Mary, a writer working on a novel about a love triangle, is attracted to her publisher. Her suitor Jimmy is determined to break them up; he introduces Mary to the publisher's wife without ... See full summary »
"I'm not black, I'm not white, not foreign, just different in the mind. Different brains, that's all," explains 15-year-old Billy in Jennifer Venditti's provocative coming of age film. ... See full summary »
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 »
Johnny Mack Brown,
Bob Gordon is staging a new Broadway Show, but he is short of money. He gets an offer of money by the young widow Lilian, if she can dance in his new show. Bert Keeler, a paper man, gets ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jim 'Holy' Sherwood:
On the level, Billy. You ought to get off the bottle.
Bottle? I've never been drunk in my life.
Jim 'Holy' Sherwood:
I don't mean liquor. I mean another kind of bottle - excitement... phony adventure. It's no good, Billy.
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Of all the versions of the Billy the Kid saga this is one of the loosest ones with the facts. Even the names are completely changed in this film with only Robert Taylor retaining Billy's most known alias of William Bonney. Even Brian Donlevy does not get to play Pat Garrett, he's Jim Sherwood in this.
But this is the standard Billy the Kid story, a young outlaw who goes to work for a straight arrow rancher during a range war. Then later when the rancher, in this case Ian Hunter, is gunned down at that point the tragic end that Billy will come to is irreversibly set for him.
This was Robert Taylor's first western and it would be another eight years before he did another. After that westerns became pretty standard film fare for him. Taylor, like his good friend, Ronald Reagan, loved horses and probably if MGM hadn't made him a romantic heart throb, he would have loved to have been a cowboy actor. Like Reagan he certainly looked at home hosting Death Valley Days later on.
Jim Sherwood(Pat Garrett)is a different part for Brian Donlevy to play. Donlevy was at the high point of his career as a screen villain and being a good guy for him is almost a case of an alternate universe. But being the professional he was, Donlevy carries off the portrayal in fine style.
Ian Hunter is just fine as the English gentleman rancher who tries to set Taylor on the straight and narrow. And you will not find a sneakier more loathsome villain than Gene Lockhart as the local boss of the area who is provoking a range war with Hunter.
Billy the Kid is not the best western that Taylor ever did, but it certainly opened a whole new career vista for him.
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