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Billy the Kid (1941)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, Western | 30 May 1941 (USA)
Billy Bonney is a hot-headed gunslinger who narrowly skirts a life of crime by being befriended and hired by a peaceful rancher, Eric Keating. When Keating is killed, Billy seeks revenge on... See full summary »

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (story) | 2 more credits »
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at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Mary Howard ...
...
Dan Hickey
...
'Spike' Hudson
Henry O'Neill ...
Tim Ward
...
Ed Bronson (as Guinn Williams)
Cy Kendall ...
Cass McAndrews, Sheriff
Ted Adams ...
'Buz' Cobb
Frank Conlan ...
Judge Blake
Frank Puglia ...
Pedro Gonzales
Mitchell Lewis ...
Bart Hodges
Dick Curtis ...
Kirby Claxton
...
Ed Shanahan
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Storyline

Billy Bonney is a hot-headed gunslinger who narrowly skirts a life of crime by being befriended and hired by a peaceful rancher, Eric Keating. When Keating is killed, Billy seeks revenge on the men who killed him, even if it means opposing his friend, Marshal Jim Sherwood. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

BULLETS...HIS ONLY LAW! REVENGE... HIS ONLY RULE! (original ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 May 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Billy, el Niño  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was first telecast in Los Angeles on KTTV (Channel 11) Monday 7 January 1957, in New York City on WCBS (Channel 2) 2 December 1957, and in San Francisco on KGO-TV (Channel 7) 15 February 1958 . At this time, color broadcasting was in its infancy, limited to only a small number of high rated programs, primarily on NBC and NBC affiliated stations, so these film showings were all still in B&W. Viewers were not offered the opportunity to see these films in their original Technicolor until several years later. See more »

Quotes

Epilogue: Thus, as the ways of law came to the last frontier, the last of the men of violence found his peace.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of the Hollywood Western (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Viva La Vida
Written by Ormond Ruthven (as Ormond B. Ruthven) and Albert Mannheimer
Played on guitar and Sung by Frank Puglia (uncredited) (dubbed by Mario Costa) (uncredited)
Reprised several times
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Do not look to this movie for historical accuracy
18 April 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie is Billy the Kid in name only. Anyone who has any kind of fascination with the Wild West or the historical William H. Bonney would do well to shy away from this flick. Almost all of the names have been switched around, the plot shares only a marginal familiarity with the true Billy and the lead actor Robert Taylor seems better suited for playing a 1930's era Chicago gangster than he does playing one of the most famous outlaws of all time.

Now that I've got my historical accuracy niggling out of the way - I still find myself unable to say many positive things about this film. But I'll give it a shot.

Some of the dialogue is rather inventive - and I do actually appreciate the relationship that Billy shares with ranch herder Eric Keating. There's an interesting exchange during Keating's introduction wherein he explains to a wary-eyed Billy why he doesn't carry a gun. Keating's naiveté rests upon a mythological ideal of frontier honor - an ideal that comes with a heavy price.

The movie itself is also wonderfully shot. The Technicolor treatment produces stunning visuals that can easily compare to westerns that are produced ten, fifteen, sometimes even twenty years after Billy the Kid.

Sadly, there simply isn't a lot of material available for Billy the Kid enthusiasts. Again, do NOT refer to this movie if you are looking to find insight into the true story of Billy the Kid. The closest you will probably come towards finding the definitive Billy story is in the 1988 fluff film, "Young Guns" and its subsequent continuation in "Young Guns II" - and even they take great spoonfuls of poetic license with history.


17 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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