The Last Samurai

Synopsis: The Last Samurai is a 2003 American epic historical war film directed and co-produced by Edward Zwick, who also co-wrote the screenplay with John Logan and Marshall Herskovitz. The film stars Tom Cruise, who also co-produced, with Timothy Spall, Ken Watanabe, Billy Connolly, Tony Goldwyn, Hiroyuki Sanada, Koyuki, and Shin Koyamada in supporting roles.
Genre: Action, Drama, History
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
  Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 21 wins & 62 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.7
Metacritic:
55
Rotten Tomatoes:
66%
R
Year:
2003
154 min
$111,000,000
Website
1,812 Views


FADE IN:

BRIGHT BLUE TIGER

Surrounded by a pack of dogs, ten of them snarling and

gnashing their teeth.

The TIGER'S, eyes burn with fury as he wheels in a circle,

lunging at one dog clawing at another, keeping them all at

bay.

Suddenly, the TIGER leaps over the dogs and transforms into

a WHITE BIRD, soaring majestically into the sky.

THE FACE OF A JAPANESE MAN

Sits up into frame, sweating, waking from a dream. He is

KATSUMOTO.

We will come to know him later.

Fade to black. CREDITS OVER.

The faint SOUND of a BRASS BAND.

WINCHESTER REP (V.O.)

...the leader in all forms of armament

used by the United States Army. When

you need a friend, Winchester is by

your side.

THE FACE OF AN AMERICAN MAN

As he smokes a cigar, barely listening. CAPTAIN NATHAN ALGREN,

U.S. Army, ret, 36 years old and looking every day of it.

His eyes are lined and saddened. He takes a swig from a flask.

He is BACKSTAGE at:

INT. CONVENTION HALL - SAN FRANCISCO - DAY

Where a trade show is in progress. Scantily clad lovelies in

red-white-and-blue undies demonstrate the nation's most

important new export: arms.

Every weapon imaginable is on display: rifles, pistols, even

howitzers. Banners declaim the virtues of Winchester and

Springfield. Of Colt and Remington and Smith & Wesson. Crowds

mill around a stage. where:

WINCHESTER REP:

Ladies and Gentlemen... the Winchester

Corporation is proud to bring to

you... a true American hero. A patriot

who has proven his gallantry time

and again on the field of battle.

LITTLE TIN SOLDIERS are all lined up. A mass of grey. Rebel

troops surrounding a band of blue Union cavalry. A large,

metal diorama.

WINCHESTER REP:

I hope you will join us in

welcoming... Late of the U.S. Cavalry.

The Savior of Sutter Hill... Captain

Nathan Algren!

A last swig. Algren steels himself, then strides onstage as

we reveal a banner:

WINCHESTER PRESENTS: THE MIRACLE AT SUTTER'S HILL!

Garish limelight from a row of foot lights illuminates Algren.

ALGREN:

My thanks, Mr. McCabe. Ladies and

Gents.

He looks down at the little metal soldiers and begins to

tell the story of the battle that made him famous. His

narration is halting, unsteady:

ALGREN:

...On that fateful day, Johnny Reb

had us in a spot, perched on the

lonely top of Sutter's Hill, nothing

but grey as far as the eye could

see:
Unhorsed and out of ammunition,

I gazed down into the, um, mael...

mael...

(squints to see better)

-- maelstrom below us, and saw them

moving up.

We realize he is reading from cue cards. The little Rebel

soldiers begin sliding up the metal hill.

ALGREN:

I knew it was fight or die. Into the

teeth of the enemy or we would all

be buried... buried...

(loses his place,

under his breath)

Sh*t...

(finds it again)

...on the same hill with our comrades

already gone to Merciful Heaven...

A SUDDEN FLASH:

Algren's mind. The real battle of Sutter's Hill. The grim

reality is very different from the dashing tale. Union

soldiers scream in agony. Those horses still alive buck and

froth at their tether.

Algren, a lieutenant then, moves among the panicked, bloody

men. He stops beside a PRIVATE, his brother, DAVID ALGREN,

19, blonde, not much more than a boy.

DAVEY:

They're coming, Nate.

He looks over the wall. Rebel troops are moving up the hill.

ALGREN:

Keep your head down.

DAVEY:

(smiling)

Papa always said we should've joined

the navy.

ALGREN:

What'd he know?

(looks fondly at his

brother)

You watch me now. Do whatever I say...

DAVEY:

Aye-aye, lieutenant.

Algren punches his shoulder and moves on down the line.

Nearby, Algren's friend, SERGEANT ZEBULAH GANT, though

severely wounded, reloads his revolver with the last of his

ammunition.

GANT:

How're the horses?

ALGREN:

Better than you. Smell better, too.

(looks at him)

Can you hold on, Zeb?

GANT:

(fighting the pain)

I got I choice?

Algren smiles sadly. His mend will die loon without medical

attention.

Algren moves down the line, bullets whizzing overhead. He

kneels beside COLONEL BAGLEY, his commanding officer.

BAGLEY:

(panicking)

We need a flag. Find me a goddamn

white flag!

ALGREN:

What are you talking about?!

BAGLEY:

Surrender, damn it! That's an order!

BACK TO THE CONVENTION HALL:

ALGREN:

No thought of surrender among those

boys. Better to die as God made us,

we thought, as soldiers... So I gave

the order. Mister Bugler, sound mount

up. Mister Bugler, sound prepare

arms. There were only thirty of us,

but we had fire in us yet. I looked

down the hill at the destiny ordained

for us. And gave the order. Mister

Bugler, charge!

The little Union cavalry soldiers begin moving down slots in

the hill.

ON SUTTER'S HILL:

Algren leads a chaotic cavalry charge down the hill toward

the advancing rebel infantry -- artillery explosions --

bullets snapping, trees shattering.

Algren's brother, Davey, rides beside him.

The wounded Sergeant Gant pulls himself up, waves his cap

and yells.

Bagley remains cowering behind the stone wall.

BACK TO THE CONVENTION HALL:

ALGREN:

And straight into them we went...

ON SUTTER'S HILL:

Carnage. Union and Confederate soldiers slam together,

falling, drowning in mud and blood, stepped on by panicked

horses.

Algren wields his saber in one hand and his revolver in the

other, serving death on all sides.

A soldier riding next to Davey is shot. A horse falls into a

shellhole.

BACK TO THE CONVENTION HALL:

ALGREN:

"Hip-hip hurray." We shouted, for we

had spirit in us yet --

MORE FLASHES:

Algren slices right and left with his saber. He is a truly

gifted swordsman.

A tree branch knocks Davey from his horse. He sits, dazed,

on the ground.

Algren kills a rebel soldier just as be is about to fire on

him.

Single-handedly, be rallies his men, screaming orders, then

lifts his wounded brother onto the saddle beside him.

He leads them downhill toward safely, Davey clinging to him

for dear life.

BACK TO THE CONVENTION HALL:

ALGREN:

Before they knew what hit them, we

had broken through into the rear of

the rebel army.

ON SUTTER'S HILL:

Algren and his men gather in a copse of trees. They are giddy

with the exhilaration of having survived.

DAVEY:

We did it, bro', WE DID IT!

Whoeeeee!!

Algren's smile is shortlived, though.

SUDDENLY, the woods ERUPT with gunfire. Trees are shredded.

Algren's men are literally cut to pieces --

Davey is riddled with bullets, his dead body shielding Algren

from harm until he slides, lifeless, to the mud.

ALGREN:

Davey--!!!!

Men and horses are torn apart -- they contort and writhe in

agony. Jerking grotesquely as the bullets rip into them.

Algren frantically tries to locate the source of this

firepower. Then he sees:

A Gatling Gun.

Six barrels glisten like steel teeth. This early machine gun

is the pinnacle of current military might -- 60 rounds a

second -- a triumph in engineering.

ALGREN:

AHHHHHHH--!!!!!

With insane courage, he wheels and charges the gun.

Bullets rip into horse and rider alike. Algren falls,

lifeless, into the mud.

Rate this script:3.5 / 2 votes

John Logan

John David Logan (born September 24, 1961) is an American playwright, screenwriter, film producer, and television producer. more…

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Submitted by aviv on January 30, 2017

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