Nevada Smith

Synopsis: Nevada Smith is the young son of an Indian mother and white father. When his father and mother are killed by three men over gold, Nevada sets out to find them and kill them. The boy is taken in by a gun merchant. The gun merchant shows him how to shoot, to shoot on time, and to shoot straight. Everything that Nevada does goes to killing those three men. He learns to read and write just to learn their location. He pays people to tell him where they're at. He even goes to prison to kill one of them. While the movie is a Western and has plenty of action, it also takes a deep look into vengeance and how one can change after a haunting incident.
Genre: Western
Director(s): Henry Hathaway
Production: Paramount Pictures
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
128 min

- Morning, son.

- Morning.

We're off course.

Know the old mine around here?

- There's a lot of them here.

- It's worked by a man named Sand.

- Samuel Sand.

- He's my father.

You don't say, boy.

Your pa hunted buffalo

with me in the army.

We thought it only decent

to stop by and say howdy.

Three miles on, second canyon,

head west. You'll see.

- You have a first name?

- Max.

Much obliged, Max.

You keep out of this, squaw.

- Now, where is the gold? Tell me.

- Take it easy.

Come on, Sam.

Sam, ain't no use holding out.

There's no gold, Jesse.

When will you get it?

Now, look,

you're working a so-called dead mine.

- You found something.

- Would I be living like this?

- We don't want it all, just half.

- Of nothing.

You've been sprinkling gold dust

like snow.

- $1 a day's worth.

- You paid the store with a gold nugget.

It's been two years, one nugget. $38.

Wouldn't even pay for the shovels.

We didn't ride this far to argue.

You're going to tell us where it is,

if you tell us with your dying breath.

Whoa, boy, easy.

Ain't that handsome beadwork?

You fashion them yourself, squaw?

It's 15 years since I skinned an Indian,

Squaw Man,

but I ain't forgot the way.

Leave her be! Please, leave her be.

I tell you, there ain't any gold.

I swear it, none.

I'm not afraid.


They're both dead.

There's nothing you can do now. Max!

Max, stay outta there.

God, please stay out.

Come into town with me.

They don't even look like people.

Their suffering's over.

I don't want anybody to see them

looking like that. Ever.

Go away. Leave me alone. Please.

My God.

Max, you poor child.

- You come live with us. I mean it.

- I can't.

We've got acres of land

and plenty of work.

- I've got to find those men.

- And if you do?

- Revenge isn't God's way.

- Save your preaching.

You're only a boy, they're vicious men.

Get them, Max. You go get them.

If he doesn't, who will?

- The law.

- What law?

Max, at least wait a day. Rest up.

Maybe I can get them

before they sell that horse.

Here...Here, Max.

Mrs. McCanles, I got a rifle,

a horse and $8. It'll hold.

Well, then, good luck.

Don't forget the way back.

I'll remember you both

for your kindness.

Who the hell are you?

My name is Max. Max Sand.

- Just a kid.

- Indian.

- Half-breed.

- You alone?

Spit it out.

I'm after three men

who killed my parents.

- I thought you were the ones.

- Are we?


- How long have you been tracking them?

- Three, four days.

- When did you eat last?

- A couple of days ago.

Pick up the horses, then join us.

Hey, kid, why don't you go home?

While you still have a chance.

I don't have a home.

How can you guys be so friendly...

after what I tried to do?

Everybody in this world's foolish

in his own way.

Besides, we were all kids once

ourselves, weren't we, now?

Don't move, mister.

Now, turn around, with your hands up.

All I want is some food and a horse.

- I haven't seen a gun like that in years.

- Keep away.

- It won't work, you know.

- I said stay back.

The barrel's rusted, the hammer's broke

and they don't make ammunition for it.

You want to trade?

I could use something to eat.

You've eaten about 25 pounds of food in

three days. Think you'll ever get filled up?

Sorry, I didn't think.

I know it's a long way to haul food.

- Well, finish it up, if you can.

- I can.

I didn't expect you to be so generous.

- Think I'd throw you to the coyotes?

- You had every right.

I meant to kill you if I had to.

You an old hand at killing?

I killed my share of deer and rabbits.

- Ever hold a gun on a man?

- No.

You mean to kill three of them, huh?

Bang, bang, bang.

You'll make it 'cause you're in the right?

- It helps.

- They bury a sheriff a week out here.

I figure it's a matter

of me killing them before they kill me.

You want to show me

this fancy gun work?

Turn around and face the sun.

Hit that.

Go on home, boy. Take the short cut.

The sun was in my eyes

and I wasn't ready.

Think a man will hold still and give you

warning so you can shoot at him?

- I can hit a rabbit at 80 yards.

- It don't shoot.

- Think you can use your rifle in a bar?

- I've never been in a bar.

Just to find them,

you'll have to comb out every saloon,

gambling hall and whorehouse

between here and Mexico.

Do you think you're after

three preachers?

You going to gun them down

coming out of a church social?

They steal 'cause they're too lazy to work

and kill 'cause they love to.

They hide out like rats in the garbage.

So if you're going to get them, you'll have to

wallow in that garbage right with them.

I'll do what I have to.

It ain't that easy. Finding themes

one thing, killing themes another.

I'll figure out ways.

I've been selling guns

to men like that for 15 years.

They've got more ways to cripple

and kill than you can dream of.

They'll shoot you in the back,

ambush you, kill you in your sleep.

All you've got

is some blind Indian revenge.

- I'm half white.

- You're all helpless.

You get so you can do that

with either hand,

when you're half-drunk, half-awake,

in a dark room or on a running horse,

you might stand a chance.

A small chance.

- Would you teach me?

- I sell guns. I don't teach killing.

- Then I'll learn myself.

- You won't live that long.

Thanks for the food and advice, Mr. Cord.

- I guess I'll be on my way.

- Where to? How?

Even if I did teach you,

that's only half of it.

While you're looking for them,

you got to eat.

You need clothes, food, horses, guns,

ammunition. How you going to get that?

You'll wind up stealing and killing like

the ones you're tracking, can't you see?

I don't see nothing except

my father lying on a blood-covered floor,

all burnt and cut

with his head blown to pieces.

And my mother, split up the middle,

and every inch of her skin ripped off.

God help us.

Pick up that brass. Cartridges cost

a cent-and-a-half apiece.

Sit down.

A little poker suit you?

Well, not too much.

- You know how to play cards, don't you?

- No.

I guess I can teach you.

Have a drink.

Well, I...

- You don't drink either?

- No.

Where you're going, you'd best learn.

The lowest hand you can get is a pair,

two of a kind.

Then two pair, then three of a kind,

then a straight.

Three of what kind?

Three anything.

Three nines, three tens, three jacks.

- Which ones are the tens?

- Don't you know how to read?

I never went to school.

- Can you write?

- If I could write I could read.

- Anything you can do?

- Reach.

That's a waste of good whiskey.

Where you were going,

you wouldn't need whiskey.

A ten has gotten spots on it,

you can count that far on your toes.


Take it easy. It's a quiet town.

I know people, I do business with them.

All right, but, Mr. Cord,

if you happen to see...

I know, if I see anything like a horse

with an "SS" brand, I'll come and get you.

Here's a buck. Buy yourself some candy.

Yes, sir. Can I help you today?

A can of peaches. A big can, please.

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John Michael Hayes

John Michael Hayes (11 May 1919 – 19 November 2008) was an American screenwriter, who scripted several of Alfred Hitchcock's films in the 1950s. more…

All John Michael Hayes scripts | John Michael Hayes Scripts

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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