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The Left Handed Gun (1958)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 2,444 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 17 critic

After his employer is murdered by rival cattlemen, a troubled and uneducated young cowboy vows revenge on the murderers,

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lita Milan ...
...
Hurd Hatfield ...
Moultrie
James Congdon ...
Charlie Boudre
...
Tom Folliard
Colin Keith-Johnston ...
John Dierkes ...
McSween
Robert Anderson ...
Hill (as Bob Anderson)
Wally Brown ...
Deputy Moon
Ainslie Pryor ...
Joe Grant
Martin Garralaga ...
Saval
...
Paul Smith ...
Smith
Nestor Paiva ...
Pete Maxwell
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Storyline

William Bonney - Billy the Kid - gets a job with a cattleman known as 'The Englishman,' and is befriended by the peaceful, religious man. But when a crooked sheriff and his men murder the Englishman because he plans to supply the local Army fort with his beef, Billy decides to avenge the death by killing the four men responsible, throwing the lives of everyone around him - Tom and Charlie, two hands he worked with; Pat Garrett, who is about to be married; and the kindly Mexican couple who take him in when he's in trouble - into turmoil, and endangering the General Amnesty set up by Governor Wallace to bring peace to the New Mexico Territory. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All of a sudden, just for the kicks Billy would slip down to Mexico. See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

26 September 1958 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Billy the Kid  »

Box Office

Budget:

$700,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gore Vidal greatly disliked this well-received film version of his television play, "The Death Of Billy The Kid", once describing it as "a film only someone French could like." He was greatly annoyed when director Arthur Penn expressed criticisms of his original script and brought in Leslie Stevens for rewrites. In 1990, the TV movie "Billy The Kid" was made, not only as a remake of this film, but as a rebuttal of it, written and largely controlled by Vidal himself. He declared himself pleased with it, but the 1957 film remains better-known. See more »

Goofs

The "Englishman" describes his origins as from Ayrshire, a county in South West Scotland. In that case he would be a Scot and not English. See more »

Quotes

Pat Garrett: [about the fragility of the amnesty] One shot - one ten cent bullet, and that's it!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Decade Under the Influence (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock of Ages
(uncredited)
Written by Augustus Montague Toplady
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User Reviews

In search of a father.
28 May 2002 | by See all my reviews

Like the precedent user said,all that will follow in Penn's best works is already here:the search of a father,the marginal hero,incapable of becoming part of a community.In "Miracle worker", which I look upon as his masterpiece,Helen's father is thoroughly unable to communicate with his daughter who immures herself in her autism.In "the chase" Robert Redford's character has been an outcast for his whole life.In "Bonnie and Clyde" ,not only Penn depicts par excellence marginal characters but he also introduces CW Moss's character ,whose father is a mean old man,and who loves the two gangsters as his parents.

At the beginning of the movie ,Billy is still a boy searching for his identity.His boss,who reads him the Bible ("through a glass,darkly"),gives him what he's longing for.One must notice that the relationship Billy/his boss-father is too short on the screen to be really convincing.This is accentuated by the fact that the supporting cast is faceless,and once his "dad" is dead,Newman carries the movie on his own:his performance is typically "actor's studio",very deep,very introspective,in a nutshell he plays Billy as he would play a Tennesse Williams character.We're far from the western actor,such as John Wayne or Joel McCrea.The sentence "I do not want you" often comes in the lines and drives Billy to despair and violence.Actually it's the last sentence he hears from the man he loves so much.

Because they have no shoulder to lean on,Penn's heroes are doomed oedipean human beings and except for Helen in "Miracle worker",their destiny leaves them no hope.


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