Bare Knuckle

Synopsis: The Boxer, a quiet man with a history of losing fights, comes to Mickey McDonnell begging for a fight, but the only thing he can offer the failed pugilist is an impossible match with Bruiser, an unbeaten brute twice the boxer's size, and if he loses he owes Mickey twenty fights as payback.
Genre: Action, Short
Year:
2016
551 Views


BLACK FRAME - TEXT APPEARS

“Violence alone does not render bloodsports interesting.

Lovers of cockfighting take no pleasure in seeing livestock

butchered in slaughterhouses.

Only violence in the context of fair combat affords genuine

displays of fortitude and honor.

The ability to accept violence yet place limits on it, to

order mayhem with rules and a spirit of gallantry is the true

measure of a civilization and surest bulwark of freedom”

-R. Payne Knight, Eulogy of Boxing and Cock Fighting - 1806

--TEXT fades out.

From the black we hear two heavy axes chop into thick wood.

EXT. NORTHEASTERN FOREST - EVENING

Four feet off the ground, two men stand on planks notched in

a twenty-foot-wide American Chestnut, chopping with vigor.

Both Irish. One cut from steel, KIERAN. The other big and

burly, GRADY, who begins to tire.

GRADY:

I’ll be glad to put these damn

behemoth chestnuts behind me.

KIERAN:

You’re too good to be joining up

with the Chichesters. A bunch of

thievin’ cutthroats, they are.

GRADY:

I live in the slums of Manhattan,

same as you. How else do you ward

off all those bloody top hats?

KIERAN:

Trouble’s easy enough to avoid if

you don’t go looking for it.

Grady stops chopping, breathing heavy. Kieran’s pace is

relentless.

GRADY:

The states have been at war for

over a year now. The streets of New

York run lawless. Trouble finds ya

all on it’s own.

2.

KIERAN:

Keep that axe moving, Grady. My

girl’s got her first singing gig at

the Know Nothings tomorrow and I’m

not missing it on account of your

lazy hide.

GRADY:

Know Nothings? The saloon for Irish

hating bowery boys?

Grady resumes, wincing with every swing.

KIERAN:

Aye, but it’s good money. Destine

was handpicked by Bad Jack himself.

GRADY:

The bare knuckle champion? You’re

the one who needs a gang, lad.

KIERAN:

She’ll only be singing for Jack, I

assure you of that.

GRADY:

Destine has a grand fireside voice,

but don’t ya think maybe he picked

her for those full bubbies and that

round-

KIERAN:

You mind your tongue in the matters

of my bride to be.

GRADY:

Bride? You sly little lobcock. When

did you propose?

KIERAN:

I haven’t, but I aim to tomorrow,

if you got the bottom to finish

this job.

Grady smiles and heaves his axe into the massive trunk.

EXT. STREETS OF NEW YORK - DAY

Bloodied and maimed working-class laborers are scattered

about the streets. The sounds of livestock being slaughtered

in public markets and the rotten stench of open sewers fill

the air.

3.

SUPERED BELOW:
EAST BOWERY, NEW YORK CITY, 1862

Amongst the wretched street life is a cluster of innocent

children counting out loud, swinging a jump rope for DESTINE,

a beautiful French girl in a humble dress.

Destine freezes in awe of something and the rope hits her

feet. Kieran appears with his axe slung over his shoulder.

She runs into Kieran’s arms and they kiss as sweethearts. The

children giggle. Kieran grabs a little girl and playfully

swings her around as the other kids paw for his attention.

KIERAN:

You all minding your manners around

my beloved?

CHILDREN:

Yes.

KIERAN:

Don’t you be lettin’ me hear

otherwise.

DESTINE:

Alright children. Go play. I have

to talk to Kieran. Go on.

The children go back to jumping rope.

KIERAN:

What is it?

DESTINE:

Bad Jack wants me to attend his

fight today.

KIERAN:

Not a chance. It’s all crooks and

savages at those bouts.

DESTINE:

Surely a strong handsome lumberman

such as yourself can keep me safe.

KIERAN:

I got no desire in watching that

spectacle for rats.

DESTINE:

Fine, but if I don’t go, the whole

thing’s off. No money. Nothing.

4.

KIERAN:

(submits)

Alright. Let’s just hope Bad Jack

makes quick work of his man.

INT. STONE BASEMENT - DAY

BAD JACK, bald head, thick mustache, a dirty rotten beast of

a man, sits with an American Flag draped over his shoulders.

GIDEON, Jack’s greasy-haired corner man, circles him.

GIDEON:

No man can best you. No one has

your thirst for blood. All men fear

you. That English Nance is no match

for the beast he is to face today!

Bad Jack stands with a fury and bellows out a grunt that

could only come from a wild thing. Raw emotion and power exit

his lungs. Fireworks are coming.

EXT. BROKEN DOWN BUILDING - DAY

Half knocked down stone building packed to the brim with a

boisterous fancy(crowd). A mix of pickpockets, gamblers,

beggars, and working class men escaping their daily grind.

They all huddle around a boxing stage eagerly waiting for the

fighters to arrive.

Near the back of the fancy, Kieran wraps his arm around

Destine, staring with disdain at the devious crowd.

Kieran sees a prime viewing spot on a stack of crates. He

pulls Destine to it. As they jump up a squirmy SOD takes the

spot and pulls a knife.

SOD:

F*** off.

Kieran backs away with Destine who looks on disappointed.

KIERAN:

What would you have me do? Have it

out with the man right here?

The mob erupts as the fighters enter. Bad Jack stomps through

the crowd with his armed gang of BOWERY BOYS and tosses his

hat in the ring. The crowd cheers even louder.

Met with strong boos, his opponent VINCENT HAMMOND, the

strong jawed British champ, throws his hat in.

5.

The crowd is pushed back by grisly men whose job is to keep

the mob from climbing in the ring, messing with the fighters.

The gamblers hands fly up with cash ready to place their

wagers as the fighters peel their layers of clothing off.

Jack scans the crowd until he spots Destine. Jack nods at

her. She nods back. Kieran doesn’t like it.

Bad Jack smiles. He is the cock of the walk and knows it.

Jack crosses the ring to Hammond.

BAD JACK:

Care to make a wager, Englishman?

Bet you three hundred I win.

VINCENT:

Piss off, Jack.

BAD JACK:

Think I’m gonna win as well, do ya?

You English are soft as bread.

Bad Jack backs up to his corner loosening up. The referee, a

white bearded old timer with leather skin, steps in and draws

a chalk line in the center of the ring.

REF:

This is the Champion of America

facing the Champion of England so

let’s get the rules straight. When

both fighter’s have their foot on

the line, the round begins. When a

fighter goes down the round ends

until both fighters again toe the

line. No hitting a downed opponent.

No head butts. And Jack, no

punching the balls for f*** sake.

Now toe the scratch!

Bad Jack’s playful manner quickly transitions to focused rage

as he puts his foot on the chalk line. Vincent follows and

THE FIGHT IS ON.

Hammond throws first, but Jack bobs and weaves away from the

punches. Hammond chases Jack in circles unable to connect.

BAD JACK:

I knew you were slow, but come on.

Jack plays it up to the crowd, but finally stops and sticks

his stubbly chin in the air.

6.

BAD JACK (CONT’D)

Hit me you slow mangy sodomite!

BAM! Hammond whacks him good with a right cross, then gets in

close to land body shots.

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

David Matillo

David Matillo was born on September 22, 1983 in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. He is a writer and actor, known for Bangkok Hilton, Bare Knuckle and Fight Land. more…

All David Matillo scripts | David Matillo Scripts

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    "Bare Knuckle" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Jul 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/bare_knuckle_1238>.

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