Badland (2019) - full transcript

Detective Matthias Breecher is hired to track down the worst of the Confederate war criminals. As he roams the Old West seeking justice, his resolve is tested when he meets a determined pioneer woman who is far more than she seems.

You here looking for work?

I'm afraid not.

Says he's not here
looking for work, boys.

Perhaps a drink then.

Before I ask as to what
your business is here,

may I inquire as to whether
or not you are a veteran, sir?

I am.

Well, damn those Yankees.

Damn them and damn their ideals.

Ran me out of my home.

Ran me out of my state.

State that I bled for.

State that I gave sons for.

Are you aware of who I am, boy?

I am.


And what's your name?


Well, Mr. Breecher,

I am beginning to
tire of this exercise,

and I would like for you to
state your goddamn business.


Spied on us through
the whole war.

I'm afraid I may have
cut the throats of many

an innocent private because I
thought they might be working

for the Pinkertons.

So what now,
Pinkerton detective?

General Corbin Dandridge,
you are a wanted war criminal

and you have been
sentenced to hang.

I'm here to see that those
wishes are carried out.

And how exactly do you
plan on carrying that out?

Can start by finding
an oak tree big enough

to hold a man of your stature.

How did you find me?

A snake is not hard to find

when you flip over
enough rocks, General.

Well, I'll not be swingin'
from an oak tree today.

And the fact that you
thought you could come here

and execute me proves
your utter stupidity.

Do you refuse to
come quietly, General?

Whatever happens next
ain't gonna happen quietly.

But I'm gonna let you
have one last drink.

One last drink before you
meet the worms for yourself.

'Cause I assure you, sir,

you will not be afforded
the courtesy of a pine box.

Drink that whiskey, boy.

What is it, Henry?

There's a telegram
from your man, sir.

To Senator Benjamin Burke.

Correspondence from
Mathias William Breecher.

Confederate General
Corbin Dandridge

refused to come peacefully.

Defensive measures were taken

which resulted in the
general's violent demise.

Two other warrants
have been served.

Will notify you again

when wire and carrier
become available.

To those who truly believed
in the Confederate cause,

surrender was never an option.

None of these men will let
themselves be hanged, sir.

These people thought that
justice would never find them.

I can only imagine their
surprise when a man arrived

to stretch their neck.

Most men would never take
kindly to such a proposal, sir.

Did we take so kindly to
chains and shackles, Henry?

And now that I'm in
a position of power,

I intend to make an
example of such men.

I've waited a long
time to find somebody

to take on this task.

Someone that did not
fear the endeavor.

Someone that I could put
faith in to see it through.

This task, the man you have
chosen, this Mathias Breecher

are necessary tools to move
forward into a brighter future.



Now you come in
a peaceful manner

or should I be
lookin' for cover?

You killed a general.

Now how might you know that?

Took me the better part
of a year to track down

that old Dandridge.

Night and day, I
was asking folks

from the Mississippi
to the Colorado.

Ran into a trapper
near Deadwood.

Said he'd heard of a man
fought on the losing side

in the war making a
living down south.

I arrived at that camp.

There was wolves
picking at the bones.

Nothing there to salvage,
not even any scalps.

I'm sorry to have
disappointed you, Harlan.

Not a lot of bounties
out there at the moment.

Would lead a man such
as myself to believe

that the two of us might
cross paths sometime soon.

We do not live

in the most peaceful of
occupations, my friend.

No, we do not.

So how do we avoid seeing
each other for a while?

You could always retire.

I'm working on it.

However, you might take your
own advice on the issue.

And where would a man
like me go, Mathias?

My lands, they're nearly gone.

The trail, this horse, this job.

All I have.

You know, settling down in
old age would not suit me.

I have always
respected you, Mathias.

You've been honest, just,
fair, and honorable.

For a white man, that
is a rare attribute.

Sometime soon, Mathias,

you and I will have to
exchange fire with one another.

It is inevitable.

Well, when that time
does come, Harlan,

whoever the victor, may
death be quick and merciful.

Good bye, Mathias.

Good bye, Harlan.

Ain't never heard of him.

It was a
good offer, woman.

I cannot guarantee
there'll be another one.

We don't need another offer.

My answer has been
and will be no.

It is unwise not to take

Mr. Quaid's generosity
into consideration.

Get off my land.


Come on, let's go.

Can I help you?

It is quite possible
that you just might.

That depends on what
you're lookin' for.

I must say I'm not in a very
trusting or kindly way today.

I'm looking for
Reginald Cooke.

You state your
business with him,

and it better not be about
buying this here land.

Old friend.

You came to say good bye?

Good bye?

You don't know.

Know what, mam?

Sarah, my name is Sarah.

Okay then, Sarah.

If you are my father's
friend, then I'm being rude.

I'm sure your horse could
use some shade and water.

And I got some still
hot coffee inside.

Why don't you come this way?

Thank you.

I know my father will be happy

to see a friendly
and familiar face.

Your father?

The only one I got.

Come on.

Your horse should
be fine out there.

We haven't seen any
snakes as of late,

and we got a tabby cat
that keeps the rats at bay.

All right, come, sit.

Thank you.

So how do you know my father?

We fought in the same war.

And you're proud
of that, are ya?


Not many men
would say as much.

Most of 'em are too proud.

Well, I am proud of
very few things, mam.

Well, that's no
way to live now.

I'm sorry, I forgot
to ask you your name.

How rude of me.

Breecher, Mathias
William Breecher.

Strong name.

Your father, what's
wrong with him?

He has the deep cough,
what they call the pneumonia.

He has trouble breathin',
even talkin' sometimes.

For a while, I had the doctor
comin' out every other day,

but then it all seemed futile.

So I'm doing the
best I can for him,

but he's living
on borrowed time.

I'm sorry.

Thank you.

I'm sorry you have
to see him like this.

You know, he was
such a strong man,

but then you know
all about that.

Would you like to see him now?

That might be best.

Father, you have a visitor.

Well, I'll leave you both to it.

Ring your bell if
you need anything.

Right now I'm not the
brightest, warmest fire

on the coldest, darkest night.

So forgive me if I don't
recognize a friendly face.

No forgiveness needed, sir.

you serve under me?

I did not.

Work for me?

No, sir.

Well, how the hell
did we ever cross paths?

Our paths have not
crossed until just now, sir.

Oh boy.

I waited a long, long time
for someone like you to come.

I always knew that my
sins would catch up to me.

I did a bunch of terrible
things in the war,

and I always knew at one time

I was gonna have
to atone for it.

I assume you did
some soldiering.

I have.

It's in your eyes.

You got it, I got it, anybody
that fought in the war gets it

because you can't get rid
of the stench of death.

When you take a life, you
never, ever forget it.

I know you got it.

The warrant, let me see it.

Read it and make it proper.

You know your crimes, Captain.

You don't need
to call me Captain.

Who are you kiddin'?

That was a long time ago.

Like I said, Mr. Cooke, you
and only you know your crimes.

And you can take them
up with the good Lord

when you meet him for yourself.

What about my daughter?

What's gonna happen to her?

I cannot answer that, sir.

Why don't you just
have the courage?

Shoot me right here in my bed.

Kill me.

Are you gonna drag me out
by the goddamn willow tree?

No, not the willow tree

because that's where
my wife is buried.

And I'll be goddamned if I'm
gonna think of my daughter

going to visit
her mother's grave

with an image of me swinging
up above her at the time.

I will not hang you.

I will not shoot you.

I will let you pass
as God sees fit.

But I will stay here for it.

It's my job to watch men like
you take their last breath.

That is the burden I
must carry in this life.

Heavy burden, isn't it, son?

Will these accommodations
be all right?

More than all right, mam.




If you'll be needing to
put your things anywhere,

we have a chest for you.

Feel free.

Thank you.

Why carry two?

Better to have two
loaded guns when needed.

Any occupation that requires
a man to carry such firepower

must be of mighty importance.

Or of the law-breaking kind.

But then it's none of
my business what you do.

It's been such a long time
since we've had a horse here.

Why's that?

Probably because we
can't keep 'em alive.

Heck, we can barely
keep ourselves alive.

You see, there's some men around
here who would like to see

this land taken from us.

One man in particular
goes by the name of Quaid.

It was his men you
saw here this morning.

Now that Father is dying, he
sees a greater opportunity.

They'll do anything
to try and run us off.

This is tough country.

It takes an even
tougher soul to tame it.

Fact is, you kept
it going this long.

Means you got a lot
of fight in you.

It's an admirable
quality, Sarah.

Well, I'll leave
you to it then.

You know, I'm making some stew.

I thought maybe you
might want to join me.

Or if you're tired
from your journey,

I will understand if
you'd prefer to rest.

I can bring you a bowl.

I would love to join you.

All right then, I'll see you
inside in just a little bit.

I hope it's all right.

I'm not exactly the best cook.

Anything is better
than hard tack.

I suppose that's true.

So tell me, Mr. Breecher, did
you really come all this way

just to see my father?

Please, call me Mathias.

I did.

And for reasons I
should not be privy to?

No, but I would think
them not much important now.

Father must have seen a
bootfull of kindness in you

to ask you to stay like he did.

I mean, I have never seen
him have overnight company.

I imagine we see eye to
eye on a good many things.

I would hope so.

How long you been on the trail?

One year, six
months, three days.

That's a long time.

Now you're really
temptin' me to ask

what it is you do for a living.

I'm a detective.

You come to see my father.

You know, he became a
different man after the war.

Haunted like.

He wouldn't tell me much
about what happened,

but I know he regrets it.

He was afraid.

Afraid of possible
repercussions from his actions.

And that's why he up and
took us all the way out here

to the middle of nowhere.

He feared that somehow
we'd be caught up

in whatever was comin' for him.

My mother, well, this land
was just too hard for her.

She hated it, and she died
shortly after we came here.

And for quite some time,
I did blame him for that.

But there's good
in him, I seen it.

He's trying to reform himself.

He built a decent life
for me and him here.

He has changed.

Maybe I should go.

Please don't leave.

Whatever his sins,
whatever his demons,

they die with him
as will the past.

And what will you do, Sarah?

Oh, well I have given
that a great deal of thought

as of late.

This land has been
something of a challenge,

but nothin' would suit me
better than to tame it.

A workin' farm then.

Yes, this is good land.

The rich earth for
crops, for farmin'.

And I been thinkin'
about my own cattle herd

for some time now.

I mean, that is a
profitable venture.

Well I was a cattle drover
on the plains for a short time.

It's hard work.

I would welcome it.

Why are you smiling?

It's a rare thing
to meet a woman

with such perserverence
and fortitude.

It's a welcome sight is all.

Well, thank you.

And what about you,
Mathias Breecher?

What does the
future hold for you?


And what might you
do with it if bought?

Logging, farming, droving.

Anything that might have be
finding my head on a pillow

instead of a rock or a log.

A place to call home.

I see.

Thank you for the supper
and the conversation.

It was an unexpected pleasantry.

Which, my company or the stew?

I warned you.

I'll see
you in the morning.

I look forward to it.


Afternoon, Mathias.

She's a hard worker.

I can see that.

It's not exactly the life
that I wanted her to have.

I think she's done
just fine for herself.

You raised her well, sir.


My days are numbered.

I'm sure that brings
you some kind of joy.

I get no pleasure from
watching you die, sir.

Would you do something for me?

Bring that chair over here
so I can look you in the eye.

I'm dying, and my
daughter has to watch it.

I need you to help
me to the afterlife.

If I was to oblige you,
it would involve a noose.

Oh no, it's gotta
be out of sight.

I'm no sneak, sir.

What about poison?

That is murderous.


Jesus Christ, you use
murder as a business.

What the hell is the difference
between hanging me out there

on some goddamned tree or
letting me consume something

to take my life?

If I hang you, it is
by decree of the courts.

Poisoning you is murder.

It is not a justifiable
way of death.

Justified, what the hell are
you talking about justified?

You think you're justified?

You also are a bastard

because you are keeping a
man from his dying wish.

Live with that.

This death is the best
you'll get, and it's a favor.

Embrace it.

You piece of shit.

Everything okay?

Everything's fine.

A town nearby?

Yep, a few miles that-a-way.

What about that Quaid fella?

He live in that direction?

He does.

Lives off the main road about
half a mile to the west.

I don't reckon
you'll run into him.

Hey, boss.

You can get yourself shot

ridin' onto a man's
ranch, stranger.

State your business.

Cooke homestead.

What about it?

I'm asking you to leave it be.

Is that a fact?

I'm willing to pay.


I don't need money,
but I need that land.

What's your relation to her?

Just a friend.

Just a friend.

I don't think so.

I think she went out and
got herself a hired gun.

Well, like I said, I
don't need the money.

But I do like
entertainment now and then.

You a gambling man?

I enjoy a good card game.

I'm not talking about
a goddamn card game.

Here's the deal, you
beat my best man,

and that little bitch
can keep her land.

What's on the other
end of this deal?

There is no other end.


Come on.

It's over.

Get off my land.

Whoa, boy.

Who did this to you?

It was a fair fight.

Looks like you gave
as good as you got.

What happened?

Simple arrangement.


That man Quaid won't
be bothering you anymore.



Please, come inside.

I'm afraid I'm filthy, Sarah.

Yes, you are.


I was boiling water today,
awaitin' your return.

I thought you might
want to wash up proper.

I even made you some soap.

Now it seems even
more appropriate.

I do not have much to offer
in return for all the help.

I hope this will suffice.

Your shirt is filthy.

I could wash it for you.

Here, let me help you.

Here, get comfortable,
I'll bring you some towels.

Pardon the intrusion,

but I think that those wounds
need some attendin' to.

Do you mind if I help?

No man should endure such pain.

Hazards of the occupation.

No amount of money or pride
or honor is worth all of this.

I think there must be
plenty of other men,

with scars or without,

who could pick up where
you might leave off.

I do not know how
to be still, Sarah.

I think you could learn how.

I think that you're afraid.

I think that...

I think that you and
violence have a relationship

only you can understand.

And I think that
you're afraid, sorry,

of what might happen
if you let it go.

I'm afraid of what I
might become if I do.

You would become
and even better man.


Here, Father.

I'm sorry.

There's nothing
to be sorry for.

It's me who should be sorry.


Yeah, I dragged your
mother and you out here.

And now I'm leaving you.

I have everything I need
because you raised me right.

I did unspeakable things,
things I can't ever even...

Just can you understand that?

I know about them, but
that was so many years ago.

All this time has passed,
and yet you still live

each and every day as though
those deeds and that war

was just a fortnight ago.

Father, do you repent
of those deeds?

I don't know.

Well, I'm not your
final judge and jury.

But I forgive you, Daddy.

You are forgiven.

All your family
always loved you.

And I will be okay here.

I will be okay in this world.

God, I love you.

I love you too.


What the hell is that?

Son of a bitch.

What happened to
our deal, Quaid?

We still have a deal.

Here it is.




Father, Father.

I don't know why I'm crying.

I knew it was coming
sooner or later.

You saw it happening
a different way.

Thank you for being
an honorable man.

I know you had a job to
do, but you let him go out

on the terms that God
had thrust upon him.

And when the time came, he
chose not to lie on his back

and die in his bed
but come out in front

and protect his
home and his family.

And I suppose that was the
best death he was gonna get.

Besides, we don't get paid
enough for what we do as it is.

Just make sure the
sheriff doesn't find out.

Hey, stranger.

What's your business
in our little town?

This here place
has the best liquor.

This saloon have a hotel?


Us girls ain't so bad either.


Hello, what can I do for you?

I need a room,
just a few nights.

Nothing fancy, just a
clean pillow and a bed.

I have a room upstairs
at the end of the hall.

That'll do just fine.

If I can just get
your signature please.

What kind of town is this?

Used to
be a mining town.

Mine go bust?

Long time back.

The whole town was going
bust until a man came in here

and got this place
up and running.

Suppose everyone needs their
whiskey and good times.

Regardless of how
this place looks,

it's been a profitable
venture for the man.

Not a fan of the job?

Not a fan of the man.

So what brings you to our town?

Just passin' through.

On your way to Texas?

Something like that.

Most travel on
through from California.

You might find this town is
not the friendliest of places.

But it is all some of us have.

The brown mare
outside, it's mine.

I'll see that he's
properly tended to,

but it's compliments
of the establishment.

Thank you, mam.

Room eight, that
end of the hall.

pair of fours.

Give me a little
more of that, darlin'.

your back with those.

Sleeves over there.

- Yep, I'll lose.
- Yeah, arms.

queen, 10 wins.

Oh, I can't do anything.

I need a drink.

A new face is
always refreshing.

Not interested.

Maybe I'm not either.

And maybe I'm just lookin'
for somebody to talk to.

Care to go upstairs
to that room of yours

and relieve your troubles?

It's rude not to
drink with a lady.

Honey, how about
a ride, darlin'?

Jasper, I told you once
already, I ain't lookin'

to be shakin' the chandeliers
with you tonight, understand?

And why is that?

What in the Sam hill I do
to you to score me as such?

I am working,
can't you see that?

What's this swingin'
dick got that I ain't got?

Class for one thing.

And who the hell even
are you, Mister, huh?

Ain't seen your likeness
around these parts before.

I'm just a short stop
on a very long journey.

Ought to be careful
how you talk to me.

Is that a fact?

Might be.

Either it is or it isn't.

Jasper, please, don't do this.

Get back behind the
goddamn bar, Alice.

The customer
hasn't done anything.


Back to you.

You sure you want
to draw that pistol

on a man you never met, boy?

Didn't think it
through, did you?

Whiskey's got your
mind all screwed up

like a river that
doesn't run straight.

I'm gonna let you go now.

Before I do, I'll give
you a little information

just in case you feel
like drawing that steel.

Each and every morning I
wake up, I head into that sun

and I am prepared to shake
hands with Mr. Grim himself.

Can you say the same?

You're fast,
I'll give you that.

But I do think I have
the advantage here.

Trust me, sir, I have no
intent of doing you harm.

If I know my deputy,

you were in true form to
relieve him of his gun hand.

Boys, get Jasper
over to the doctor.

Make sure he has
a good look-over.

I do apologize for my deputy.

Well, you seem to
have a lot of 'em.

Well, a man can never be too
careful when he has enemies.

Please have a seat.

Now I like to try to
get to know the people

that come through my town.

I like to know their intentions.

Like most do, he's
just travelin' through.

On his way to Texas, he said.

Well, thank you, Alice.

Well, I suppose that
takes care of that then.

Just another stranger passin'
through, lookin' for a bed.

Well, as much as I'd like to
hear about your adventures

and your journey, I'm sorry,

it's gonna have to
wait till another time.

I have other matters
that need my attendin'.

Honey, oh, you're so sweet.

Alice, was Jackson here
early this mornin'?

He was, he was here
all night with Honey.

He left this mornin'.

And what are we gonna
do about that, Honey?

What do we do to
thieves in my town?

I'll give 'em
all the money back.

Look, it's all here, see?

Well, then that
takes care of that.

Nine, 10, 11, 12.

You put the value
of your life at $12?

Well, whore or no whore,

that's a pretty cheap price for
a woman, wouldn't you agree?

Thieves of any kind will
suffer the consequences.

Those are my rules,
you all know them.

I expect you to follow them.

Come here, Alice.

I hired you to look
after this place.

If you cannot keep these
ladies in line, I will find

someone else to do the
job, do you understand me?


Now clean up Honey.

She's making a mess of my floor.


Yes, we shall have
coffee in the mornin'.

That is if you're
still here, sir.

Good whiskey should
never go wasted,

especially in this town.

Good night.

I'm sorry to bother
you, Mr. Breecher.

May I have a few minutes?

I've seen what the
sheriff can do.

I've known men like
him all my life,

men with a hatred deep within.

It's an appetite

for someone else's pain,
misery, destruction,

and it is never ending.

I'm begging you, please,
leave our town tonight.

A man such as
yourself is a threat.

He will see you dead for that.

I can't live another day
seeing more blood spilled

on these floors.

Are you a man of
God, Mr. Breecher?

I find that it eases
the fear of death.

There's an old
mission out back.

That's my escape
from all of them.

I go there to be
alone, to think.

I pray.

I pray for the help
that will never come.

And I will go there tonight
to light a candle for Honey,

for that is all I know to do.

Why not just leave this place?

There is no place to go.

Some of us have a past
that we have run from

and it has led us all here
to this town, to this place

that we must endure.

It's our purgatory, I think.

Drag his ass out.

Good mornin', sir.

I'm an early riser,
always have been.

Sleep evades me, always has
when my mind runs rampant

with thoughts of the past.

You see, I came to this
town many years ago.

Was a rough place
as one can imagine

any town that just
struck silver might be.

And I saw an opportunity.

Wearing that badge is a
privilege, not an opportunity.

Well said, sir.

You see, before I settled here,

I wandered wherever
a job would have me.

Because I possess a
special skill set,

and that skill set allows
me the ability to read men.

And I have met many through
the years, all kinds.

Honorable men, cowards,

drunkards, and thieves.

And every man has a very
distinct look in their eyes.

And if you have the skill,

you can tell what
their intentions are.

I knew you wasn't
no bounty hunter.

Too calculated,
too professional.

Several months ago,
a friend of mine

who used to write to
me quite frequently

was killed and his
whole outfit left to rot

and be picked apart by the
vultures and the crows.

And I thought, who could
have done such a thing?

Especially to that angry
old bear that I once knew.

General Corbin Dandridge.

Now it's not just
anyone who could've

just up and got his ghost,

and everybody was
talkin' about one man.

And here you are.

Ah, a man of vision,
a man of dreams.

But yet still a man.

And what are men to do, Jasper,

but to suffer for their dreams?

But not before we have some fun.

That's mine.

Thank you kindly.

Let's see here,
Detective Mathias Breecher.

Well, you must be good to
have gotten the drop on

old Dandrige, but I would
ascertain that the outcome of this

situation might be a bit
different than you expected.

Is there anything you'd
like to say, Detective?

Captain Huxley Wainwright,

you are a convicted
war criminal.



And you have been
sentenced to hang.



I am here

to see those wishes carried out.

I used to burn whole villages,

hung women and
children of all colors,

all in the name of
the Confederacy.

But alas, that war is over.

Do you refuse to come quietly?

Jasper, take this son
of a bitch outside of town

and bury him, alive.

Christ, this hurts.

You done complaining
yet, you little baby?

You trying gettin'
shot in the hand.

You check his pockets?

For what?

You idiot, this here's
a government official.

They make a good
livin', more than us.

Woo, what I tell ya?

Drinks on me tonight.

You're alive?

Oh my God, what can I do?

What do you need?

My things in my room.

Let me get you a doctor.


Is there a wire service in town?

Yes, there is.

something to write on, hurry.


I need you to send
this immediately.

It is of urgent concern.

Wait for the reply,
come straight back.

Go, please.

A sheriff.

A man of the law.

Once can only begin to guess
what his judgment would be

in matters like this.

Someone saw fit to put this
man, this Huxley Wainwright,

into a position of power.

What do I tell a man like
Mathias to do here, Henry?

It's a road that's
not usually crossed.

It's badge against badge.

I find myself in
unfamiliar territory.

Sir, you've come too far
to not see this through.

He has come too far.

Tell me, Henry, what do
I say to a man that I have

given such a heavy

a man that has
given his own blood?

What words best suit
the upcoming storm?

Tell him this, sir.

I have your reply.

Read it, please.

In regard to one Detective
Mathias William Breecher,

information received, proceed
at your own discretion.

By any means necessary.

Four of the deputies are
outside having breakfast.

Deacon and a few others
are in the cantina.

Where's the sheriff?

If I had to venture a guess,

I'd say he's at the other
end of town in his office.

Take it.

It's best you stay here,
Alice, out of harm's way.

Should anything happen to me,

please see that this letter
finds a Miss Sarah Cooke.

Details of her
location are inside.

Thank you.

Please, don't kill me!

- Please, Mister!
- Shut up.

Shut up!

Shoot him, please!

- Shoot him.
- Put the gun down, Mister.

Hey, you don't
die easy, do you?

Well, you know that old saying.

You want a good job done,
you got to do it yourself.

I didn't get to where
I'm at by being slow.

Neither did I.

Well alrighty, Detective,
what do you say we give

these folks a good,
old-fashioned dime novel showdown?

Oh, oh, you're hurt real bad.

Someone fetch the doctor!

My horse.

My horse.

Okay, okay.

Alice, I need you to send...

I know, I'll send 'em a report

and tell 'em what happened here.

It'll be well-worded.

The town is yours now.

Didn't ride straight
to the doctor.

Means you got something
more important

than your own health, my friend.

You deserve peace, Mathias.

I'm stained, broken.

I am unfit for it.

You were borne of violence.

Now be still.

Knife's Edge, it's
about a day's ride south.

You'll find his body there.

He's yours.

Thank you, Harlan.


You're home.