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The Hateful Eight (2015) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • In the dead of a Wyoming winter, a bounty hunter and his prisoner find shelter in a cabin currently inhabited by a collection of nefarious characters.

  • Some time after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. Bounty hunter John Ruth and his fugitive captive Daisy Domergue race towards the town of Red Rock, where Ruth will bring Daisy to justice. Along the road, they encounter Major Marquis Warren (an infamous bounty hunter) and Chris Mannix (a man who claims to be Red Rock's new sheriff). Lost in a blizzard, the bunch seeks refuge at Minnie's Haberdashery. When they arrive they are greeted by unfamiliar faces: Bob, who claims to be taking care of the place while Minnie is gone; Oswaldo Mobray, the hangman of Red Rock; Joe Gage, a cow puncher; and confederate general Sanford Smithers. As the storm overtakes the mountainside, the eight travelers come to learn that they might not make it to Red Rock after all...

  • Wyoming in the 1870s. A stagecoach is heading towards the town of Red Rock with two passengers onboard. One is John "Hangman" Ruth (played by Kurt Russell), a celebrated bounty hunter. The other is Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), his prisoner and wanted for murder. Along the way they pick up another bounty hunter, Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L Jackson), and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins). Due to a blizzard they are forced to hole up in a store some way out of town with the occupants of another stagecoach. Suspicions commence and Civil War enmities are reawakened.

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  • Years after the American Civil War, bounty hunter Major Marquis Warren is transporting three dead bounties to the town of Red Rock, Wyoming. He hitches a ride on a stagecoach driven by O.B. Jackson. Aboard is bounty hunter John Ruth, and handcuffed to him is fugitive Daisy Domergue, whom Ruth is escorting to Red Rock to collect her bounty and watch her hang. Ruth and Warren are previous acquaintances who bonded over Warren's personal letter from Abraham Lincoln. Former Lost-Causer militiaman Chris Mannix, who is traveling to Red Rock as the town's new sheriff, persuades Ruth and Warren to let him on the stagecoach. Warren and Ruth form an alliance to protect each other's bounties..

  • In snow-capped post-Civil War Wyoming, the rugged bounty hunter, John "The Hangman" Ruth, defies an imminent blizzard, bent on delivering his shackled prisoner, Daisy Domergue, to Red Rock to stand trial for murder. With the snowstorm rapidly approaching, John and his new undesirable travel companions--the fellow bounty hunter, Major Marquis Warren, and Red Rock's soon-to-be-appointed sheriff, Chris Mannix--will have no other choice but to seek shelter in Minnie's Haberdashery. But, there, another unwelcome encounter awaits, as four more suspicious strangers are added to this already volatile motley crew. Engulfed in this unforgiving white hell, the hateful eight must endure each other until the storm weakens; however, who is friend, and who is foe?


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • Note: The movie is divided into six narrative sequences, all of which take place chronologically, with the exception of Chapter Five, which takes place before the others.

    Chapter One: "Last Stage to Red Rock"

    Set in the dead of winter in post-Civil War Wyoming, Major Marquis "The Bounty Hunter" Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) attempts to hitch a ride on a stagecoach driven by O. B. Jackson (James Parks). Warren is trying to transport the corpses of three outlaws to Red Rock for a handsome reward; O. B. instructs Warren to consult the passenger of the coach, one John "The Hangman" Ruth (Kurt Russell), himself an infamous bounty hunter. Ruth is escorting fugitive Daisy "The Prisoner" Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to Red Rock - alive - to collect a $10,000 reward, and to see her hanged. To ensure she cannot escape, Ruth has handcuffed her to his own arm. Ruth and Warren know each other, having seen each other in Chattanooga some eight months before.

    Ruth agrees to let Warren ride with them to a passover called Minnie's Haberdashery, where they intend to take shelter from an oncoming blizzard. While riding, Ruth asks Warren to see his letter written to him by Abraham Lincoln. Warren produces the letter, which Ruth reads. Then Daisy spits on the letter, and Warren hits her in the face, causing her to fall out of the carriage, yanking Ruth out of the carriage as well. Warren signals the driver to stop the coach while Ruth picks himself up. Warren exits the coach to find his letter, and throws snow in Daisy's face. The driver sees another man in the road. Ruth makes Warren put on handcuffs, suspecting the Major is in cahoots with Daisy or the new man.

    Chapter Two: "Son of a Gun"

    They are approached by Chris "The Sheriff" Mannix (Walton Goggins), who is also looking to hitch a ride to Red Rock. He says his horse stepped in a hole in the snow, and recognizes Ruth and Warren, but not Daisy. He claims to have been appointed the title of Sheriff of Red Rock and to be the person who is supposed to pay the bounties Ruth and Warren seek to collect. Ruth tells Warren that Mannix is the youngest son of the leader of the "Mannix Marauders", a group who terrorized South Carolina following the Civil War. Mannix refuses to wear handcuffs, and insists on coming aboard since Ruth will be charged with murder if he causes his death. Ruth reluctantly allows Mannix to ride with them, but uncuffs Warren and has him hold a gun on Mannix for the remainder of the ride. Ruth knows Mannix would never work with Warren since he is notoriously racist.

    On the coach, Mannix says he will buy the two men dinner and a drink at the Haberdashery. Ruth says he does not drink or break bread with rebel renegades. Mannix says, "it sounds like you have an ax to grind against the cause," and Ruth says that there was no cause, just terrorizing people, especially (he points out to Warren) emancipated blacks. Domergue says she supports that kind of thing. Mannix says that Ruth is misinformed by Union newspapers.

    Mannix asks Warren if Ruth knows how famous Warren once was. Warren's answer is no. Mannix asks if Daisy knows Warren. She says she knows he had a huge bounty from when he Confederacy put a $30,000 on Warren's head, and he was openly suspected in the North of just wanting to kill white people. Warren's bounty fell to $5,000, but people would still try to collect it. Warren says he has killed several of them. Warren, a Union veteran, tells Ruth of how he burned down Wellenbeck prison camp in order to escape.

    Mannix is offended because many young southern men died there, but Warren is indignant, asking why he should apologize for killing Confederates who wanted to enslave him. Mannix says that he also killed 37 Union prisoners of war. Warren says indifferently that "people die in war." Mannix says "War is hell" is hard to argue with, but that the Union also investigated him following the war. Mannix claims that Warren was ultimately forgiven because of his service in the cavalry during wars against indigenous people.

    Ruth says that Mannix has no right to talk, given the atrocities that his father inflicted on black people. Mannix says not to talk about his father, who was fighting for the dignity in defeat that southern white men, as the "brothers" of those in the North, deserved. Warren asks how many black towns Mannix raided in this struggle for dignity. Mannix says many, and that when black people are scared, white people are safe. Warren immediately points the gun straight at Mannix's temple and says that if he speaks so hatefully, Warren will kill him immediately. Mannix is very scared, says he only starting talking "politics" by mistake, and goes to sleep.

    Chapter Three: "Minnie's Haberdashery"

    The group finally arrive at Minnie's Haberdashery with the blizzard bearing down fast, and they find it in the hands of Bob "The Mexican" (Demian Bichir), who explains that the owner, Minnie Mink (Dana Gourrier), is visiting family for a week and has entrusted the passover to him; Warren is suspicious of Bob's explanation. Ruth and Daisy go inside and meet the others staying at the haberdashery. Oswaldo "The Little Man" Mobray (Tim Roth), introduces himself as the hangman of Red Rock and speaks with an English accent. He asks to see the warrant Ruth is carrying for Daisy. Meanwhile, in the blinding wind of the blizzard outside, Warren, Mannix, O.B. and Bob put the horses away. Mannix and O.B. further set up ropes to find the outhouse and stable in the snow, and Warren stays behind to help Bob with the remaining stablework. Warren asks Bob again where Minnie is, and says it doesn't sound like her to have left Joe "The Cow Puncher" Gage (Michael Madsen), a quiet cowboy and Sanford "The Confederate" Smithers (Bruce Dern), an aging former Confederate General. Ruth, suspicious that they may be trying to ambush him and release Daisy, announces his intent to deliver Daisy to Red Rock alive and forcefully disarms all but Warren of their pistols.

    Over a dinner of hot stew, Mannix teases Warren over his letter from Abraham Lincoln, saying that there is no chance Warren was friends with Abraham Lincoln. Ruth says that he is surely telling the truth, but Warren reveals that it is a lie. Mannix and Daisy laugh. Ruth spitefully throws stew in Daisy's face. Ruth is angered and loses trust in Warren, saying that it must be true what people say: that you can't trust black people. Warren asks Ruth if he hurt his feelings and Ruth says yes. Warren rebuts by saying that Ruth cannot understand what it is like to be a black man faced with America. Warren says that black people are safe when white people are disarmed, and the letter disarms white people (sets them more at ease). Ruth says it is still a dirty trick to him. Warren points out that it got him a seat on Ruth's stagecoach.

    Mannix says the letter wouldn't have worked on him. Daisy says she spat on it, and Mannix congratulates her for it. Warren brings Sanford food and asks to join him. Sanford says yes and Warren places a gun on a side table next to Sanford. Warren reveals to Sanford that he murdered Chester Smithers, Sanford's son, in a retaliation for the latter trying to kill him (most likely for the bounty). Warren taunts Sanford with the humiliating details of his son's death, claiming he was forced to march naked in the snow for over two hours and perform fellatio on Warren before being killed. In a fit of rage, Sanford reaches for the gun to shoot Warren, but Warren swiftly draws his other gun and shoots Sanford dead, much to Mannix's dismay.

    Chapter Four: "Domergue's Got a Secret"

    Daisy asks to play the guitar and Ruth says yes. A narrator then reveals that while everybody was distracted by Sanford's death, an unseen character slipped poison into the brewing coffee, which only Daisy witnessed. Ruth and O.B. drink the coffee, and Daisy smiles knowingly. She sings a beautiful song on the guitar, which she plays well. Ruth asks to hear another verse as he drinks coffee, and Daisy sings a verse that end with the line "You'll be dead behind me John as I go to Mexico." Ruth becomes furious, takes the guitar and smashes it before handcuffing Daisy to himself once again.

    Mannix pours himself a cup of coffee. Suddenly Ruth violently vomits blood on the table, just as Mannix is about to take a sip. O.B. also vomits blood, and collapses onto all fours, repeatedly vomiting up more blood. Ruth throws the coffee cup away, and Mannix realizes it was the coffee and throws his cup away too. As Daisy mocks a dying Ruth, the latter tries to kill her, only for her to seize his pistol and shoot him dead.

    With Ruth and O.B. dead, Warren lines up the rest of the lodgers at gunpoint and throws the key to Ruth's handcuffs in stove, ensuring that Daisy cannot escape. Warren determines that Mannix could not have poisoned the coffee since he was about to drink it himself, so he gives Mannix a spare gun. He goes on to explain that the stew they ate was made by Minnie that morning, so something must have happened to her. Bob asks Warren if he is really accusing him of murder.

    Warren then explains that Bob's story about Minnie entrusting the place to him cannot be true, since she hated Mexicans. He also finds a dried bloodstain on one of the armchairs, and hypothesizes that Bob murdered Minnie; he knows, however, that Bob cannot be the person who poisoned the coffee since he was playing the piano at the time. He shoots and kills Bob because he knows he was involved in killing Minnie, only to be shot in the groin from underneath the floorboards by a shadowy gunman. Mobray then draws a gun and shoots Mannix, hitting him the thigh, before the latter shoots him back, hitting Mobray in the abdomen.

    Chapter Five: "The Four Passengers

    Earlier that morning....

    A stagecoach arrives at Minnie's Haberdashery containing the four passengers: Bob, Mobray, Gage, and Jody (Channing Tatum). They are driven by the cheerful and cheeky Six Horse Judy (Zoe Bell), who hails from New Zealand. They are met by Charlie (Keith Jefferson) outside Minnie's. Charlie, a black man, stays outside and helps the carriage driver with his horses before he travels on. Judy leads the passengers inside and introduces them to Minnie Mink. Minnie is shown to be a cheery, black woman perhaps in her thirties, and is there with a black woman, Gemma (Belinda Owino) cooking. Two older white men, Sweet Dave (Gene Jones) and the previously seen Sanford, are playing chess by the hearth.

    The crew makes small talk for a few minutes before violently massacring everybody in the lodge, leaving only General Sanford alive. Charlie comes in from outside just in time to see the massacre, and is shot by Bob in the doorway (one of the shots destroys the door's latch) before fleeing outside. Mobray asks in Spanish if they should perhaps keep Sanford alive to create the illusion of a more lively setting. They agree to try it, and Jody talks to the old man while his crew starts cleaning up the mess the massacre left. Gage goes to kill Charlie, whom he finds hiding in a shed and shoots in the throat with a shotgun as he begs for his life.

    Jody explains to Sanford that they are preparing to ambush Ruth to rescue Jody's sister, Daisy, and that they will not kill him if he agrees to keep quiet about their plan. Sanford agrees, and the bandits all prepare for Ruth to arrive: throwing the bodies down the well, hiding guns around the lodge, cleaning up the jelly beans that had spilled. Jody hides in the basement (implying that he was the one who later shot Warren in the crotch from under the floorboards).

    Chapter Six: "Black Man, White Hell"

    We cut back to the present as, Warren, in agonizing pain, is confined to a bed while he and a wounded Mannix hold guns on the surviving lodgers - Domergue, Gage, and a mortally wounded Mobray. Warren tells Mannix his genitals are destroyed, and he thinks he will bleed to death. They flush Jody out of the basement by threatening to kill Domergue. Warren shoots Jody through the head, killing him. Domergue becomes hysterical, berating Mannix for working with a black man. She then attempts to strike a deal with Mannix, explaining that her brother was the leader of a notorious gang and that 15 of his men are waiting in Red Rock. Domergue further claims that these men will hunt down Mannix if he kills her, however she will call them off if he kills Warren instead. Mannix tells Warren Domergue has "nothing to sell," but to humor him as he listens to Domergue's offer. They count up the bounties that Mannix could collect: Bob, revealed to be "Marco the Mexican" with a bounty of $12,000, and Mobray, really Pete Hicox, with a bounty of $15,000, and Gage, really Grouch Douglas, has a bounty worth $10,000.

    Domergue explains that they cannot collect the bounties if they kill her since the gang waiting in Red Rock will kill them. She also says the gang will sack the town and kill all the residents. If Mannix as sheriff wants to protect the town, he should spare her life. Warren shoots Domergue in the foot. Hicox tries to convince Mannix again that they can forgive him what he has done if he kills Warren. Warren shoots Hicox in the leg. The scene is then interrupted when Gage reaches for a pistol that he had previously hidden underneath a table. Mannix and Warren shoot him dead.

    Warren tries to shoot Domergue, but his gun is out of bullets. Warren begs Mannix for his pistol, Mannix smiles and sits down. He asks Domergue about the offer: he kills Warren, they wait two days, and then he gets the bounties for Oswaldo and Gage. Domergue ascents. Mannix asks about Jody's bounty, since he is worth $50,000. Warren asks Mannix if he is about to make a deal, and Mannix says they're just talking. Domergue says he is being greedy and that she must take that body, since Jody has children. So Mannix goes over the terms again before looking back at Warren. He turns back to Domergue and says "no deal".

    Domergue says he is making a big mistake, and that the gang will come and kill him. Mannix says that in order for him to be afraid, he would have to believe that those 15 men existed, which he doesn't. Warren laughs. Mannix says Douglas poisoned the coffee and points out that Domergue didn't say anything as he was about to drink the coffee, too- showing that she didn't care about his life. He says she is a liar and is surely just saying what she needs to in order to escape being hanged. He says he suspects that what remains of Jody's gang is lying dead on the floor.

    Domergue replies that Jody leads an army of men, but Mannix interrupts her and says that his father led an army, a renegade army fighting for a lost cause- 400 men who followed because of their respect for his command. Warren nods appreciatively, then Mannix says he doesn't feel so good and collapses on the floor, fainting due to his leg wound.

    Daisy cuts Ruth's handcuffed arm off with a machete, freeing herself, before reaching for the gun Douglas dropped on the floor. Mannix suddenly wakes up (or reveals himself to have been playing possum) and shoots Daisy, wounding her. As he prepares to shoot her again, Warren convinces him to spare her so that they can hang her, just as Ruth wanted to. Since Ruth saved their lives from the storm, they can act out his last wish: to see Domergue hanged.

    Domergue is hanged from the rafters of the lodge. Mannix pronounces it as his first and final act as sheriff of Red Rock. Mannix is left lying on top of Warren, but then he drops down off the bed and onto the floor. The two men delight in seeing Domergue slowly strangle to death in accordance with Ruth's final wishes and the law.

    Mannix asks Warren if he can read his letter. Mannix takes the letter in his bloody hands and reads it aloud. In it "Abraham Lincoln" praises Warren for his service and expresses the belief that racial progress is being made slowly in America. Mannix remarks on the final line of the letter, "Ol' Mary Todd is calling so I guess it's time for bed," that it was a nice touch, and Warren thanks him. Mannix crumples the letter up and throws it away, and the movie ends with Mannix and Warren waiting to die.

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