Billy the Kid becomes embroiled in Lincoln County, NM, land wars. When rancher who gave him a break is killed by rival henchman, Billy vows revenge. New employer takes advantage of his ...
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Billy the Kid becomes embroiled in Lincoln County, NM, land wars. When rancher who gave him a break is killed by rival henchman, Billy vows revenge. New employer takes advantage of his naivety to kill rivals, lets the Kid take rap. Kid takes to the hills with friends until caught. Escapes hanging but remains in area to be near employer's young wife with whom he's infatuated. Written by
Rita Richardson <email@example.com>
Suppose I told you there were half a dozen warrants out for his arrest right now. One for killing a man out of Silver City, Colorado, eight years ago with a knife. Another for killing four Chiricahua Indians.
Eight years ago? Well, that's ridiculous. The boy couldn't have been more than twelve years old!
You don't judge a rattlesnake by his age. He's a rattler whether he's got one rattle or a dozen.
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Brought up on the wrong side of the tracks, William Bonney (aka Billy the Kid) is taken in by a kind rancher, Jameson, who is targeted by rival landowners who have key people in their pockets. When Mr Jameson is murdered Billy seeks revenge and, along with other men, is sworn in to bring the men to justice. However when some arrests turn into killings, Billy is cut off from the law and becomes a criminal in the eyes of the law. As his reputation grows the law put Sheriff Pat Garrett onto his trail.
Having seen a few Audie Murphy westerns recently I was interested to try and see a few more to get a flavour of who he was as an actor. I watched this film unaware (aside from the clue in the title) that it was another telling of the story of Billy the Kid. As such it is an inherently weak film especially with time, as we have all seen elements of this story told in a variety of different ways. This recognisable story means that it is too familiar for such a basic film to work with, rather it ends up being duller and feeling rather plodding as a result. This isn't helped by the fact that this film could have had any story in it and it still would have been delivered as any other B-movie western would have been. The script doesn't add anything to the basic story and, if you know the story then there is nothing really different here to justify watching it. The action is the usual fare and will please those expecting a B-movie western but nothing more.
The cast is also run of the mill and just what you would expect. Murphy looks good and is reliable but he is far from being a good actor and he delivers the same performance I have seen him give in films that are all the same if you turn the sound down. The support cast are also par for the course and nobody really excels themselves; only Billy's new employer (Alexander) is an interesting character and gives a few good moments for Dekker to work with.
Overall this is a very ordinary film that will be passable entertainment for those looking for a basic B-movie western that just fits in with genre tradition rather than trying to do anything special or different. The story is too familiar to really hold the interest and the script, performances, action and direction are all just about par for the course for this type of thing.
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