Land of Gold
Screenplay, 108 pages (Adventure, Drama)
Viewed by: 7 Members
Uploaded: Aug 20, 2012
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A 19 year-old girl, determined to be independent and make her own way in life finds herself struggling to survive in the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush - the most male dominated society imaginable.
19 year-old Aideen Mallon leaves Ireland in 1896 to escape an arranged marriage and emigrates to Toronto with her friend Agnes. But Agnes abandons her on arrival and Aideen is forced to seek refuge in a convent. She writes to her mother asking for money to return home but her mother tells her she’s made her bed and must lie on it.
In desperation, Aideen takes a job as a companion to Marian Sturges, the young, pregnant wife of John Sturges, who is travelling to the Yukon to take up a post as a government Land Surveyor.
The journey across Canada to the North West Territories takes its toll on Marian, who dies on the notorious Chilkoot Trail. Immediately after Marian’s burial in the mountains a huge avalanche sweeps Aideen and several others away. She is eventually rescued and, on finding that Sturges has gone on without her, she determines to go after him for the wages he owes her.
She makes friends with Frank Allenby, a prospector who was cheated out of his mine, and persuades him to team up with her on the promise that she can help him get his mine back when she finds Sturges. Frank agrees and the two of them cross the Chilkoot and set out for Dawson City, a harrowing journey of 600 miles downstream through raging torrents and dangerous rapids.
Aideen finds Sturges in Dawson and realises that it was grief and guilt over Marian’s death that has been driving her. Sturges can’t help Frank recover his mine but he does help him lease another one. By now, Aideen has fallen in love with Frank. She stays on and goes into partnership with him to mine for gold.
But Frank turns out to be a manipulative, violent, unpredictable control freak. Aideen left Ireland seeking a better life but now she is worse off than she could ever have imagined. She becomes pregnant to Frank and gives birth to a son. It is love for her son that rekindles her desire to survive and gives her the courage to make a daring escape.
Frank comes after her. He begs her forgiveness and promises the earth. But she’s heard it all before and she’s come too far and been through too much to give in now.
But Frank would rather kill her than let her go. At the very moment he fires his gun at her, an unexpected twist, unwittingly set up by Aideen, saves her life. Frank is captured by the police and Aideen is finally free to return to Toronto and lead her life on her own terms.
Coming of Age
Time Period: 18th- 19th Century
Special Effects: None
Cast Size: 1-3 Main/Supporting
Target Audience: Adult
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