In this version of the Billy the Kid legend, Billy, after shooting down land baron William Donovan's henchmen for killing Billy's boss, is hunted down and captured by his friend, Sheriff ... See full summary »
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In this version of the Billy the Kid legend, Billy, after shooting down land baron William Donovan's henchmen for killing Billy's boss, is hunted down and captured by his friend, Sheriff Pat Garrett. He escapes and is on his way to Mexico when Garrett, recapturing him, must decide whether to bring him in or to let him go. Written by
Doug Sederberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Extremely disappointing film from Vidor features Johnny Mack Brown as Billy the Kid and Wallace Beery as Pat Garrett. After his boss and friend is murdered, Billy swears vengeance on any man who helped kill him. Along with his friends, Billy sets out for revenge only to find himself trapped inside a building in a long stand off. It's funny that this film starts off with a message from the then governor of New Mexico talking about how great Billy the Kid was and how this film was "mostly" truthful. This film was famous for being shot 1.20:1 but also in the 70mm Realife widescreen format but sadly all known prints of this are now lost. The film was also shot with two endings and the one I viewed was beyond silly and goes against what the governor said. With that out of the way, I found this film pretty hard to get through so I'm somewhat shocked at how many great reviews this one has out there. Being an early talkie I was surprised at how good the film sounded and that included all the dialogue plus the various sound effects. What shocked me was how old fashioned the film looked because just seeing the "style" of this picture made me wonder how much Vidor really directed and if this full screen version was second thought to everyone on the set. The movie is incredibly ugly with mostly medium shots that really don't do anything for the film. The ugly and still fashion of the film really takes it toll on the action in the film because it makes it just as boring. Even worse are some of the performance that suffer because of this. I though Brown and Beery were both decent in their roles but certainly nothing to write home about. Kay Johnson was rather bland as the love interest but future FREAKS cast member Roscoe Ates steals the film as the comedy relief.
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