44-“Duel at Florence”

Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, Written by Bruce Geller.

Dean Harens as Ernie Teller
Bonnie Bolding as Belle Hooper
Charles H. Gray as Jeff Sunderland
John Alderson as Max Clay
Hank Patterson as Plainsman
John George as Barfly (uncredited)
Mathew McCue as Townsman (uncredited)
Fred McDougall as Townsman (uncredited)
Jack Tornek as Townsman (uncredited)

I assure you, Mr. Sunderland, you’ll get what you’re paying for.
And you, Mr. Clay…You’ll get what you’re asking for. Whenever you’re ready.

HEY BOY
Wire for you, Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
Hey boy, I didn’t know you read hotel guests’ mail.

HEY BOY
Not always. Only sometime. When envelope is open. Your mail easily the best in the whole hotel.

PALADIN
Thank you very much, Hey Boy. “Your presence required in Florence, California. Enclosed, money order. $82.17.” No signature.

HEY BOY
That’s not enough money for your newspaper for one year.

PALADIN
Well, it certainly is an odd amount. Hey boy, hold my mail for the next few days. After you’re finished reading it.

HEY BOY
You’re going?

PALADIN
I am.

EXT. ON THE TRAIL – DAY

ERNIE TELLER
Shave, mister? Want to clean up a bit? Shave’s 15 cents. Haircut’s the same. Both for two bits. Clean-up’s free.

PALADIN
All right…I’ll take a shave.

ERNIE TELLER
Right over here.

PALADIN
Thank you.

ERNIE TELLER
You uh… Come a distance?

PALADIN

That’s right. People in this town like gunfighting in the street?

ERNIE TELLER
Oh, no. Those two been growling at each other all week. They started shooting this morning. Fixed themselves up some cover, as you can see, Then settled down to see who’d make the first mistake.

PALADIN
Why doesn’t someone try to stop it?

ERNIE TELLER
That’s jeff sunderland and max clay out there, mister. They’re ugly men and they don’t want it stopped.

PALADIN
Is that so? What’s their quarrel?

ERNIE TELLER
Belle hooper. They both want to marry her.

PALADIN
Well, I guess charles darwin would approve.

ERNIE TELLER
He want to marry belle too?

PALADIN
No! He’s a scientist with a theory about survival of the fittest.

ERNIE TELLER
Oh. Belle put them up to it?

ERNIE TELLER
No, she don’t want to marry either one of ’em. She’s got another fella.

PALADIN
Is that so? What’s your name?

ERNIE TELLER
Ernie teller.

PALADIN
Ernie… Where’d you get that card?

ERNIE TELLER
Oh, this woman came in awhile back. Think she must have been an actress or something. She had the nicest hair I ever did cut. Kinda red gold. Anyway, when she reached in her purse to pay me, The card slipped out. Funny, she sure was mad about something. She stamped on it when she left.

PALADIN
Red gold, huh?

ERNIE TELLER
That’s right.

PALADIN
Ernie… $82.17. That amount of money mean anything to you?

ERNIE TELLER
Reckoned you might be the one when I saw you ride in. That’d be me that sent that wire. $82 is all I had. I was hoping you’d get here before it came to guns, and headed off. I, uh… Suppose you wonder why.

PALADIN
I think I know why. That third man, the one belle wants to marry. That’d be you.

ERNIE TELLER
That’s right.

PALADIN
Careful near the mustache, huh? You’ve got a nice touch.

ERNIE TELLER
Ain’t much I do well but barbering’s my trade. ‘course I do a little vetting and some doctoring too. 40 miles to a real doc and… I kinda like to fix folks up. Just patchwork, I don’t know much yet.

PALADIN
Seems to me if this belle is the right sort of girl, She’d marry you now and help you while you studied medicine.

ERNIE TELLER
Well, she would if…

PALADIN
She wants something you won’t give her? Like a gunfight?

ERNIE TELLER
I just can’t shoot anyone, mr. Paladin. I seen a lot of bullet holes. Little and angry going in and…Real big and ripped coming out. I hear a shot and…I see a hole through someone.

PALADIN
Well ernie, that’s very touching. ‘course you wouldn’t mind if I made those holes for you.

ERNIE TELLER
I don’t really want that neither. Somebody’s gotta do something to stop those two. Belle thinks I’m just scared to get my head blown in.

PALADIN
You don’t need a head if you’re not going to use it.

ERNIE TELLER
Huh?

PALADIN
If I gun down jeff and max, Belle’s gonna want you to fight me for her.

ERNIE TELLER
You wouldn’t do that, would you? Wouldn’t do what, ernie? You got no business out there with that fight going on. Wouldn’t do what, ernie? Nothing.

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00:06:45,905 –> 00:06:47,204
Nothing? Ernie, maybe next minute jeff or max is gonna come Walking in that door saying, “belle, I killed him for you,” And grab me. And who’s to stop him? It’ll be too late then ’cause he’ll have a right. You’ve got to stop that fight now.

PALADIN
The only way to stop that fight is to start another one. I don’t care. Just so it’s stopped.

PALADIN
You want ernie out there fighting those two men?

 

I want ernie doing something! Where does he fit into this anyway?

PALADIN
My name is paladin. You could say I’m one of those innocent bystanders Who might get winged. So I’ll even the odds up a little bit. Ernie and I will take on jeff and max. All right, ernie?

E
All right. Why are you shaving in the middle of this gunfight? I figure tonight’s gonna be my wedding night. I have been hacking myself to pieces. Would you give me a hand, ernie?

E
Sure. You best have some legitimate reason For interrupting me during a fight, sir.

PALADIN
Best reason in the world. There’s no point to it. Should be stopped. It’s not your affair. You better get out of this Before you get shot accidentally.

PALADIN
You’re up against the wrong man, you know. Your pardon?

P
It’s ernie here that belle wants to marry. Wrong man? You’re trifling with the wrong man, sir.

PALADIN
Tell him, ernie. It’s so. That’s remarkably bad taste on belle’s part. Still, ernie here can wait til I’m done with max.

PALADIN
You’re wrong. Way I see it, It’s you and max shooting it out montana style Against ernie and me. You’re beginning to annoy me, sir.

PALADIN
Well, that helps. Before you use this gun, I’d like to remind you About that razor scraping your throat. You are sorely tempting me to shoot you flush, And no nonsense about a duel.

PALADIN
Well, I’ll try the sporting man in you. I’ll be very happy to make a $1,000 side bet with you. If it’s montana style. Done and done. I’d admire killing you at a profit. Just who is it I’ll be killing?

PALADIN
My name is paladin.

J
Ernie…What do I owe you for the shave?

E
On the house, jeff.
You’re a mealy-mouthed liar!
Any word out of you
is gonna be your last.

PALADIN
I repeat, belle wants
to marry ernie.
Not you or jeff.
I’m betting now.
Jeff sunderland
drew the first blood,

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00:09:43,365 –> 00:09:45,466
But I’m gonna drain
all of his.

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00:09:45,567 –> 00:09:47,935
And belle’ll be my woman.

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00:09:48,036 –> 00:09:49,870
If ernie wants to do
anything about it,

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00:09:49,971 –> 00:09:51,939
He’s welcome!

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00:09:52,040 –> 00:09:54,008
Now get going,
the both of you!

PALADIN
Doesn’t it make any difference
that belle wants ernie, not you?

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00:09:57,613 –> 00:10:00,414
Who cares what
any woman wants?

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00:10:00,516 –> 00:10:04,252
Told you to get going.
I fight one fight at a time.

PALADIN
No montana duel?
No.

PALADIN
There’s no way
I can convince you?

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00:10:09,258 –> 00:10:11,892
Listen you…
I’ve killed plenty of men

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00:10:11,993 –> 00:10:13,827
That caused me less trouble
than you.

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00:10:13,928 –> 00:10:16,030
Now get going
down that street,

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00:10:16,131 –> 00:10:18,633
And pray you don’t get a bullet
in the back of your head!

PALADIN
Now max,
you were saying?

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00:10:31,980 –> 00:10:34,014
We’ll finish this
with guns, mister.

PALADIN
That’s very clever
of you, max.
Suggest a montana duel,
of course?

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00:10:39,454 –> 00:10:41,922
You talk better than I do.

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00:10:42,023 –> 00:10:45,226
We’ll see how you talk
with a mouthful of blood.

PALADIN
Max?
Jeff?
Ernie and I will
take your wagon.

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00:11:05,547 –> 00:11:08,115
Oh no, you won’t.
I don’t believe you will.

PALADIN
Very well, you gentlemen
take that barricade.
Now, you know montana rules.
One rifle, two bullets
to each man.
Everyone breaks from cover
at the signal.

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00:11:16,358 –> 00:11:19,026
Who gives the signal?

PALADIN
The one appropriate choice.

192
00:11:22,497 –> 00:11:24,532
No please, mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
Methinks the lady
doth protest too much.

194
00:11:26,901 –> 00:11:29,203
She agreeable to you?
She’s fine, sir.

195
00:11:29,304 –> 00:11:31,138
Max?
Sure.

196
00:11:31,240 –> 00:11:33,807
Ernie?
All right.

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00:11:33,908 –> 00:11:35,676
We’ll meet back here
in ten minutes.
That gives you time to plan
whatever strategy you want.

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00:11:38,847 –> 00:11:41,382
Let’s go get
a drink, max.

PALADIN
You should find this
very amusing.
I wonder who it’ll be
that gets killed.
It’ll probably make you feel
much more like a woman,
Having four men shoot it out
over you in the street.
Excuse me.
Why did you let ’em
have max’s wagon?
It’s the best cover.

PALADIN
I want them to have it.
Sun’ll be in their eyes.
You have a rifle?
You ever fire this?
No.

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00:12:34,636 –> 00:12:36,537
I ain’t gonna either.

211
00:12:36,638 –> 00:12:39,039
There’s a lot of people
out there and gonna be more.

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00:12:39,140 –> 00:12:41,241
I might hit one of ’em.

213
00:12:41,343 –> 00:12:43,177
About the only thing
I’m not going to hit,

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00:12:43,278 –> 00:12:45,913
Is the thing I’m aiming at.

215
00:12:46,014 –> 00:12:50,083
That fella who thought up
that survival of the fittest.

PALADIN
Darwin.
Yeah, that’s him.

217
00:12:53,021 –> 00:12:55,122
He wouldn’t think
shucks of me, would he?

218
00:12:55,223 –> 00:12:58,091
I’m just not very fit.
Not here.

219
00:12:58,193 –> 00:13:00,594
Don’t know how to kill people.

220
00:13:00,696 –> 00:13:02,430
Don’t want to neither.

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00:13:02,531 –> 00:13:05,299
And that’s no likely way
to survive.

222
00:13:05,400 –> 00:13:07,234
Not around here.

223
00:13:07,336 –> 00:13:09,437
Just don’t seem fair
that surviving

224
00:13:09,538 –> 00:13:11,572
Has to mean
killing somebody else.

225
00:13:11,673 –> 00:13:14,007
I just ain’t
gonna try it.

PALADIN
Ernie, your reasoning’s
fair enough.
But when a man comes
after you with a gun,

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00:13:19,715 –> 00:13:21,949
Reason becomes merely words.
Survival means action.

230
00:13:24,419 –> 00:13:27,254
Somebody’s gotta start
settling things without guns.

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00:13:27,356 –> 00:13:29,423
Somebody just has to be
the first one.

PALADIN
You’re not the only one here
with a survival problem.

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00:13:33,395 –> 00:13:35,295
Someday this country
won’t be so hard.
People like you
will still be here,
And the killers
will be dead.
But for now…
Put two bullets in that.
I’ll be right back.

PALADIN
Your horse?

H
And my rifle.

PALADIN
Mind if I borrow it?
I’ll pay for the bullets
and the drinks later.

H
I’ve seen jeff and max
use their rifles.
Could you buy me the drink
before the fight?

PALADIN
All right,
let’s do it that way.
I haven’t time
to change my will
To include a liquor request.
What do you allow
for the sights?

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00:14:41,129 –> 00:14:44,698
’bout four inches to
the right, every 100 yards.
Hey charlie!
Get out of the way.
You want to get shot?

PALADIN
It also drops
about two inches.
All right, I’ll buy you
that drink now.
Well, there’s
no real hurry.

PALADIN
Come on.

PALADIN
What do you drink, mister?

H
Whiskey, and my name is hank.

PALADIN

Whiskey.
You gentlemen
planned your fight?
You’ll find out
soon enough.
To your discomfort,
I trust.

PALADIN
That’s a very apt toast.
To the discomfort
of our enemies.
I suppose you’re determined to
go through with this shootout.

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00:15:54,469 –> 00:15:57,671
Now listen to him,
crawling around.

264
00:15:57,772 –> 00:16:00,073
After all you’ve done
to start this fight.

265
00:16:00,174 –> 00:16:03,210
Are you seriously trying
to call it off?

PALADIN

Not at all.
I knew that in the heat
of your own battle,
Reason could never prevail.
But I thought now you’ve
had a chance to cool out,
You might possibly
understand the reason
Of letting belle choose
the man she wants to marry.

Sorry, my mistake.

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00:16:15,757 –> 00:16:19,092
Maybe your last mistake.
Yours and that barber’s.

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00:16:19,193 –> 00:16:21,261
Or any with a rifle.

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00:16:21,362 –> 00:16:23,864
It’s gonna be
something to see.

275
00:16:23,965 –> 00:16:25,866
Tell the truth, sir.
You’re trying to back out ’cause you
realize that once the shooting starts,
You’ll be out there
all by yourself.

PALADIN
You choose
to misunderstand me.
Hank?
Mr. Sunderland,
I assure you
You’ll get what
you’re paying for.
And mr. Clay,
you’ll certainly get
What you’ve been
asking for.
Any time you’re ready.
Help yourself, hank.

285
00:16:52,761 –> 00:16:54,127
Mister…
Mister,
what was it again?

PALADIN
I think I’d just as soon be
plain mister to you, belle.

288
00:17:05,040 –> 00:17:07,841
What you said before
could be true.

PALADIN
A fight over a woman
usually starts with a woman.

290
00:17:10,845 –> 00:17:13,914
Yes, I did encourage max
and jeff a little, but…

291
00:17:14,015 –> 00:17:15,616
Some of it’s ernie’s fault.

292
00:17:15,717 –> 00:17:18,485
He’s got to show
some bit of spunk.

293
00:17:18,587 –> 00:17:22,522
A wife would be entitled to some
protection, and the children.

294
00:17:22,624 –> 00:17:24,725
It can be hard just
to grow to be old enough

295
00:17:24,826 –> 00:17:26,894
To protect yourself
out here.

296
00:17:26,995 –> 00:17:28,929
Nobody thinks ernie
can do it.

PALADIN
He agreed to fight.

298
00:17:30,966 –> 00:17:32,532
Because you came.

299
00:17:32,634 –> 00:17:34,401
You’re awfully good
with a gun, I saw that.

300
00:17:34,502 –> 00:17:37,170
Now it’s ernie
needs protecting.

301
00:17:37,271 –> 00:17:39,539
Maybe this is all
on my head and…

302
00:17:39,641 –> 00:17:41,875
I ain’t asking you
to like me for it.

303
00:17:41,977 –> 00:17:43,677
But don’t let him get hurt.

PALADIN
Well, it’s late for that.

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00:17:58,192 –> 00:18:00,027
Please, listen to me.
I want you
to understand this.
I had a father who didn’t
believe in violence.
He’d never fight.
He turned the other cheek.
We ran from town to town.
Soon as the people
saw the way he was,
The bullies would be on us.
They roughed him and
they laughed at him.
And they made free
with all of us.
Maybe my pa
was in the right.
But that didn’t
make it hurt less.
No, mister.
Not for my kids!

PALADIN
Here.
Use that to signal with.
Belle, maybe this’ll
turn out all right.
Ernie!
Which one do you want?
Both.

PALADIN
Well, you won’t need those.

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00:19:07,428 –> 00:19:09,163
Hank!

PALADIN
All right,
let’s see ’em.
Here’s my $1,000.

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00:19:52,240 –> 00:19:54,942
And mine, sir.
Let her hold the stakes.
I don’t care to empty
a dead man’s pockets.

329
00:19:57,112 –> 00:19:58,779
Please call it off.
If I did anything
or said anything
To make you think that…

PALADIN
Let’s go.

332
00:20:12,627 –> 00:20:14,594
I’m not at all
a drinking man but,
Right now I wish I was.
I uh…
I didn’t load the gun.
The bullets are in
the sand out there.

PALADIN
I know.
We’ll have to break out
of here at the signal.
Get behind
that water trough,
Keep your head down
and stay there.

SHOOTOUT

PALADIN
Drop it, max.

341
00:21:57,165 –> 00:21:59,733
Drop it!

342
00:22:04,672 –> 00:22:07,507
Shame, max.
Shame!

343
00:22:07,608 –> 00:22:09,743
Can’t you count?

344
00:22:09,844 –> 00:22:11,711
You all right?
No.

345
00:22:11,812 –> 00:22:15,415
Gunshot.
Good.

346
00:22:17,952 –> 00:22:20,954
Well, stakes are yours.

347
00:22:23,624 –> 00:22:25,893
I’ll ride you
as far as the dock.

348
00:22:36,637 –> 00:22:40,173
Thank you.

349
00:22:40,275 –> 00:22:42,675
Oh, ernie!
Belle.

350
00:22:42,777 –> 00:22:46,313
You didn’t even fire
that old rifle.

351
00:22:46,414 –> 00:22:48,115
Makes no difference if
you didn’t hit anything,

352
00:22:48,216 –> 00:22:51,084
You could have
at least fired it.
Oh, ernie!
You didn’t even load it!

PALADIN
You think that’s funny?
How many of you would have
come out from behind a barricade
Without any ammunition
in that rifle?
If I were you,
I’d concentrate
On being a good enough
wife for ernie.
Unless you don’t recognize
quite a man when you see one.

360
00:23:15,476 –> 00:23:18,912
Oh, ernie.
You’re a blind fool.

361
00:23:19,013 –> 00:23:22,482
Sorry, belle.
It’s just the way I am.
I guess you’ll just have
to take it or leave it.

363
00:23:25,920 –> 00:23:27,787
Oh, ernie.
I love you.

364
00:23:27,888 –> 00:23:29,656
Oh, belle.

PALADIN
May I offer
my best wishes,
And trouble you
for my $2,000, please?

367
00:23:34,362 –> 00:23:37,230
Oh, yes.
How’d you ever come
to know a man like him?

369
00:23:42,370 –> 00:23:44,171
Uh, well…
Ours was a financial
relationship.

371
00:23:47,342 –> 00:23:49,943
How much did you pay him
to come here?
$82.17.

373
00:23:53,914 –> 00:23:57,384
Oh, that’s just about
all you ever saved up.
And it’s much too much.
Besides, you won $1,000.

PALADIN
I had the size of my fee
in mind, when I made the bet.
See I’ll call the $82…

$83, a wedding gift.

Except I’ll just take out
$10 for my expenses.

Thanks.

It’s just a matter of standing up to someone. A doctor’s the last man folks pay, And you’re gonna have to learn how to collect on your bills. So you see, the next…