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Dirty Little Billy (1972)

R | | Western | November 1972 (USA)
A more realistic, based-on-reality, unsensationalistic portrayal of the gritty early years of one of the most famous Wild West outlaws in history, Billy The Kid.



(story), (story) | 2 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Evans ...
Ben Antrim
Henry McCarty
Alex Wilson ...
Ronny Graham ...
Charle Nile
Josip Elic ...
Richard Stahl ...
Earl Lovitt
Basil Crabtree
Berle's Customer
Scott Walker ...
Rosary Nix ...


A more realistic, based-on-reality, unsensationalistic portrayal of the gritty early years of one of the most famous Wild West outlaws in history, Billy The Kid.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"Dirty Little Billy" is a different kind of movie. It's not about the Billy The Kid you've known and loved. It's about the real William H. Bonney. And the real William H. Bonney was a loser. "Dirty Little Billy" is the end of his legend. See more »




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Release Date:

November 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Billy Kid je bil prostak  »

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Did You Know?


Producer Jack L. Warner's last personal production. After he sold Warner Bros. to Seven Arts, he produced two pictures at Columbia, '1776' and 'Dirty Little Billy', before retiring. See more »


Goldie: I got a deal here! Honor the deal!
See more »

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User Reviews

Low key rendering of the Billy the Kid saga.
27 December 2014 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This offbeat Western tells the story of the legendary outlaws' younger years, when he moved with his parents to the country outside a town named Coffeeville. A lazy, bratty, sullen jerk, he doesn't help out with his fathers' daily routine and is subsequently banished from the farm. He wanders into the town, and encounters local toughs including big shot punk Goldie (Richard Evans), who takes Billy under his wing.

"Dirty Little Billy", indeed, is far from being a typical Western. Its deliberately very grimy look combines with a basis in a reality not to be seen in Hollywood treatments of the subject. It very much refrains from romanticizing the Old West, giving us a drab atmosphere that predates the vision seen on the TV series 'Deadwood'. Music (by Sascha Burland), art direction (by Malcolm C. Bert), and wardrobe (by Mickey Sherrard) are all first rate. There is some rather potent violence as we watch the tragic progression of Billy's life, as any possible innocence and naivety in the character just melt away.

Michael J. Pollard of "Bonnie and Clyde" fame does reasonably well in the title role, giving Billy some likability. However, he is outshone by the supporting cast. Evans is quietly effective as the young outlaw with his own way of doing things. Lovely Lee Purcell is both appealing and touching as Goldies' prostitute girlfriend Berle. She has one great scene with Pollard where she pours her heart out. Charles Aidman rounds out the main players as Ben Antrim, while a fair number of familiar character players have roles big and small: Mills Watson, Ronny Graham, Richard Stahl, Gary Busey, Dick Van Patten, Scott Walker, Severn Darden, Len Lesser, and Ed Lauter. Both Lauter and an uncredited Nick Nolte made their film debuts here; extremely prolific voice over artist Frank Welker has a rare on screen role as a young lowlife.

This interesting and very gritty take on the legend is definitely one that could stand to be better known.

Eight out of 10.

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