Synopsis: In 1902 Texas, 13-year-old Horace goes to work on old Soll's farm to earn enough money to buy a headstone for his father's grave. Unfortunately for Horace, Soll's senility, ill health, and obsession with the convict labor he uses to work the farm, make it unlikely that Horace will ever be paid the $12.50 Soll owes him for 6 months work.
Genre: Drama
93 min

Don't let him get away.

Come on.

- Here. Come on now.

- Move it!


- Are you awake?

- I am now.

You hear them hounds?

They're running after that

convict that's trying to get away.

Reckon so.

Keep going, fellas!

Move it out, god damn it.

Hold on.


Come on, y'all.

God damn it! Move it out! I

don't want to lose that thing.

Come on now. Let's get him!


- They're shooting.

- I hear them.

- You think they killed him?

- God knows.

It's quiet now. Go back to sleep.

Asa, why aren't those convicts

out in the field working?

God only knows.

We'll head back to town as

soon as we finish up here.

- Give me a drink of that whiskey.

- As soon as I've finished.

Before we go back to town, I have

to stop by my papa's plantation.

What for?

I like to check on things

out there when he's gone.

- Look at that guard over there.

- What's going on around here?

I expect we'll be coming out here

before too long for Uncle Soll's funeral.

Well, the old buzzard can't

last many more Christmases.

Well, you've been saying that

for the last five Christmases.

I'll go see if he's inside.

Don't be long.

Mr. Soll.

Nowhere around.

Goddamn Christmas will

be ruined for sure now.

I'll be right out.

Hurry up now.

- Martha.

- Good morning, Mr. Billy.

- Where is Horace?

- He's gone fishing.

- Where is Mr. Soll?

- He's around someplace.

He sent for the sheriff.

One of them convicts killed

another one and run off.

They got the rest locked

up there in the quarters...

to keep them from fighting

amongst themselves.

Is that why it's so quiet around

here? No one out in the fields.

I thought maybe he gave the convicts

the day off because of Christmas Eve.

You know Mr. Soll don't

give nobody no time off.

He'll work them Christmas

Day, too. Always has.

The only reason that they

ain't out in the fields now...

is so the trouble won't spread.

Oh, my God. I don't know what

Horace's people are thinking about...

letting him work out in

this godforsaken place.

Would you go see if

you could find him?

Yes, sir.

Martha, where the hell are you going?

- Trying to find Horace.

- What?

- You seen Horace?

- Not for a spell.

If you see him, tell him Mr. Billy Vaughn

is looking for him up there at the store.

You all right?

I can't find him. Ben

hasn't seen him either.

- Give me some more whiskey.

- That's all I have.

I'm going up to Uncle

Soll's and get me some more.

Horace, where you been?

I been down to the field where

they found the dead convict.

Well, Mr. Billy wants you to

go into Harrison for Christmas.

I won't leave until

Mr. Soll gets back.

He told me yesterday

that he'd pay me today.

And he told you the day before

that he'd pay you yesterday.

- Did he do it?

- No.

I wouldn't be wasting my breath

waiting on him to pay you today.

I don't want to go

until I get my money.

There's still no tombstone

on my daddy's grave...

and I want to make a

down payment on one.

It worries me to death that there's

still no tombstone on my daddy's grave.

- How much do you think one'd cost me?

- I don't know.

Ain't your folks gonna be angry if

you don't get home for Christmas Day?

- My folks don't care what I do.

- Yes, they do.

- Sure they do.

- No, they don't.

My daddy cared, but he's dead.

I saw the grave they buried

the murdered convict in.

They got no marker on

it. What was his name?

I don't know what his name is. I

don't be studying them convicts.


Coming, Ben.

I'm tired of waiting here. Take

the gun and watch him for a spell...

while I go inside. It won't be long.

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Horton Foote

Albert Horton Foote Jr. (March 14, 1916 – March 4, 2009) was an American playwright and screenwriter, perhaps best known for his screenplays for the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird and the 1983 film Tender Mercies, and his notable live television dramas during the Golden Age of Television. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1995 for his play The Young Man From Atlanta and two Academy Awards, one for an original screenplay, Tender Mercies, and one for adapted screenplay, To Kill a Mockingbird. In 1995, Foote was the inaugural recipient of the Austin Film Festival's Distinguished Screenwriter Award. In describing his three-play work, The Orphans' Home Cycle, the drama critic for the Wall Street Journal said this: "Foote, who died last March, left behind a masterpiece, one that will rank high among the signal achievements of American theater in the 20th century." In 2000, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Convicts" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 19 Aug. 2022. <>.

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