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The Law vs. Billy the Kid (1954)

 -  Western  -  1 August 1954 (USA)
5.0
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Ratings: 5.0/10 from 80 users  
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Billy the Kid is forced to kill for the woman he loves, and is ultimately brought to justice by his old friend Pat Garrett.

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(screen story), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: The Law vs. Billy the Kid (1954)

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Cast

Cast overview:
Scott Brady ...
Betta St. John ...
Nita Maxwell
...
...
Paul Cavanagh ...
William 'Bill' Phillips ...
Benny Rubin ...
Arnold Dodge
Steve Darrell ...
Sheriff Tom Watkins
George Berkeley ...
William Tannen ...
Dave Rudabaugh
Richard H. Cutting ...
Pete Maxwell (as Richard Cutting)
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Storyline

Young William Bonney inspires the faith and friendship of Pat Garrett, despite Bonney's violent past. Garrett believes that Billy can make a better life for himself, a sentiment shared by rancher John Tunstall, who befriends Billy and gives him a job. Billy falls in love with Tunstall's niece, Nita, but this outrages Tunstall's foreman, Bob Ollinger, who exposes Billy's past as outlaw Billy the Kid. When Billy's new friend, John Tunstall, is murdered, he goes on a rampage of revenge, and Pat Garrett, now a lawman, is forced to go after his young friend. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

True story of the West's deadliest killer!

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 August 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Achtervolgd door de wet  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

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User Reviews

 
Not Bad as a Romance, Not Great as a Billy the Kid Picture
28 March 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

William Castle made a fair number of Westerns before he discovered his niche in horror; blacklisted screenwriter Bernard Gordon would ultimately distinguish himself in science fiction. "The Law vs. Billy the Kid" is merely an example of two talents better at doing other things making a Western. The flat, artificial-looking sets commonly employed at Columbia were turned to surreal purposes in Castle's horror films merely look bland here; although cheaper in appearance, a PRC Western looks more like a Western than this does. Gordon has transformed Billy the Kid's big Western legend into a tidy romance; almost a chamber drama. But the treatment sacrifices some of the strong dramatic elements of that same story and also its irony, which is a replaced by a burning seriousness in the character of Billy that runs against type. Scott Brady is really too much of a manly he-man type to play Billy and is definitely too old for the part. Brady is the weakest element in the cast, which is generally good -- it's especially fun to see the beloved "Skipper" of Gilligan's Island play a sadistic jerk. I can think of a lot worse films -- even Westerns -- than this one; it's at least moderately entertaining. But the compromises made to the rich vein of source material from which it was draw, and in some other respects as well, makes the cost to the basic property a little too dear.


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