Synopsis: In 1763, felon Abby Hale is sentenced to slavery in America. In Virginia, heroic Capt. Holden buys her, intending to free her, but villain Garth foils this plan, and Abby toils at Dave Bone's tavern. Garth is fomenting an Indian uprising to clear the wilderness of settlers, giving him a monopoly of the fur trade. Holden discovers Garth's treachery, but cannot prove anything against him. Can Holden and Abby save Fort Pitt from the Senecas? Many hairbreadth escapes.
Director(s): Cecil B. DeMille
Production: Paramount Pictures
Rotten Tomatoes:
146 min

At the forks of the Ohio

stands an American city,

a colossus of steel,

whose mills and furnaces

bring forth bone and sinew

for a nation.

Not so long ago

a lonely outpost

guarded this very spot.

It was called Fort Pitt.

It stood at the edge

of an unknown land,

one of a line of forts

that ran from Virginia

to the Great Lakes,

marking the end of the known

and the beginning

of the unknown.

Civilization was east

of the Allegheny Mountains.

Conquest, opportunity

and death

lay to the west.

All around Fort Pitt

was a vast forest,

always beautiful,

always dangerous.

Men came into it

seeking many things.

Some for wealth,

some for refuge

some for freedom.

But to the Indian,

all men came as invaders.

Wars for survival

between red men and white

threatened to sweep away

these little forts.

Yet men kept coming west.

Some to build

their own fortunes,

even at the price

of Indian wars.

Others to build a nation,

even at the price

of their own lives.

These are the unconquered,

who push ever forward

the frontiers

of man's freedom.

But history sometimes chooses

its heroes and heroines

from strange places.

For one, the hope of freedom

was born at Old Bailey

in London,

in the year 1763.

Prisoner at the bar.

You have been found guilty

of the most heinous crime,

of murder.

It is my duty to pass

upon you the sentence

which the law enjoins.

Abigail Martha Hale,

the sentence of

this court is...

My lord.

Woman, be still.

My lord, hear me.

My brother was ill of fever

when the press-gang

broke in to take him.

I helped him fight to be free.

In that fight,

an impressing officer of

the Royal Navy was killed.

My brother was killed too,

my lord.

The prisoner is here

to receive sentence.

The sentence of this court is

that you be taken from

this place to a lawful prison

and thence to a place

of execution.

And that you there

be hanged by the neck

until you are dead.

And may the Lord

have mercy on your soul.


One word more,

by the gracious generosity

of Our Sovereign Lord,

King George the Third,

it is in my power

to offer you the King's mercy.

Instead of execution,

you may be transported

to His Majesty's colonies

in North America.

Not to die, my lord?

And to serve

not less than 14 years

as an indentured slave,

to be sold at auction

to the highest bidder.

Slavery in the colonies

or the gallows here.

Speak up, girl,

which is it to be?

Slavery, my lord.

Get the blood

in your cheeks.

You'll fetch a better price

at Norfolk tomorrow.

Mr. Leach, you won't

sell me away from

my husband, will you?

You'll sell according

to your indentures.

Seven year, I'll be free

and get me a bit of land.

And maybe even

a strong wife.

Get along, get along.

Me, I'll get me bought

by a nice rich widow

and marry myself free.

I ain't a rich widow,

but I'm willing.

Ain't you got

a wife already, Tom?

Wife. I'm serving time

for all four of them.

Break your ranks

and save your shanks.

Our land of opportunity.


how old shall I look

in 14 years?

Fourteen years

older, of course.

Here, here,

have a care there.

Have a care.

Hold onto the slate.

Make fast

to the pin rail.

Ease that on the deck.

And at ease.

Some sort of

chopping instrument.

Stand by your braces.

Let go of the last one.

Jeremy, put it back

before the owner sees you.

The owner

has seen you.

Hand me that tomahawk.


I was just remarking

to this young lady...

Convicts should know

the punishment for stealing.


Well, he didn't steal it.

No, well, perhaps...

Who are you?

My daughter, sir.

The devoted daughter

of Jeremy John Love.


I'm not your daughter.

No, not in fact,

but in spirit.

You seem a gentleman

of discernment, sir.

Tell me, can you

always spot the queen?

I believe so.

Excellent, I've heard...

No, no.

Don't go away, my dear.

Jeremy, please.

You show a taste

for entertainment, sir,

entertainment with

a dash of risk.


Well, sir, observe your queen

is now between two knaves,


But can you tell me

where the queen is hiding now?

And if I do?

The stake is yours

to name, sir.

A pound.

A pound it is.

Put it up.

Oh, well, I seldom carry

large sums of money upon my...

You have other assets.

Perhaps a kiss

from your daughter-in-spirit.

Jeremy, I won't be...

Keep your hair on,

he can't win.

Man the mizzen

top-sail sheets.

A golden sovereign.

Gallant risk, sir.

Now, sir.

Now, can you tell me

where the queen is hiding?

Yes. Up the sleeve of a cheat

who is about to get 30 lashes.


You wouldn't have a man

of his age whipped.

His age hasn't improved

his honesty or yours.

Slave driver.


I'll give you the kiss.

You're not giving it,

I won it.

He's got her

anchored all right.

Another cheat.

I paid you.

You can do better.

Slave driver.


Yes, Mr. Garth.

This woman for sale?

Yes, Mr. Garth.

They're all for sale.

Indentured servant?

No, sir. Felon.


It ain't deep in her

character, Mr. Garth.

She's good manners,

gentle, sweet.

Fit for all kinds

of housework.

I'll buy her.

I won't be sold to this man.

What's her price?

Mr. Leach,

the judge said public auction.

Hold your tongue.

She's right.

We'll have an auction

right here.


would any of you care to bid

against me for his girl?

Not me.

I don't hold much

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Charles Bennett

Charles Bennett was an English playwright, screenwriter and director probably best known for his work with Alfred Hitchcock. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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