The Redemption of John Parker

An embittered former slave risks life and limb as an Underground Railroad “conductor” until, targeted for death by angry slave owners and a sociopathic slave hunter, he must confront and resolve his inner rage or bring tragedy on his family. Based on a true story.

Sold into slavery as a child, JOHN PARKER’s inner rage at his plight manifests in violence. In his youth, he survives multiple escapes and recaptures (including a close call with IRISH MIKE, a sociopathic slave hunter) until, after yet another angry fistfight with a boss, he’s ordered to the cotton fields by his frustrated doctor owner. Panicked, John convinces a kindly patient to take over his contract, works like a demon possessed, and buys his freedom.

He begins a new life in Ohio, marries, and becomes a successful inventor and businessman. But peace eludes him, and his inborn hatred of injustice soon propels him into a chilling series of escapades stealing runaway slaves from the clutches of their pursuers. His reputation grows, and he is invited to join forces with a coterie of Ripley abolitionists. But his renown also puts him at the head of a wanted list drawn up by angry slave owners. They plan to stop him -- dead or alive!

Ignoring warnings from his wife and friends, John persists in his nightly raids and barely survives two vicious attempts on his life. Further, a “concerned” employee hoodwinks the hotheaded slave stealer into a daring scheme to rescue a young married couple from their cruel master. But the sociopath Irish Mike is a relative of the employee and the real author behind this tale. It’s a set-up, and this “steal” threatens to be John’s last.

The fateful night arrives, and John meets up with the frightened couple. But their baby is being “safeguarded” in the main house. John slinks inside and steals the child from under the snoring slave owner’s bed. But the owner wakes up, the call goes out for the slave hunter, and the chase is on!

In a thrilling conclusion, the runaways race for freedom with Irish Mike in feverish pursuit. John sends the young couple on ahead and turns back to face his nemesis in fierce hand-to-hand combat. John prevails and readies for the death blow, but, remembering his lifelong rashness and the warnings of his wife and friends, with a scream he subdues his rage, releases Irish Mike, and makes a run for it.

Irish Mike bounds down the riverbank after his fleeing prey. “Better say a prayer, my lad. It’ll be your last,” he growls, and takes aim. His shotgun spews death for the last time, but, in a shocking twist, from the hands of his abused housekeeper, changing the lives and fortunes of everyone concerned.

Written by:
Starring Roles For:
JOHN PARKER - Michael B. Jordan/Daniel Kaluuya
IRISH MIKE - a Robert Shaw / Gene Hackman type
JOHN'S WIFE - Lupita Nyong'oGugu Mbatha-Raw
In the Vein Of:
12 Years a Slave
Django Unchained
Author Bio:
Formerly represented by the late L. Harry Lee, New York.

Co-Producer on Jason Whittier's "Letting Go," a look at cancer, love and loss, and moving on.

Associate Producer on "The Girl at the End of The World." starring Camilla Jackson.

Associate Producer on Dan McGone's short, "Half & Half."

Associate Producer on "Service of the Dolls, Part 2."

Contest Results:
StoryPros International (Semifinalist, This was an early version) [2014]