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The Outlaw (1943)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  7 November 1946 (Mexico)
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 2,829 users  
Reviews: 83 user | 25 critic

Western legends Pat Garrett, Doc Holliday and Billy the Kid are played against each other over the law and the attentions of vivacious country vixen Rio McDonald.


, (uncredited)


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Complete credited cast:
Jack Buetel ...
Billy the Kid (as Jack Beutel)
Joe Sawyer ...
Charley Woodruff
Stranger who draws on The Kid


Newly appointed sheriff Pat Garrett is pleased when his old friend Doc Holliday arrives in Lincoln, New Mexico on the stage. Doc is trailing his stolen horse, and it is discovered in the possession of Billy the Kid. In a surprising turnaround, Billy and Doc become friends. This causes the friendship between Doc and Pat to cool. The odd relationship between Doc and Billy grows stranger when Doc hides Billy at his girl, Rio's, place after Billy is shot. She falls for Billy, although he treats her very badly. Interaction between these four is played out against an Indian attack before a final showdown reduces the group's number. Written by Ron Kerrigan <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The picture that couldn't be stopped! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

7 November 1946 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Geächtet  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although the film was finished and copyrighted in February 1941, it was not shown theatrically for another 2 years, mostly because of censorship problems which required cuts and revisions. By May 1941, the PCA agreed to approve the film, but Howard Hughes found that many state censor boards wanted a lot more cuts that he was not willing to make, so he shelved the film until 5 February 1943, when it was finally shown theatrically in San Francisco in the 115-minute version that we essentially see today. It caused quite a sensation, especially since Jane Russell and Jack Buetel performed a 20-minute scene that was cut from the film after each showing. More hassles about its possible release in New York caused Hughes to shelve the picture once again. See more »


Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia) appear in several scenes. Joshua tree occurs in southeastern California (mostly, southern Nevada, northwestern Arizona, and extreme southwestern Utah, but not in New Mexico, where the story takes place. See more »


[first lines]
Townsman: Doc Holliday just got off the stagecoach! Do you want me and some of the boys to come along with you?
Pat Garrett: Why do ask that?
Townsman: Well, I certainly wouldn't want to fool around with him if I were alone.
Pat Garrett: I don't blame you, but I ain't gonna make no trouble for Doc Holliday. He's my best friend!
See more »


Version of Billy the Kid's Gun Justice (1940) See more »


Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Opus 74, 'Pathétique'
(1893) (uncredited)
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
First movement theme played during the opening credits
Variations also played throughout as the love theme between Billy and Rio
See more »

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User Reviews

How fast was Billy?
24 February 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When I was 14 or 15, I sneaked into our local flea pit to watch this film. Billy the Kid was every kid's hero in those days. But the posters of Jane Russell was the main reason that I risked getting caught. She didn't let me down. Her first film, and it showed, but wow, she was a creature from another planet. I'd certainly seen nothing like her. Having been brought up on Johnny Mac Brown, the Durango kid, and the like, this film was, at the time, a revelation. My pals all wanted to know how fast Billy was. Did he shoot Doc Holliday? Did Pat Garrett shoot him in the back? All I wanted to do was describe Jane Russell.

I watched The Outlaw on TV this week, and was disappointed. Time had done it no favours. The background music, which I hadn't noticed the first time round, was truly dreadful (Tchaikovsky was it? mixed with cartoon type sounds) I still found myself admiring Russell, who for most red blooded males of my age has been a great inspiration. Like Shane, and others, I think this was a film of its time, and probably doesn't deserve to be judged by this generation, who are seeing it for the first time.

36 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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