Feature Film/Limited Series
Feature Script Available
In the small Western town of HOPE’S PURGATORY, National Rodeo Champion and local hero CHAD RAINES, 36, the “New Marlborough Man” returns home after a bull riding accident to contemplate the end of his career. There, Chad finds the family ranch in need of repair and an angry father who has little to say to him.
Everything left unspoken between Chad and his father electrifies any room they occupy at the same time, each tormented by the loss of Chad's mother and his brother, DANIEL, whose cries for help went unanswered for too long. Blame and stubbornness weigh heavy in their silence. Chad turns to booze and pain pills as a means to cope.
Hope's Purgatory is also home to two new rising rodeo stars, the handsome and talented WILSON BROTHERS, TOBY and MARK. Once extremely close, the relationship between the teenage cowboys has grown distant in the year since Toby came out, leaving little more than anger in its wake.
Toby's lifestyle is a spur in everyone's saddle. As distasteful as it is to Mark and the Rodeo Club, they need Toby on their team to be competitive in the upcoming regional championship. Frustration builds as there is little they can do to ignite Toby's enthusiasm since becoming President of the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Club. He's had a front row seat to the behavior of Mark and his homophobic buddies as they bully his friends.
Mark and his team concoct a plan to pressure Toby by going hard after LOGAN, a member of the GSA for whom Toby has special feelings, but it backfires. Toby quits the Rodeo Club and enlists the GSA in a plan to compete against his brother and friends in the regionals. Toby knows that winning the $20,000 prize with a bunch of greenhorns is a longshot, but he is hoping for more than just money, he wants acceptance and respect for his club members.
Upon discovering Chad is back in town, Toby doesn't hesitate to solicit him to coach the GSA team. Chad knows the risk of training a group of gay rodeo riders since his only source of income now is being the spokesperson for Free Range Cologne - a product which is advertised for what the company calls, "real men." Chad can't help but think about how he failed to stand up for his own brother so long ago, and reluctantly agrees. His decision opens up old wounds for his father who makes it clear to everyone that Chad is making a big mistake.
When word about Chad's decision to coach the GSA spreads like wildfire through the town, people are up in arms, which escalates the bullying. Toby suddenly ups and deserts his fellow players without any explanation after he secretly cut a deal with his brother Mark to protect them if he agrees to go back to the Rodeo Club. Chad walks away as coach after caving to threats by the local media to destroy his Free Range spokesperson deal if he continues.
Chad feels the loss of his team, instantly, as he realizes the team was his only real purpose in life. He returns to the booze and pills, which lead to an inevitable clash with his father, forcing them both to finally face the truth. Chad's brother was dead because he was run off the ranch by their father for being gay and then committed suicide. Chad failed as a brother in giving Daniel the support he needed most at school and at home. Both men know that Chad's mother, who later fought a ferocious battle against cancer, really died of a broken heart after Daniel's death. Chad and his father owned a piece of the blame they'd used as punishment against the one another.
The GSA team, now without Chad or Toby to lead them, decide to go it on their own. One night at the local roadhouse, Chad stumbles upon Logan, the GSA's scrawny underdog, taking on one of the local rednecks in a mechanical bull ride-off. When Logan wins, against all odds, Chad knows he has no choice but to go back and coach the team because they deserve a real chance at the regional championship and the respect they deserve. Now, he has to figure out a way to get Toby back.
Chad confronts a stubborn Toby, urging him to pick up the reins and lead his team in the rodeo. Toby relents and with all in, Chad and the team show up at the Regional Rodeo for the showdown deserving of this modern day Western. With a final ride-off between Toby and his brother set to break the tie, Mark's team mates conspire to keep Toby from competing. Their plan to hold back Toby backfires and has the reverse affect...uniting the brothers, who find out that blood really is thicker than water.
The crowds in the stands include people from all over who've come to support the GSA team after a video of them training for the competition goes viral. They are cheering hard in these final moments of the event. There are only eight seconds standing between Toby and his team's victory over the more experienced Rodeo Club when he gets thrown hard. The crowd takes a collective gasp.
In that moment of stunned silence, Chad Raines could almost hear his mother's sigh and feel his brother's pride as the devastating loss took second place to the overwhelming sense of self-respect that flooded his soul. As he picked Toby up off the ground and helped the team carry him across the field on their shoulders, a thunderous clap of applause poured over them. Chad knew his GSA greenhorns had just experienced the biggest victory of their lives.
When the dust settled, as he watched Toby and Logan finally find each other's loving arms, he turned and saw his father. He'd been there and witnessed the entire event. Humbled, he let Chad know, the best way he could, just how proud he was and always had been of him.