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Billy the Kid (1941)

Passed  |   |  Biography, Drama, Western  |  30 May 1941 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 674 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 4 critic

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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Title: Billy the Kid (1941)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Ian Hunter ...
Mary Howard ...
...
Dan Hickey
...
'Spike' Hudson
Henry O'Neill ...
Tim Ward
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ...
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
Grant Withers ...
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:

Roaring out of the blood-swept pages of history . . . comes the only authentic life story of the Southwest's last outlaw . . . and his colorful career ! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | 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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Maureen O'Sullivan was initially cast in the role of "Edith Keating" but left to be with her husband, director John Farrow, who was with the RCAF in Canada. See more »

Quotes

Billy: Don't he get a badge or something?
Eric Keating: Well, he didn't give me a badge for him. But... wait... there's a United States eagle on this dollar. That's all you need!
See more »

Connections

Version of The Outlaw (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

Lazy Acres
Written by Ormond Ruthven (as Ormond B. Ruthven)
Played and sung by members of the Pickard family and John Raitt (uncredited) at the party
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Disappointing Remake of 1930 Classic!
25 July 2004 | by (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"Billy the Kid" was supposed to be a remake of the 1930 classic which starred Johnny Mack Brown and Wallace Beery. About the only things this version has going for it are the beautiful technicolor photography and its supporting cast of recognizable faces.

William Bonney, aka "Billy the Kid" (Robert Taylor) is on the run for gunning down his father's killer some years earlier. He and his sidekick Pedro (Frank Puglia) ride into the town of Lincoln. Billy joins up with local bad guy Hickey (Gene Lockhart) who is trying to drive popular rancher Eric Keating (Ian Hunter) out of business. While on a stampede raid one night, Billy meets up with his childhood friend Jim Sherwood (Brian Donlevy). Sherwood and Keating gradually persuade Billy to come over to their side.

All goes well until first, Pedro and then Keating are murdered. Billy then decides to take matters into his own hands with the predictable results.

Taylor, Donlevy and Lockhart are all woefully miscast. Taylor was just too pretty to be taken seriously as Billy. Donlevy, whose character replaces the Pat Garrett character for some reason, was more at home in gangster films. Similarly, Lockhart did better as evil bankers or corrupt businessmen in contemporary dramas.

Lovers of the "B" series westerns of the period will have fun spotting some of their favorite villains and character actors from that genre. The baddies include Lon Chaney Jr., Grant Withers, Dick Curtis, Cy Kendall and George Cheseboro. On the right side of the law we have Kermit Maynard, Guinn "Big Boy" Williams, Chill Wills and Ray Teal.

Others in the cast include Henry O'Neill as the newspaper editor, Joe Yule (Mickey Rooney's father) as a bartender, Arthur Houseman (the resident "drunk" in the old Laurel & Hardy shorts) as a drunken janitor (what else?), Connie Gilchrist as a saloon lady and a young John Raitt as a singer in the musical number.

As mentioned previously, the outdoor color photography is breathtaking. Unfortunately, they spoiled it by inserting many of those phony looking close up process riding shots.

I expected better from MGM.


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