Hostile Territory (2022) - full transcript

Former P.O.W. Jack Calgrove moves Heaven and Earth to be reunited with his children following the Civil War. After returning home, Jack finds out his wife has died and his children, presumed orphans, are heading deep into the West aboard a train crossing old enemy lines. Calgrove and another former soldier are joined by a troop of Native American sharpshooters and a freed slave, as they race to intercept the orphan train before all hope is lost.

By the end of
our nation's great Civil War,

thousands of children
found themselves orphaned,

their fathers
killed in battle,

their mothers taken
by disease, or grief.

Many ended up
on the Orphan Train,

a program to relocate children

from the decimated
northern cities

to families
in other territories.

Families with love to give.

and farms to run.

My brother, sister and I
rode the Orphan Train,

cold, hungry, and scared.

Little did we know
at the time

that the only thing
stronger than death

was our father's love
for his children.

I'll miss you, Daddy.

I'll miss you too.

This is a doll.

for both you girls.

that's gonna protect you
while I'm gone.

And anytime you miss Daddy,

you can hold that doll
when you go to sleep at night,

and know that I'm always
thinkin' about you.


Come here, Lily.

Oh, I love you.

When Father
started talking about

leaving for the war,

our oldest brother, Phillip,
was determined to go with him.

Charlie, you're
the man of the house now.

Father told him
to stay and look after us,

but eventually relented.

- Bye.
- Bye.

I'll be home soon.




Where are you hurt?

I can't feel my legs.

Come on, I got you.

Get in the back.

Get him to safety;
get him to safety.


Get him down here.

Get him down.

Move down.

They're comin',
they're comin'.

Move in!
There's more of 'em comin',

there's more of 'em comin'.

I'm fine.
I can go back.

- No, you're not goin' back.
- I can go back.

You can't go back!

- Charlie.
- Yes, sir.

- I can't leave them, Father.
- Stay with me.

- I love you.
- No! Father, no!

- Father, no!
- Stay with me.

- Stay with me.
- No!

stay with me.

All aboard!

Thank you.

Let's get
these children on the train.

We leave in five minutes.

Mother got word that
Father had died in battle.

It was like part of her broke.

like she had a hole inside.

Before too long, tuberculosis
came and aimed to fill it.

Watch your step.

Riding on that train, though,

we felt a little less lonely.

Next to the rest
of the orphan children,

we considered ourselves lucky.

At least we had each other,

least we were still
part of a family.

So, how'd you end up
on this Orphan Train?

My father, he didn't
come back from the war.

And. and my mother,
she recently died.

So, we're gonna live
with my brother, Phil.



Manhood comes
sooner for some.

Why don't you follow me down
to the Children's Aid Society.

We told them you were alive,

and I think your siblings
should be here soon.

- Take care.
- Yes, sir.

Son, you'll be all right.

Carry on.

Thank you.


Corporal, the Army
is movin' your post.

There's a lot of folks
moving out west

and they wanna
relocate your post

to one along the Bozeman Trail.

Government's gonna
give you land, aid,

so you can build a home
on the river

just outside of Bozeman.


Son, that's a lot
to take in.

You understand what I'm sayin'?

I think this could be
a real good start

for you and your family.

Yes, sir. I do.
My apologies.

It'll be
a good beginning.

I hope it is.
Thank you.

There's a couple of
angry tribes out there, son.

And I can't blame 'em.

Settlements have moved west
rather quickly

and things have gotten messy.

We need good soldiers
like yourself to.

help bring some peace.


Just give me a minute
to gather myself.

Oh, I...

And then
we can go upstairs.

I don't. I don't want
anything from you.

I just.

Uh, I like to.

I'd like to buy this lady
a drink.

Are you, uh,
you all right?


You can come in.


Four years ago, I had to put
my baby on the Orphan Train.

Just wonder what she's like now.

I want her bed to be ready
just in case she does come back.

We can talk about it if...
if you'd like to.

Ain't no man ever wanted to
stay up all night

and talk to me.

What was, uh.
what's your daughter's name?


I named her after my mother.

I wanted her to have
a better life

than I could give her.

What will you do
now the war's over?

Um. I.

I lost. both my parents.

So, I have to be taking care
of my little siblings now.

The Army's relocated me up to
Montana, so.

Your siblings,
what's their names?

So, my younger brother,
his name is Charlie.

And, uh, so proud
of that little guy.


he's gonna be a big man
someday, you know.

Reminds me a lot of my father.

And, uh,
gosh. Lizzy.

a little ball of fire.

And then Lily, kind of afraid
that she won't remember me.

And the thing that I can't
stop thinkin' about is

how am I gonna.

how am I gonna break it to them,
you know, Father, he's gone.

And it's just gonna be me.

And how am I gonna be him?

Um, maybe
I could walk you

to the train station
tomorrow, Mister...

what's your name again?

Uh, Phillip.
Phillip Calgrove.

Thank you for just
wanting to talk to me.

Yeah. You're welcome.

What's the matter, sweetheart?

I miss my mom and dad.

I'm so sorry.

Why does God
let bad things happen?

I don't
have any answer to that,

but we have to have faith.

I want you to try to
get some sleep.

It's a long train ride.

My mom
would always sing me to sleep.

♪ O Lord my God
When I in awesome wonder ♪

♪ Consider all the works
Thy Hands hath made ♪

♪ I see the stars
I hear the roaring thunder ♪

♪ Thy powers throughout
The universe displayed ♪

♪ Then sings my soul,
My Savior God to Thee ♪

♪ How great Thou art ♪

♪ How great Thou art ♪

Come on. Get up.

War's over.

Move, boy!

Keep walkin'.

Come on.

Go on, get.

Keep walkin', Desmond.

Keep walking. Go.

Don't look back.

Come on, Desmond.


Jack Calgrove.

Samuel Hagan.

Boys look like you had it rough.


Desmond Richards.

Samuel Hagan.

I got these horses here.

Strays I picked up
off the battlefield.

How you boys gettin' home?



I'm home!


Nobody's home.

Everything all right,
Mr. Calgrove?


Whoa, whoa.


They think I'm dead.

I gotta find my children.

allow me to welcome you home

on behalf of our great nation,

and know that
while you have lost comrades,

brothers, and friends,
that it was not in vain.

That your nation thanks you.

Well, I'll be damned.

Company, present arms!

Several days after
Molly had heard of your death,

she passed, Jack.


I'm sorry.

Molly's wish was
that the young ones

be sent to live with
your son Phillip in Missouri.

Phil is still alive?


Thank you, God.

Who's been tendin' to Charlie,

Lizzy, and Lily?

The Army contacted
an orphanage in New York.

A gentleman by the name
of Edward Pagan.

He's doin' many fine works,

placing children
with good homes.

The Orphan Train movement.

You mean to tell me,

you put my children
in an orphanage?

Jack, when I found out
Phillip was still alive,

I needed to get those children
to Missouri to meet him.

There's 50 kids on that train.

It seemed to me to be

the most reasonable option
to transport them.

Oh, help me God.

You put my kids on a train,
you sent them to Missouri?

You realize how dangerous
that is?!

That's hostile territory!

We just finished
fightin' the war

right where
that train's goin'!

Are there armed officers
on that train?

Yes, Jack.

The government has ordered
that Company K

ride with the Orphan Trains
to guard them against

hostile Confederates
and Natives.

Company K's a group
of sharpshootin' Natives

from Michigan.

I was in the 54th Regiment

and I did some work
with Company K.

Jack, I can send
a message through Company K

alerting your son Phillip
that you're still alive.

I reckon you point me
in the direction of that train.

God bless your soul.

All packed up.

You know you don't
have to go with me.

You might enjoy
some peace and quiet.


I ain't got nowhere else
I got to be.

And I want to help you
get your family back.

You're a good man.

Let's get on the trail.

Let's ride.

Charlie, I'm hungry.

Okay, um,
wait right here.

Um, excuse me.
Would it be okay

if I get a few more
pieces of bread and water?

Yes, dear. Um.

I'll go ahead and distribute
the bread to everyone.

Thank you.

What happened to you?

Mom not want you anymore?

Or she just work at
one of them whorehouses?

you come sit with us.

- Charlie, you good?
- Yeah.

Some bread for you.

Thank you.


Good morning to you all!

Good morning.

Beautiful day
for some new families.

Fathers mothers, brothers,
and sisters.

thank you for comin'.

We've arrived
in Independence, Missouri,

and you're all about to go home.

Please stay seated
for right now,

and Mr. Smith will be right on
to tell you where to go next.

You'll have to
fill out the paperwork

for this gentleman.

It's required by law.

Those of you who've already
filled out the paperwork

can just step to the front
of the line over there.

We'll bring out the children.

I need some strong boys
for helping me.

It's gonna be okay.

Oh, we got
strong ones and...

and strong girls too.

Do they have names?

Oh yeah,
they all have names.

get off the train.

Follow me
and we'll form a line.

Watch your step.

Step right down.

There you go.

There you go, Jimmy.

There we go.

Please form a line
at the stand.

There we go, little one.

Got it, young lady?

There you go.




It's okay.

Watch your step.

Hey, buddy.

Oh, my gosh.
Look how big you've grown.


Hey. Hey, uh, Lily, I...
I know you may not remember me.

Uh, but I'm your older brother,

I'm gonna take care of you.

She hasn't talked
since Mother and Father died.


That's all your stuff
right there?

- Yeah.
- All right, I'll get that...

Sir, you will need, uh, to
fill out the proper paperwork.

Okay. All right,
you guys get in line.

I'll be right back.



All right, parents,
step up to the front.

We'll need your paperwork.

Come on up.
Come on up.

Don't be afraid.

Thank you.

This way, please.


Step this way.

Thank you.

Thank you, sir.

This way, please.

Paperwork looks good to me.

Next group.

What's your name?


Hi, Emily.
Welcome to our family.


In our house,
you earn your keep.

You work hard, get rewarded
with a good supper.

If you don't work hard,
you hit the road.

In this house, I'm the law.
That understood?

Yes, sir.

- Is that understood?
- Yes, sir.

All right. Come on.

Come on down this way.
Right around.

Come on now. Come on.

For Charlie, Lizzy,
and Lily Calgrove, please.

That's my brother, Phil.

Phil, can we take Mary with us?

I'm so...
I'm sorry, children.

I have, uh, Addison, Mary,
Johnny, Ray and Jacob down

as all getting adopted
by the Smith family and they...

they've not shown up yet.

If they don't show up
by tomorrow morning,

you'll go back on the train.

But... but tonight you'll sleep
in the local orphanage.

Wait, what about Jimmy?

Uh. well, the family
didn't take Jimmy.

Uh, lots of times, they don't
take the older children.


My dad gave me this doll.

I'd like you to have it.


All right, uh,
Lily, Lizzy, Charlie,

it's time to get goin'.

Here. I got this for ya.

Go on, sweetheart.


You're one brave cowboy.

And sometimes, cowboys have to
part ways to their cattle.

All right, bud.

I beg you,
please help me.

My daughter has been taken.


You lost?

Ain't much around here but men
returnin' home from the war.

And for a Black woman,
it ain't a safe place to be.

There's a town.

about 25 miles back
the way we came.

- Thank you.
- I'm sure there's someone

there can help you.

Keep the guns down.

Looks like we got a couple of
no-good Yanks.


War's over.
You guys keep on movin'.

Over when we say it's over.

How 'bout I just rip you
off that horse?

Keep goin'.

We gotta keep moving.

I want to rip their throats out
just as bad as you do.

One more step, she's done!

She's done!

One more step...!

Come with us.

Your daughter.

was in an alley living
out of a cardboard box.

You gave us no choice
but to remove her.

Don't you tell me that!

You don't know what I've
been through to find freedom!

Now to have my child
ripped away!

You tell me what
my child is right now!

Right now!

Please, I beg you, sir.

I beg you, please.
She ain't ever been without me.

I'm a good mother. I promise,
I'm a good mother.

I promise.

I'm a good mom.

Forgive me.

Now, let's see
what we can do for you.

Looks like Mary is on a train
heading to Missouri

with about 40 other children.

She will be at the orphanage,
in good care.

You sure your daughter's
on that Orphan Train?

I lost two years of my life
in those Confederate camps.

My babies' voices echoed
through my head every day.

It's what kept me from dyin'.

How old is your daughter?

She's 10.

You said her name was?

- Mary.
- Mary?

Mary Beggs.


Where are you
headed off to?

Told you that you can't
get emotionally involved

with these men
who come in here.

They aren't safe.

I never wanted this life.

Do you think
any of us want this life?

I hate myself for bringing you
here with me and Jimmy.

When he died, I thought
I could work here

until I found another man or...

or got me an honest job
to take care of you.

I never intended to drag you
into this dark hole with me.

We can leave
in the morning.

And never look back.

I met an honest soldier.

He ain't your normal man.
He just wanted to talk to me.

Ingrid, you little fool.

Where do you think
this honest man

is goin' to take you?

What do you think
is gonna happen?

I'm leaving!

I would rather die
a gruesome death

than spend one more night here
havin' a man touch me.

I remember
when we was little girls.

We used to run through
the sunflower fields

in North Carolina.

You used to tell me
that dreams are from God.

And that when you stop dreaming,
you stop living.

Sarah, we aren't living.

Dreams aren't real.

I ain't too sure God is real.

But I ain't goin' to stop you
from leavin' here.

There you go.

Lily, this is yours.

- And Charlie.
- Thank you.

- There you go.
- Ooo, muffins are my favorite.

And last, but certainly
not least, Miss Lizzy.

Thank you.

You're welcome.

So, I got some news. The Army
is relocating me up to Montana.

That means that we're going to
be leaving tomorrow morning.

I think it will be
a good start for all of us.

What will we do up there?

The Army has given me
some land by a river.

And, um.

I plan on turning it
into a farm.

So, we'll be raising crops,
and we'll have horses

and we'll have sheep and cattle.

And there's even a town.

And in that town,
there's a little school

that I'll take you all to.

Oh, can I fish
on the river?

I used to love fishing
with Father.

You can fish all you want.

Yeah. As a family.

But I caught the most fish.

Did you see Father die?



Uh, hi.

Uh, come in, come in.

Hi. I'm Lizzy.

Hello, Lizzy.
Nice to meet you. I'm Ingrid.

Hi, Charlie.

Hello, Lily.

Um, here. Let me give you
somethin' to eat.

The three of you
sure look alike.

Uh, Charlie,
Lily, and Lizzy, uh,

Ingrid is a. a friend of mine.

Can I come with you to Montana?

I won't be any trouble.
I just.

I want a better life.

I think it would be
nice for her to come with us.

Yeah. Um, I...
I suppose, yeah.

Thank you.

Ingrid, do you think
you can talk Phil

into letting our friends
come with us to Montana?

I don't think
they have any homes.

Um, they made friends
with other children

on the Orphan Train,

and they didn't get
adopted this morning.

But you know what?

I know you had a long day
today on the trains.

And we're gonna have
a very long day tomorrow,

'cause if we're
gonna be traveling,

we're gonna have to pack up.

So, I think it's time
for you guys to get to bed.

I can make a pallet
for them by the fireplace.

- Oh.
- Lizzy and Lily,

how about I braid your hair
before bed?

- Okay.
- Yeah.


Whoa, whoa, whoa.

Go, go, go, go.

there're too many!

there's Company K!

Thanks for the help,

Let's move out.

There may be more comin'.

Come on.

We've been tracking
these Apaches for a while now.

Lieutenant Calgrove.


United States Army, Company K.

Ah, you're the Native Union
sharpshooting group.

Yes, sir.

Wait a minute.


The letter, please.

What letter?

You're the father
coming for his children.

Here's a letter
we're delivering

to the station
in Independence, Missouri.

But why didn't it
get there?

We guard
these Orphan Trains at night.

We'll pull over
to pick on those Apaches

you just encountered.

And it took us far off track.

My son, Phillip Calgrove,
lives in Independence, Missouri.

That's where he's stationed.

They're supposed to be
holding them with him there.

How far is it?

It's about
a hundred miles from here.

Let's move.

The kids are still sleeping.


All, uh, all loaded up now.

Is everything okay?

We don't.
we don't know each other,

but what I do know is
we seem to be

in the same place
in our lives.

We're both searching
for a greater purpose.

I just.

I just can't walk in there
and adopt six children.

I can barely
take care of myself.

I had stopped
believing in goodness.

Until the night we met.

From that night on, I.

I started thinking maybe
there's another way for me.

Maybe with these children,

I could be worth something.

I can help you.

We can do it.

Mary, Addi,
Johnny, Jacob, Ray, Jimmy,

get out here!

Get out here!


I miss you.

- Jacob.
- I miss you so much.



your brother already
sendin' you back, huh?

No, sir.

We would like to take
our friends with us.

I'd, uh, like to formally
adopt all these children

that were left behind.

You serious, sir?

Dead serious.


We could use your help on
the farm from all of you guys.

Well, you'll all be glad

to have a family again, right?

- Yes.
- Yes, sir.

I'll get the paperwork
and you can be on your way.

- Okay, thank you.
- All of ya.

Thank you.

Ray, welcome to the family.

I'm Phil.

- What's your name?
- Mary.

I'm Phil.

Goodbye, Frank.

I'll miss you, Ray.

I'll miss you too.

Goodbye, Jimmy.

Good luck to ya.

Hope to see you again.

Thank you.

God bless.

All right, everyone.

We met up with
another family leaving town,

and together, we set out
to start our lives over.

Huddled in the back
of those wagons,

we were ready
to take on the world.

Charlie, why don't you
get up here

and show 'em how it's done.

- Right over there.
- Okay.

On your sights.

Sit back, everybody.


Dang, Charlie.

- Yeah, Charlie.
- Bull's eye, buddy.

Doesn't surprise me
at all, buddy.

Who's next?

Can I go next?

Yeah, get up here.

All right,
just like your brother,

right at those tin cans
I set up.


Now, it's a little loud,
so I'm gonna cover your ears.

All right.
Line up a little bit.

You got it?


Nice shooting, cowgirl.


Dang, Lizzy,
you can shoot.

I'll go. That's easy.

Hit that one right there.

Here you go.

Now just like the other two,
line it up.

Now let her rip
when you're ready.

Which one of these
is the trigger?

- Whoa.
- Hey.

All right, so first
rule of handling a gun is,

you never aim
at another person.

Only if
it's the bad guy, though.

Thank you, Charlie.
Only if it's the bad guy.

supper's ready.

All right,
we'll do this later.

Come on, Jimmy.

As we traveled West,

our hearts began to heal

from the wound
of losing our parents.

We let go of our
fear and anger.

Love re-entered our lives.


Welcome to
Missouri, Lieutenant.

Looking for
the local orphanage.

Can you point us
in that direction?

Down that way
at the edge of town.

Thank you.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

I'm here for my children.

Oh, yes, sir.

Well, I will need for you
to fill out the necessary...

I don't think you understand!

My children arrived here
a few days ago.

Phillip Calgrove.

Phillip Calgrove, yes.

A... And the children.

They're... they're with him.

Where the hell are they?

they're on a wagon train

on the way to the Oregon Trail.

- It's West.
- Tell me! You got a map?

You got a map in here?

I have many maps. I.

I'm sure you can find it.

Was there a child named
Mary Beggs with them?

Mary Beggs, Mary Beggs.

Lieutenant, Lieutenant.

You cannot travel that alone.

You know the route?

Sure do.

We'll all ride together.

Mary's, yes, yes, yes,
she's with them.

Yes, yes. I remember Mary.

She's with them.

You'll need this paper.

- Thank you so much.
- Yes.

- Thank you.
- Yes.

Phil's been assigned
to a new post.

Someone must have
given the order.

Looks like you folks
left one war,

jumped right into another one.

Where are they?


Bozeman, Montana.

See, a lot of these tribes
were forced West,

and they had their land
seized by the government.

They blamed the settlers and
started raiding the whole area.

We had to station men
at different posts

to help keep the peace.

Are the children
in danger?

Well, the Cheyenne
have been causing

most of the trouble.

Charlie, get the girls.

Come on, come on.

This way.

Come on, come on you guys.

We don't want any trouble.

We're just passing through.

On our way to
Montana to farm.

Here, come,
break bread with us.


Okay, yeah. Okay.

Guys, let's break bread.

It'll be okay.


Get down.

Please, please no more.

Please, please.

Please, enough.



Please, please, no more.

They're just children.

They're children, no!



Charlie, no!


Charlie, no!


He's gone.

These children.

She's dead.

Please, no.

Oh no.

No. Charlie, Charlie,
Charlie, Charlie.

Charlie's still breathing.

Come here, I got you.

I got you, I got you.

I got you.

Daddy, it hurts.

I tried to protect them.

You did so good, Charlie.

You did so good.

Don't you go.

Don't you go.

Please stay.

You're my boy.

You're my boy, Charlie.

Don't go.

I got you.

Daddy's here, Daddy's here.

Please God,
please don't take him.

Don't take him.

Don't take him.


Every night.

we'd sit around the table.

She'd read a Bible
verse out of this Bible.

We'd take turns
sayin' the nightly prayer.


Charlie was always the first
to say the same prayer.

He became a man
the day I left.

And died an innocent.

I know if they shot him.

he was trying to save somebody.

My husband Charles and I

planned to escape
the plantation.

Mary was a baby.

And we wanted to give her
a better life.

We almost got
off that plantation

when we got noticed.

Charles told me, "You run,
and you don't look back."

Well, I circled back and.

they hammered him to a cross.

and set him on fire
right in front of my eyes.

It doesn't seem fair
what some have to go through

on this side of life.

I'm sorry.

Thank you.

I'm gonna find
your daughter, Miss Beggs.

I'm gonna get my children back.

Nothin's gonna stop me.


Just give me a minute.

I'm gonna miss you, son.

Father, don't go.

Oh, Lily.

I promise you;
I'll be home soon.

How do you reckon
we find them?

We'll lure them to us.


They'll be back for the next
wagon train passing by.

Just a matter of time.

Let's get ready.

Take your time.

Don't be nervous.

Keep calm.

It's gonna be okay.

It's okay.

Phil. Phil.

Tell me.

Is that where my children are?

Did you kill my son?!

Did you kill my son?!

How many men
inside your camp?


Many men.

All right,
you're gonna lead us there.

Shantu, take your men.

You guys drop down the ridge.

I'll meet you in the middle.

[Ingrid No! Get off of her.

No, get off of her.

No. Get back, get back.

Move back
that way, that way.


- Where'd they go?
- They ran that way.


Come on!

Come on, come on, come on.

Get up. Get up, come on.


Are you okay?

- I'm sorry.
- I got ya.

Watch it.
Go get the kids.

- Get the kids.
- Get her to safety.

Where's the girls?



Daddy! Daddy!

Lizzy, where's your sister?

They took her.
They took her.

- Where? Where?
- Under the bridge.


Here's my pistol.

If anybody
comes near you, shoot.



Yah! Yah! Yah!

Oh, Lily.

I got you.

Daddy, please,

- please don't leave me.
- You're safe now.


There you go.




- Mary. Mary.
- Mommy!


Oh my God.

Let me look at you.

Oh, you okay?


I missed you so much.

I hope you've
made peace with God.

You killed my son,
and I'm gonna make sure

every single one of you
pay the price.


Please stop.

Thank you.

We want peace as well.



Shantu suggested to Father

that we honor all lives
lost that day.

That in order to bring peace,

we must first acknowledge
our own mistakes

and that those in power

must seek to break
the cycle of violence.

We ended up moving to Montana

and used the land
the government gave us

to start an orphanage.

We welcomed all who wanted to be
a part of our community

with the promise to also
learn from their traditions.

Nice to see you.

Thanks for bringing
the children.

My pleasure.

Watch your step.

Figure it was time
I started dreaming again.


[horses' hooves clopping

What is your name, child?

Little Jack.

Little Jack,
I'm Lizzy Calgrove.

This is my sister
Lily Calgrove.

Hi, Lily Calgrove.

We're gonna take
really good care of you.

God gives his hardest battles

to his strongest soldiers.

Father, you held my hand
when I was small.

You caught me when I fell.

You are my hero
of my childhood,

and my later years as well.

You taught me
the purpose of life

is to discover your gift,
develop it and give it away.

I know Heaven
is a beautiful place

because it has you.