6.1/10
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16 user 8 critic

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.

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(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

Billy the Kid was a punk. See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

November 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Billy Kid je bil prostak  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nick Nolte's film debut. See more »

Quotes

Ben Antrim: All right, Billy. All right. You still haven't answered my question. What do you want to do?
Billy Bonney: Nothin'.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Everyone is Dirty
26 March 2005 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

Back in the ancient 1970's, only the high budget pictures had production designers. The others had to rely on the cinematographer to make sure the art director, the set designer, and the make-up/costume people were all on the same page; so that the picture had a consistent look. Ralph Woolsey was one of the better cinematographers at keeping all these elements under control. He was a busy guy in 1972 and two of his pictures were westerns: "Dirty Little Billy" was made right after "The Culpepper Cattle Company"- arguably one of the top ten westerns of all time. And while "CCC" is significantly better than "DLB", they share beautiful cinematography and production design (may have literally shared it because they probably used the same stuff in both productions).

It became popular after Robert Altman's "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" (1971) to replace the well-scrubbed Roy Rogers look and portray the west as dirty, dusty, gritty, unshaven, and tattered. Woolsey eagerly embraced this realism and gave us two of the grimiest features we are likely to see. Perhaps the most entertaining thing about "DLB" was the casting of Lee Purcell as the seediest looking western heroine of all time. Compared to "Berle", Susan Tyrell's saloon gal "Alma" ("Shoot Out") was a tidy sorority girl. You might expect this look from Barbara Hershey, but Purcell was deservingly typecast as prissy/demure so the movie is worth a look just to imagine her inwardly cringing each time she had to make an appearance on the set.

The story itself is extreme historical distortion, but so moronic as to render itself harmless. Still, it is puzzling that they bothered to give it the appearance of being history, as it would have worked fine as fiction. It has a nice surprise ending and several soon-to-be-famous-in-television actors; Mills Watson would go on to great things as bumbling Deputy Perkins in the many "Sheriff Lobo" programs and Dick Van Patten would play father "Tom Bradford" on "Eight Is Enough".


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