The Banana Wars Movie Script

A reluctant young Marine sent on a suicide mission to rescue an American businessman finds he must conquer guerilla warfare, love, and American corruption in the 1920's Nicaraguan Banana Wars.

by Jeff Worley & Katherine Bryan

Based on Actual Events

OVERVIEW: Using dollar diplomacy, the United States had troops in Nicaragua to prevent Nicaraguan leaders from creating conflicts with American interests in the country. The United States sent military personnel to Nicaragua to oversee their elections, claiming to want Nicaragua to elect "good men", who ostensibly would not threaten to disrupt American interests. The ultimate goal of the contracts between countries was so that the United States could gain control of the banana trade from production to distribution. This was true for extensive mining operations, sugar cane, and coffee as well. Large companies financed guerrilla fighters, presidential campaigns, and entire governments. This intervention in Nicaragua spurred Augusto Sandino into action. **It’s hard to overstate the historical significance of Sandino’s insurgency, both for the region and for the world. For one thing, it was among the earliest examples of successful guerrilla warfare, inspiring countless revolutionary movements to adopt similar tactics all over the world, especially in Latin America. For another, it provoked the United States to use aerial bombardments against a clandestine movement — a first in world history and a harbinger of the horrors later rained down on civilians in countries like Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Yemen. It also produced the Small Wars Manual, a counterinsurgency document devised by Marine commander Mike Edson, who led the American effort to neutralize Sandino’s army; this tactical guide to counterinsurgency has been repeatedly repurposed in the years since it was first developed, most recently by General David Petraeus in Iraq. (citation-- From Sandino’s 1927 Manifesto: "Come, you pack of morphine addicts, come to kill us in our own land. I await you, standing strong at the head of my patriotic soldiers. The destruction of your greatness will shake the Capitol in Washington as your blood reddens the white sphere crowning your famous White House, the cavern where you concoct your crimes." -- AUGUSTO CÉSAR SANDINO.


THE BANANA WARS is the story of a young man, James Hanvey, who enlists in the Marines to escape poverty in 1926. His enlistment takes him to Nicaragua to fight in what is now termed “The Banana Wars”. Hanvey is, at first, sent to fight against Sandino and his army, but he soon gets orders to rescue an American executive of the despised United Fruit Company. President Coolidge cannot pay the ransom Sandino demands, and Logan’s own company, United Fruit, won’t pay either. Coolidge finally sends in a covert team of Marines to extract Logan from Sandino’s capture before a public relations nightmare is created.