

the world is, Johnno?

When your heart stops

beatin', partner.

Anything else

is just a setback.

How good you'd get to know

Ira Hollenbach?

How good what?

When you worked for him?

Hell, I only worked

for him near a year,

before he and Molly got killed.

Knew him to be a decent boss.


Yeah, but look here.

Go and see my lawyer.

Daggard Pitt.

I don't want a divorce, Simon.

I want my family back.

Yeah, well, go

and see him anyway.

He'll take good care of you.

Thought you'd get away...

Did ya, John?

You know me?

It's a small town, John.

Daggard Pitt.

Uh, Simon Breedlove said

you'd be a good one

for me to talk to 'bout this.

Come on in, John.

Let's see what you've got.

Well, these were served on you

over 40 days ago.

The law doesn't allow

but 20 to answer them.

They got under somethin'.

The problem, thankfully,

isn't fatal.

I need your help.

Uh... I ain't

interested in a divorce.

Me and Jess don't

see eye-to-eye on that.

I'm so sorry.

She's got this idea

about the boy.

Your son?


After he was born,

she started to see things...

- Different.

- "Different"?

Yeah, all of a sudden,

she wanted more.

Now, I've always provided.

She can't say I don't provide.

I-I ain't lazy.

Says here you've had

trouble keeping a job

ever since your father

lost his farm?

No, sir.

I've had plenty of jobs.

Plenty of jobs,

just not for long.

I even took a job

at that creamery,

just to get her

a few extra things,

and when I lost that,

she... uh...

I can't stay cooped up

inside all day.

I was raised to farm.

It's all I know.

How can I help you, John?

She mentioned counselin', once.

I'll go now,

if it'll bring her home.

You tell her lawyer that.

I was acquainted

with your parents.

I represented the bank

when they foreclosed on

and sold their farm

to Cecil Nobie.

I felt awful about it.

We all did.

The bank did what it could

to keep your father afloat,

but the economy at that time,

and him having

overextended himself...


Then, of course...

him taking sick.


The question you have

to ask yourself is,

will you be

comfortable with me?

Simon says you're cheaper

than the rest of 'em in town.

That mean you ain't as good?


Compensation takes

many forms, John.

Mm. Main one says money.

I have no wife,

no family,

only my clients

and their often-sticky

and heartfelt situations.

I've known our friend, Simon,

for example,

through thick and thin.

How serious of scrapes

you got him out of?

Well, that's between

him and me, John.

Just as anything you tell me

as your lawyer

will be between you and me.

You're not wondering

about my criminal defense

Rate this script:(5.00 / 1 vote)

Matthew F. Jones

Matthew F. Jones, is an American novelist and screenwriter who grew up in rural upstate New York and currently lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. His novels have been translated into various foreign languages and several times have been named on best novels of the year lists. Three of his novels, A Single Shot, Deepwater and Boot Tracks, have been made into major motion pictures. He has taught creative writing at a number of colleges and universities, including Randolph Macon College, Lynchburg College and the University of Virginia. He grew up on a horse and dairy farm in rural upstate New York and currently lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. Patrick Andersen, in a Washington Post review of Jones’s 2006 novel Boot Tracks, termed the phrase ‘literate noir’ to describe the tense, psychological nature of Joes work. And in a starred review of Jones’s 1999 psychological thriller Deepwater, Booklist critic Bill Ott described Jones as a ‘leading contemporary author of country noir, a subgenre whose roots trace back to James M. Cain’s Post Man Always Rings Twice.’ A film version of Deepwater was released under the same name in 2006, starring Lucas Black, Peter Coyote and Leslie Anne Warren. Jones’s own screenplay of his 1996 novel "A Single Shot" was made into a film of the same name in 2012 and released in 2013. The film version of the novel stars Sam Rockwell, William H. Macy, Jeffrey Wright, and Kelly Reilly. more…

All Matthew F. Jones scripts | Matthew F. Jones Scripts

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "A Single Shot" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 5 Aug. 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/a_single_shot_2019>.

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