Historical Screenplays
Contemporary Screenplays
by John Holton, Screenwriter
Madeleine:  (Synopsis) 
Screenplay by John Holton
 

 
In October of 1692, Madeleine de Vercheres, 14, is left in charge of the family signeury near Montreal.  Her father is away on military duty in Quebec City and her mother is away on family business in Montreal.   

A savage band of Iroquois surprises the workers in the fields and Madeleine is left to defend the stockade with only her two brothers, ages 10 and 8, an old soldier, Laviolette, 80, two cowardly militiamen and several women and children. 

For a week, using her wits and courage, this brave young girl holds off the Iroquois against impossible odds and lives to tell the tale.  This is one of the most fantastic stories of survival and courage in the annals of New France and she stands as one of the heroes of the French regime in Canada.

 

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Goals (Synopsis)

Hockey Screenplay by John Holton
www.empirecontact.com/screenwriting/contest/successes.html

 

Eddie Garfield, a high school senior, dreams of becoming a star hockey goalie. He has used the summer months to practice with the help of his close friend, Paulie, and hopes to crack the number one spot in his final year of school. His "girl next door", Marina "Doc" Holliday, who has always believed in his abilities, indulges his sports fantasy while working hard to attain their dream of attending college together in the field of science.

Their future together seems secure when they learn of possible scholarships to M.I.T. When Eddie fails to crack the starting line-up he seems destined to end his dream of stardom riding the bench. Then it happens, a freak accident during practice leaves him with the ability to see in slow motion, yet react in real time. He has become the perfect goal-tending machine. Overnight, he goes from super nerd to super hero.

His new status begins to change him. Marina and Paulie try to stay with him, but he soon leaves them behind as he becomes more popular and basks in his newfound life as sports jock extraordinaire. He begins to fall behind in his science studies, but he cannot see anything else but hockey. A college scout sees his potential and dangles a hockey scholarship as added incentive.

The championship game takes a sour turn when he loses his magic vision and the game and his scholarship stand in doubt. Marina restores his confidence that he can do it without tricks and he comes through in the end. But, will he take the hockey scholarship or return to their dream of a career in science? Eddie learns that life is all about goals and the meaning of true friendship.

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JOHN OF BECKWORTH (Synopsis)

Finalist - Empire Screenwriting Contest

 

In modern day England, a reporter following the story of a recently deceased World War II hero, uncovers the history of a small village, Beckworth, whose residents over the years have served their country. One of those stories is of John, a young man taken into the army of Harold, Earl of Wessex in late 1065. King Edward the Confessor lies gravely ill and the succession is uncertain. Harold is the natural choice but William of Normandy has a prior claim.

John meets Katherine, a Norman whose father, Hugh, is a master sword maker in the service of the English. The young couple fall in love, but their lives are complicated by the death of Edward and Harold's succession. William is furious and vows to invade. Hugh is sent to the Norman court to intercede, with John and Katherine in tow. John meets William and is exposed as a possible English spy. He is forced to leave Hugh and Katherine in Normandy where William gathers his army of invasion.

John rejoins the English army and they await the inevitable Norman onslaught. John is torn between his need to serve his king and his love for his Norman friends.

Harold's brother, Tostig, previously banished, has enlisted the aide of Harald Harada, King of Norway and they invade England independent of the Normans. They land in the north while the Normans in the south await a favorable wind.

The English defeat the Norse at the Battle of Stamford Bridge where John distinguishes himself as a great warrior. He develops a close bond with his king and doggedly remains with him as the exhausted English force march to the final clash against the Normans who have landed in the south.

Katherine, meanwhile, has made her way to England and goes to John's home in search of her love. The final battle, at Hastings, takes place with the Normans victorious. Harold is killed despite John's valiant efforts to save him. His valor wins the deep respect of William who spares his life.

John, dejected and forlorn, returns to Beckworth. On the way, a mere shepherd reminds him what is truly important in life and he is re-united with Katherine who had thought him dead. The tale ends in modern Beckworth where the reporter discovers the connection between the past and present.


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GOOD TIMES THERE ARE NOT FORGOTTEN (Synopsis)

Semi Finalist, 1999 Empire Screenplay Contest (final 8)
Semi Finalist, 2001 Praxis Screenplay Contest (final 20)

Two scientists, James Garret (white) and Lester Singleton (black), develop a means of time travel and during testing discover that they have the power to change history.

James, in his youth, had formed a strong bond with his great-grandfather, Jeremiah Garrett, who was a Civil War veteran. He had been an 11 year old drummer boy in the Army of Northern Virginia and had survived Pickett's charge at the battle of Gettysburg in 1863. James' early years with this old man had left a lasting impression of a gentler time before the Civil War. Now, in the modern world with its crime and disorder, James is confronted with a need to make a change for the better. He proposes his plan to Lester, who is, at first, appalled because of the slavery issue. James, however, convinces him that slavery would have ended naturally with less negative impact if the South had won the war. Lester is won over after some reminders of this world's disorder.

The two men travel back to 1863 and begin their quest. They meet a young southern family orphaned because of the war. James, using modern knowledge, saves a little girl, Emily, and begins a relationship with her mother, Sarah. Lester stays with the family and James, posing as a reporter, travels north toward Gettysburg. His knowledge of historical facts enables him to win over a southern soldier, Captain Inman, who tries to set up a meeting with Robert E. Lee. James has a poignant interlude with Jeremiah, on the eve of the famous battle of July 3. That night, he also meets with Lee and convinces him to change his battle plans based on James' detailed knowledge of northern troop placements. Southern victory is now a distinct possibility and the end of the war in sight.

James returns to Lester and while waiting for their return trip, he falls in love with Sarah. The meddling of a mean local, Seth Morgan, forces James to choose between staying behind or returning to face a new, uncertain future. The final clash with Seth seals his fate. James stays in 1863.

Back in a new reality, Lester relishes the new world but misses James. He discovers the key to contact at James' gravesite where James has left a clever clue for him to discover. Lester is re-united with his old friend as past and present meet one more time.


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QUEBEC 1759 (Synopsis)

In 1759 a British fleet sails up the St. Lawrence River to assault the fortress city of Quebec. A young British officer, William Smyth, tells his story by means of a journal written in later years.

The military situation is confused on the French side by conflict between the civilian governor, the Marquis de Vaudreuil and the French military commander, the Marquis de Montcalm. On the British side, the sick and dying British General Wolfe butts heads with his subordinates.

William meets and falls in love with a French girl, Isabelle Dubois. She is daughter to a wine and brandy dealer, Rene, whose warehouse in Levis becomes William's headquarters. Rene has chosen his business partner from France, Sylvain LaCroix, as Isabelle's mate. William and Isabelle's love is cemented when he rescues her sick, maternal grandfather from Quebec after the British begin a bombardment. Rene is against the match and has William charged falsely with looting and selling from his warehouse. William is forced away from Levis.

General Wolfe does not believe the charges and chooses William to lead the British assault at the famous Plains of Abraham. Wolfe and Montcalm are both killed at the battle. The victorious British take the city and a wounded William awakes in the arms of Isabelle. She promises not to see him again when Rene threatens to renew the charges.

After a hard winter, the British expel the civilian French out of Quebec to conserve food. Isabelle berates William and takes her father's side now. William professes his love and asks her to always remember him. In April, the French defeat the English at a second battle and the British garrison is only saved when an English, rather than a French, fleet appears in the river in May.

William tries to find Isabelle, but believes she has sailed to Europe with Sylvain. Dejected, he prepares to sail for England. Isabelle, meanwhile, discovers her father's treachery and finds William in the nick of time. The story ends as William finishes his journal against the backdrop of their youngest daughter's wedding day in old Quebec.

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John Holton
Lidstone St.
Summerside
Prince Edward Island
Canada

Phone: 902-436-8792

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