The Keeping Room

Synopsis: Left without men in the dying days of the American Civil War, three Southern women - two sisters and one African-American slave - must fight to defend their home and themselves from two rogue soldiers who have broken off from the fast-approaching Union Army.
Genre: Drama, Western
Director(s): Daniel Barber
Production: Drafthouse Films
  3 wins & 8 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
95 min


A BLACK WOMAN, ALMA, walks towards us, hauling a BUNDLE

of newly cut CANE. And then --

She spots a DOG.

The dog GROWLS at her. This gives her pause, until...

She begins to GROWL right back at it.

And then the dog starts to BARK.

So she starts to BARK too.

There’s some distance between them, but here they are,

barking. It’s loud and strange and just this side of

surreal. Until -The

dog gives in. The woman wins.

The dog sits, panting. And then -The

dog turns and trots down the road. Surprised, Alma

watches him go, craning her neck until she sees...


Pulled by TWO HORSES, stopped by the side of the road.

A frail, old CARRIAGE DRIVER sits atop.

The dog stops next to the carriage. Sits.

Alma approaches, cautious, until -A


From the carriage.


A WHITE WOMAN, PRUDENCE, bursts from the carriage,

running like a banshee. Her FINE CLOTHES are undone,

cascading around her body.

The DOG takes off after her, BARKING.



Alma watches her run, and then -BANG!

Prudence falls to the ground, DEAD.

The dog stops barking. Sniffs the body.

Alma shifts her gaze back towards the carriage, where she

can just make out the TIP of the BARREL of a GUN through

the open door.

And lowering his still smoking pistol, a MAN emerges from

the carriage in the uniform of a UNION SOLDIER.

He tucks his shirt into his unbuttoned pants.

This is HENRY. He’s slick and young and has the eyes of

an animal. It’s unclear if he knows right from wrong, or

if he even cares.

Casually, he buttons his pants.

Now the Carriage Driver sees Alma. A momentary look of

FEAR passes between them. And then Henry notices Alma,

she starts to back away, until -CLICK.

She stops.

A SECOND UNION SOLDIER comes up behind her. A GUN pointed

at her head.

And before she can even scream --


He shoots her in the head. She falls down, DEAD.

This is MOSES.

He has the kind of good looks that are always getting him

into -- and out of -- trouble. For a man capable of such

cruelty, his eyes are surprisingly warm.

No one would call Moses a bad man, but they wouldn’t call

him a good one, either.

The Carriage Driver closes his eyes and looks away.

Henry smiles and takes an OLD FLASK he’s found in the

carriage. He takes a SIP and winces at the unexpected

taste of brandy.



And then -

He pulls a handkerchief out of his pocket, stuffs it into

the neck of the flask, looks up at the Carriage Driver...

And LIGHTS it, throwing it into the carriage. Henry has

his fun UNTIL --

The Carriage Driver GRABS the reigns and hits the horse,

who takes off -Moses

tries to stop the carriage, stepping IN FRONT of

it, but he is forced to get out of its way --

Air whips around the carriage, fanning the FIRE -Moses

raises his RIFLE -The

Carriage Driver keeps the horse running as the flames

begin to ENGULF the carriage and -BANG!

The Carriage Driver SLUMPS OVER. Dead.

But the horse and carriage continue to run.

Henry walks over to where Moses stands. They watch it as

it goes.


I coulda’ used a horse.

Moses looks in the direction of dead Prudence. He makes

sure Henry knows he could have had her first, for



I coulda’ used a woman.

He tosses his now spent cigarette and the soldiers

continue down the road, followed by their dog.


The BURNING CARRIAGE is pulled crazily along by the


And then, our title:




Still. Spare. Yellow. Brown.

The SOUND of HOES hitting dirt as images come in and out:

-- Some old TREES.

-- A FARMHOUSE, small but proud and in the middle of

Rate this script:(0.00 / 0 votes)

Julia Hart

Julia Hart is a writer and director, known for The Keeping Room (2014), Miss Stevens (2016) and Madame X. more…

All Julia Hart scripts | Julia Hart Scripts

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Submitted by aviv on November 14, 2016

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:


    "The Keeping Room" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 10 Apr. 2021. <>.

    We need you!

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

    Watch the movie trailer

    The Keeping Room

    The Marketplace:

    Sell your Script !

    Get listed in the most prominent screenplays collection on the web!


    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

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

    Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.