Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sacajawea Goes to Hollywood

On our twenty plus hour drive across the Great Plains, my thoughts returned to that legendary trio of Lewis, Clark, and Sacajawea, and how they conquered the overwhelming odds to map the breathtaking vistas of the Western United States. It occurred to me that Hollywood had never given these three pioneers their proper place in the canon of film glory. To correct this, I have attempted something monumental - a screenplay retelling the story of Sacajawea for a new generation. Loosely inspired by the real life drama of Lewis, Clark, and Sacajawea, my work in progress brings the heart of this adventure to stunning Techni-Color life. I present to you:

SACAJAWEA: The Major Motion Picture

One man was a scholar, the other was a soldier. Their friendship started a quest to discover a new land, but what they discovered instead was the love of a beautiful woman - a love that would tear their friendship apart.

SCENE 15: The Bosom of Nature
SACAJAWEA enters in spotlessly clean Indian garb with the soft silent step of a trained native- in front of her, MERIWETHER LEWIS pours over the pages of a book.

SACAJAWEA: (In pristine accent-less English) What you do, Lewis?

MERIWETHER: (Startled) Oh, hello Sacajawea. I'm just reading a book - a collection of sayings I brought with me from the great wigwam across the plains.

SACAJAWEA: (Kneeling) Who make these sayings?

MERIWETHER: A wise man… a man named Henry Thoreau. He was a lover of the earth and hated the ways of man. He chose a different path - one I wish I might have walked.

SACAJAWEA: (Drawing unconsciously closer) This path… difficult?

MERIWETHER: It leads a man far away from other men into the very bosom of nature.

SACAJAWEA: (Smiling) Sacajawea know this path. Path of Great Spirit. I show you way.

MERIWETHER: (With a look of epiphany) Yes… I believe you do know this path, Sacajawea. Perhaps you can guide me. I have been a lost man - a man consumed by ambition. But when I look at you, I begin to see another way of living. For the first time in many days… I have hope.

SACAJAWEA: (Placing a hand with innocent compassion on Meriwether's heart) Hope is seed of Great Spirit. When it is planted it bring love.

MERIWETHER (Touching Sacajawea's hair tenderly) Love… ah, yes… I remember hearing that word as a boy. But I never knew the meaning… until now.

CLARK: Meriwether!

Startled, Sacajawea and Meriwether draw apart. Clark, a ruggedly handsome officer, sees that he has interrupted something.

CLARK: The Indians are getting antsy, Meriwether. They want to know if we have more… "treasures".

MERIWETHER: (Sighing) Very well. Farewell, Sacajawea.

Meriwether steps into the forest toward the encampment. Clark remains and looks in Sacajawea's direction.

CLARK: So what were you and Lewis talking about so secretly Sacajawea?

SACAJAWEA: (Smiling radiantly) We speak of Great Spirit and the bosom of nature…

CLARK: Ah, so that's Meriwether's game… clever dog. You shouldn't go off by yourself, Sacajawea. A pretty Indian princess like yourself might get more than you bargain for.

SACAJAWEA: (Smiling blissfully) Sacajawea know these mountains. They like brother or sister. No danger. The rivers like blood of ancestors flowing through my people's veins.

CLARK: (Aside) How on earth did these savages learn to talk like Romantic poets? (Turning to Sacajawea) You may be on to something, Saca. You don't mind if I call you Saca, do you? Uncultivated soldiers like me like to call people by their nicknames.

SACAJAWEA: (Laughing delightfully) You very funny, Mr. Clark.

CLARK: (Chuckling) You've got a pretty laugh, Saca. It reminds me of the girls back home.

SACAJAWEA: (Drawing irresistibly and unconsciously nearer) You love many women, Mr. Clark?

CLARK: (Taking a seat and drawing a big knife) I've known a few… but nothing to make me respect the sex, if you don't mind me saying. Women are a heartless crew. (He flourishes the knife with masculine flair) They'll carve the heart right out of your chest.

SACAJAWEA: But you warrior, Mr. Clark. You strong.

CLARK: (Sighing) Even warriors grow tired of being strong, Saca. Sometimes I wonder if there isn't a woman out there with a heart of gold willing to take a risk on a lousy guy like me. (Looking into her eyes) What do you think? Have I got a chance?

SACAJAWEA: (Drawing unconsciously within arms length) Sacajawea believe that all lives have chance to live and love freely.

CLARK: You sound more like an American every minute, Saca. But everybody needs somebody to care about 'em. Could you care for a scoundrel like me?

SACAJAWEA: (With an innocently troubled expression) Sacajawea no understand.

CLARK: Then let me speak a different language.

CLARK takes SACAJAWEA in his arms and kisses her passionately just as LEWIS returns from the encampment…

-Cue Enormously Thrilling Soundtrack

Yes, I am aware that this will make millions at the box office, but I hope... hope deeply that this major motion picture will inspire more people than ever before to investigate the incredible true story of Sacajawea... and those other guys she was with.


  1. Thank you for entertaining us with your movie. You can't leave us hanging! Next scene please.
    --- Katie Mahoney

  2. Wow!! That's great, Ben!! You must right more! Pleeeeeaaase! =D


  3. I will, but you had better write some more yourself, Jessica. Your blog is almost as dead as mine! :)

  4. Oh, the suspense, the romance, the drama of it all! Hollywood would be proud to have this script. =)