Against a Crooked Sky (1975) Movie Script

In the dark shadows of history
lie legends of lost civilizations,
whose kings ruled with
the power of gods,
only to crumble into the dust of time.
From such a place rode three horsemen.
Their leader wearing the
gold of ancient royalty.
Against a Crooked Sky
Darn you, Sam.
Sam, you bring those clothes
back here this minute.
Do you hear me?
Sam Isaac!
You just wait till I get my hands on you.?
You just wait till Ma hears about this.
Better hurry up and get dressed
if you don't wanna get caught bare.
Somebody's coming.
Whoa, Whoa!
Ma in the house?
- Yeah, what's wrong, Mr. Adams?
Ain't got time to talk now.
Will you get her, please?
- Yeah.
Milt, what is it? What happened?
It's Jenny, I'm afraid
she's got the cholera.
- You got to come, Molly!
Ma, can I go with you?
- I ain't chancing you getting the cholera.
- Charlotte.
Jenny's got the cholera and I'm going
with Milt to see what I can do.
And Charlotte, I'm leaving you in charge.
Your Pa's not due back till late tonight
and no telling how long I'll be.
So I'm trusting you both.
And Sam, for once,
mind your sister, do you hear?
None of your tricks.
And don't think you're getting
away with what you did, Sam Isaac.
You'll get your just dues when Pa gets home.
Charlotte, what about Ma?
Won't she get the cholera?
- But she'll die.
You don't think that would
stop her from going, do you?
She wouldn' take a thought to her own life
if she thought she could help save Jenny's.
But that don't make no sense.
Her dying to save Jenny.
She ain't gonna die.
- But she could.
You don't understand, Sam.
There's a lot more to it than that.
If a person's everything he should be,
he wouldn't be thinking of himself first.
Even if it meant dying.
- Where'd you get that idea?
Right under your nose.
From the Holy Scriptures.
Say right here in the Bible.
You can't have then to
give your life for a friend.
I don't know anybody I'd die for.
Would you die for me?
I'd die for anybody in this family.
I'm sorry to say that includes you.
Sam, come look!
I've never seen an Indian like them before..
Charlotte, what do we do?
Sam, help me!
The're coming right here!
Come on!
Quick, down there.
Will they get Callie?
What if they set fire to the cabin?
Let's get out of here.
Hide in the storehouse.
Okay, get outta here!
We'we got to get out of this place!
God, help us!
Go, go!
Come on!
What about Callie?
- We cant worry about Callie now!
Charlotte, Charlotte, hurry!
You gotta get up, come on
I can't! You gotta get up!
My leg! We gotta get going.
Quick, get on and ride.
- I can't leave you!
Oh, do as I say, go!
Ride for help.
John, thank heavens they found you.
Milt says you got a good
look at those Indians, son.
Were they Cheyenne, or Shoshoni?
- Neither one, Pa.
Never seen Indians like them.
They wore funny looking mocchasins,
and one had a gold band on his head.
And they come riding in
not scared of nothing.
If they've done anything to her...
It's all my fault, Pa.
Shouldn't have gone back for Callie.
You mean you came back for that bull calf?
- They would've got him.
Yes and now they got your sister!
- Molly, that's enough.
You're being to hard on him.
He's only a boy.
I should have never left him here alone.
John,you gotta find her.
- I will.
You just got to!
- I will, Mollie.
I won't give up till I do.
I'm sorry, Charlotte.
I'm really sorry.
This is where they got her.
First time in more than three years
anything like this has happened.
Look at this.
I never see an Injun make
tracks like this before..
Like recent too.
Let's ride before the trail gets cold.
Sure wish Pa had taken me with him..
Come on, Grayback, we gotta swim this.
Boy, grab that rope!
Dagnabbit, grab the rope!
Now he helped save your life.
See there?
Now he likes you, he likes you real good.
Bar Killer, come over here right now
or I'm gonna shoot you!
Old bar Killer, he wouldn't kill nobody.
Except Bars and Injub,
maybe a white kid or two.
All right. Get over to your corner, go on!
Go on.
You know I had a boy like you once.
Except he was ugly as dirt.
Took after his mom.
Ended up having to slit his throat.
Who are you?
Well, speak up, boy.
What's your name?
Sam Sutter.
You one of them new settlers
over by the Black Ridge country?
I'm looking for my sister.
The Indians stole her...
and I ain't going back till i find her.
Huh, Well ain't you the gritty one.
Hear that, Bar Killer?
This little old boy!
He can't ford a river or pack a rifle.
But he's setting off in Bar
and Indian country alone.
Got no grub bag.
What was you figuring to feed on?
And what have you got in your pockets,huh?
Maybe this little trinket here?
That's mine.
- Ah, it's yours, is it?
Wll, why don't you take it?
- It's mine, give it here!
I said take it I.
Get on, you scraggly monster!
See, he likes you.
He likes you real good.
But he likes me better.
Now where'd you get this?
Of them Injuns that stole my sister.
Well, in all my born put together I never
seen nothing like this of no Indian.
Hell, don't even smell like them.
Nobody knows them better than me.
Now lookie there.
Now, just fits.
Your ma and pa know you out there?
- No
Well, there's one thing you got,
Sam Sutter, and that's guts.
But there's one thing you ain't got.
Amd that's know how.
You get away from here!
You had your share.
There's others of us.
Now, boy.
I've been trapping on this old river
For nigh on 30 years.
I know every tribe from here to the divide.
Speak six Injun tongues and
still have to hang on my scalp.
And here come a skinny little thing like you
barging in the grizzly country
without even enough sense to cross a river.
You know what I got a good mind to do?
Slit your throat!
Now eat up!
- I don't want none.
You gonna insult my stew?
You gonna insult my stew?
Now boy, I said eat up.
Well, don't pay attention to him.
You won't find no cleaner
hound in all this territory.
Now boy, eat up!
Now, sir.
All my years here in with redsins,
I never seen nothing like that.
Well, sure be worth something.
200, 300 dllars, I suppose.
Well yeah, you ain't getting it, it's mine!
Nothing prettier than sweet yellow gold.
Ain't about to say another word to you,
till I take you home in the morning.
I ain't going home!
- Sure you are.
I ain't going back!
Not till I find my sister.
Now give me what's mine and I'll be of.
I tell you, I ain't going home.
Yeah you are.
Ain't that true, Bar Killer?
There's Ma.
Yep, there she is, waiting
for you with a razor strap.
# My oh my, the razor strap! #
# Just a quivering and shivering. #
# Ready to put them blisters on you. #
Ssh, Ma don't like drunks.
- Drunk?
I ain't no drunk.
Ain't I, Bar Killer?
Afternoon, ma'am.
My name is Habicook.
Most folks call me Russian.
You might heard of me.
I've been trapping in these parts
for nigh unto 30 years.
Sam Issack, where you been?
- Well ma'am, we found him
in the river near drowned,
and me and old Bar Killer fetched him out
and brought him home to you.
- Have they found Charlotte yet?
You don't see her dancing, do you?
And ma'am, if I was you, I would give
him a whipping and a good one too.
Hey, we got enough trouble, Sam,
without you running of too.
I can't take anymore, I just can't.
- Ma.
That's right boy, you get in there
and get what's coming to you.
And the next time, you
leave the searhing to men.
Come on, Bar Killer.
Get around here, you monster.
Come on!
- Russian!
# I killed a Bar. #
- Hey wait, you got my headband, I want it.
Now boy, it ain't no good to you.
I'm just gonna keep it.
Now give it here, I want it.
- You know what that is?
Now that is gold.
That is sweet yellow gold and it ain't
no use to no kid know how.
Now you ain't getting it, it'a mine.
You know something?
I should let you drown.
Shouldn't I, Bar Killer?
# Haa... I killed a Bar. #
# Over yar #
# I didn't really do it.
I was drunk! #
Let me see that damn thing.
Well, what do you think?
Ain't no way of knowing for sure
if it even came off an Injun.
It had to, I found it in the spot
where they got Charlotte.
Look, I ain't expecting any of you boys
to ride with me again.
You gave me two weeks of your time already
and I'm much obliged.
You ain't giving up?
I'll give up when I found her.
Not a minute more. Now don't you worry.
Pa, I'll go with you.
We can find them, we don't need them.
You ain't going, son. Please Pa,
I've gotta help find her, I was to blame.
Sam, you did wrong going of before.
Now this time you're staying
and you're looking after your ma.
I'm depending on you, son.
Yes, Pa.
# An arrow flies #
# Against a crooked sky #
# The night wind knows #
# Someone must die #
# But love will live #
# You hear the night winds sing #
# And when there's love #
# There is eternal spring #
You're sure growing good, Callie.
Pa won't even know you when he gets back.
Pa, it's Pa!
Ma, he's back!
Ma, he's been hurt.
Looks like he's been shot.
- Oh dear God!
Oh quick, Sam, help me get him to the house.
- I'm here, John, now lie quiet.
I tought I'D never make it.
The damn guiles!
Don't try to talk.
Sam, get my bag.
It ain't no use, Molly!
I searched.
I tried.
Our little girl's gonna be dead.
Ain't no place left to look.
Lord forgive me, but I hate them.
And I'll never forgive them for it.
I'm sorry, but I've got to know
about Charlotte for sure. Love, Sam.
# I killed a Bar #
# Knocked yar over there. #
#I didn't really do it.
I was drunk.#
Russian, you in there?
You drunken old trapper.
I never seen you before in my life.
Bar Killer, tear his legs off.
Nobody listens to me at all anymore.
Not even my dog.
There aint no way you can get me
to take you noplace, know-how.
Just think of all that gold we'll find
once you take me to those
Injuns that stole my sister.
Just think, yellow gold.
Stacks and stacks of it.
I sure reckon everything that's dear,
and precious to me is back
right there on that mule.
Except maybe for old Bar Killer.
Come on!
Danged if you don't make the
worst coffee in the world.
Told you I never made it before.
- All for some dead squaw.
Did you really have a son?
Of course I did
I told you, didn't I?
Did you really slit his throat?
What did you thinki I made that stew out of?
He was a good boy.
Told you he put me in mind to you.
His ma was Cheyenne.
Bought her from old Chief
Shokobob for two jugs.
Damn pox got them both.
You know, you'd think after all this
time we would've found a clue by now..
It's like hunting for ghosts, ain't it?
- You can't expect folks to know something
about a tribe that don't exist.
Gets more clearer every day you
dragged me out on a wild goose chase.
And you might as well
know I don't aim to go on.
Russian, you ain't quitting. Had it in mind
to head back first thing in the morning
But you can't!
- What's to stop me?
But I've got to have you long.
How else am I gonna talk to them Injuns?
They'll scalp me for sure.
And then wouldn't your ma and pa
have something real to grieve about.
Both their kids hanging in a tree.
I don't care if you do go back,
but I'm going on till I find Charlotte.
You can bet that when I find that
gold you ain't getting one piece.
You old yellowed belly.
It's only 2 more days to the Cheyennes and
after that, I'm heading back and you,
you can go to hell.
Well lookie here.
Ain't she pretty?
Wonder if old Shokobob like to swap
her for a smart aleck white kid.
What have you bring, a drink?
Can I try it?
Haoo... good Whiskey.
It's good for you.
Did you see any white women?
I didn't see.
Well, just like I figured.
He don't know nothing neither.
Now, Sam Isaac, If you'll excuse me,
I'm about to attend a small social do.
Following which, I am heading back.
That's it boy.
Ain't about to lift your scalp.
What's he doing?
Does he know anything?
Why can't he talk?
- His tongue's cut out.
The old fool came here years ago,
dead of winter, tried to steal some food
and these loving Cheyenne took him in
and senteced him to do squaw's work
for the rest of his life.
- Well maybe he's...
No, they don't know who he is and
they don't know where he came from.
The writing...
Is great...
Crooked sky.
"Crooked Sky"!
That's what we're been looking for, Russian.
That's gotta be where Charlotte is.
Now, I ain't never heard of no
"Crooked Sky" and I ain't about to go
traipsing all over this country looking
for someplace I never heard of.
Ask him, Russian.
Ask him where it is.
Absolutely no tell where is "Crooked Sky".
Me and you...
On trail. "Crooked Sky".
Wants to die.
Now that's among...
Sure we'll take him home.
Tell him, Russian.
Are you loco, look at him?
He can barely totter around this camp.
He wouldn't last one day on the trail, and
besides, I told you where I'm going.
But that's if we didn't find any clues here.
But now we know where Charlotte is.
Please, Russian, you gotta help me.
- Nope, my mind's made up.
And this time, I mean it!
Damn fool me!
Listening to a brat, ah!
Should never, shoulda never,
never, never come!
Hey, hey!
What is it? Shh.
- What's wrong?
This is Apache country and
that old buzzer knows it
Est bem.
All right.
This is where we stop.
Unpuck this mule and make camp
while I do litlle scouting.
Boy, youl'd be wise to
keep that rifle handy.
Bar Killer, come on.
Sure wish that Russian would get here.
Russian, look out!
Russian, look.
Rotten Apaches.
Killing my dog.
There'll be some black hair hanging on
my belt before I'm through with this.
Saved my life.
Two times, he saved it.
Think he's gonna make it?
- For awhile, I guess.
Lasted while we got him out of those rocks.
Might last just enough to
get us lost in that desert.
I sure as hell hope he
knows where he's going.
End of the world and we're dead.
Russian, look.
It's the same drawing.
Same as on the gold band.
Let us right to the edge of nowhere.
But Russian, that's gotta be "Crooked Sky".
That's what he's trying to tell us!
We made it!
What are you gonna do?
Russian, we're almost there.
We're likely right on top of it.
And behind that rock wall, there's
water waiting for us, and Charlotte
and enough gold to make you rich.
In the morning, if I wake up,
I'm heading home.
And I likely won't get far, but I'm going.
Why, you dirty old drunken coward. You're
nothing but a coward, always giving up.
Sorry old man, about not being able to
keep my promise and take you back home.
But I was hoping you'd
taken us to the right spot.
But I guess Russian was right.
You're jjust a crazy old Indian.
"Crooked Sky"!
Russian, wake up.
Come on, we found it, we found it.
Come on, get up, get up, come on.
Right over here, right over here.
Crooked Sky.
Right up there.
Well now.
That is a freak of nature to behold.
Why couldn't we se it before?
- I don't know.
Something to do with the
sun's rays, I suppose.
Well, come on.
The is water up there, boy.
There is water.
Come on, come on.
Come on, get on out.
And it beautiful!
Now what in tarnation is that?
Well now, I never seen nothing
like that in all my life.
Russian, look!
That's gold.
Boy, that's gold.
I'm gonna be rich!
Boy, you done right by me.
You brought me to the end of the rainbow
Ain't it beautiful, sweet yellow gold.
Look at it, boy.
Watch it shine, don't it pleasure your eyes?
Sam, I'll share with you.
You brought me here.
I'll share everything we find
and there'll be plenty of it.
Sweet yellow gold.
Russian, look at this!
What does it all mean?
- Hell if I know.
Now, boy.
We got dig up this arrow and get packing.
Come on!
Come on!
Well, fit to be scalped.
Praying boy, best get to your prayers.
We sure as hell gonna need them now.
Ain't gonna kill us, are they?
You must eat.
Your're bad, what it...
Now you.
Keep your mouth shut, boy.
I don't, I don't want it.
Just a matter of time, we're poisoned
for sure. Just a matter of time, oh my.
Old bat.
I'm going.
Could be trapping on the old
river country with Bar Killer.
Instead, look at me now.
Laying here near naked,
being gawked at by that old bat
and them other squaws.
I'm going, boy, I'm going, I'm...
She kill him. I caught her.
Russian, Russian, quick, untie this.
Quick, untie this.
I feel like the inside of a sow's belly.
What the devil?
it's old "Cut Tongue".
Must be dead
Loki like they're fixing a barbecue.
Boy, I ain't to find out.
Come on.
Now cut that out!
They burn Ekimah soon.
- You speak English?
Whie girl tech me your language.
I'm Ashkea.
Daughter Chief Shumeki.
My father feel sorrow, anger,
for one who killed brother, Ekimah.
old Cut Tongue murdered?
Ekimah great warrior.
Once for chief, but failed test Crooked Sky.
Ekimah feel shame. Leave pople.
Never return.
No, no, he passed his test,
didn't he, Russian?
That's wha he cried when
he saw the gold band.
Shumeki win gold.
Now chief.
And we might just be next.
Look, you've gotta help me.
Your people, they stole my sister.
I've gotta see her.
Please, you gotta hel me.
You just gotta help me.
I've gotta see her.
I've gotta talk to her.
Gold band, that's him!
He's the one that stole my
You willing to take on this whole tribe?
He Temkai, my brother.
Your sister's husband.
Wear gold, soon to be chief.
They say she kill, Ekimah.
- No
No, she wouldn't do that.
Now you tell that old buzzard of a chief
that if he tried to kill my sister
I'm gonna kill him. Now you tell him
that for a start, because I mean business.
Boy, you trying to get us both barbecued?
Now, cut it out.
She's telling him.
Chief angry.
He no like be called buzzard.
He say, you go or die with girl.
Tell him, I'm not leaving
this place without that girl.
Boy, you want me to come
over there and get you?
I didn't come all this way
just to see my sister die.
Before I give up fighting,
I'll give my own life for Charlotte.
Now you tell him that.
- Boy.
I never seen nothing like you
in all my born put together.
What does he say?
He's not going without a sister.
You let Charlotte go?
Chief say if Charlotte have no blame,
boy race sun to "Crooked Sky".
Give blood to let sister live.
Your death will prove
your sister's innocence.
It means the gods have allowed you to win.
What do I have to do?
- Race him against the sun.
Now that is the cruelest
damnedest thing I ever heard of.
Asking a scrawry little kid
like you to race againt the sun.
And for the privilege of receiving an arrow
that was meant for your sister.
We'we gotta prove who did it, Russian.
That's the answer.
You knothead, haven't
you figured that out yet?
You know?
Oh, I'm not so blind I can't see the facts.
Now, if old Cut Tongue was telling the
truth about winning that gold band,
Then he shoul've been the king all along.
He was left out in that
desert without a tongue.
He was left out there to die.
And someboy else is running this place.
You hush up, boy, or we ain't worth rags.
Not to ourselves, not to
your sister, not to nobody.
What are we gonna do?
- Hell if I know.
We gotta help save Charlotte!
Boy, you really expect miracles.
And where's all that gold you promised me?
Now that's our bargain.
You gonna bring me out for gold.
And now you're asking me to risk
my life and I gotta think about that.
We don't got time to think.
We only got till morning.
I said I'm gonna think about it.
Little brother.
Please come.
- Sam!
Everything should be okay.
Just leave it in my hands.
How's mama and papa?
I miss them so much.
They're doing just fine.
They miss you too.
Please, Sam, I want you to go home.
Please, before they harm you.
I'm going home, all right,
but I'm taking you with me.
But there's no way.
- Hurry, little brother.
Not find us here.
- Wait.
Want you to take this home Ma and Pa.
- Please hurry.
Go before it's too late.
Ashkea, keep my secret.
Temkai must never find
out that I carry his child.
Not with what he must do.
Ashkea, what does it mean to race the sun?
- You will begin in the walley below.
Race across the walley and climb
to the top of "Crooked Sky".
This must be done before the shadow
of the sun leaves the golden arrow.
How could anybody ever do it?
Even the strongest warriors
fail the test of "Crooked Sky".
You do as your sister begs.
Return to your own land.
to your mother and father.
It is Temkai.
He sad for what he must do.
- I don't understand.
He wear gold.
His arrow must take Charlotte's life.
It is the way of my people.
- What?
My people's ways are hard.
I'll do it
Who says I can't?
God will help me and I'll make it too.
And I'll be the one that'll
take Temkai's arrow.
I do not understand such love.
To give so much for your sister.
She'd do it for me.
So would Ma and Pa
They believe what it says right in here.
About giving your life for friend.
There's no need of me keeping this now.
Please God.
Don't let me give up.
Ma! Ma!
It's Sam!
Well about time you got back.
Howdy, Russian.
Where you two been,
running off without a word?
What brings you out here
this time of the year?
Well now, John, I was afraid
that if we got a heavy snow,
I might get locked in, and I was hoping I
could spend a little time with you folks.
Well now you're welcome to stay
just as long as you'd like.
Sam, take your cow to the corral.
What the hell is that?
We saved him for you, Russian.
Name is Bar Killer.
Well, you knothead.
Don't you know enough not to give my
dog's name to a scraggy thing like that?
Let me see it.
Where's Russian of to today?
- Went to get his mule.
His Mule?
Yeah, his mule left him this morning.
He was cussing it and that thing
turned and headed towards the hills.
Guess it had enough of him.
We're gonna miss that Russian.
- Uh-huh.
He was a good old boy.
- Yes, son.
Do you think Ma will ever get
back to the way she was?
What do you mean, Sam?
- She don't act the same.
Your ma is going through a lot of pain, son
I guess maybe she doesn't realize what she's
got for thinking about what she's lost.
You know, when you and
Charlotte was both gone,
well, she never stopped hoping and
praying that you'd both come back.
And you came back and told us that.
Charlotte had died of a
fewer at Indian camp, well
I guess, maybe she just ain't expected it.
We'll just have to give it time, son.
And trust in the Lord.
Hey, it's getting hot!
How about some water?
No, Sam!
Stop him, John!
Please, Molly, stay here.
- Sam!
What's the matter with you, boy?
It was Temkai.
I saw you fall.
Oh, Sam!
She took my place at "Crooked Sky".
Molly, come on!
Charlotte, I..
He's my son.
Mine and Temkai's.
What is it, John?
What's wrong?
Come on!
Thank God.
# An arrow flies #
# Against a crooked sky #
# The night wind knows #
# Someone must die #
# But love will live #
# You hear the night wind sing #
# And where there's love #
# There is eternal spring #
# One leaf may fall #
# But the tree grows tall #
# True love lives on #
# And there is #
# No lasting song #