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Rented Beer (02/20/2007)

released: Feb 20, 2007

description: As Clive Miller shoots beer cans one by one off a fence, his son Beau approaches and asks his father when the family will eat again. Times have been tough for the Millers, and Clive can't answer. Beau asks his father why he doesn't just take his gun into the woods and shoot an animal. Clive responds that he'll never shoot anything (except cans) after his wife's horrific death. Guilt-ridden by his children's hunger, Clive vows to go to town and try to sell some beer.

However, when the beer wagon pulls into town, Clive finds Dry Gulch is not what he remembers it to be. In fact, the townsfolk quickly inform him that now that Prohibition has passed, the town is completely dry. The beer wagon is shot up by the local deputies, and Sheriff Samuels arrests Clive.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Beau and Clarisse commiserate over their father's absence and try to make do with a meal of air. Beau finally decides that they cannot live like this any longer and that they should follow their father into town.

In his jail cell, Clive is being looked after by Bill, who is actually an old friend. Clive appeals to him to let him go, that they can be in this together and make tons of money by making beer. He invokes the memory of his dead wife, whose death Bill also witnessed. Finally, Bill warms to his old friend and agrees to open the cell and bring him to the granary. Although delayed by the entrance of Sheriff Samuels, the two make their escape successfully into the night.

Beau and Clarisse have found their way into town. The children stop at the first store they see, where they are greeted by Estella. They tell her their story, and she gives them food and takes them in. She runs a house of ill repute, but she is sure the girls will take good care of the children.

Clive and Bill make their way to their granary with no trouble, and quickly set about making beer. Once the beer has fermented, they have no option but to sample it. The two are soon good and drunk, with the room spinning around them.

The children are trying to make themselves at home in the brothel while Kiki goes out of her way to impress them with what little resources she has. The girls explain to the children that business has suffered since drinking was outlawed in town. This triggers something in Beau's head, and he suddenly remembers why they came to town. Everyone agrees to help the children find their father.

There are sudden footsteps on the granary floor above Bill and Clive. The sheriff and his deputy come down the stairs and find the two fugitives. The sheriff challenges Clive, who refuses to fight with guns, as he now only shoots cans. The sheriff agrees and hand-to-hand combat ensues. Ultimately, Clive and Bill defeat the sheriff and his deputy. They hear more footsteps upstairs. They go up to find the children and the girls. Clairsse has discovered a statute in the town laws that says although beer cannot be sold in town, it can be rented. All of the Millers' problems seem to be solved - the sheriff apologizes and Clive invites everyone to come travel with them to the next town to save them from Prohibition as well. To celebrate, everyone enjoys a drink of beer.

cast & crew:

Directed by . . . Jason Chin
 
Beau Miller . . . Michael Johnson
Bill . . . Rob White
Clarisse Miller . . . Kristen Studard
Clive Miller . . . Sean Kelley
Deputy . . . Michael Johnson
Estella . . . Mel Evans
Kiki . . . Amy Verdon
Lupe . . . Kristen Studard
Matilda . . . Colleen Breen
Mrs. Miller . . . Amy Verdon
Sheriff Samuels . . . Jorin Garguilo

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